Monday, February 1, 2010

Knit One Below (K1B) Baby Hat

Variegated yarns are beautiful, but they are not always easy to incorporate into projects. You never know until you start knitting how the colors will pool. If the yarn is self striping each colored section is long enough for you to knit multiple rounds in a single color. Otherwise, you don't know if you'll get a spiral, or big patches of color that appear unordered.

The book Knit One Below: One Stitch, Many Fabricsby Elise Duvekot discussed a wonderful technique to mix up the colors a bit, Knit One Below (K1B). The patterns in the book are fantastic, and I highly recommend it. Using this technique, you can effectively create vertical stripes.

  • Peaches & Creame, Salmon Royale (Color 169). This 100% cotton yarn is 4 Ply worsted weight. This pattern consumed almost the entire 2 ounce ball.
  • Size 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles. (the K1B stitch ends up being fairly loose, so you want to use smaller needles to have a tighter fabric.
  • Yarn needle or crochet hook for finishing
  • Gauge: 4 sts/inch over K1B fabric, 6 rows/inch (visible rows of K1B fabric, actual 24 rows knit)
  • Finished Size: 14" Circumference, 6.5" high. (Baby 3-6 Months). The fabric is very stretchy, so it is great for a growing head!

The colorway.
The Pattern:

CO 60 sts. Join and knit 1 round.
Round 1: *K1, K1B* repeat across
Round 2: *K1b, K1* repeat across
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the project measures 6 inches, ending on a round 1. This should be about 65 rounds.

Crown Decreases:
Row 1: *K1b, K1, K1B, K1, K1B, K1, K1B, K3tog*, repeat across (48 sts)
Row 2: *K1, K1B* repeat across (Note: you are K1B'ing into the k3tog stitch. If you are having trouble a crochet hook could help.)
Row 3: *K1B, K1* repeat across
Row 4: *K1, K1B* repeat across
Row 5: *K1B, K1, K1B, K1, K1B, K3tog*, repeat across (36 sts)
Rows 6-8: Repeat rows 2-4
Row 9: *K1B, K1, K1B, K3tog*, repeat across (24 sts)
Rows 10-12: Repeat rows 2-4
Row 13: *K1B, K3tog*, repeat across (12 sts)
Row 14: K2tog across (6 sts)
Cut wool, draw though remaining stitches and weave in loose ends.

K1B fabric is stretchy, like a ribbed pattern. This photo shows the stretched fabric.

Notes: At first I cast on 70 sts, but the circumference as 16 inches. This fabric is very stretchy, so I wanted to have the size be smaller so it could fit a younger baby. Therefore I switched to 60 sts, which I predicted should have a circumference of ~13.5 inches. There is a lot of give to the hat, so you could decrease the number of stitches even more if you want it to have a tighter fit.

Suggested Pattern Variations:
  • Add a brim to the hat: I started running out of yarn (see below), but if you had plenty of yarn, you could increase the number of rows of the main pattern.
  • Mix different variegated colorways (or solids) to make the vertical stripes more distinctive. (There are many different single color saturation colorways available in cotton.) Alternate colors in each round (Use color A for round 1, color B for round 2) to create the vertical stripes.
  • Use up your remnant yarns in many colors to create a pattern. (See ChemKnits' Knit One Below Beer Cozy for an example of the patterns you can create.)

The hat and the remaining yarn (left) and what the hat would look like with a brim (right).

The right side (top) and wrong side (bottom) of this K1B pattern. This is how a brimmed hat would appear.

Abbreviations used in this pattern
K1B (or K1b) - knit one below
K2tog - Knit 2 stitches together
K- Knit
P - purl

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2010 ChemKnits


  1. Thanks for sharing this really cute pattern. I am trying to make one but I'm so confused about the K1B stitch. Is it just knitting one in the stitch below or is supposed to be an increase? Did you work on 60 stitches for the beginning 6 inches repeating rounds 1 & 2? Thanks so much for your help.

  2. Barbara,

    The K1B is knitting into the stitch below, not an increase. You do work the pattern on 60 stitches for the first 6 inches, alternating between rows one and two. Essentially for every two rows, you end up with a single knit row.

    The following is a good illustration of the K1B stitch.

    Hopefully this has clarified your questions. Let me know if you have any others. :)

  3. Love the pattern! I knit hats for the local hospital and am always looking for new patterns that work up quickly. I would like to use your pattern for this purpose. Also, have you tried using a ribbed brim?

  4. Thanks for using my pattern for such a great cause! I have not added a ribbed brim, but you'll find that the K1B fabric is really stretchy like a ribbing. The hat expands to fit larger heads really well.

  5. How do I do a brim -- where are the instructions.

  6. The brim is just an extension of the hat, it has the exact same width, you just make the hat longer before you start the decreases. Then you fold up the edge of the hat, and voila, a brim!

  7. I don't see where you are using double pointed needles? Are you talking about circuler needles?

  8. Circular needles would certainly work, but I personally prefer to work in double pointed needles when the circumference of the project is so small. You will need DPN's to finish up the closure at the top of the hat, but you can certainly use circular needles for the body.

  9. Just did a cabled hat and used 2 circular needles. I find working with them easier than DPNs. The needles were just too short to hold all the stitches without dropping them at the ends. Really a simple way to work in the round on smaller items

  10. Two circular needles are a great way to work with small projects. I did 2 at a time socks in that method and loved it. My DPN's happen to be my highest quality knitting needles, so they are the most pleasurable needles to work with. :)

  11. Sometimes the instructions say K1B; other times, K1b. Are these the same?

  12. Yes, K1B and K1b are the same. I'll update that in the key at the bottom.

  13. If you use magic loop circular needles, it doesn't matter how small your project is, whether it's a baby hat, socks, booties or mittens!

  14. I forgot about the magic loop! If you have circular needles with a long enough cord, you can use this method to knit really small circles.

  15. This stitch seems to be essentially the same as the brioche stitch that's worked back and forth; knitting in the round gives a neat and different effect.
    By the way, you can simplify the pattern when you knit in the round if you use an odd number of stitches (e.g. 59 ). That way, the pattern becomes *k1, k1B; repeat from * until you have the length you want.
    When it becomes time to decrease from the crown, knit only 2 together at the end of the first decrease row. Then follow the pattern as written from there.


  16. Therese,

    Not a bad idea! I had trouble with the design of the decreases because I wanted to keep the K1B pattern through the crown. Your notes are fantastic.

  17. really love the pretty.thanks for sharing the pattern.

  18. I'm smiling ... love your attempt at abbreviating 'abreviations'! LOL

    Thank you for sharing such a pattern - I'm hoping to add this to my charity hats.

    1. I'm thrilled you want to make this hat for charity!

      I cannot believe that no one has pointed out the spelling error to me before. Thanks!

    2. Picky-picky me - it's my English teacher haunting me, plus having done proofreading for so many years.

      Rebecca, you get more done than I do. Better I should knit or crochet or clean/declutter than proofread.

      Marny (not Anonymous)

  19. Thanks for another wonderful pattern. I have that K1 Below book. It has so many beautiful patterns! So many patterns, so little time..........

    1. Judy,

      I'm glad that you like my simple little pattern using the K1B technique!


  20. I had a problem at the beginning of the round where there are two k1b's together. Is there not a plain knit row between rows with k1b's?

    1. Every row (except the first one after the cast on) has K1b's in it. Sometimes this means that there are two K1B stitches in a row when you end one round and start the next, but that is how the pattern is designed.

      Having two K1B stitches in a row isn't something to worry about. The K1b Beer cozy pattern uses a K2, K1B x 2 pattern.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

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