Ribbed Caps

[Three variations of the ribbed cap pattern]

Probably the most basic knitted cap is a simple ribbed cap. This pattern is based on a Knit 2 Purl 2 (k2p2) rib, and shows two variations. For a turned-up cuff as shown in the navy cap, you should choose a rib that looks the same on both sides. This one is k2p2.

The white and purple caps are snug beanie-style hats, with k1p1 ribbing tight at the edge, and a k2 garter2 rib for the body. The purple one adds contrast stripes.

Basic K2P2 Rib Cap Instructions

With worsted weight yarn and a size 8 needle, cast on a multiple of 4 stitches (say, 80, 84, 88, or 92, for child to adult sizes) and join in circle. Work the round in K2P2 rib for 7 to 9 inches.

To work back and forth, cast on one additional stitch to allow for seam, and end right side rows with a knit stitch. Your seam will incorporate half a stitch on each edge and a 2-knit rib will remain. The seam will show when the cuff is turned up but will be very narrow.

Snug Garter Rib Cap Instructions

[Snug beanie style cap with stripes.] Since the beanie-style cap does not have a turned-up cuff, it needs a snugger band to keep it pulled down over the ears, and the body can be larger. Decide how many stitches you will use on the main portion of the cap--make sure it is divisible by 4--and cast on 10 stitches fewer (plus one if knitting flat). For example, for a hat on 100 stitches, cast on 90; for a hat on 80 stitches, cast on 70 stitches. Work in K1P1 rib for one inch. On the final rib round, work in rib but add ten stitches, evenly spaced around the cap, either by adding a backward loop onto the right needle, or by picking up the strand between the stitches and knitting into the back of it.

Work in a 2x2 garter rib pattern until the total length of the cap is 5 to 6 inches. The stitch pattern is as follows:
Round 1: K2 P2 around. Round 2: Knit. (purl if working flat)

Adding Stripes to a Ribbed Cap

Color stripes greatly enhance the looks of a simple cap, and also help you use up odds and ends of yarn or finish a cap when you don't have quite enough of the main color.

To get a smooth line at the color change, without the interlinked look on the purl ribs, knit all stitches the first row of the new color. Even in a rib pattern, this will not disturb the lines of the ribs. In the garter rib pattern, of course, the color change should be made on Round 2, which is already all knit.

Decreasing the Top

[The ribs taper to nothingness at the top.] Both the K2P2 rib and the Garter Rib are decreased in the same way.

First decrease round (in Garter Rib, this should be done on Rnd 1): (K2 P2tog) around. (end K1 when working flat)
Work 5 rounds of pattern as established.
Decrease round: (K2tog, p1) around. (ending K1 when working flat)
Work 3 rounds in pattern as established.
Decrease round: (K2tog, P2tog) around. (ending K1 working flat)
Work 1 round as established.
Decrease round: K2tog around.
Break off yarn and run it twice through the remaining stitches, pulling the hole tightly closed. Seam up side if working flat.

Copyright statement: This is an original design by Judy Gibson, 2003. Permission is granted to print and use this pattern for personal noncommercial use, provided this notice is included. No commercial use or publication of this design--in hard copy or electronic form--are permitted without explicit consent from the designer. Contact: jgibson@cts.com.


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Judy Gibson, Descanso, California.
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