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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Free Knit Felted Beanie Pattern

One thing I love to fool with is simple machine wash felting. This pattern is not an exact science. And for me that's the fun part. Just winging it.

my first fedora
This came out a bit small, reason being, it wasn't watched properly while felting. Made with Lion Brand Landscapes which felted very fast. This color seems to be discontinued.

these were also made with a yarn by Lion Brand but I forgot what it's called...
Not seeing it on their web site. Probably discontinued. This yarn did not want to felt.


...and this were made free form
After making a few felted hats I decided to wing it and use up some wool I had laying around.

My version
I start by casting on 4 or 5 sts and joining to work in the round. Knit one round, place a clip-on marker and slip on each rnd.
Next rnd:  increase in each st.
Knit one round.
Next rnd:  k1, inc nxt st and repeat.
Knit one rnd.
Next rnd:  k2, inc nxt st and repeat.
Knit one rnd.

To make a long story short, on every other round continue in this way: next increase rnd, inc into 4th st (k3, inc nxt st); next inc rnd, inc into 5th st (k4, inc nxt st); next inc rnd, inc into 6th st (k5, inc nxt st) and so on, until you have about 10 or 11 inches across entire crown. Believe me, you might need this much for the felting.
Now simply continue knitting even (no increases) until the sides of your beanie reaches your chin. That should about do it. The blue beanie with the fold at the brim was the first one that I free formed. I had knit well beyond my chin and this was the result. Which turned out OK.
3 above are actually striped various different ways.

you can barely see the different hues in the one on the right
I like how those colors almost blended together

I made a cute hat that also came out kinda small, pink and green stripes with a pink flower and green leaves, all felted, which I gave to my tiny sister-in-law. She is 4' 9". Something like that. Little tinky head. There is always someone who can use what we make. Will put up a picture soon, hopefully with her wearing it.

Hope you can use this pattern for your left over wool yarn. If the felting is watched carefully and you keep trying it on for size your beanie should turn out a-OK.
I should note that wool does felt at different speeds. I kinda like how this can come out though I make it a point not to mix a single ply, roving type wool with any regular spun type wool. Other than that I say go for it. I have worked with different thickness and again I kinda like how that comes out. My free form beanies are all made with mystery wool yarn. Not sure if your yarn is wool? Burn an end and give a whiff. It should smell like burned hair. And the fire will probably go out on it's own. Acrylic will melt pretty fast. Watch out! 


  1. Hi, this is Jess from Lion Brand Yarn. I just wanted to compliment your great hats and thank you for using our yarn. Keep up the great work.

    With warm regards,
    Jess H.
    Lion Brand Yarn

  2. I was very pleased to find this site.

    1. Hi! Glad you enjoyed your visit! Hope my pattern works out for ya!