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Circular Bicolour Prime Rib (Brioche) Hat

A Free Knitting Pattern
by Megan Mills
megan@kiwi.gen.nz

Circular Bicolour Prime Rib (Brioche) Free Hat Pattern

Hello fellow crafty people. :)

In 1992 I came up with a way to do Prime Rib circularly (in those days all my books said it could only be done flat). This was Great Fun because it is a lovely stitch and as much as I love to knit I do not love to seam. I made up a pattern for a simple hat and another one recently for a not-so-simple tea cosy and thought that was that.

Then I discovered Bicolour Brioche and thought it was gorgeous. However, the instructions I found for it were all for flat, back and forth knitting. You guessed it! My first thought was "I wonder if I can figure out how to do that circularly so I won't have to seam?"

Indeed I could and the result of the experiment is this hat. In two contrasting colours it looks quite bold and dashing but you could also get a more subtle effect by using two colours nearer to each other in tone.

You could also experiment with stripes (if you don't mind the idea of darning in more ends). That would easily be achieved by changing either one of the MC or CC strands or both at the same time at intervals.

I hope you enjoy making it...  Megan

Circular Bicolour Prime Rib (Brioche) Free Hat Pattern
This hat fits me, with an average adult's head, but it also easily stretches to fit my husband's head - which is quite a bit bigger than mine.

Click HERE for a primer on Monocolour Circular Prime Rib.

Abbreviations

K knit
P purl
pw purlwise
kw knitwise
S slip
yrn yarn round needle
NS bring yarn to the near side between the needle tips
FS take yarn to the far side between the needle tips
BK brioche knit, knit the next st tog with its accompanying CC strand
BP brioche purl, purl the next st tog with its accompanying MC strand
CC contrast colour
MC main colour
tog together
st/s stitch/es
B followed by a number - the number of stitches to do in BPR as is appropriate for the round of the pattern you are on. Slipping a st counts as a st.
Dec slip the next st kw tog with its accompanying strand, K1 (the CC P st), pass the slipped st AND accompanying strand over the st just knitted.
K2T K 2 together.
DD S1 kw (a MC st), K1, pass the slipped st with its accompanying strand over the st just knitted, return it to the left needle. Pull the 2nd st on the left needle over the 1st st and return the 1st st to the right needle.
BPR Bicolour Prime Rib:
Round 1 MC: *BK, NS, S1 pw. Repeat from * but do not take the yarn back between the needle tips after slipping 1 pw. Allow it to make a diagonal loop over the right needle. After the last S1 pw of the round, yrn. Drop MC on the near side.

Round 2 CC: *S1 pw, yrn, BP. Repeat from * to the end of the round, being careful to catch the MC accompanying strand along with the last st of the round. Drop CC on the near side.

NB: When you change colours from round to round do NOT twist the yarns around each other and be careful not to pull too tightly as you start the new round. You want the diagonal strand at the changeover point to match all the others.

Rounds 1 and 2 form the pattern.

Bi-rib *(MC K1), (CC NS, P1, FS). Repeat from *. Be careful not to pull the yarns too tightly as you strand them behind the work.

Materials

2 x 50g balls of double knitting wool (8 ply) with a recommended gauge on the ball band of about 22 sts and 30 rows to a 10cm x 10cm area. I used Holiday in brown and cream.
40cm (16") 4mm (UK 8, US 6) circular needle
Set of 4mm (UK 8, US 6) double pointed needles
Or you may use two circulars or one long circular to work the small circumference if you know the two-circs or magic loop methods.

Gauge

From the centre of one ridge to the centre of the next (spanning the valley) is 1.5cm when the knitting is in its relaxed state.

Instructions

Leaving 15cm (6") tails use the circular needle and cast on 60 sts, loosely, using the ribbed German cast on with one strand in MC and one strand in CC. Make the first cast on st a K with MC. You can use another cast on if you prefer, using just one colour if you like, but make sure it is loose.

If you do not know the ribbed German cast on you can find instructions and diagrams in Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann, published by Schoolhouse Press. She calls it K2, P2 casting on. For our purposes we would alternate just one K with one P instead of two with two.

Being careful not to twist the work join into a circle. Do this Foundation Row once only. Using MC: *K1, NS, S1 pw. Repeat from * but do not take the yarn back between the needle tips after slipping 1 pw. Allow it to make a diagonal loop over the right needle. After the last S1 pw of the round, yrn. Drop MC on the near side.

Commence BPR on Round 2.

Continue in BPR until the hat is approximately 8cm short of the finished length you require. I have a deep turn-up cuff on mine to allow for warm ears and forehead and worked my hat to 20cm (8") before starting the crown shaping, ending with having just worked a CC round.

Shape Crown

Stage One
Round 1 MC: B2, *Dec, B10. Repeat from * ending round with B8 instead of B10.
Round 2 CC: B2, *S2 pw (both MC sts), yrn, B9. Repeat from * ending round with B7 instead of B9.
Round 3 MC: B2, *K next 2 sts tog (both MC sts and the accompanying CC strand), B9. Repeat from * ending round with B7 instead of B9.
Do 5 rounds in BPR.

Stage Two
Round 1 MC: B6, *Dec, B8. Repeat from * ending round with B2 instead of B8.
Round 2 CC: B6, *S2 pw (both MC sts), yrn, B7. Repeat from * ending round with B1 instead of B7.
Round 3 MC: B6, *K next 2 sts tog (both MC sts and the accompanying CC strand), B7. Repeat from * ending round with B1 instead of B7. You now have 40 sts and may want to change to double pointed needles now.
Do 5 rounds in BPR.

Stage Three
Round 1 MC: *Dec, B1, K2T, B3. Repeat from * to the end of the round.
Round 2 CC: *FS, S1 pw, NS, S2 pw, yrn, B3. Repeat from * to the end of the round.
Round 3 MC: *DD, B3. Repeat from * to the end of the round. You now have 20 sts.
Do 3 rounds of BPR.

Stage Four
Round 1: Using both MC and CC do 1 round of Bi-rib (not Prime Rib) - working the MC knits together with their accompanying CC strands.
Round 2 MC: *SSK. Repeat from * to the end of the round. You now have 10 sts.
Round 3 MC: *SSK. Repeat from * to the end of the round. You now have 5 sts.

Break off yarns leaving 15cm (6") tails. Thread MC tail onto a wool needle (or use a crochet hook) and draw it through the last 5 stitches. Go around through them all twice and draw up firmly to close the hole at the top of the crown.

Tidy away all the ends and enjoy your very warm hat!


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Last modified:  17 May 2005