Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Free Pattern: Big Guy Beanie

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A recent commission for a hat had me searching for a simple pattern that would work with my gauge using Noro Obi yarn.  It's a blend of wool, silk, and a small amount of mohair, fairly pleasant to work with as there isn't enough mohair to shed all over the place.  It is a thick-thin yarn, i.e. in some places it is thicker than others.

Noro usually gives a range of recommended needle sizes for all their yarns, which is probably more sensible than just saying one size as most yarns do, since everyone knits with a slightly different tension.  Some of us are looser than others.  Not sure what that says about personalities: there doesn't seem to be a correlation between uptight or anxious and a tight knitting gauge, but I don't think this has been scientifically studied!

Still, it's annoying when the range of needle sizes is given as #8 to #10.  Is it worsted weight or is it bulky?  You decide!

I went for a #9, did the dreaded gauge swatch, and came up with a stitch gauge of 3.5 per inch.  I liked the way the resulting fabric looked.  Onward to knitting the hat.

I was hoping to find a free pattern that had already done the math for me, but when that failed, I came up with my own.  You could adapt this for a smaller head, but if you decide to cast on fewer stitches, do it in multiples of 4 since you are starting with a 2 x 2 rib.  You could use a smaller needle instead, or in addition.  Then you might not want to knit 8.5 inches from the cast-on edge.  You might go 7.5 or 8.  But you still have to get that hat to cover the crown of the head!  Sometimes you just have to do the math!

This pattern is for a large size hat, hence the name:


1 skein of Noro Obi yarn (or about 125 yards chunky yarn)
#10 needles, 16-inch circular, or size to get gauge
#10 dpns, set of 5
Stitch marker
Tapestry needle

3.5 = 1 inch in stockinette

CO 76 sts, place marker on R needle, and join.

Begin K2, P2 rib every row until you have about 3 inches (about 16 rows or so) from CO edge.

K one row.

K2, P2 rib for another inch.

Change to stockinette st, i.e., k every rnd until hat measures 8.5 inches from CO edge.

Transfer sts evenly to dpns now, or a little later, as you decrease to fewer total sts.
Begin decreases as follows:
Rnd 1:  k8, k2tog around (you will have a few sts extra at the end of the rnd, just k them.
Rnd 2 and all even rnds: k
Rnd 3:  k7, k2tog around
Rnd 5:  k6, k2tog around
Rnd 7:  k5, k2tog around
Rnd 9:  k4, k2tog around
Rnd 11:  k3, k2tog around
Rnd 12:  K2, k2tog around
Rnd 13:  K1, k2tog around
Rnd: 14:  k2tog around

Cut yarn, leaving around 6 to 8 inches of a tail.  Using a tapestry needle, weave tail through remaining sts on dpns, then remove dpns.  Pull yarn to tighten, poke needle through top of hat, turn hat inside out and weave in ends.  Turn hat right side out again, fold up the cuff and you're done!

CO = cast on
dpn(s) = double pointed needle(s)
k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
p = purl
rnd = round
R = right
st, sts = stitch, stitches

Feel free to contact me with questions or comments!

© 2013 Reyna Thera Lorele
YIYO Designs


  1. Hi there I need something for a 62 cm (2413⁄32) head and am struggling to find patterns
    one sisze doesnt fit all

    1. Thanks for your comment. You are right, one size doesn't fit all. The pattern above for the Big Guy Beanie is intended for a head around 22.5 to 24.5 inches in circumference. The rib at the cuff makes it stretchy, and you do want some negative ease or the hat will be so loose it won't stay on very well. I do think it's stretchy enough to fit the head you have in mind, but if you are concerned you could cast on an extra 4 sts, then follow the pattern as written. Let me know how it works!

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  3. Trying this for my husband who has a head 24" around. He is a baseball cap guy so I am hoping he can make the transition on the really cold days especially. I will let you know how this works for me. I bumped up to 10.5 needles to give enough ease without having to add to the pattern.

    1. Yes, let us know! It's a very stretchy hat, here's hoping it works for you.

  4. New to knitting and would like to try this! I was wondering if 1. you could use chunky wool if you used thicker needles and 2. how much wool/yarn do you need? approximately how many 50g balls(75m) would i need? Sorry again, new at this and would appriciate any advice! Thanks

    1. Hi, there. Thanks for your questions. That Noro Obi is a thick-thin yarn, a.k.a. wool, that is hard to classify as chunky, but yes, this pattern is written for chunky yarn, so go ahead and use those #10 needles. You may want to do a swatch to check your gauge; just cast on 20 sts or so, knit in stockinette for four inches, bind off, and measure to see how many sts you get per inch, and if you like the look and feel of the fabric you're creating. You need about 125 yards, so if you have a 50g ball that gives you 75 meters, add 10% to the meters to equal yardage: 75 + 7.5 = 82.5 yards approximately. So you will need 2 balls of yarn. Hope that helps! Happy knitting!

  5. Showing my DH this pattern and he says he likes the coloring. I can't find the color name/number for this (either here or on Ravelry). Did you have that info? My best guess is #9...

    1. Hi, Dana. I am sorry I don't have that info anymore. I usually keep yarn labels, and I should have mentioned the color way # in the pattern, but this was for a shop sample a long time ago, and I gave the label back to the shop owner when I was done with the hat. Oops. Hope you find a color your DH likes.

    2. Thanks for your fast reply! I think my guess is pretty good but I wish there was somewhere local I could look at them!!!


I love getting your comments. Thanks for sharing!