Thursday, January 17, 2013

My poor husband's head is becoming more threadbare as the years go on, and he has started sleeping in one of the stocking caps I knitted years ago.  I offered to make him a true night cap, like the old fashioned ones of a couple of centuries ago.  He made one stipulation:  it had to be "plain."  That meant I couldn't embellish, couldn't add a motif, couldn't have a stitch pattern, and certainly couldn't do any fair isle!  "Just a plain purple hat."  So, here is what I came up with:
“Hubby’s Peaked Night Cap”

Sizes/dimensions: adult medium-large.  I made the brim in a 1 X 3 (K3P1) ribbing to make it extra loose for night time sleeping.  You may adjust however you wish.  This fits a man with a rather large head.  For a tighter fit, you might try a 2 X 2 (K2P2) ribbing instead.   The hat measures 16 inches from cast on edge to peak.
Gauge:   This hat is 6.5 sts per inch; 34 sts and 43 rows = 4” in st st (I used #2 needles, and am a loose knitter)
Yarn: not quite 100g, less than 410 yds  fingering weight yarn.  I used “Great Northern Yarns 100%  Yak”…wonderful to work with, and soft and warm against the skin.  Any soft sock yarn would probably work.
Needles: #2 circular 16”.  I knit very loosely, so you might need a larger needle, or cast on more to make the same-sized hat.  If you don’t have the 16” needles, use whatever method you like to knit in the round.

CO 152 sts (increase or decrease in multiples of four)  with preferred method.  I used the long-tail cast on.  Join for knitting in the round.  Place marker for beginning of round.
1.  K3 P1 around for 3”
2. Now, work in stockinette stitch (knit around) for 4 ½  inches from end of ribbing
When you reach 4 ½ inches (or longer if you want a longer hat), prepare to decrease for peak.  Place markers.  You will be decreasing in four sections.  If you cast on 152 stitches, you will place markers every 38 stitches.  If you cast on 160 sts, you will place marker every 41 stitches.  Just divide your total stitches by four.
3.  Decrease Rounds for peak:
(Change to double pointed needles (or use 2 circulars, or one long-cord circular needle for Magic Loop knitting) when the stitches become too tight on the 16” circulars)

You will work decreases immediately before each marker.

Round 1: (K to within 2 sts of marker, k2tog) around.  Decreased by 4 stitches.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: Knit.
Continue rounds 1-3 until four stitches remain, ending with a decrease round.  At this point, I knit about an inch of i-cord for the tassel.  Do not bind off.  Make a tassel according to your own fancy from the same yarn used for the cap, and secure it by pulling the “knot” thread of the tassel through the four remaining stitches. Weave in ends. Wash and block the cap.