Inside: Learn how to needle knit the Houndstooth Fair Isle Hat. Includes free hat pattern in 4 sizes from Toddler to Adult Large, stitch pattern chart and tutorial videos.
Classics never go out of style!
That’s why my new Houndstooth Fair Isle Hat is sure to be a favorite. This two color needle knit hat is perfect for fall and winter. The ribbed brim, simple houndstooth design and optional decreased crown allow you to capture that classic look with ease.
This iconic design follow a simple fair isle pattern over 4 stitches and 4 rows. I’ve included the knitting chart below for you to follow. You’ll also want to be sure to watch the video for my tips about how to secure the strand of color you’re not using, or float as we call them. If your floats are too long they can affect how the design looks and the strand on the inside can snag as you pull the hat on and off.
Pattern includes written instructions for 4 hat sizes from Toddler to Adult, knitting chart, and, as always, fully captioned tutorial videos.
Knit Houndstooth Fair Isle Hat Pattern
By Kristen MangusA downloadable PDF of this pattern is available in my Etsy store and from Ravelry at the links below:
Links below are affiliate links to products I used to create this pattern/video. Clicking the links costs you nothing, but helps support GoodKnit Kisses.
Medium (#4) weight yarn in 2 colors
Contrast A Caron Simply Soft Tweeds (5 oz/140 g; 250 yds/228 m)
Gray Heather. 1 ball.
Contrast B Caron Simply Soft Tweeds (5 oz/140 g; 250 yds/228 m)
Off White. 1 ball.
US 8 (5.00 mm) – 5 DPNs or circular needle. For Brim Only.
US 10 (6.00 mm) – 5 DPNs or circular needle. For Main Hat.
Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Interchangeable circular needle and Knitter’s Pride Karbonz DPNs used in samples.
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Approx = approximately
Beg = Beginning
Cont = Continue
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit two stitches together
P = Purl
Pat = Pattern
Rep = Repeat
Rnd = Round
St(s) = Stitch(es)
New to knitting? I’ve got a How to Knit Beginner Video Series to teach you ALL the basics.
18 sts x 22 rows in 4” (10 cm) in Stockinette st.
SKILL LEVEL Easy+
Toddler (Small, Medium, Large)
Circumference 14” (16.5”, 19”, 21.5”) [35.5 (42, 48, 54.5) cm] and 7.25” (7.75, 8.25, 9”) [18 (19.5, 21, 23) cm] in height
Hat is worked in the round. For shaping the top of the hat shown in the video see my tutorial videos for additional help.
Fair Isle knitting uses two or more colors of yarn in the project by knitting one color per stitch and carrying the unused color along the back. The extra strands of yarn on the inside of the project are called floats. In the video I show you how to make the floats shorter for a cleaner look, reducing the possibility of snagging floats when wearing the hat. Be sure to work with even tension to achieve a perfect fit and smooth houndstooth design.
Chart – This pattern uses a color chart to show the stitch pattern. Each square on the chart is one stitch. All stitches are knit. (See chart below.)
Cast on 64 (72, 80, 88) sts. If using DPNs, divide sts evenly over 4 needles. Connect in the round by switching first and last stitches and place marker between them.
Rnd 1: *K2. P2. Rep from * to end of rnd.
Rep Rnd 1 for 1.5 (1.5, 2, 2) inches [3.8 (3.8, 4, 4) cm] or until desired length.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Change to larger needles and beg Rnd. 3.
Rnd 3: Knit. Do not break yarn.
Rnd 4: *With A K1. With B K1. With A K2. Rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 5: *With A K1. With B K3. Rep from * to end of rnd. **
Rnd 6: *With B K3. *With A K1. Rep from * to end of row.
Rnd 7: *With A K2. With B K1. With A K1. Rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 4-7 form Houndstooth Pat (see chart).
**TIP: On last st of Rnd 5 knit with A. This prevents an obvious line showing where the round begins. The last houndstooth of the round will be one stitch shorter, but the design remains consistent. (See video for demonstration.)
Repeat Houndstooth Pat twice more. Break B.
Rnd 8: With A Knit all sts.
Cont Rnd 8 until work from beg measures approx 4.5 (5, 5.5, 6) inches [11.5 (13, 14, 15) cm].
Starting at the beginning of the round, place a stitch marker every 8 (9, 10, 11, 12) sts.
Rnd 1: *Knit 6 (7, 8, 9), K2tog. Rep from * around. 56 (64, 72, 80) sts.
Rnd 2 and alt rnds: Knit.
Rnd 3: *Knit 5 (6, 7, 8), K2tog. Rep from * around. 48 (56, 64, 72) sts.
Rnd 5: *Knit 4, (5, 6, 7), K2tog. Rep from * around. 40 (48, 56, 64) sts.
Rnd 7: *Knit 3 (4, 5, 6), K2tog. Rep from * around. 32 (40, 48, 56) sts.
Rnd 9: *Knit 2 (3, 4, 5), K2tog. Rep from * around. 24 (32, 40, 48) sts.
Rnd 11: *Knit 1 (2, 3, 4), K2tog. Rep from * around. 16 (24, 32, 40) sts.
Rnd 13: *Knit 0 (1, 2, 3), K2tog. Rep from * around. 8 (16, 24, 32) sts. [Toddler Size break yarn leaving a long tail and continue with FINISHING below.]
Rnd 15: *Knit X (0, 1, 2), K2tog. Rep from * around. X (8, 16, 24) sts. [Small Size break yarn leaving a long tail and continue with FINISHING below.]
Rnd 17: *Knit X (X, 0, 1), K2tog. Rep from * around. X (X, 8, 16) sts. [Medium Size break yarn leaving a long tail and continue with FINISHING below.]
Rnd 19: *K2tog. Rep from * around. X (X, X, 8) sts. [Large Size break yarn leaving a long tail and continue with FINISHING below.]
Thread tail through rem sts and draw up tightly. Fasten securely. Weave in tails.
This chart shows one full repeat of the houndstooth stitch pattern. Row numbers along the side of the chart do not match up with Rnd numbers in the pattern. Row 1 of the chart coincides with Rnd. 4 of the written pattern.
Knit Houndstooth Fair Isle Hat Video Tutorials
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