Whether they’re mischievous sprites or cheerful makers, for centuries the story of elves has helped to sustain humans through the long, cold months of winter. Our pointy little Elfin Hats tap into the fun and are made with a cool technique, ancient and mysterious in its own right!

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

The technique is a traditionally Scandinavian one called twined knitting. It’s very simple to do and creates a thick, warm, weatherproof fabric. Also known as two-end knitting, you work it with two strands, passing one over (or under) the other before you knit the next stitch.

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

Once you’ve learned to knit with a twist (if you’re worried, don’t be, we have a tutorial!), there’s nothing to it… Knit, knit, knit, then work some simple decreases to reach the summit.

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

You work these hats with the knit-side facing you, but the fabric is equally fascinating on the purl side, so knit-side-out or knit-side-in, cuffed or uncuffed, for babies, kids, or adults… Wear it your way!

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

We knit these Elfin Hats in our wonderful Linen Quill Worsted. This fine highland wool, alpaca, and linen blend has the best of all these fibers: springiness and durability, softness and warmth, and a beautiful character and texture. So much to love!

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho
Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

In an array of red and pinks and greens, these hats will be particularly festive under the tree, but with over twenty colors to choose from, have some fun creating your own elf story!

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

Originally designed for Purl Soho by Laura Ferguson.

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoElfinHats, and #PurlSohoLinenQuillWorsted. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho
  • Purl Soho’s Linen Quill Worsted, 50% fine highland wool, 35% alpaca, and 15% linen. Each skein is approximately 164 yards/ 100 grams.
    • Main Color (MC): 1 skein; approximately 75 (100, 135, 150, 160, 164) total yards required
    • Contrast Color (CC): 1 skein; approximately 40 (50, 65, 80, 90, 105) yards required
  • US 7 (4.5 mm), 16-inch circular needles, for Kid and Adult sizes
  • A set of US 7 double pointed needles, all sizes
  • Stitch markers, including one unique

NOTE: For Adult Large, some styles may use nearly the full skein of MC. We recommend re-using your swatch yarn, and also, be sparing with your tails!

We used the following CC colors for our samples (all of our hats use Pale Oats as MC)…

  • Peony Pink: Baby (Style 1)
  • Bright Flamingo: Baby (Style 2, modeled) and Toddler (Style 4)
  • Kiln Red: Kid (Style 2) and Adult Small (Style 1, modeled)
  • Golden Green: Adult Small (Style 3)
  • Fresh Pickle: Adult Large (Style 4)

GAUGE

21 stitches and 23 rounds = 4 inches in Twined Knitting Stitch (see Notes)

SIZES

Baby (Toddler, Kid, Adult Small, Adult Medium, Adult Large)

  • Finished Circumference: 12½ (14¾, 17¼, 19½, 20½, 21¾) inches
  • Finished Height: 9 (10¾, 12, 13, 13¼, 13¾) inches

NOTES

CONSTRUCTION

You will work these hats with the knit side facing you, but you can wear the finished hat with either the knit or purl side facing out.

TWO STRANDS OF SAME COLOR

When the pattern requires you to hold two strands of the same color, you can either roll the skein into two balls and pull from both at once or wind a center-pull ball and pull one strand from the center and one strand from the outside of the ball.

YARN 1 AND YARN 2

The Main Color (MC) will always be the MC, however sometimes it will be “Yarn 1” and sometimes it will be “Yarn 2.” The same is true for the Contrast Color (CC). It may sound confusing now, but you’ll see… It’s not, really!

TWINED KNITTING STITCH

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 over or under each other. The result is a dense, warm, and beautiful fabric.

In the photos below, Yarn 1 is the white strand (or MC), and Yarn 2 is the pink strand, (or CC).

To work a gauge swatch, cast on an even number of stitches in the round and repeat Rounds 1 and 2 for pattern, below.

ROUND 1 (TWIST OVER)

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Round 1: *Holding both strands at back of work, cross Yarn 1 over Yarn 2 and knit next stitch with Yarn 1 (above left), still holding both strands at back of work, cross Yarn 2 over Yarn 1 and knit next stitch with Yarn 2 (above right), repeat from * to end of round.

ROUND 2 (TWIST UNDER)

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Round 2: *Holding both strands at back of work, cross Yarn 1 under Yarn 2 and knit next stitch with Yarn 1 (above left), still holding both strands at back of work, cross Yarn 2 under Yarn 1 and knit next stitch with Yarn 2 (above right), repeat from * to end of round.

PATTERNS

BRIM

With Main Color (MC), cast 66 (78, 90, 102, 108, 114) stitches onto circular needles or double pointed needles (for Baby and Toddler sizes). We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Place unique marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho

NOTE: When you join for working in the round, work the first stitch of the first round with MC (Yarn 1), then join Yarn 2 to work the second stitch. Depending on which style you are knitting, Yarn 2 will be another strand of MC or it will be the Contrast Color (CC) (see Notes, Yarn 1 And Yarn 2).

STYLE 1

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Using MC for Yarn 1 and CC for Yarn 2…

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 4½ (5½, 6, 6¼, 6¼, 6¼) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut CC and join second strand of MC as new Yarn 2 (see Notes, Two Strands Of Same Color).

Go on to Crown section, below.

STYLE 2

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Using one strand of MC for Yarn 1 and a second strand of MC for Yarn 2 (see Notes, Two Strands Of Same Color)…

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures ¾ (1, 1, 1¼, 1¼, 1¼) inch(es) from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut second strand of MC and join CC as new Yarn 2.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch one time.

Cut CC and join another strand of MC as new Yarn 2.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 4½ (5½, 6, 6¼, 6¼, 6¼) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Go on to Crown section, below.

STYLE 3

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Using one strand of MC for Yarn 1 and a second strand of MC for Yarn 2 (see Notes, Two Strands Of Same Color)…

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 2 (2¼, 2½, 2½, 2½) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut second strand of MC and join CC as new Yarn 2.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 4½ (5½, 6, 6¼, 6¼, 6¼) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut CC and join another strand of MC as new Yarn 2.

Go on to Crown section, below.

STYLE 4

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Using MC for Yarn 1 and CC for Yarn 2…

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 2 (2¼, 2½, 2¾, 2¾, 2¾) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Cut first strand of MC and join another strand of CC as new Yarn 1 (see Notes, Two Strands Of Same Color).

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch one time.

Cut both strands of CC and join two strands of MC as new Yarn 1 and Yarn 2.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch until piece measures 4½ (5½, 6, 6¼, 6¼, 6¼) inches from cast-on edge, ending with Round 2.

Go on to Crown section, right below.

CROWN

ALL STYLES

NOTE: Change to double pointed needles if and when necessary.

Round 1: Working Round 1 of Twined Knitting Stitch, [k22 (26, 30, 34, 36, 38) stitches, place marker] 2 times, knit to end of round. [66 (78, 90, 102, 108, 114) stitches]

Round 2 (Decrease Round): Working Round 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch, [knit 2 together (k2tog), knit to next marker, slip marker (sm)] 3 times. [3 stitches decreased]

Round 3: Work Round 1 of Twined Knitting Stitch.

Round 4: Work Round 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch.

Round 5 (Decrease Round): Working Round 1 of Twined Knitting Stitch, [k2tog, knit to next marker, sm] 3 times. [3 stitches decreased]

Round 6: Work Round 2 of Twined Knitting Stitch.

Repeat Rounds 5 and 6 one more time. [57 (69, 81, 93, 99, 105) stitches remain]

STYLE 1

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5, then 2, four (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) times. [33 (39, 45, 51, 51, 51) stitches remain]

Cut both strands of MC and join two strands of CC as new Yarn 1 and Yarn 2.

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5, then 2, five (6, 7, 8, 8, 8) more times. [3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3) stitches remain]

Go on to Finishing section, below.

STYLE 2

Cut second strand of MC and join CC as new Yarn 2.

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5, then 2, nine (11, 13, 15, 16, 17) times. [3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3) stitches remain

Go on to Finishing section, below.

STYLE 3

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5, then 2, nine (11, 13, 15, 16, 17) times. [3 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3) stitches remain]

Go on to Finishing section, below.

STYLE 4

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5, then 2, zero (0, 1, 1, 1, 1) time(s). [57 (69, 75, 87, 93, 99) stitches remain]

Cut both strands of MC and join two strands of CC as new Yarn 1 and Yarn 2.

Repeat Decrease Rounds 5 , then 2, nine (11, 12, 14, 15, 16) more times. [3 (3, 3 3, 3, 3) stitches remain]

Go on to Finishing section, right below.

FINISHING

Cut both strands and thread them onto a tapestry needle. Draw the needle through the remaining stitches, pull taut, and bring tails to inside of hat. Weave in the ends and block as desired.

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

Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho
Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho
Elfin Hats In Linen Quill Worsted | Purl Soho