View Full Version : Thinking of making Jacques Cousteau hat...

02-28-2009, 12:39 AM
I am thinking of making this hat for my dad, but have some questions.
Here is the pattern:


I am not sure what type of yarn to use, as the yarn given is some Finnish yarn. How would that translate to American yarn? Lol!

Also, I have no idea about the sizing. My Dad's head is about 24-25" wide.

Also, how does one do the knit rib stitch on circular needles? I made the mistake last time of knitting/purling, and getting a mess, because I didn't realize on circular needles, you knit every stitch to get the stockinette stitch. Does this apply as well to rib knit?

02-28-2009, 12:52 AM
Usually, you make a hat an inch or two smaller than the head, depending on how tight you want it to be. Ribbing is pretty stretchy, so 2 inches smaller would probably work well.

The yarn in the pattern has a gauge of 22 stitches per 4 inches on size 4 needles, so it's probably a dk or sport weight.

When you work the ribbing in the round, you always will work the stitches the same way--knit the knits as they face you and purl the purls. You're always working on the right side when working in the round, which is why you get stockinette when you only knit. Just work the knit/purl stitches the same on every round and you'll be fine.

02-28-2009, 01:55 AM
Thank you for the help!

So, K2 P2 will work out to be a rib knit, even on circular needles? Does the right side face you, or does it face the "inside" of the tube?

02-28-2009, 02:42 AM
The right side faces you on the outside of the tube. The k3p2 pattern will make the ribbing for this particular hat. Any multiple of 5 will give you an even ribbing all the way around.

02-28-2009, 03:28 AM
Hi! The Novita Tennessee called for in the pattern is a dk weight 100% mercerized cotton yarn.

Hope that helps,
Libbie :)

02-28-2009, 12:45 PM
Thank you! :)

03-01-2009, 09:29 AM
This is such a cute hat!

Somehow, just looking at it, I think it could be easy to lose where you are in the decreases. If I make this, I will write down each row as I go along. Good luck to you, and please post your progress?

03-01-2009, 10:10 AM
I've made this hat a couple of times, once out of DK and once in worsted. Here's the sizing thing: She used a yarn that had 5.5 sts per inch. For the women's size, she uses 120 sts, which comes to about 22 inches, and for the men's, 140 sts, which comes to about 25 inches. As long as you use a multiple of 20 sts, the decreases will come out all right. So whatever your gauge is with your specific yarn and needles, just multiply it by 22 or 25 (inches) and round it to the nearest 20 and you'll be okay. So if you used a worsted with 4 sts per inch and wanted a smaller size, multiply it by 22, which would be 88; if you want it slightly tight, go down to 80, or if you want it loose, go up to 100. Just make sure when you do the decreases that you add or subtract 5 sts to the amount of sts in each quarter section. She gives 26/31, 28/33, 28/33 and 28/33. So if you only cast on 100, you would have 21, 23, 23 and 23, or if you used a very thin yarn and cast on 160, you would have 36, 38, 38 and 38.
3 things to keep in mind with this pattern--
1. It's all ribbed and very stretchy.
2. When it's off the head, it does look very pointy at the top, but when worn, it smooths out to the spiral shown in her photo.
3. Yes, you DO decrease every round. Don't skip every other round, as you do in most hat patterns.

03-02-2009, 02:34 AM
Thank you Imrachel for explaining that better! It gets rather confusing!

A couple things I still don't get though, say you want to use a worsted weight typical yarn (like Patons), would you still only use 3.5mm needles? That is size 4 in US. It seems like one would need a bigger needle? I am not sure how to figure what size I would need, or what the gage is.

Also, in the pattern when it says toward the bottom:
"The following decrease rows: *Work to two stitches of marker, KKS, repeat from *."

Work what? Do I do the knit stitch (K3, P2) until I have 2 stitches between me and the marker?

Thank you again for helping me figure this out! Sometimes these patterns take some figuring out to get what to do.

03-02-2009, 06:56 AM
First, the gauge/needle size thing. When any pattern says to use needle size X, that's just what the designer and/or test knitters used to get the specific gauge required for that pattern. The important thing is the gauge, not the needle size. So you should use whatever needles to get the right gauge. The pattern was written for a yarn that is 5.5 sts per inch. But that would be a very tight fabric in a worsted. If you're using worsted yarn for this hat and you are comfortable using let's say size 5mm needles, then do that. Knit up a swatch in stocking stitch (Vs on the right side, purl bumps on the other) of about 5 inches by 5 inches and measure and see how many stitches you're getting per inch. Let's say it's 4 sts per inch. Then cast on either 80 for a tight hat or 100 for a looser hat (remember, in this pattern, it has to be a multiple of 20 sts). Because this hat has such a high number (20) in the required multiple of sts, and therefore a pretty big difference in the size you'll end up with,you might want to play with going up or down in needle size in order to get a gauge that works with the size you want. But if you can get 4.5 sts per inch with a worsted, that comes to 99 sts for the smaller size hat, which would be easily rounded up to 100, and the fit would be good.

As for your second question, "work what?"-- yes, you keep to the pattern until you're 2 sts before the marker, and then do the KKS thingy. As you decrease, the K3/P2 pattern will get a bit off, because you won't have enough sts to keep it going. But just keep in the 5 st pattern, taking 1 away from the end of it as you go. In other words, in the row after the first decrease, you'll have K3/P1. The next will be K3. The next row will be K2, the next wil be K1. Then in the next, you'll have the next K3/P2 come up. Do the same thing.

03-02-2009, 01:25 PM
Thank you again Imrachel for your help!

I didn't realize there was so much math in figuring the needle size along with the multiples of stitches! It still is somewhat confusing for me.

Is it possible to just have less stitches per inch? I guess in that case then I would have to decrease (by 20?) the number of stitches cast on, or I would have one huge hat!

I guess I wonder, is there an easier way to figure out the gage without going out and buying all different size needles and returning the ones that don't work for the gage? There probably isn't an easier way is there? ;)

Do yarns tend to list how many stitches one can get per inch on the package? Maybe that would help me some.

Another thing (sorry!) so the gauge for this hat that I am looking for is 5.5 stitches per inch. So if I am using a worsted weight, then typically you tend to get 4-4.5 stitches per inch using size 7 or 8 needle (US). I would have to go down to needle size 5 or 6 to hopefully get the desired 5.5 stitches per inch, right?

03-02-2009, 03:39 PM
You can start with the needles suggested in the pattern. If you don't get gauge, you can either increase or decrease the CO sts. If you're going to use worsted weight and size 7 or 8, then go down to 100 sts. 100 divided by 4 sts/inch + 25", divided by 4.5 sts/inch = 22" which may actually be a better fit.

03-02-2009, 05:30 PM
You're very welcome:) .

Now, let's make this a bit easier and start from what you've got.
1. What yarn do you have that you want to use for this hat?
2. Do you want to make the bigger or smaller size?
3. What size dpn needles to you already have? If you can do magic loop and have long circs, you could use those instead.

Then we'll figure it out from there.

03-02-2009, 11:19 PM
Sorry I am slow on the uptake, this gauge thing gets me confused!

Ok so the yarn I am wanting to use is Vanna's Choice 100% acrylic yarn, and its a medium (4) weight (is that worsted?), and the package says for 4" x 4" using size 9 needles I would get 16 Sts, it also says 22 R whatever that means.

I would like to make the smaller size (the woman's size)

I have sizes 8 and 9 (US) needles.

03-02-2009, 11:41 PM
Yep, that's worsted. First CO about 24 sts and knit 2-3". Then measure over the center of the piece to see how many sts/inch YOU get, it may be different than on the label. Then multiply your sts/inch times 22" or so and round to the nearest 10. (90, 100, 120...) That gives you the number you should cast on. That's it.

03-03-2009, 12:01 AM
I made a quick little swatch using #8 needles, and did stockinette stitch, and got 4.5 stitches in one inch.

I don't get where you are getting the multiples of 20 from, how did you come up with that number? I am slow at the math part, you all are real good at this stuff!

So then if I am getting 4.5 stitches per inch,
4.5 x 22 = 99, round up to 100. So I then cast on 100!

Did you get the 22 from the 22" around for the woman's hat size?

So the man's hat would be about 25"
4.5 x 25 =112.5, round up to 120? Or 110? Doesn't it have to be a multiple of 20?

03-03-2009, 12:06 AM
I think it should be a multiple of 20, for the way the decs run. So maybe a multiple of 10 won't work without changing the pattern too much. 4 sts per inch works out to 88, so try with either 80 or 100 as a cast on. The number of sts between each decrease are going to be 5 sts less than the small size if you use 100, or 10 sts less if you use 80.

03-03-2009, 12:19 AM
The multiple of 20 comes from the rib pattern and the decreases in the pattern. The rib has 5 sts and the decreases work in multiples of 4. The lowest number divisible by both 5 and 4 is 20. That's why she gives the numbers of 120 and 140 for the cast on for the 2 sizes. Since you're getting 4.5 sts per inch and want the smaller size, then cast on 100, work in the K3/P2 rib for the basic part of the hat and then when you get to the decreases, divide the quarters into 21 sts, 23 sts, 23 sts and 23 sts.

You should be good to go!:happydance:

03-03-2009, 12:28 AM
Thank you very much! I am getting excited because I think I am finally understanding some of this gauge thing.

So if I decide at some point to make the man's hat, I should bump it from 100 to the next multiple of 20, which would be 120 sts cast on, correct?

4.5 sts per inch x 25" (for men's) = 112.5, round up to 120?

I see, so the knit stitch is a 5 stitch length (K3P2), times that by the 4 decreases that are done = 20 to have the right amount of stitches to properly do the decreasing?

I think I am starting to get it! :cheering:

03-03-2009, 12:54 AM
Yes, you're getting it!:yay:

And right, if you ever make the bigger size, using the same yarn and needles, go up to 120.

Just a bit of clarity on the 20 sts-- the rib pattern uses 5 sts, so the number of stitches has to be a multiple of 5. For the decreases, you divide the sts into 4 quarters, so the number of sts has to be divisible by 4. The lowest number that will accomodate both the 5 and 4 is 20, so the number of sts in the pattern has to be divisible by 20.

The hat is stretchy, which is different from measuring say, a sweater. If the pattern is stockinette stitch, the fabric will lie flat and it's easy to work out. But with something that's all rib and supposed to stretch out when it's on, then you have to rely on the designer. The hat, when measured round, may or may not be actually 22" or 25", but those are the numbers to work with if you want to make adjustments. Meaning, if you do the math with a different yarn and gauge and come up with 22" or 25", it will work. The 22" and 25" numbers I got from taking the gauge of the yarn she listed-- which was 5.5 sts per inch-- and dividing it by the number of sts she had you cast on-- 120 and 140. That came to 21.82 (rounded to 22) and 25.45 (rounded to 25). So then you just take whatever gauge you're getting per inch and multiply that by 22 or 25. Then, because of the need to have a multiple of 20 to make both the pattern and the decreases work, you have to go to the nearest 20 and you're set.

If you think you'll be making this pattern again, you might want to write this down to figure it out easily next time:
1. MY GAUGE IS _________ PER INCH.
3. THE GAUGE [ANSWER #1] X 22 [FOR THE SMALL] OR 25 [FOR THE BIGGER] = _______________.

Keep us posted as it comes along. . .

03-03-2009, 11:24 AM
No, your gauge is going to be too big to use 120 sts. at 4 sts/inch (if that is what you get, nevermind what the yarn label says) that would be 26", far too large, you want a hat smaller than the actual head size because of the stretch. 100 sts will give you 22" which should be about right for a head that measure 23-25". However, you first have to find out how many sts/inch you get. It might be 4 or 4 3/4.

03-03-2009, 01:48 PM
Ok, so the 100 sts cast on should be okay for the woman's head and the man's head. I guess if I think about it, many hats that are knits tend to be "one size fits all" which is possible because of the stretch.

Thank you again for all your help! I will definately keep you updated as I go along!

03-04-2009, 07:11 PM
I have cast on 100 stitches, and have about 2-3 inches done so far. The only thing is that just resting on the needles (I'm using circular), it measures 15" around. That is the hat "relaxed", meaning not stretched. The thing is it just doesn't look like it could stretch to fit a 25" head. It doesn't look possible for the hat to stretch a full 10 inches. Maybe I should redo it and cast on 120 stitches?

03-04-2009, 10:19 PM
Hmmm. . .I don't know. . .It's been a few months since I made (and gave away) the 2 I did, so I can't remember exactly what the measurement was, laying flat. But I'm looking at a ruler, and 7.5" looks about right-- is that what you get if you lay it flat, about 7.5" across? It is very stretchy, meant to fit quite close. Are you on Ravelry? If so, look it up there and look at the photos. If not, if you just google "jacques cousteau hat" in images, you should be able to see some examples. For example, the hat is very pointy at the top when off of a head, but on, it smooths out to a spiral. I mean-- it really is supposed to be a very close fit. Oh-- and was your test swatch coming out to 4.5"? If so, then I would just keep going the way you are.

03-04-2009, 10:21 PM
Measure it both relaxed and stretched out. It should be about an inch or 2 less than the head measurement.

03-04-2009, 10:29 PM
Ooooo, I wouldn't do just an inch or 2 smaller relaxed for this one. Look at the photos on the directions page: http://typyp.ajatukseni.net/2008/11/12/jacques-cousteau-hat/
There's a photo of a red one on someone's head, and then if you scroll down, there's one just sitting there-- the ribs are much more compact when not on the model's head. This one is supposed to really stretch out when on.

03-04-2009, 11:01 PM
Well, I undid it to redo it to cast on 120 stitches :blush:

If it was 15 inches around, then yeah that would put it at 7.5 diameter across, relaxed. It just seems like an awful long way for it to stretch to make it to 25 inches.

I am not a member of ravelry, so I'll just look at pictures. I'm just not sure if the 120 stitches would be too big? I guess since the hat is made to stretch, it just wouldn't need to stretch as far as the 100 stitches one?

One other thing, for this hat (which is somewhat similar) the cast on is 100 stitches, so maybe it would be okay.

03-04-2009, 11:30 PM
Oh-- I thought you were making the smaller (22") size? But if you want the bigger (25.5") one, then definitely, I'd go with the 120 sts.

03-04-2009, 11:41 PM
yeah I cast on the 120 stitches, so we'll see how that goes! I guess it would just not need to stretch so much over the head.

03-12-2009, 02:36 AM
I am at the decreasing stage! It does seem the 120 stitches did the trick, it is looking really good, thank you again for the help! :thumbsup:

03-12-2009, 09:41 AM

03-12-2009, 08:06 PM
Yay just finished it! It turned out really well! So the 120 stitch cast on is good! :mrgreen: I'll have to get some pictures!

03-12-2009, 08:41 PM
Here is the hat, it is black even though the flash makes it look charcoal.

The top swirl

Side view

Brim folded up

Brim folded down

03-12-2009, 09:03 PM
It came out perfectly! So what was the final measurement across, when laid flat, near the bottom?

03-12-2009, 09:29 PM
That came out great!

03-12-2009, 09:42 PM
The measurement across the bottom laid flat is 7.5 inches, so that would be a circumference of 15 inches, and that is the hat laying "relaxed".