I opened my sock drawer the other day and noticed that I have knitted so many socks over the last 20 years that I could never wear them out. Then I looked at my sock yarn stash and realized that I could make at least three times as many socks as I have now. Lovely colors, soft feel, gentle textures, but I could never knit all them up.
So I decided to use the yarn to do something other than socks. I love hats – which I have more of than even socks -- but I have a little side business of selling hats, so it made sense. I have seen pictures of these slouchy hats and have even seen some patterns for them. I worked on the design to be as close to what I want and finally think I got it right. I used my sons as models. One thing they wanted was the hat to fit closer around the ears. So I extended the use of the smaller needles into the body of the hat which is why you don’t switch needles after the cuff.
I always name my hats after people in my life. I named this hat after my friend Justin from work. He looks good in hats. I also needed a name that could also be unused for a woman’s hat.
Size: Men’s (women’s) size. Hat has a lot of stretch so one size fits most
Yarn: Any kind of sock yarn
Needles: Circular needle size 2 (2.75mm) 16”
DPN Size 6 (4mm) set of 4
Gauge: 5 stitches/inch in stockinette, size 6 needles. (Gauge is not critical but should be close. I have used this pattern with size 5, 6, and 7 needles, with success.) I always start with size 2 needles for the brim.
With size 2 circular needles, CO on 132 (120) stitches. Join, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Work a 2x2 rib (Knit 2, Purl 2) for one inch.
Work in stockinette (knit every row) for one more inch.
Switch to size 6 needles and continue in stockinette stitch until the entire hat measures 9” or desired length. If you stop at 7”, you will have a skull cap; if you extend beyond 10”, your hat will have more slouch.
Crown: (switch to DPNs when necessary)
Row 1: *K2tog, K 18 (16), SSK*. Repeat 5 more times.
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: Knit.
Row 3: *K2tog, K 16 (14), SSK*. Repeat 5 more times.
Continue in this pattern, reducing the number of knit stitches between the decreases by 2 until 6 stitches remain. Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and secure tightly. Weave in ends.