Sunday, March 7, 2010

Short-Rowed Baby Hat

Sometimes it takes more than a little trial-and-error to get an idea into yarn!

At last, after making every possible mistake and inventing a few new ones, recharting and reknitting several times, I have finished an interesting little project for y'all. I considered memorializing my false starts by making a photo of all the strings, swatches, tangles, and messes on the floor by my machine, but in the end I wussed out, discarded all the casualties, and photographed the good hats.

I get frustrated, walk away, but keep on coming back until the problems are solved and any objections the machine raises beaten down.

It's a baby hat, knitted sideways, and the crown shaped by short-rowing. A picot hem is applied later. It's cute; just a little Bernat coordinates yarn. You just need a dab of sport-weight yarn, the finished hat weighing in at just under one ounce. Scraps? Handfuls? You will find a variegated yarn the most interesting, unless you'd like to change colors around the sections of the little hat.

I admit, this is a lot more trouble than just a hem, a rectange, and a gathered top, but it's a fun little pattern and really takes advantage of self-patterning yarn. I like the geometry of the little cap.

Here's the video, in two parts:

Short-Rowed Baby Hat
by Diana Sullivan

Materials: Sport-weight yarn, about 1 ounce (28 grams)
Machine: Standard gauge machine, no ribber or patterning necessary

Cast on 40 stitches with contrasting waste yarn, tension 8, knit a few rows, end with carriage on right.

Knit 1 row, hat color, from right to left
Set machine for short-rowing
Short-row decrease 3 stitches on the right side, knit across, wrap, and knit back (this pattern seems to work better if you do not do automatic wraps)
Repeat until the needles are on hold to #3 right.
Knit across all stitches, that completes one triangle (carriage is on right)
Make 10 trianges, 140 rows
Take off on waste yarn
Rehang side of knitting, wrong side facing, picking up two stitches for every three rows, and knit an 8-row picot hem. Pick the hem up, knit across as loosely as possible and cast-off.
Kitchener stitch the seam, remove waste yarn, mattress stitch the hem and gather up the hole at the top. Hide the ends. You're finished!


  1. Looking forward to getting some of this yarn, and making one! You definitely simplified short rowing, and made it less intimidating for me.

  2. Nice video. Great technique. I also have to add that your narration delivery is getting better and smoother with each video. Thank you for sharing your hard work.

  3. All I can do is improve - I am a natural introvert with teaching experience but no film or video training.

    This would be a good hat in a thinner baby yarn, and would probably work fine but require a few more stitches.

  4. I am learning to use a knitting machine and have managed to make your hat with several different yarns. I am making them to give away and have already done that with one of the hats. I have also managed to make your swirl blanket as well and both the hat and blanket make a very nice gift for a young baby. Thank you for making it look easy so I feel I can do that.

  5. Excellent! Thank you for sharing. I am going to give it a try.

  6. i want to make this hat using fingering weight but now sure how many stitches to cast on HELP pleaseeee thanks kim x

  7. I'm getting back into machine knitting after many years. Your videos are an inspiration. Thanks.

  8. Hi Diana
    Thanks for this great tutorial. I have enjoyed many of your videos. Do you think this hat could be successfully sized for an adult? Any idea on how to compute for the stitches to CO and number of rows to knit?


  9. Yes, you can resize this for an adult! In fact, today at seminar, we were talking about short-rowing to create helmet liners for soldiers.

    Couple thoughts - I'd probably size this up by about 1.5 times. That's just a starting point - I haven't done the math or the testing. More stitches, and more rows.

    I'd probably do regular ribbing for the band.

  10. Hi, Diana! I'm just learning machine knitting and enjoy your viddoes. The hat is great! I'm going to try to resize it for an adult. If I sucseed< I'll send you a message. Besides, I would like to buy some of you videos. Do you think you could send them yo Moscow, Russia?
    Thank you very much.

  11. We mail all over the world. We love our international customers, and we cover part of the postage to make the prices a little more bearable.

  12. I just discovered your sight. Very nice! You make everything so easy. Thank you so much!

  13. Diana, you do a great job of teaching. I am going to teach a new knitter how to use her LK150 and will certainly have her take a look at your videos. Just finished your newest project which turned out great.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I love this hat and would love to make it to go with some of the USM blankets that I've made from your Jan. 2011 video. Any recommendations on what adjustments to make for the USM? I've played with it a little, and the hats seem more child sized than baby sized.

  16. Take the gauge you get for the baby hat with the different machine and yarn. Measure the gauge you get for the desired yarn and machine.

    New/old is the ratio that you multiply by the stitches in the pattern.

    So, if a pattern calls for 6 stitches per inch and you're only getting 4, you have to reduce all stitch directions down to 2/3. I also make minor adjustments to make things fit and work, of course, just a stitch or two here or there.

  17. Hi,
    I saw your projects, i love them!!! You inspire me!!!!
    I have a knitting machine singer memo II with a Pressure Pad Electronic Programmer, but i don’t know how to use it. I had fallowed the instructions from the book but it did not worked, it did not knit that pattern. How do I use it? Please tell me step by step.
    Thank you!

  18. Sorry, CristinA, I am not familiar with that machine. It might be Superba manufactured, and you should check with the Superba list.

    Can somebody help CristinA out?

  19. I've learned a lot from watching your videos. I'm an introvert teacher also and need more experience making videos. Your videos are so easy to follow. How do you do it?

  20. I think I'll write a blog post on how to do video.

  21. Hello, I have only just found this, it is very clearly explained. I have been working along the same lines, but instead of using short rowing by holding, I have been "holding" by doing slip stitch, set up to work automatically on my electronic machine. It is necessary to wrap, but I find it quicker doing this than pushing needles to holding position. In addition it is possible to work in pattern, either a subtle texture, or a two-colour pattern. To make the brim I set up a simple pattern over the 20 or so stitches at the opposite side from the crown, just a simple 1 x 1 or 2 x 2 slip-stitch pattern. I found, as you did, that a lot of trial and error was necessary, but some of the results are very pleasing. Thanks as always for sharing your work, you are an inspiration to many.

  22. Hi Diana, I have two of your videos and want to make this hat with my Brother 341 standard gauge machine. Is that possible? So far, when I attempt to place 3 needles in hold position, with the machine set to Hold, wrapping the yarn under the needle farthest from the carriage — I believe this is how you demo it — it doesn't work. Maybe I am doing something wrong. After about 4 rows, the carriage jams. The problem seems to be that those long loose strands lying over the needles in hold position never get knitted. In your video, it appears that they do. I'm stuck.

    Although my machine is not bulky and has no ribber, I am able to use many of your tutorials and have learned so much. I am a beginner, as you can probably tell. Thanks/

    1. There should not be any long loose strands. You only wrap short-rows on the carriage side. Maybe I said something misleading - review short-rowing in my beginner lessons and watch closely in the video.

  23. thank you so much for this video, I enjoyed it so much I wanted to make an adult one on my standard gauge machine, but got totally confused and gave up. Does a version already exist, if not, I'd really appreciate an idea of how to start.