Friday’s Child: Bedlam

It’s Friday, which means free pattern time! We’ll start with one that’s been around for a little while. It is a knitted hat pattern I call Bedlam. It was born of a strange combination of lackadaisy and ambition. You see, it was cold out and I wanted to take my dog for a walk. I’d been knitting for about five years, and was actually quite startled to realize that I didn’t have a hat. I live in Nebraska, and it gets very cold here. I have a basement full of yarn and a wide variety of skills to use it. It seemed like the universe was mocking me. That’s when ambition struck. I could just make myself a hat. It couldn’t take very long, especially if I used a bulky yarn, and I had plenty of stash I could use. I dug out a skein of Brown Sheep worsted and opted to use it doubled, and then I started knitting. I knew I wanted something more complex than stockinette, and cables are an easy way to add interest to hat. But that’s where the lackadaisy struck. I hate counting rows. I know it’s something I have to do, but I still hate it. I don’t know why. But then I thought, who cares if I count rows? I don’t have to count rows if I don’t want to, so there. The results are interesting and attractive, I think. But my dog never did get a walk that day. By the time my hat was finished, it was also windy and turning dark. Poor dog.

(For a printable PDF of this pattern Click Here)

Needles: A US 13, 16″ circular and a pair of similar DPNs, although in truth I had to improvise for lack of DPNs that large.

Yarn: Brown Sheep Co. Lamb’s Pride Worsted worked in double-stranded throughout.

Guage: 3 stitches to the inch over stockinette. Rows aren’t really important, but I got 9 rows over 2″.

Cast on 60 stitches loosely. Join round, being careful not to twist. (That’s standard wording for a pattern on circs, right?)

Work k 2 p 2 rib for 4 rows, or roughly 1″.

Round 1: Sl 1, k 1, psso, k 2, k2tog, p1fb, p 4, p1fb, repeat around

Round 2: K 4, p 8, repeat around

Round 3: Put first two stitches on a cable needle, bring to front of work. Knit next two stitches, then knit stitches off cable needle. P 8. Repeat around.

Here’s where the Bedlam comes in. You’re going to knit the knits and purl the purls. There are five cable ribs running up the hat. Every so often, throw a cable in there across the knit stitches of only one or two of the ribs per row. My cables are almost completely random, with a minimum of 3 rows and a maximum of 6 or 7 (I don’t remember) rows between each worked cable and the previous one. So each of my five cable ribs is completely different, and none of them are uniform within themselves either. The only thing I kept the same was always working the cables to the front of the work so the twist was consistent.

So, knit the knits and purl the purls except for the random cable now and again, until the hat is 6.5″ from the bottom edge.

Now our decreases start. You’ll continue to knit the knits, and cable away to your little heart’s content. The decreases are all in the purls until you get to the very end. In other words, on the decrease rounds, I’ll refer to the cable ribs as “k 4″ but you can cable in there any time you like. Switch to DPNs when it behoves you to do so. All that being understood, they go as follows:

Round 1: K 4, p 1, p2tog, p2tog, p2tog, p 1, repeat around. (45 stitches)

Round 2: K 4, p 6, repeat around

Round 3: K 4, p2tog, p 1, p2tog, repeat around (35 stitches)

Round 4: K 4, p 3, repeat around

Round 5: K 4, p2tog, p 1, repeat around (30 stitches)

Round 6: K 4, p2tog, repeat around (25 stitches)

Round 7: K 3, sl 1, p 1, psso, repeat around (20 stitches)

Round 8: K 1, k2tog, k 1, repeat around (15 stitches)

Round 9: K 1, k2tog, repeat around (10 stitches)

Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Pull tail through remaining 10 live stitches and remove from needles. Pull tight and weave in ends.


Hope you like it! Here’s another view:

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