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The Perfect Reversible Watch Cap The one my Guys like

lux_watch_cap-8323 My guys like a light weight but warm hat, one they can scrunch up and stick in their pocket but when they put it on it needs to keep them warm! The folded over “cuff” should not be too deep and when it’s folder over the hat sits just over the tip of the ears but when it’s pulled down against the cold it goes right over those ears completely. I might call a hat with this kind of fit a skull cap or beanie.

This little watch cap fits the bill perfectly. Having knit and ripped quite a few times before I got it right I can now present you with a pattern for a cap that’s super warm, “stuffs” nicely into your pocket and fits just right. I will make this pattern as a download, all pretty in a pdf with my lovely template and graphics soon but for now, so I don’t forget how I did it, I will write it out here. This one’s for Dan.

I used LUX by Buffalo Gold Premium Fibers (45% American Bison Down, 20% Cashmere, 20% Silk and 15% Tencel) and it was an excellent choice. I used it doubled to make it a fingering weight yarn but you can use any fingering weight as a single strand. A sock yarn would be perfect as long as you aren’t knitting for a sensitive bald head. The lux would be perfect for such a person as this 🙂 as would many of my exotic luxury fiber hand spun yarns in fingering weight. If ordering from the handspun please let me know you are making the “Perfect Reversible Watch Cap” so I can spin it just right for this project.

I`ve chosen a few of my favorite handspun yarns for this project and put them on sale for you. Jan 2012.

Size: Adult Small (Medium, Large)
Finished Measurements: 15 inches around and 8.5 (9, 9.5) inches in length

Gauge: 7.5 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in stocking stitch (11 sts and 10.5 rows = 1 inch in K1, P1 rib)

You will need:

  • approximately 200 – 250 yards of fingering weight yarn. If using the LUX, as I have done, you will need 2 of the 40 gram skeins of 330 yarns each. The finished hat in size small weighs about 45 grams so you cannot get one out of a single skein.
  • a 2.5mm circular knitting needle and a set of 4 or 5 in size 2.5 mm

With single strand of fingering or double strand of lace yarn (Lux) and the circular needles cast on 156 stitches.
Join in a circle and work around in K1, P1 rib until piece measures 6.5 (7, 7.5) inches.

Shape Crown:
Row 1: Work 11, *Double Decrease (slip next 2 stitches together knitwise, knit the third stitch, pass the 2 slipped stitches over) Work 23.  Repeat from * around ending with work 12.
12 stitches decreased over 6 miters. (144 sts)
This makes the nice mitre that looks good on both sides.

Row 2 and all even rows: Work even knitting the knits and purling the purls. (trust me, even when you knit 3 in a row it will resolve itself after the next decrease row)
Row 3: Work 10, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 21. Repeat from * around ending with work 11. (132 sts)
Row 5:
Work 9, *Double Decrease over next 3 sts, work 19. Repeat from * around ending with work 10. (120 sts).

Continue in this manner, decreasing 12 stitches every other round until there are only 12 sts remaining. Break yarn and thread through the remaining sts. Pull tight, secure and weave in your ends.



  • Kerstin

    I love this pattern!! I am knitting it with an alpaca,bamboo and nylon blended fingering weight yarn. The fabric that is being produced is so pleasing and I know that it will be a great finished item. (For my brother in Sweden)But…I have to learn continental knitting because the 1×1 ribbing is killing my shoulder:)
    The combination of a great pattern and beautiful yarn is so satisfying. I want to make more:)
    Thank you, Nancy!

  • Eden Munroe

    Nancy, Dan loves the new toque. He hasn’t taken it off since we picked it up. Very nice color it will match everything. I really like the style and weight.

  • Tracy

    I am knitting your pattern and my alpaca is a lightweight fingering alpaca, but the hat seems small. Is there a formula for adding more stitches?

    • NancyElizabeth

      Great Question Tracy, I’m sure this is something that everyone can benefit from knowing. First of all, they do seem to like this hat to fit snug, so it has negative ease and is meant to be worn in a stretched state. However, there will certainly be times that you will want to make it bigger, or that your gauge is such that you need to cast on more sts.
      Here is what I would suggest. When adding stitches to your cast on for more width add 12 or a multiple of 12 (24, 36, 48 etc) This is because when you get to the decreases you can just add more decrease rows. Here is how to do that. When you get to “shape crown” row change the work 11 to work 12 if adding 12 sts (it would be 13 if adding 24 sts and 14 if adding 36 and so on – one more for each multiple of 12)
      Then you will add 2 sts for each multiple of 12 to the repeat. So after your first Double dec you would work 25 if you added 12 sts, 27 if adding 24sts, 29 for an added 36 sts etc – 2 more sts per repeat added for each multiple of 12. This would be the repeat for each of the 6 mitred sections. I hope this is clear. feel free to ask for clairification if you need it.
      You will end up with a few more rows of length but it won’t be very noticable and if your yarn is finer you will likely need them for the length anyway. Let me know how it works for you.

    • NancyElizabeth

      Hi Barbara, The pattern is for a finer yarn than worsted weight so the changes to the pattern would be the number of stitches which affect the size around and the rate of decreases which affect the length. It would probably be much easier for you to look for another pattern written for a worsted weight yarn – much less math 🙂

    • NancyElizabeth

      Sure Allison, I only mentioned my yarn for the curious. This pattern will work with any fingering or sock yarn. A sport weight yarn would probably be fine too or a lace weight used double. It is a very forgiving pattern, very stretchy fabric and easily altered if the first try is not a perfect fit. Enjoy, Nancy

  • Lisa

    Thanks so much for this pattern, but I feel like the length of the hat is very short as written. I have a small head, even for a woman, but when I made the medium size (7″ before decreases), it was much too short for me unless I unrolled the brim. I’m making it for my son, and I know it will be even shorter on him. So I’m ripping out the decreases and making it quite a bit longer. I should have tried it on before decreasing, but was going great guns and didn’t think. Lesson learned. 🙂

    • NancyElizabeth

      Thanks for you input Lisa, I’m glad you were able to make it you own. Everyone has their unique ideas for fit. This one is designed so that it sits just covering the top of the ear when folded up and can be folded down to cover the ears if it’s really cold.

  • Ronni

    Hi! I’m a bit of a neophyte knitter (been crocheting for a few years), and this pattern looks perfect for a hat I want to make someone, so thank you for posting! Before I get that far and really screw myself up, I wanted to ask about the decreasing/making the miters. When you slip the two stitches knitwise, are you slipping two stitches separately, or are you slipping through two stiches at the same time?

    Thanks for the help!

    • NancyElizabeth

      No problem, (slip next 2 stitches together knitwise) put your needle into the next 2 sts as if you were going to knit them together – into the 2nd and right up through the first then slip off together. this way when you pass them over the 3rd stitch you will have the 2nd stitch on top and the 1st and 3rd tucked in behind in a triangular shape. good luck, Nancy

  • Penny Girdler

    Hello Nancy! I am a novice knitter and I usually take on more than I can handle! lol! I have never made a hat before, but I am sure I can accomplish it. I need to know what you mean when you say “work 11” or “work 23”. Are you meaning to knit those 11 or 23 stitches. Sorry if this seems a silly question…
    Your hats look fabulous!

    • NancyElizabeth

      Hi Penny, no problem at all. When you see “work” a number of sts in a knitting pattern it will mean that you should continue in the stitch pattern that has already been established or explained earlier. The pattern for this hat is knit 1, purl 1 rib so you just keep that up. have fun, Nancy

    • NancyElizabeth

      Hi Jill, I have not tried to make a toddler size but the finished measurement for this hat is only about 14″ as it’s meant to be worn with negative ease. You would have to experiment. Perhaps a percentage of your own adult head would be a starting place. you would probably have to also adjust the length. all the best, i’d love to hear how you make out.

  • AF

    In the “You will need” section you say “a set of 4 or 5 in size 2.5 mm” — is this a set of DPNs? And if so, can you explain at which point in the pattern they’re being used? I’m a real novice and have only seamed a hat before so I’m not sure how to approach that.

    • NancyElizabeth

      Hi, yes the hat is knit entirely in the round without seams. You will just join the last stitch right back to the first to form a circle. You need the double point needles to accomplish this. Some use 4 dpns, some use 5 and some use a circular as they come in a good variety of lengths now. There is also a method using a long circular called magic loop. Lots of different techniques but you just need to pick one in the correct needle size and knit the whole hat “in the round”

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