After getting the hang of knitting in the round and doing simple decreases, I thought I'd experiment with making my own hat pattern.
I saw the basket weave/checkerboard pattern on a scarf at Article Pract and decided to adapt it to a hat.
Hope the directions make sense... feel free to email me for clarification.
Cast on an even multiple of 10 sts (eg. 80) on a set of round needles.
Start knitting in the round with a 2 x 2 rib (K2, P2, repeat).
Once you have about 2" of rib, work one round of knits.
R1: * K5, P5. Repeat from * till end of row. Make sure you mark the beginning of the row with a stitch marker.
R2-R6 : Repeat R1, K the K, P the P. until you get a square. Since stitches are longer than they are tall, you’ll need to work 6-8 row depending on your yarn to get a square.
Then reverse by doing * P5, K5, repeat from * till end of row for the same number of rows.
Keep alternating sets of rows to get the basket weave/checker board pattern.
Once you have about 8" of tube done it’s time to reduce. It’s a good idea to end on a set of whole squares. That is, it your yarn requires 8 rows to make a square, finish off the 8th row that brings you closet to the 8" length.
On alternate rows, I decrease in the set of original set of 5 knits or 5 purls… I do the K2tog or P2tog as close to the middle of the set of stitches so the pattern looks neater.
If my row starts with 5 K stitches, then start with K… otherwise do P instead of K and vice versa…
1st reduction row: * K1, K2tog,, K2, P5, repeat from * till end of row.
2nd reduction row: * K4, P1, P2tog, P2, repeat from * till end of row.
3rd reduction row: * K1, K2tog, K1, P4, repeat from * till end of row.
4th reduction row: * K3, P1, P2tog, P1, repear from * till end of row.
5th reduction row: * K1, K2tog, P3, repeat from * till end of row.
6th reduction row: * K2, P1, P2tog, repeat from * till end of row.
7th reduction row: * K2tog, P2, repeat from * till end of row.
8th reduction row: * K1, P2tog, repeat from * till end of row.
9th reduction row: * K2tog till end of row.
Cut of yarn leaving a 6" tail. String on a yarn needle and pass yarn through the remaining loops and then draw them closed and pass needle through the center into the inside of the hat and weave in ends.
If your yarn requires less than 9 rows to make a square, then you can choose to follow the pattern and switch K for P and vice versa during the reduction. Just make sure you keep track of which column you need to decrease next.
I like to make the rib in one color yarn and the rest of the hat in another color for more interest.