A top-down helmet knit in Nashua Creative Focus Chunky on size 10 DPNs. Super soft and warm! This pattern is meant to be entirely customizable. I am just sharing my general method for constructing the hat and getting the perfect fit.
On four DPNs, Cast on 8 stitches (this is the same regardless of gauge or needle size):
(figure out some ingenious way to mark the beginning of the round…stitch markers have a way of slipping off DPNs)
R1: Knit all stitches
R2: Kfb of all stitches (16 stitches)
R3: Knit around
R4: Knit around, but Kfb of the first and last stitch on every needle. (increase by 8 stitches every other round)
This should give you a nice even increase. After trying out various ways of spacing increases and shaping, I’ve found this to be the simplest, since the DPNs act as your guides.
Continue like that, increasing at the first and last stitch on each needle and knitting around the non-increase rows, until you get to 80 stitches. Here I increased just the first stitch on each needle to make 84. I am a really tight knitter, so 80 might be sufficient for most people, but make sure you measure your head and figure out your gauge to get a correct number. If your ideal number of stitches is not a multiple of eight, do the partial increas like I did, but make sure your final number IS a multiple of 4, for the purpose of ribbing.
(Cast on amount is always the same, but how many stitches you increase to depends on your gauge and the size of your head. I have a 22″ head, and wanted a 20″ hat to allow for stretchiness, so I figured out the number of stitches by multiplying my number of stitches in an inch by 20)
When you get to the correct stitch count for your measurement, knit around for another 2.5 inches, then start a k1,p1 rib.
Continue the rib for about an inch and a half.
When you are satisfied with the depth of the hat, measure your forehead and figure out how wide you want the space in the front of the hat between the earflaps to be. Convert the inches to stitches and bind off that many at the beginning of the round (bind off loosely and in pattern. I used a size 17 needle), making sure to end on a purl stitch.
Continue knitting back and forth in k1,p1 rib for another 1/2 inch to an inch, then figure out how wide you want your earflaps and use the inches to stiches math to determine how many stitches each will be (remember that the rib will scrunch up a bit…).
At the beginning of a RS row, slip the correct number of stitches for the first earflap to one of your DPNs. bind off in pattern until you get to the start of the second earflap stitches, and k1,p1 to the end of the row. Make sure your ribbing matches the rest.
From here, knit the two earflaps separately to an equal length…whatever that length may be…bind off, and VOILA! Helmet!
Add icords to the earflaps to allow tying up if the mood strikes you…To further personalize, you could simply slip the stitches that run across your forehead to a dpn and return to them later, adding an extra flap across the front and a couple buttons, making it EVEN more helmety…
(FYI…This hat was inspired by the LOOK of the Nomad Hat in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits, and by my obsession with furry russian caps and cute earflap hats, but the actual pattern and construction are improvised…)