I’ve always been a fan of Innocent smoothies, and their Big Knit campaign is right up my crafty alley. For those who don’t live in the UK or who don’t visit shops, Innocent raise awareness and money for a charity supporting older people, Age UK, by asking people to knit mini hats that they put on their smoothie bottles. 25p per hat goes to charity and the smoothie drinker gets a warm, fuzzy hat to match the warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I sent in my first hats around five years ago, when I was a relatively inexperienced knitter. I found a picture!

Innocent Big Knit hats

The pic isn’t amazing quality, I think I attempted a fish, a moss stitch tree with three little birds on it, and a mouse with an i-cord tail. This was in the dark days before I started using Ravelry to its full potential.

I’m struggling to remember my motivation for presenting them on eggs. I must have thought I was cool. Halcyon days.

Anyway, I fancied a quick project recently and decided to use up some stash yarn by making some more Big Knit hats as part of a Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup challenge.

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The beauty of these little hats is that you can use up small amounts of yarn in almost any weight or colour.

In the hat above, the yellow is some acrylic DK I’ve had in my stash for years. The coloured yarn is self-striping fingering weight yarn left over from the socks I made for my uncle, held double.

You will need

  • 3.25mm* needles. I used double pointed needles (DPNs) but this pattern could easily be adapted to work flat on straights.
  • A small amount of scrap yarn. You can use DK and/or fingering/sock yarn held double. Use two contrasting colours. I think having Yarn A as a plain colour and Yarn B as a variegated option looks great.

The beauty of this pattern is that it’s highly adaptable so you can use whatever you have lying around

*You could use anything from 3mm-3.5mm

Pattern

1. Using Yarn A, cast on 32 stitches and divide among your DPNs.

I find the easiest way to do this is to cast 1/2n+2 stitches on to the first needle…

Slip the last two stitches purl wise onto the second needle and cast on the remaining stitches.

Then join to knit in the round, knitting 1/4 of the total stitches on to each of the four needles.

Joining to work in the round

Introducing Needle 4

2. Knit 4 rounds in garter stitch

*Knit 2 rows in stocking stitch using Yarn A

Introduce Yarn B

Join in Yarn B and work 4 rounds in garter stitch

Repeat from * twice more

To shape the crown (Yarn A):

  1. K1, (K1, k2tog) to last stitch, K1 (24 sts remain)
  2. K1 round plain

Repeat these two rows until around 11sts remain (don’t worry if you’re one or two out)

Join Yarn B

Increase (KFB) in every stitch until end of round.

Work 6 rounds in stocking stitch

Cast off. The stocking ‘doughnut’ at the top will naturally curl down. Encourage it to curl whichever way you prefer.

Weave in ends and you’re done!

This message is approved by Arya Stark, who after all knows all about winter.

Seeing that first pic has got me thinking that it might be cute to re-create those hats again this year. These little projects are a lovely way to use up stash yarn with the added bonus of warm fuzzy-wuzziness in the tum. Watch this space!

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