Converting a hat pattern to regular needles

Hi. I’m new here, and tried to post a question yesterday, but haven’t seen it show up so I’ll try again. I’ve been learning how to knit and want to make my husband a hat for Christmas. But I have been learning on regular needles with end protectors, and I don’t feel like I have the time or money to learn with circulars or buy circulars. I found a free pattern online that I like (I want to do one with ear flaps), but actually all the patterns I’ve seen use circular needles. Is there a way to convert this to using regular needles? I’d really appreciate the help as soon as possible…I’m getting nervous about being able to get this done. :slight_smile: Thanks so much!

You could knit it the same except back and forth, adding the ear flaps as you go. Here’s a pattern someone else was having trouble with - which should be easy enough to change. Make the ear flaps, then CO half the back sts, plus one, knit one flap, CO the sts for the front, knit the other flap, then CO the other half of the back sts plus one. The 2 extra sts are for the seam and will be up the back of the hat.

Then knit in garter or ribbing for 6 rows, then in stockinette until length before decreases. Do the dec rows as written, though there will be one extra stitch at each end, purl the plain knit rows.

Wow, I am really new to this. I guess you’ll have to explain to me what CO stands for.

Here is the pattern I like best, except that I would do it all solid without any patterns in it.

How would I make the transition between the hat stitches and knitting in the ear flaps?

I’m sorry I have so many questions. Like I said, I’ve never knitted and I don’t know anyone I can ask (nobody I know knits!). I live in a small town that doesn’t have a knitting shop I can go to. But maybe I’ll learn and teach the town! :slight_smile:

CO equals cast on. The pattern you linked to is similar to the one I linked and how I described you could adapt it, it’s knit on circulars, but you can do it flat. Knit the ear flaps separately and put them on holders or a smaller needle. Cast on separately, then using the cast on yarn, knit the stitches of the first flap to the right needle. Then cast on more stitches and knit the other flap sts ending with the final stitches cast on. Then you can either knit in ribbing or garter stitch for a few rows, and switch to stockinette stitch. There’s no `transition’ exactly, you just knit the flap stitches between the cast on for the front and back edges. Oh, and you’ll have to do a knit or cable caston, long tail won’t work except for the first set of sts and then it won’t match the others.

Thanks SOO much for your help! I’ll pick up the right size needles tomorrow and get started. I’m guessing I’ll have more questions, but we’ll see. :slight_smile:

Okay, I already have another question. I did my swatch check today and I came up with a 3" square instead of a 4" square. Any guesses on how much to go up? I used 3.75mm like my pattern said. I’m new and not very fast, so I’m overwhelmed at the idea of doing lots of blind guesses with swatches. I need to get started on my hat! :slight_smile:

Go up to a 4mm then a 4.5 if you have them both, knit 2-3" with one size, then with the next, day don’t have to be separate. Also, caston about 6 more sts than the gauge for 4". You want the swatch to be as large as possible because the end sts curl under and aren’t the same size as the ones in the center. You measure over 4" in the middle.

I went up to a size 7 (up two from what I started at), and I pinned my swatch flat without stretching it before I measured it. I measured it at 4" long, but 3 1/2" inches wide. Does this have to do with the thickness of my yarn being different than the author of the pattern, or what is my problem? I saw a previous posting with a similar problem and it was recommended to increase needle size and then adjust pattern for a different amount of stitches per row. Not sure how I would know how to do that. Anyway, thanks so much! I’m using up my toddler’s nap time every day just working on the swatches. Yikes!

All the pattern says is:

4"x4" gauge is 16sts x 28 rows

You should really Cast on about 24 sts because the edge sts curl under and aren’t the same size as the ones in the middle. You want to try to match the st number, so measure over 16 sts in the middle. You can try going up another needle size or 2, but yes, if you’re using thinner yarn than in the pattern, it affects the gauge. You might actually get 4 sts/inch, but may be too loose a gauge. What yarn are you using?

The yarn I have says Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK and it is 85% merino wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere. On the tag it says 30 rows x 20 stitches = 10x10 cm with 4mm (us 6) needles. It is quite thin and small. I’m sure that if I did 24 stitches, like you said I could get closer to 4". I did have the edges pinned down so they weren’t curling when I measured. Do you suggest I do another swatch or add stitches to the pattern?

Add stitches to the pattern. The yarn in the pattern is a heavy worsted weight and you have DK. If you go up in needles size too far to try and get gauge, it may be too thin. The pattern wants 4sts/in and you probably get about 5 sts/inch, so figure how many you need for the hat size you want. Whenever you do a gauge swatch on any yarn, you should always CO about 6-8 sts more than the number given for 4" because of what I posted about the edge sts not measuring the same.

That really clears things up. [I]Yes, I got 5 sts/inch with the #7 needles, so is that the right size I should stick with?[/I] I want a 22" diameter on the hat (dh’s head is 22 3/4, but it’s better to stretch then be too big, right?). So, I figured that to be 110 sts to CO. [I]So, would I add those extra stitches just anywhere between the ear flaps?[/I] [I]Do I increase the number of stitches anywhere besides that CO (like the ear flaps, etc…?).[/I]

After CO the instructions say, “If using thinner wool, knit one round; then purl 6 (8), knit 20 (20), purl 32 (34), knit 20 (20), purl 6 (8). Continue knitting in stockinette st, until the hat measures 6” (6 1/2")."
[I]So, that means that the second row knits and purls in sections rather than a stockinette st, right? I guess I need to convert all those numbers as well?[/I]

Maybe I should post this as a new thread to give you a break, or are you the only moderator? :slight_smile:

That’s good, you want a hat to be slightly smaller than the head size or it’s too loose. You would start the ear flaps the same, but because the sts and rows are both smaller, you want to increase them some. Since the pattern instructs you to knit to 18 or 20 sts, that’s 4½-5" by measure. So you would inc to the same measure. Then also increase the number of sts you CO between the flaps both back and front. Take the sts in the original pattern and convert that to inches at 4sts/inch, then convert the measurement to your 5sts/inch and that should work out right. The lengths are given in inches so you’re fine there. You’ll have more sts when you get to the decrease rows, so you’ll have to see if you can divide 7 or 8 sts into that number and you may have to start the decs by doing k6 k2tog, k9 or 10 around instead of k6, k2tog, k8.

Oh, no, I’m not the only mod and other mods as well as other knitters are free to jump into a thread whenever. It’s just that when it’s more one on one and into the specifics of a pattern like this thread is, and no one else has anything additional to contribute, they tend to just read.

Awesome! Thanks so much for your help! I’ll get my calculator out and see what I can do with the pattern. Plus now I feel like I can actually get started! Just to clarify, would you say stick with the #7 needles?

Yes, the 7s should make a dense enough knit and not be too flimsy to make a warm hat.

Okay, I’ve got both my ear flaps made, and I’m ready to CO for my hat, but I’m still having trouble visualizing how I’m going to go from CO to knitting on the flaps back to CO. What do I do with my yarn from casting on? Like how do I switch from my casting on yarn to my yarn from my ear flaps and back again? Not sure if my question make sense, but I’m not sure how I’m going to do this when I sit down to do it tomorrow.

Cast on using knit or cable cast on. Put the needle in your right hand and knit the 1st flap with the yarn from the cast on. Then switch the needle to your left hand and cast on from the last stitch of the flap that you knit. Switch the needle back to the right and knit the other flap, then you either cast on more sts or start knitting the first stitch you cast on, depends on your pattern. Don’t worry, when you get there, the yarn will be where you need it. It’s the needle you have to switch back and forth, not the yarn. Don’t think it, just do it…

You were right. :slight_smile: It worked out. I CO 112 sts (including ear flaps). I double-counted and had 112 sts on my needle. Then I knit one row as according to the instructions, and recounted to make sure and now I have 116 stitches. I have no idea how I did that! What do I do now? Do I need to try to take out the whole row and do it over?

Hmmm… was there supposed to be an increase on the first row, or did you inadvertently knit a loose strand from where you attached the earflaps? Even if you can’t figure it out, you can dec those 4 sts on the next round and keep going.