View Full Version : Watch cap:How long to knit before decreasing? Answer inside!

12-02-2006, 04:41 PM
I finally found a good answer to this question in The Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design (http://www.amazon.com/Knitters-Guide-Sweater-Design/dp/0934026335/sr=8-1/qid=1165091283/ref=sr_1_1/002-6149084-7945641?ie=UTF8&s=books) of all places. :happydance:

For a watch cap with a 3" folded cuff, knit in ribbing for 4". Without a folded cuff, knit 1" of ribbing. Now here's the exciting part -- measure over the top of the person's head from bottom of one ear to bottom of other ear. Divide this number by 2 and subtract 3. This is how many inches you should knit before starting to decrease. Decrease evenly every other row for 2". The mutliple you use to decrease is up to you -- do whatever seems about right so that you end up with a reasonable number of stitches left to draw in at the top. (If you want to get mathy, you can use row gauge to calculate the optimum multiple.) Run end of yarn through remaining stitches, tighten and weave in end. That's it.

Now, when you look at the instructions, it makes sense -- you want the hat to cover the ears, and the over-the-head measurement tells you exactly how much hat you need to do it. If you understand how it works, you can easily adjust folded cuff length too. I don't know why it never occurred for me to do an ear-to-ear measurement before. :doh: My hats always came out "okay," but I was never confident about where to start decreasing, especially since I wasn't sure what constituted a "good fit." Of course it all seems so obvious now... :roll: I'm doing my first hat in a while -- since I was a super newbie, really -- will update here when I finish to report how well the guidelines worked.

ETA: I was assuming that anyone interested in reading this would probably already know the basics of making a watch cap. If you don't, go here (http://www.mielkesfarm.com/bsic_hat.htm).

ETA 12/8 - Almost forgot to update the post. I finished the hat. When figuring out what to do for the decreases, I realized that I'd need 3" instead of 2" to get the spacing I wanted, so I just started that much sooner. (Figured out how many rows I'd need to get to the top, then divided by row gauge to figure out how many inches that would take.) The hat fits perfectly. :thumbsup:

ann in ma
12-02-2006, 05:42 PM
Cool! Thanks so much -- this makes total sense. I never thought to measure over the head either.

i'd rather be knitting
12-03-2006, 02:45 AM
Very helpful. My daughter is getting into hats so this will come in handy.

Jan in CA
12-03-2006, 02:54 AM
That's great info, thanks! It makes it much easier to figure out!