Friday, February 10, 2017

GENEie Pussyhat Knitting Pattern

Update: The GENEie Hat Collection now has 5 different knitting patterns, including a Pussyhat and a headband for warmer climates.  

When your knitworthy best friend asks you to make her a DNA Pussyhat you design her a DNA Pussyhat!  I am pleased to share another addition to the GENEie Thinking Cap for Science Fans collection - The GENEie Pussyhat! I spliced the GENEie cable onto the square Pussyhat shape.   A bunch of knitters are already planning to knit these hats in green in support of both the Women's March and the March for Science, scheduled for Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

The GENEie Pussyhat has a DNA double helix cable running up the side of the front and then down the side of the back of the hat. The free knitting pattern for the GENEie Pussyhat is available below on this post.  You can download a PDF for the GENEie Pussyhat Knitting Pattern through Google Drive.

  • Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) double pointed needles (or circular needles long enough for magic loop.)  
  • Yarn: Worsted weight yarn.  The sample was knit with hand dyed bare Wool of the Andes Yarn (66 g, 147 yards).  
  • Gauge (unblocked): 20 sts/4", 28 rows/4" over stockinette
  • Notions (optional): Stitch markers to note beginning of round, cable needle, tapestry needle. 
  • Finished Sizes: Adult Large - 21" around, 8.5" deep
  • Model Head Sizes: Rebecca - 22" head (normally wears a S/M hat), Keith - 23.5" head (normally wears a L hat)

After the Women's March in January 2017, all yarn stores are still out of pink yarns.  Since I had some Bare Wool of the Andes in my collection I decided to dye my own! A tutorial for the yarn dyeing process will be on the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube channel by the end of February 2017.

Abbreviations Used in this Pattern - Updated with links to video tutorials!  I have a whole playlist of videos to help with the construction of the GENEie collection.  Make sure you check out an introduction to 1x1 cables if you want extra help with the GENEie DNA cable stitches.
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • Sts – Stitches
  • S1 – Slip one stitch purlwise
  • K-tbl – Knit through the back loop
  • CN – cable needle 
  • M1 – Make One. Make a new stitch by picking up the yarn between two stitches, twisting it and knitting.
  • C1-fkk -  S1 st on CN and hold in front.  K1, K1 from CN
  • C2-bkk -  S1 st on CN and hold in back.   K1, K1 from CN
  • C3-fpk -  S1 st on CN and hold in front.  P1, K1 from CN
  • C4-bkp - S1 st on CN and hold in back.   K1, P1 from CN
  • PM - Place Marker
  • SM - Slip Marker

GENEie DNA Cable Knitting Chart - The chart for the GENEie Pussyhat is slightly different from the GENEie Hat (Cable Version).  The cables of the Pussyhat are on a background of stockinette versus reverse stockinette in the original cable version.

Chart Key

Knitting Instructions: GENEie Pussyhat
  • Cast on 100 sts.  Place Marker (PM) and join to knit in the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds of 2x2 ribbing (*K2, P2* around) 
  • Cable Round 1: K10, M1, PM, Knit the 9 sts of Chart Row 1, PM, K1, M1, (K10, M1) 6 times, K2, PM, Knit the first 8 stitches of Chart Row 1, M1, PM, K10, M1. (110 sts)  
  • Cable Round 2: K11, SM, Knit the 9 sts of Chart Row 2, SM, Knit until the next marker (70 sts), SM, Knit 9 sts of Chart Row 2, SM, K11. 
  • Continue knitting while following the chart to create the DNA Helix Cables between the markers. Knit a total of 52 rounds or when the hat measures 8" from the cast on edge. (The sample worked chart rows 1-26 twice.) 
  • Divide stitches in half and graft closed with the Kitchener stitch.  The first stitches you graft together will be the first and last stitch of the rounds.  (Alternatively, you can use a three needle bind off or bind off and stitch the top of the hat together if you want to avoid the Kitchener stitch.)   
  • Weave in loose ends. Block if desired.  

Modification for a slightly smaller hat
If you would like to make the body of the hat slightly smaller, Cast on 100 sts, knit the ribbing but then skip the M1 stitches written in round 1 above.  All Cable Rounds will be as follows: K10, Knit 9 sts of Chart Row, K62 sts, Knit the 9 sts of Chart row, K10 (100 sts)

Line-by-line Written Instructions for the DNA Helix Knitting Chart - The DNA Cable Knitting chart on a stockinette background is 9 stitches wide and 26 rows long. The written instructions below are for the 9 stitches of the cable. The chart is read from the bottom up, right to left.   

Chart Key

1. K5, C2-bkk, K2
2. K4, C2-bkk, C1-fkk, K1
3. K3, C2-bkk, K2, K-tbl, K1
4. K2, C4-bkp, P3, C3-fpk
5. K1, C2-bkk, K5, K-tbl
6. K1, K-tbl, K6, K-tbl

7. C4-bkp, P6, K-tbl
8. K-tbl, K6, C2-bkk
9. K-tbl, K6, Ktbl, K1
10. K-tbl, P5, C2-bkk, K1
11. C1-fkk, K3, C2-bkk, K2
12. K1, K-tbl, K2, C2-bkk, K3
13. K1, C1-fkk, C2-bkk, K4
14. K2, C2-bkk, K5
15. K1, C2-bkk, C1-fkk, K4
16. K1, K-tbl, K2, C1-fkk, K3
17. C4-bkp, P3, C3-fpk, K2
18. K-tbl, K5, C1-fkk, K1
19. K-tbl, K6, K-tbl, K1
20. K-tbl, P6, C3-fpk
21. C1-fkk, K6, K-tbl
22. K1, K-tbl, K6, K-tbl

23. K1, C1-fkk, P5, K-tbl
24. K2, C1-fkk, K3, C2-bkk
25. K3, C1-fkk, K2, K-tbl, K1
26. K4, C1-fkk, C2-bkk, K1

The GENEie Pussyhat has a DNA double helix cable on a stockinette background.  If you would like to have the cable on a reverse stockinette background, check out the knitting charts from the original GENEie Cable Version.

The knit DNA double helix on a stockinette background (pink) and a reverse stockinette background (gray).
I believe in evidence based legislation.  This is one of the reasons why I will March for Science.  I believe that women's rights are human rights and that human rights are women's rights.  I believe in standing up and letting my voice be heard, and this is why I spliced my DNA cable knitting motif with the pussyhat shape to create the GENEie Pussyhat.

The GENEie Cable Version with the GENEie Pussyhat
For an all over cable pussyhat, start with the instructions for GENEie (Cable Version). Work charted rounds 1-27 and then rounds 2-27 until you've reached the desired length.  Graft the top together.  

To make a smaller hat, you can skip the stitch increases immediately after the ribbing portion or you can increase/reduce the total number of stitches between the two cable charts. Start with a multiple of 4 stitches to make the ribbing work out. 

A side view of the GENEie Pussyhat.  The DNA cable strand runs up the front of the hat and then down the back.  
 Pictures from knitting the GENEie Pussyhat 

Placement of the markers and the two cable sections.
The GENEie Pussyhat right before grafting the top together.  
The GENEie Pussyhat right before grafting the top together.
The GENEie DNA Hat Collection

Top: GENEie - The Next Generations Headband (top left) and Hat (top right).
Middle: GENEie Pussyhat.
Bottom: GENEie Colorwork version (bottom left) and Cable version (bottom right)
It has been a whirlwind creating 5 different GENEie hat samples in the last two weeks.  I was inspired to create these designs by YOU, my supporters.  I really appreciate that you enjoy my scientific perspective on knitting.  Are there any molecules you would like to see charted?  Let me know and I'll see what I can do!  

GENEie Pussyhat Knitting Pattern © 2017 ChemKnits & Rebecca Roush Brown.  This pattern is available for free via for your personal or charity use.  You are not to copy or distribute this pattern without the permission of the publisher, ChemKnits.

This post contains some KnitPicks affiliate links.  I became an affiliate in October 2018 after using KnitPicks yarns for many years.  All yarn selections and options are my own. 


  1. Thank you so much for the pattern. My daughter in law and myself along with one of her friends marched also. We are in Seattle area. I made all our pussyhats.

  2. Pattern update 2/12/2017: Line-by-line instructions for the cable chart are now available. Enjoy!

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  4. CORRECTION - Cable Round 1 should read:

    Cable Round 1: K10, M1, PM, Knit the 9 sts of Chart Row 1, PM, K1, M1, (K10, M1) 6 times, K2, PM, Knit the first 8 stitches of Chart Row 1, M1, PM, K10, M1. (110 sts)

    The text in the blog post has been corrected. I will update the PDF ASAP. The file "ChemKnits GENEie Pussyhat Knitting Pattern V2" is up to date.

  5. The PDF version 2 is now available! I've removed access from the incorrect version. Please link to and share the page. The PDF links will change as the pattern is updated.

  6. Love this so much! Wondering if you have a version of the chart worked flat, rather than in the round?

    1. Unfortunately I don't at this point. Since there are cable stitches on both RS and WS rows it isn't super simple to re-write.

      If you want to knit a pussyhat flat with a DNA cable, may I recommend the chart from the origional GENEie Colorwork version.

      If I do end up translating the chart to one that can be worked flat I'll let you know.

  7. This is fabulous! Thanks so much, I'll be making one for the March.

  8. I have updated the pattern with instructions to make a slightly smaller hat.

    Cast on 100 sts and knit the ribbing as indicated. Skip the M1 stitches in the first cable round and instead knit all cable rounds as follows: K10, Knit 9 sts of Chart Row, K62 sts, Knit the 9 sts of Chart row, K10 (100 sts)

  9. Of all of the GENEie designs, this hat is the easiest to modify for different weights of yarn and head sizes. If you have any questions feel free to contact me here, on Ravelry or through Facebook. Happy Knitting!

  10. I was planning on making a green pussyhat for the March for Science and accidentally stumbled on your pattern. Brilliant! So excited to make it! Thank you.

    1. Yay! I made myself a teal one in cotton in case the march is super warm. :)

  11. Thank you so much for the pattern. The Helix is fabulous.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Hi, I don't know if you've joined the New group on Facebook called: "The Resistance Knitters"? I just posted your pattern there. I work closely with March for Science - knitting and crafting group. I'm trying to create a group where we not only talk knitting, but encourage one another along on the path of Resistance. I was a history teacher, so I often post news pieces and opinion articles to keep us informed. Hope you can join us!

  14. so, I love this pattern and plan to make this hat but I'd like to do a different version somehow. I really don't like the kitchener stitch so I was thinking about making the Geneie cable version but just doing one cable, like the pussyhat. I have decided that's beyond my skillset. Any help on this? How can I just isolate it and do one cable?

    1. You can absolutely skip the kitchener stitch! A 3 needle bindoff or even a bindoff and then a whip stitched end would work.

      If you want to knit it flat, here is a version of the cable chart with both Right side and wrong side instructions. I would ignore the garter stitch border from that chart, but I wrote out the instructions for the cables on the wrong sides.

    2. I made a playlist of some of my tutorials that are helpful for knitting the GENEie patterns. Tutorials for Knitting GENEie Hats. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  15. so cool. got to make one for my genetics counselor daughter. thank you for sharing the pattern.

  16. Thanks for putting together this pattern and sharing it! I'm mid-way through making one of these right now, it's my second knitting project after a pussyhat and despite learning in-the-round and cable knitting, it's all been really approachable using your instructions. The only time I had to ask a knitter friend for help was in the M1 because the youtube videos I found would describe either right-leaning make one or left-leaning make one and I wasn't sure which one you were calling for. And I love the line-by-line descriptions! I've never followed a chart before, and having just read a blog post on how to read them, I would have definitely read the chart left-to-right (even though that obviously makes no sense) and made a mess of it. :) I'm going to be so thrilled to have my hat for the march next week!

  17. One super minor correction to the line by line written instructions: line 4 says "K2, C4-bpk, P3, C3-fpk" but C4 is bkp, not bpk (and the surrounding stitches make it more likely it is bkp).

  18. What changes would have to be made to knit this in DK/8ply weight? I tend to have that available to me where I am much more often than Worsted/10ply.

  19. Hey, I was wondering if you could clarify what this means " (K10, M1) 6 times".
    Am I supposed to do that set 6 times or the following set of stitches 6 times? I seem to end the round with way fewer stitches than what are supposed to be left. Thank you so much!

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