Greene County watch cap
Over the weekend I wanted to knit a watch cap, but I wanted something just a little different, so I studied the Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns and decided on wheat ear rib for the ribbing portion. It’s pretty, and it made me think of a small wheat field I once saw that was surrounded on three sides by woods. And since one thought generally leads to another, I remembered the skein of natural mix Patons Classic Wool that was left over from my Must-Have cardigan and knew it would be the perfect choice.
So, here’s the Greene County Watch Cap. It’s soft and warm and very comfortable. It’d be good for country drives or walks in the woods while the weather is still cold, and once spring arrives, it would hold all the morels you might find while “mushroom huntin’.”
Fits a medium-sized adult head. Adjustments in size may be made by casting on any number of stitches that are a multiple of 5 +2, then increasing or decreasing a couple of stitches for the body of the hat so that the number of stitches is divisible by 6.
Gauge: 5 st=1”
Wheat ear rib (from Barbara Walker’s Treasury of Knitting Patterns)
Row 1 (right side): *P3, insert needle from back to front between 1st and 2nd stitches on left-hand needle and knit the 2nd st, then knit the 1st st and slip both stitches from the needle together; repeat from *, end p2.
Row 2: *K3, skip 1 stitch and purl the 2nd st, then purl the skipped st, then sl both stitches from needle together; rep from *, end K2.
Repeat these two rows.
Cast on 97 stitches using a circular needle. Work the wheat ear rib pattern back and forth for 3”. At the end of the last wrong-side row, join the knitting so that you will now be knitting in the round. Be sure the wrong side is facing out, so that when the brim is turned up, the right side will show.
Purl one round, decreasing one stitch in this round for a total of 96 stitches. Knit around until the whole hat is about 8 inches in length. You may adjust this for a tighter or more roomy cap. Though a watch cap is typically supposed to be close-fitting, I like a little more room up at the very top. A length of 7 ½” is probably enough for most people.
*K14, K2tog around*
*K13, K2tog around*
Continue in this manner, switching to double points when needed, until there are 48 stitches. Then decrease every round until there are only 6 stitches left. Break yarn and thread through these stitches, pulling tightly and securing on the wrong side. Sew up seam on brim.