Fair Isle Warm Ears Wool Hat Knitting

Triple Patterned Watchcap knit in brown and red wool

This is my third time knitting the Triple Patterned Watchcap hat pattern from the “Hat’s On” book (link to book below). This Fair Isle hat has a brim which is knit in such a way that it will be doubled and therefore keeps the ears nice and warm.

me wearing the watchcap hat
My new hat

The pattern begins with a Latvian Braid which is called a Twined Herringbone Edge in the pattern. For some reason I always have to review notes on how to create the braid and usually I begin doing it incorrectly! But once I realize my mistake, I can do the braid without a problem.

The braid will be at the top part of the cuff once it’s flipped up. This pattern is in chart form only, and you have to own the book to get the pattern. Hat’s On! is available at Amazon here. (This is an affiliate link and I could earn money if you follow the link and buy the book.) It contains patterns from simple / beginner to difficult / experienced and I’ve had my book for years trying to work up to knitting that pretty hat on the front!

Knitting the Cuff or Hat Band – Colorwork Pattern #1

I like to place markers to help me keep the pattern straight. On the cuff that means every ten stitches.

hat, knitting, triple-patterned watchcap, hats on book,
Using markers for pattern

Once the first pattern of the triple-patterned hat is complete the remainder of the knitting is done with the cuff turned inside out. My needles are very crowded while knitting the XL size.

In the photo below, I have flipped the finished brim inside out and begun knitting in the opposite direction for the top of the hat. The remainder of the hat will be knit this way, so the cuff looks inside out. It will turn up when the hat is completed.

hat knitting, triple-patterned watchcap, colorwork, fair isle,
Brim is finished, turned to begin hat top

Knitting Pattern #2 of the Triple Pattern Design

I am following this pattern exactly and the second colorwork pattern is a bunch of circles. It’s for fun only because when the hat is complete the cuff will be turned up to cover this section of knitting. But, Fair Isle is much more fun to knit than simple stockinette. This section could actually contain anything, or nothing at all. When I knit this hat in green and gold, I put a heart pattern in this second section.

I will say that this knit made my hands ache. I did knit at long periods of time, but the wool is quite stiff to work with. The last two hats I made like this were knit with Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor yarn, which I would have used again, but had no more good colors left. This hat will have a different look because of the yarn, but that’s okay because I also love this type of wool.

Colorwork pattern #2 will be covered by the cuff when the hat is finished.

Pattern #3 Completes the Crown of the Hat

As I began pattern number three, I was running low on the brown yarn. I was sure the red would be sufficient, but the brown ball was pretty small. I had used the Teak yarn to knit a pair of boot cuffs for my daughter, so I didn’t begin this knit with a full skein. I do have another brown yarn – BT’s Meteorite – which I am keeping close by, just in case.

It turned out that I had just barely enough brown yarn to finish up the crown – see my image below, far right…! One little strand was leftover. It’s what knitter’s call playing “yarn chicken”.

The Wool Yarn

In keeping with my plan to use up the yarn I already have, I found two worsted weight, pure wool yarns that I like together. The yarn I am using for this hat project is Brooklyn Tweed’s “Shelter” in colorway Amaranth (shades of red) and Harrisville Highland Wool in colorway Teak (brown). Wool is wonderful for colorwork and will help to make this hat extra warm on cold days.

The Size and Needles Used

I am using a size 6 needle (16 inch circular and DPN’s) and knitting the size XL hat. Both hats I knit previously came out with head circumference measurements exactly matching the pattern. Because this hat is done in stranded knitting around the brim, it won’t have a lot of stretch. The XL should measure 22 inches when finished and that should fit my head nicely. Yes, it does!

The finished hat, after washing and drying, measures approximately 22 inches around. There isn’t much stretch to this pattern and it fits snug, but not tight to my head. I rinsed it twice in wool wash as there was a lot of color coming out. Yarn tends to be pretty dirty by the time a project is knit, so washing is essential.

I Now Have Three Triple-Patterned Watchcaps in Three Sizes

Two hats, the size Large and Small, were knit using Brooklyn Tweed’s “Arbor” which is a very nice yarn. I enjoyed knitting with it more than the wool, but I love the outcome of this wool hat.

knitting divider

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