While I’ve not inspected one personally and cannot confirm it, I imagine the tall, conical hats of elves are chock full of secrets and stories from centuries past. In hopes of harnessing this intrigue, I’ve made these Elfin Hats using a technique as ancient as elves themselves.

Elfin Hats | Purl Soho

Twined Knitting employs two strands of yarn that wrap around one another. The process is simple, but the results are as fascinating. Twined Knitting’s fabric is dense and warm but also friendly and supple, and both sides of the knit fabric have a distinct texture and character… which means, two hats in one!

Elfin Hats | Purl Soho

For the main yarn in this pattern I used Purl Soho’s incredibly soft Alpaca Pure, and for the contrasting colors I pulled from our palette of Worsted Twist and Worsted Twist Heather merinos. Together, these yarns create a very cozy hat, perfect for little winterland elves! -Laura

Update: New Sizes

JANUARAY 2015

We now have Elfin Hats for Adults! Click here for additional photos and the full pattern!!

Materials

YELLOW BABY HAT

GREEN BABY HAT

TODDLER HAT

KID HAT

Gauge

18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with Main Color

21 stitches = 4 inches in stitch pattern with Main Color

Sizes

Baby (Toddler, Kid)

  • Finished Circumference: 12 1/2 (14 3/4, 17) inches
  • Finished Height: 9 1/4 (10 1/2, 11 3/4) inches

Notes

Pattern Notes

  • These hats are worked up with the knit side facing out, but the finished hat can be worn with either the knit or the purl side facing out.
  • When the pattern requires you to use two strands of the same color, you can either roll the skein into two equal-size balls and pull from both balls at once, or you can pull one strand from the inside of the ball and one strand from the outside. If you don’t have a swift and ball winder to wind a center-pull ball, never fear, you can do it by hand! Click here for a great video that shows you how!

Twined Knitting How To’s

This pattern uses a technique called Twined Knitting. Twined Knitting is a method of working two strands of yarn at a time, alternating strands every stitch and, between each stitch, twisting the strands around each other. The result is a dense, warm and beautiful fabric.

You can twine the strands by either twisting the working yarn over the other or by twisting the working yarn under the other. In this pattern, you are instructed to do both: “twisting over” and “twisting under”.

TO TWIST OVER…

Step 1 (pictured left): Carry the right-hand (working) strand of yarn over the left-hand (non-working) strand and knit the next stitch.

Step 2 (pictured right): Repeat Step 1 with the new right-hand (working) strand.

Continue to work with alternating strands of yarn, carrying each working yarn over the non-working yarn between each stitch.

TO TWIST UNDER…

Step 1 (pictured left): Carry the right-hand (working) strand of yarn under the left-hand (non-working) strand and knit the next stitch.

Step 2 (pictured right): Repeat Step 1 with the new right-hand (working) strand.

Continue to work with alternating strands of yarn, carrying each working yarn under the non-working yarn between each stitch.

Twined Knitting Notes

While working a round of twined knitting, the two strands of yarn begin to coil around one another. That’s okay, because in this pattern each round of twisting over is immediately followed by a round of twisting under, which uncoils the strands.

Because of this coiling, working across a large number of stitches tends to put too much strain on the yarn. This Kid size hat is the biggest size I could comfortably knit, while an adult size at this gauge proved to be a bear!

Pattern

NOTE: The instructions below correspond to the following hats: Baby Size in Yellow (Baby Size in Green, Toddler Size, Kid Size).

Body of Hat

With the MC and the circular needles, cast on 66 (66, 78, 90) stitches. Place marker and join for working in the round being careful to not twist the stitches.

Elfin Hats | Purl Soho

NOTE: When you join for working in the round, work the first stitch of the first round with the yarn from the cast on, then join the second strand to work the second stitch. The second strand for each of the hats is CC (MC, MC, CC). In other words the Yellow Baby and Kid hats begin with alternating strands of the MC and CC, and the Green Baby and Toddler hats begin with alternating strands of just the MC.

Round 1: Knit round twisting over.

Round 2: Knit round twisting under.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 4 1/2 (3/4, 2 1/4, 2 1/2) inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut CC (1 MC strand, 1 MC strand, MC).

Join strand of MC (CC, CC, CC).

FOR GREEN BABY SIZE ONLY

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 one time.

Cut – (CC, -, -).

Join strand of – (MC, -, -).

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures – (4 1/2, -, -) inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 2.

FOR TODDLER SIZE ONLY

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures – (-, 5 1/2, -) inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut – (-, CC, -).

Join strand of – (-, MC, -).

FOR KID SIZE ONLY

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 one time.

Cut both strands of – (-, -, CC).

Join two strands of – (-, -, MC).

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures – (-, -, 6) inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 2.

Shape Crown

NOTE: Switch to double pointed needles when necessary.

Round 1: While twisting over, [k22 (22, 26, 30) stitches, place marker] two times, knit to end of round. [66 (66, 78, 90) stitches]

Round 2 (decrease round): While twisting under, [k2tog, knit to marker, slip marker] three times. [3 stitches decreased]

Round 3: Knit round twisting over.

Round 4: Knit round twisting under.

Round 5 (decrease round): While twisting over, [k2tog, knit to marker, slip marker] three times. [3 stitches decreased]

Round 6: Knit round twisting under.

Repeat Rounds 5 and 6 one more time. [57 (57, 69, 81) stitches]

Repeat Rounds 5 and 2 four (-, 11, 1) more time(s). [33 (-, 3, 75) stitches]

FOR BABY SIZE IN YELLOW AND KID SIZE ONLY

Cut both strands of MC (-, -, MC).

Join two strands of CC (-, -, CC).

Repeat Rounds 5 and 2 five (-, -, 12) more times. [3 (-, -, 3) stitches]

FOR BABY SIZE IN GREEN ONLY

Cut a strand of – (MC, -, -).

Join strands of – (CC, -, -).

Repeat Rounds 5 and 2 – (9, -, -) more times. [- (3, -, -) stitches]

Finish

Cut both strands and thread them onto a tapestry needle. Draw the needle through the remaining stitches and pull taut. Weave in the ends and block as desired.

Wear knit-side-in or knit-side-out, elf’s choice!

Elfin Hats | Purl Soho