Loom FAQs: How do I decrease crowns of hats?
One of the first things that people learn to knit on looms are hats. But due to the nature of knitting looms, these hats are made as a tube then gathered at the top. These hats are always bulky at the top due to the gathering. I have seen people ask “how do I keep the tops from being too bulky?” “Is there a way to decrease the top of a hat?” “Can I make the hat top down like in needle patterns?”
So is there a way? While there are some techniques that help keep the bulk of gathering a tube on a knitting loom, there is also a way to decrease the top of a hat so that the crown is smooth.
What loom can I use to decrease?
You will need an adjustable loom in order to decrease the top of a hat. While it may be achieved by using various round looms, getting the peg count correct is the tricky part. You need a loom that can adjust the exact number of pegs you need after each decrease round.
The AllnOne loom is one such loom. The sliders make it easy to adjust to any peg count as you decrease.
Can I just start at the top of the hat and increase instead of decreasing?
Yes. But I feel that decreasing is easier than increasing. Therefore, I will demonstrate how to work a hat from the brim up then decrease the top.
Is it hard to decrease the top of a hat?
It really isn’t that hard to decrease on the AllnOne loom. It does take a bit more effort and time to do it. But that smooth crown is worth the effort.
How do I decrease?
While there are various stitch counts and methods of decreasing a crown, there is one gradual decrease that I like best.
The decrease can be worked with a stitch count that is divisible by either 6 or 8. While I prefer to work the gradual decrease when the stitch multiples are 8, a stitch count with a multiple of 6 can be done as well. It is personal preference. I will include instructions for both.
What does a multiple of 8 stitches mean?
If the total stitch count can be evenly divided by 8 then it is a multiple of 8. Common hat sizes in small gauge using medium/worsted weight yarn that are multiples of 8 are 72 and 80 pegs for adults, 72 and 64 pegs for youth, 56 and 64 pegs for toddler/child, 48 and 56 pegs for baby.
Gradual Decrease
The loom will need to be adjusted down in size BEFORE each decrease round.
Remove the work by placing each stitch on a lifeline. A lifeline is a piece of yarn that is about 40 inches for a hat that is in a contrasting color. Run the lifeline through each stitch starting with peg 1 and ending with the last peg. Then remove the work from the loom.
Adjust the loom to the smaller size. Then place each stitch back on the loom following the row that you are on. Place each stitch that is to be knitted one by one then placing 2 loops for the K2tog (knit 2 together). Continue until all the loops are back on the loom.
When placing the stitches on the peg for the K2tog, always place the stitches in the same order. If the stitches are not always placed on the peg in the same order, the decreases will not all slant in the same direction making the finished product not a clean looking.
Then work the round.
The loom can be adjusted with the work still on the loom. If this is done, I would recommend using a yarn that has some stretch to it. First you will need to move all the stitches for the K2tog. Then start from the slider ends and move the stitches inward while moving the sliders to fill in the empty pegs. If using stitch markers, they will need to be moved as well so that the k2tog will always happen in the same place each time.
The loom will be at the smallest before the last decrease round. It will be fine to have the stitches every other peg for that last decrease round. Just be sure and bring the working yarn behind the empty peg before working the next stitch.
The last rows will be worked in stockinette.
Here are the abbreviations.
K – knit
K2tog – knit 2 together
Rnd – round
Rep – repeat
Multiple of 8 Stitch Count Decrease
Start your decrease when you have 14 rounds left on your hat.
Rnd 1: *K6, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 2: K all
Rnd 3: *K5, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 4: K all
Rnd 5: *K4, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 6: K all
Rnd 7: *K3, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 8: K all
Rnd 9: *K2, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 10: K all
Rnd 11: *K1, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 12: K all
Rnd 13: *K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 14: K all
Gather remaining stitches and secure.
Multiple of 6 Stitch Count Decrease
Start your decrease when you have 10 rounds left on your hat.
Rnd 1: *K4, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 2: K all
Rnd 3: *K3, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 4: K all
Rnd 5: *K2, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 6: K all
Rnd 7: *K1, K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 8: K all
Rnd 9: *K2tog, rep from * around
Rnd 10: K all
Gather remaining stitches and secure.
Now you have a nicely domed crown for your lovely knitting hat!
Never be afraid of trying something new! Enjoy the knit!
6 Comments
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Thanks for the info! Can’t wait to try it with my next hat!
Hi I have a question on the k2tog say like example
You knit 4 pegs then do you take one of the stitches
From the next peg after you knit 4 and move it over to
The next peg and then knit that peg and the keep repeating
Knit4 the k2tog together to decrease and continue the the other
Instructions as follow for each row I just get mixed up about the k2tog
Thing
Sherri Ristow
I am so glad you can decrease stitches by using your loom. I have avoided making hats because I didn’t like the tube style hats was all you can make. Now to find some patterns. Thank you for the tutorial.
How did you know I had been trying to figure this out?! Thank you so much for helping my brain. Now can you tell me how to increase.
Sherri,
When you k2tog, you are literally knitting 2 stitches together. How you do that is, as in the first round of decreases that you mentioned, you knit the stitches on pegs 1 – 4. When you get to peg 5, you move the stitch from peg 6 to peg 5 so that there are 2 stitches on that peg and knit both loops over as one. If you are using the lifeline method to remove the hat, adjust the loom, and then replace the stitches, you will do as follows. After the hat is off the loom and the loom is adjusted to the smaller size, you will put the stitches back on pegs 1 – 4. Then you will place the next 2 loops on peg 5. Continue with the next 4 stitches on the next 4 pegs, pegs 6 – 9, and then 2 stitches on the 10th peg. Continue around the loom. After all the stitches are back on the loom, knit then entire round, treating the pegs with 2 loops as 1.
I hope that helps clarify the k2tog for you.
Renita
Thanks for this, I am going to give it a try. I have been making hats and have released the bulk at the end by making the last 8 rows an k3 p3 or k4 p4 repeat depending on the design multiples. and then cinch off the purls first then pick up the knits to finish off the closure.
This style will be much nicer of a finish.
Thanks again