Cute Knitted Hat in Diagonal Half Linen Stitch




Introduction: Cute Knitted Hat in Diagonal Half Linen Stitch

This is a cute hat I made for my upcoming cruise to Alaska! It will be perfect for your cold-weather wanderings, too, or as a special gift for someone you care about.

You can download the pattern and jump right in or wait for Step 6.

You don’t need to have knitting experience to follow these instructions. I have included plenty of photos and videos (the videos are available on this YouTube playlist) to help you along the way. You can also refer to this Instructable class on basic knitting.

That said, your project will go more quickly and smoothly if you have knitted before.

Knitting techniques you will use/learn:

  • Knit a gauge swatch
  • Use your gauge swatch to make your hat fit
  • Cast on in the round
  • Bind off in the round
  • Knit in the round
  • Purl in the round
  • Use the "Magic Loop" technique for knitting in the round
  • Increase (kfb)
  • Center Double Decrease (sl2tog, k1, p2sso)
  • Slip one with yarn in front (sl1 wyif)
  • Two-color knitting (using only one color per row)
  • Weave in ends
  • Block a hat using a balloon
  • Combined knitting (totally optional; the videos demonstrate combined knitting)

Step 1: Select Your Materials (Go Yarn Shopping!)

This is one fun step! Enjoy finding great yarn! It is the basis for your whole project, so selecting yarn you love is worth the effort. Choose colors you enjoy and yarn that you like to feel in your hands: you will be working with it for hours, so using materials you like will enhance your enjoyment of the process.

Also, check the cleaning instructions on the yarn ball band to make sure they will work for you or your intended recipient.

Materials you will need:

  • Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted (11 grams, 225 yards, 100% Superwash Merino Wool): 1 skein Tide Pool (MC), 1 skein Zippy (CC)*
  • Size 6 (4.0mm) circular knitting needles, 40” or longer; or size needed to obtain gauge**
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch markers (optional, for counting stitches during cast on)
  • Balloon (for blocking: it should be about 2 inches smaller than the desired size)
  • Ruler (for measuring gauge)

*I chose one variegated colorway and one colorway that was more semi-solid. I thought these types of yarns would show the stitch pattern to its best advantage. I will find out when I make my swatch (or swatches)!

*Also, if you buy a skein and don’t have a ball winder, ask the yarn shop to wind the yarn for you... if you forget, you will be begging a friend or housemate to help you wind it, and it will be tedious!

**Most hat patterns require 3 sets of needles (e.g.: size 4 16” circulars for ribbing, size 6 16” circulars for the main body of the hat, and size 6 double-pointed needles for the crown). For me, that seemed to be the biggest expense of hat knitting, especially at the beginning. This pattern uses only one size needle, but if you prefer to use 16” circulars and double-pointed needles the way most hat patterns are traditionally written, feel free to do so.

About Switching Yarns:

If you don’t choose to use worsted weight yarn, choose needles a size or two smaller than your ball band suggests, because tighter-knit hats are warmer!

If you go with a very different yarn, pay a lot of attention to the gauge and pattern adjustment sections for a fabulous hat!

Step 2: Knit a Gauge Swatch

If you skip the swatch & pattern adjustment steps, your hat may not fit!

This is where you get to practice the diagonal half linen stitch pattern by making a sample. Later you will wash and measure your swatch, then make changes to the pattern to be sure what you knit will fit you (or your intended recipient).

If you are new to knitting, I would suggest you make two swatches. This is because knitting is a muscle memory thing, and while you knit the first swatch you will be building your muscle memory. The second swatch will be much more even, and better for estimating the finished size of your hat.


Using MC, CO 61 sts and join to work in the round. See video
Knit one row. See video
Knit in diagonal half linen stitch pattern for at least 4 inches, ending on row 2 or 4. See video
Bind off. See video

Diagonal Half Linen Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: Using CC, k1, *sl1 wyif, k1, rep from * to end of row.
Row 2: Using MC, knit 1 row.
Row 3: Using CC, sl1 wyif, *k1, sl1 wyif, rep from * to end of row.
Row 4: Using MC, knit 1 row.


  • CO: Cast On
  • CC: Contrasting Color
  • MC: Main Color
  • K: Knit
  • Sl1 wyif: Slip 1 with yarn in front
  • Rep: Repeat

Step 3: Wash Your Gauge Swatch

Your gauge swatch’s purpose is to help you get your project size right. Washing your swatch is a big part of that sizing, because knitted swatches have been known to both grow and shrink at this point!

I spent weeks on a sweater, and when I washed it, the thing grew about 6 inches around the waist! It was a waste of a lot of money and a whole lot of time. If I'd washed my gauge swatch first, I could have made the sweater turn out the right size.

Wash your swatch the same way you plan to care for the hat.

If you plan to give it to your niece, whose mom or dad will probably throw the hat in the washer and the dryer, I hope you bought appropriate yarn! Check your ball band to be sure you won't ruin the yarn. Then, throw your swatch in the wash like they would.

Gentle washing instructions:

  1. Get two cereal bowls and fill them two-thirds full of water.
  2. Put a little wool wash or dish soap in one bowl.
  3. Drop your swatch in the soapy bowl. It will float; that is normal. After a few minutes, the swatch should fill itself with water and start to sink, then get completely wet.
  4. Once the swatch is fully wet, squeeze it gently without wringing, then rinse it in the plain water.
  5. Squeeze it gently again, and wrap it in a towel and squeeze the towel. Unroll the towel.
  6. Place the swatch on a flat surface. If it curls along the edges, you can place some pins in it to keep the swatch flat.
  7. Allow the swatch to air dry completely.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Gauge Swatch

Look at your swatch. Do you like what you see? Do you like the fabric? The colors?

Here are some adjustments you can make at this point, so you are happier with your hat:

  • To make a thicker, denser fabric, decrease your needle size.
  • To make a looser, lighter fabric, increase your needle size.
  • For a different look, swap your MC & CC colors.
  • If you hate your yarn, go get new yarn.

Gauge measurement is dependent on 3 things: You, your needles, and your yarn. Because of this, if the change you need to make involves changing your yarn and/or needles, you will need to go back to Step 2 and knit a new gauge swatch.

I made two gauge swatches in my two possible color combinations, so you can compare them and see how different your project can become when you simply swap your colors.

Swapping colors won't change your gauge measurement unless they are two completely different yarn brands. You won't need to knit a full swatch and re-measure, but it's nice to get an idea of what the fabric will look like, so you could knit a smaller swatch.

Step 5: Measure Your Gauge Swatch

Knitting pattern gauge measurements usually tell you how many stitches and rows make up a 4" square of the initial pattern fabric. Once you have a gauge swatch, you have something to compare with the pattern.

If you knit your project at exactly the same size gauge as the measurement, your project will end up the same size and shape as the pattern! If your gauge is off, however... you will have to make some adjustments for a successful project.

My hat pattern gauge is:

30 stitches and 24 rows over 4"

What is yours?

Steps to Measure your Swatch

  1. Lay swatch flat
  2. Take a ruler and count the number of stitches sideways over 4"
  3. Use your ruler to count the number of rows up & down over 4"
  4. Write down your counts

Step 6: Adjust the Pattern to Fit

Here is where you use your gauge swatch measurement to ensure a good fit.

I have made an Adobe PDF form that will compensate for differences between your gauge and the pattern's gauge.

How to Adjust the Pattern

  • Download the Adobe PDF pattern here.
  • IMPORTANT: Download and open the pattern with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Your browser's PDF reader may not let you fill out the form. If you are on an iPhone or iPad, you can install the Acrobat Reader app, click the link to the pattern, then click the "send" icon and choose "Copy to Adobe Acrobat." It works!
  • Enter your gauge measurements into the form inside the PDF.
  • Select your desired hat size in the form in the PDF.
  • Save and print your PDF. This is your adjusted pattern.

Note: If you were using a traditional pattern, you'd want to make sure your gauge matches the pattern's gauge by increasing or decreasing your needle size.

Step 7: Cast On

Using your main color, cast on the number of stitches in your PDF instructions. Leave a tail about 5-6 yards long. I am making an Adult Large hat, so I need to cast on 128 stitches.

Tip: Place a stitch marker every 30 stitches as you cast on. This will help you get an accurate count of stitches. You can remove them after knitting a row or two.

Step 8: Knit Some Ribbing

Knit in a 2x2 ribbing pattern (knit 2, purl 2) for the number of inches in your customized PDF pattern (from Step 6). For the adult large hat, I knit 2½ inches of ribbing. My technique for 2x2 ribbing is demonstrated in this video:

See Video

Step 9: Knit a Final Row of Ribbing With Increases

Once you have knit about 2" of ribbing, you need to knit add some more stitches to your needles. The amount of extra stitches you add depends on your customized PDF pattern from Step 6. I had 128 stitches, and added 9 stitches, for a total of 137 stitches. Adding these extra stitches are called increases done with the kfb (knit front and back) stitch, demonstrated in this video:

See Video

Double check the number of stitches on your needles before moving to the next step!

Step 10: Knit 1 Row in Main Color

Knit one row in the main color.

If you are using the combined knitting style in my videos, you will need to knit into the back of the purl stitches (see the above video for help on how to do that).

Step 11: Knit the Diagonal Half Linen Stitch Pattern for 5 or 6 Inches

It is time to knit several inches of the pattern stitch you used in your gauge swatch.

The number of inches you need to knit is in your customized PDF pattern. I knit 6" for an Adult Large hat.

It is important to end just after Row 1 in the diagonal half linen stitch pattern; if you need to, knit a few more rows to end on Row 1.

Diagonal Half Linen Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: Using CC, k1, *sl1 wyif, k1, rep from * to end of row.
Row 2: Using MC, knit 1 row.
Row 3: Using CC, sl1 wyif, *k1, sl1 wyif, rep from * to end of row.
Row 4: Using MC, knit 1 row.


  • CO: Cast On
  • CC: Contrasting Color
  • MC: Main Color
  • K: Knit
  • Sl1 wyif: Slip 1 with yarn in front
  • Rep: Repeat

Step 12: Knit the Crown

The crown of the hat is a lot like the body of the hat, but there will be decreases in your pattern. Follow your customized PDF pattern.

My Adult Large hat goes like this:

Knit 15, sl2tog k1 p2sso, *knit 31, sl2tog k1 p2sso, rep from * 3 times, knit to end of round.

Knit in pattern stitch for 3 rows.

Knit 14, sl2tog k1 p2sso, *knit 29, sl2tog k1 p2sso, rep from * 3 times, knit to end of round.

Knit in pattern stitch for 3 rows.

Knit 13, sl2tog k1 p2sso, *knit 27, sl2tog k1 p2sso, rep from * 3 times, knit to end of round.

Knit in pattern stitch for 1 row.

Continue in this manner (knitting one row between each decrease row), until just 9 stitches are left on your needles.

Cut a tail about 8" long and weave it through all remaining stitches with a tapestry needle, removing knitting needles. (see video)

Tighten crown by pulling tail gently but firmly.

Step 13: Weave in Ends

To weave in your ends, thread each end with a tapestry needle and sew your ends into the hat (one at a time). For ends near the ribbing, weave your ends up and down a knit column in your ribbing. For ends near the crown, weave your ends into stitches of the same color around the crown. Cut yarn close to the fabric after weaving in 1/2-1".

If you are very careful to make your ends invisible, you will have a reversible hat!

Step 14: Give Your Hat Its Final Shape

Some people say washing - or blocking - your project is "magic." It will allow the yarn to "bloom" and smooth out your hat so it looks its best.

  1. Examine your hat. Any snags can be pushed to the back of the hat with a needle or pulled through to the back with a crochet hook.
  2. Blow up your balloon. It should be somewhere between the hat size and the head size. The hat should stretch just a bit when pulled over the balloon, so the squareness of the crown will smooth out when drying.
  3. Wash the hat and roll it in a towel, just like you did with the swatch in Step 3.
  4. Gently put the wet hat over the balloon.
  5. Allow the wet hat to dry on the balloon overnight.
  6. Remove the dry hat from the balloon.

Step 15: Enjoy Your Hat!

Yay! Your hat is finished!

  • Take a cute photo of you (or your intended recipient) wearing your hat, and share it with all of your friends. They will be in awe of your sweet skills.
  • Click "I made it!" and post a photo of your hat in the comments!
  • Wear your hat around town!
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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wonderful instructable! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! It was fun to make!