In this final post we’re going to go through the part with the decreases, weaving in the ends and making a pompom. Here you can find part 1 and part 2. Those posts are focussed on the cast on and brim, and the colorwork section. In this part we’ve arrived at the final stage: the finishing.
We mentioned that this post is all about the magic loop method. Of course you can also work through parts 1 and 2 using either a short circular needle or double pointed needles, but if you’ve used a short circular needle you’ll eventually need to start using the magic loop method anyway for the top part. The circumference is going to become smaller with each round of decreases, making it too small for even a short circular needle.
There’s a number of ways to make a decrease, most of which will have a different look. For a hat/ beanie it doesn’t really matter which of those you choose, as long as you keep using the same decrease to keep things uniform. Most hat patterns choose to make the decreases on top of decreases of the previous rows. This is mostly a design choice, because the left or right leaning decrease will give the knitted fabric a direction (as shown in the picture above). You can see that we’ve chosen the right leaning decrease. This decrease makes the left stitch land on top of the right stitch, making the column slant to the right.
You can choose to place your decreases wherever you wish, but for this pattern we’ve made a chart that you can follow to get uniform decreases. Decrease rows are usually done every other row, with a plain knitting round in between. This is done to keep the pattern from decreasing too quickly, and to keep the stitches uniform. The gauge of a normal knit stitch and a decrease stitch is often a little different, with the decrease being a bit tighter. Having a row of plain knitting in between keeps everything evenly balanced and spaced. Now continue in pattern until you reach the final 8 stitches. Cut your yarn, leaving a tail and (using a tapestry needle or just your knitting needles) pull the end through the 8 live stitches and pull to close the loop.
Be sure to pull gently, you don’t want the yarn to snap. Now pull the yarn through the loop (so that it’s on the inside of the hat, and turn your hat inside out). Using a tapestry needle weave it through the stitches a few more times, before weaving it through the other stitches and cutting the rest of the yarn. Try not to make a big knot as this pulls the stitches in and you’ll end up with a bump.
One of my favorite ways to weave in ends is shown in the GIF above. By going through the horizontal stitches on one column and then the one diagonally next to it and by going down in the same manner but choosing the opposite diagonal side. When you repeat this a few times and you pull on the fabric a little bit, the woven in end will almost completely disappear in the knitted fabric. Repeat this for all yarns (note: don’t do this with contrast colors as this will most likely show on the other side!)
Cool! Now that you’ve woven in all the ends and turned the work right side out again, you’ll probably want a cute pompom to add to the top. You can buy a few fuzzy ones, but I usually go for my go-to method of making pompoms. You can buy a number of different pompom makers, but mine is very cheap. All you need is your hands and a pair of scissors!
I tried to turn a video into a GIF for you too see, but to be honest it became more complicated to explain, so I’ll just explain what I did. Using two strands (or one, it just takes longer) wrap yarn around your one hand (four fingers) until you feel it’s thick enough for the pompom you’re going for. Now this is not an exact science, you’ll have to experiment a bit. A general rule of thumb is the thicker the pompom, the rounder and fuller it is, but it’s not an absolute need. When you’re done, cut the yarn and take it off your hand making sure to hold it in shape. Now tie a string around the thing in the middle, making sure the loops are neatly stacked on both ends (this is very important for the next step). Make sure the string around the middle is very secure and tight because loose string means your pompom will fall apart. Leave a longer tail so you can sew it on the beanie.
Now for the fun part: let’s cut the loops!
Now that you’ve cut through the loops, the pompom looks a little sad, flat, unkempt and.. well sad really. Some of the threads will be very long while others are short. Now some grooming tips: Cut the longest threads first, making sure to cut tiny bits off as you go. Using tiny scissors is a great help into preventing accidental hack jobs. The goal is to make all the longer hairs as short as the middle-length hairs. The shortest hairs are there to make the pompom look more full.
If you look at the moving images above, you’ll see that I try to keep my scissors in one place (where I can best see the difference in lenght), and keep moving the ball around to keep track of how it’s shaping up.
Now this is decidedly better looking than before! Now it’s a happy little pompom, and this happy little pompom might have a happy little hat friend! I personally really like making my pompoms multi colored, but you can choose to make yours in one shade 🙂 You can even make two tiny pompoms and attach them to the sides (of the top part) to make it look like tiny bear ears.
To attach the pompom you’ll need a tapestry needle. Put the needle in from the right side and pull the yarn through, turn your hat inside out and pull on the thread until the pompom sits tight, but not so tight that it goes flat on the bottom side. Make sure it’s not too loose either, because then it will wobble. When you’re weaving in the threads I still recommend no knots but a circular pattern in the stitches around the “point of entry”. This way the weaving of the end also reinforces the “landing spot” for the pompom. After a few circles, weave in the ends and cut the excess yarn.
Now wash the hat and let it dry. While it’s being washed/ wet you can gently shape the stitches that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. If there’s any wonkiness or bigger stitches in the contrast colors you can pull lightly on the floats in the back to make the stitches look more uniform, although most irregularities will have disappeared with the first wash.
I hope this series helped or maybe inspired you. You can buy the pattern HERE, you can choose to buy it via Ravelry or to get a printed version from the webshop! Happy knitting!