Can I just take a moment to say, "man I have cute kids." :)
Photoed here is my oldest, sporting her new winter ear flap hat. Thank goodness she likes it. :) She is kind of on a pink and blue kick (hence the bedroom--rug, quilt, wall decor) so this hat (and matching scarf, which I so foolishly forgot on our photo shoot) is right up her ally. She loves it, and I'm please with how it turned out.
As is typical for me, I ended up fooling around with a pattern until I pretty much ended up creating my own. I can never decide if this is a good way to knit or not. On the one hand, I usually end up exactly with what I want because I'm not set on following the pattern. On the other hand, it usually takes a lot of trial-and-error, undoing-and-redoing, and that's just a pain in the rear.
Take this hat for example, I "finished" it months ago, practically a year ago. BUUUTTT, it was not the right size. The diameter was great, but it was no where near long enough, so I had to take off the cute pom-pom, undo the stitches all the way down to where I started decreasing, then add a few more stripes of color and begin decreasing again. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Should have taken care of it months ago. Oh well, at least we are ready for fall and winter now.
And now, if you really want to have some fun, head on over and check out one of our first blog posts ever where I show pictures of the first ear flap hat I made. Same daughter, years and years ago. So cute to see her grow.
And fun to note that I used the same pattern, just tweaked a whole heap of a lot to fit her now 6-year-old head. :)
And now for the pattern.
Here is the original pattern, which is a great pattern for a baby or toddler-sized beanie.
Here is how I changed the pattern so it would fit my 6-year-old:
worsted weight yarn
size 6 knitting needles, DPNs or circular
CO 4 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P to last stitch, K1.
Row 2: K1, Kfb, K to last 2 stitches, Kfb, K1.
Repeat these two rows until there are 18 stitches on the needles.
Knit straight until piece measures 4" (I thought they were a tad long, so you could certainly go shorter here).
Cut yarn, leaving a 12″ tail, and leave the earflap on its DPN.
Repeat for second ear flap.
Using a cable cast on, CO 11 stitches on the circular needle. Knit the 18 stitches from first ear flap, then CO 32 stitches. K18 from second ear flap, then CO 11.
Join, being careful not to twist stitches, place marker and begin knitting in the round. As you knit around this first row, you’ll notice four gaps, on either side of each ear flap. When you get to those, K2tog to close them up.
Continue knitting all rounds until hat measures 5" from the cast-on row. I striped the hat using 5 different colors, 5 rows each.
Begin the decreases as follows, switching to DPNs when the diameter of the hat is too small for your circular needle. Honestly, I think I had to fudge it a little here because the math didn't work out quite right (I think I knitted 3 together in one or two places to make it work all the way around).
(Decrease) Row 1: *9, K2tog*
Row 2: K all sts
(Decrease) Row 3: *K8, K2tog*
Row 4: K all sts
(Decrease) row 5: *K7, K2tog*
Row 6: K all sts
(Decrease) row 7: *K6, K2tog*
Row 8: K all sts
Decrease in this manner until there are about 35 sts on the needles.
Then decrease in the same manner, omitting the “k all sts” rows, until there are 7 sts remaining.
Pull yarn through the last 7 sts with a tapestry needle, pull through to inside and weave in end.
Weave in all ends. Make some pom-poms if that is your thing.
There are a few ways you can add straps — pick up 3-4 sts and knit in garter stitch or seed stitch until desired length. OR pick up 3-4 stitches and knit i-cord until desired length. OR, thread through three long pieces of yarn and braid the double-strands until desired length, then tie off and trim (that's what I did).
Enjoy your winter knitting!