n00b Hat, Part 4: Decreasing

How’s your hat going?  Mine’s looking pretty good, and I bet yours it too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut, you’ve probably noticed, that this hat is a big flatty-flat piece of knitting.  And, I don’t know about you, but my head is not flat.  It is big and round, like a melon.

So, we probably need to make our hats a little more head-shaped.  We’ll do that by adding some “shaping” to our knitting.  Shaping is a generic term for using special stitches to give your knitting a 3D shape.  I’ll show you how to do a simple knit two together decrease (which is usually shortened to ‘k2tog’).

We’re going to do 8 k2togs across each knit row of the hat for the rest of the project.  Make sure you are working on a knit row, and start following along.

Knit 8 stitches regularly.  Then, get ready for a k2tog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAk2togs are super easy to do.  It’s exactly like doing a knit, but instead of poking your right needle through a single stitch, you poke it through two stitches.  Like this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, wrap your yarn around the tip of your needle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd pull your new stitch through both old stitches.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen drop the old stitches off your left-hand needle.  See how you’ve decreased the number of stitches by one?  (2 old stitches = 1 new stitch)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeep working in the established pattern: Knit 8 stitches, then k2tog. Knit 8, k2tog, knit 8, k2tog, over and over.  You should end the row with a k2tog.

The next row is a purl row, so purl all stitches (don’t do any decreases).

The next row is a knit row, so you’ll do decreases again.  This time, knit 7 stitches, k2tog, knit 7 stitches, k2tog, etc.

Then purl a row.

Then work a knit/decrease row.  Knit 6, k2tog, knit 6, k2tog, etc.

Then purl a row.

Then do another knit/decrease row.  Knit 5, k2tog, knit 5, k2tog, etc.

Then purl a row.

See how the pattern goes?  All purl rows are worked like normal.  All knit rows include decreases.  Each time you do a decrease row, you knit 1 fewer stitch between each decrease.  (If you find yourself getting confused, make notes on a post-it to help you keep track of where you are.) If you keep working in this pattern, your decreases will end up lining up nicely.  Kind of pretty, right?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeep going until you only have 8 stitches left on your needle, finishing with a knit row.   See how it actually kind of looks like a hat now?  Exciting!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext week, Finishing your hat!

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