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How-Tuesday: Make a Stella Pixie Hat

Are you a knitter with a baby in your life? Need a sweet little project to keep your hands busy during the summer months? Or if you're one of our Southern Hemisphere friends, you're in luck! Download the complete project instructions here, or follow along below, courtesy of Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren.

In the 1940s and 1950s pointy "pixie" hats were all the rage for babies. For this 1944 version, a knitted rectangle is folded in half and grafted together, then a strap is added along the bottom to secure the hat firmly on baby's head. I selected a soft, springy wool sock yarn for this project. I often choose sock yarn for baby clothes because it is durable, washable, and soft, and because it knits up in the finer gauges that are so common in vintage patterns.

3-12 (12-24) months
Shown in size 3-12 months.

Finished Measurements
Approximately 13 (13 3/4)" [33 (35) cm] as base of neck, buttoned
8 3/4 (9 1/2)" [22 (24) cm] to highest point, at back of Hat
Note: Choose the appropriate size based on the height of the hat. You can adjust the fit of the neckband if necessary.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock
Medium weight (100% superwash Merino wool; 380 yards [347 meters] / 155 grams): 1 hank Coral

One pair straight needles size US 3 (3.25 mm)
Spare needle size US 3 (3.25 mm) or smaller, for Kitchener Stitch
Change needle size if necessary to obtain correct gauge.

One 11/16" (15 mm) buttons

36 sts and 36 rows= 4" (10 cm) in 2x2 Rib

This hat is very easy to size up or down from the sizes given. Simply add or subtract sts in a multiple of 4 and work the crosswise ridges as instructed until you have only 2 sts in ribbing at the center of the Hat. Then complete the Hat as instructed. When sizing, keep in mind that for every 4 sts you add or subtract, you will also add or subtract 1/3" (8 mm) to the height of the Hat, in order to complete the crosswise ridges.

Stitch Patterns
2x2 Rib (multiple of 4 sts + 2; 1-row repeat)
Row 1 (RS): K2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: Knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts as they face you.
Repeat Row 2 for 2x2 Rib.

1x1 Rib (multiple of 2 sts; 1-row repeat)
All rows: *K1, p1; repeat from * to end.

CO 98 (106) sts. Begin 2x2 Rib.
Work even for 4 rows.

Shape Hat
Row 1 (RS): K6, work in 2x2 Rib to last 6 sts, knit to end.
Row 2: Knit the knot sts and purl the purl sts as they face you.
Row 3: Repeat Row 1.
Row 4: K8, work to last 8 sts, knit to end.
Row 5: Repeat Row 2.
Row 6: Repeat Row 4.
Row 7: K10, work to last 10 sts, knit to end.
Row 8: Repeat Row 2.
Row 9: Repeat Row 7.
Row 10: K12, work to last 12 sts, knit to end.
Row 11: Repeat Row 2.
Row 12: Repeat Row 10.
Row 13: K14, work to last 14 sts, knit to end.
Row 14: Repeat Row 2.
Row 15: Repeat Row 13.
Row 16: K16, work to last 16 sts, knit to end.
Row 17: Repeat Row 2.
Row 18: Repeat Row 16.

Note: You are creating "crosswise ridges" of three rows of St st, alternating with 3 rows of Reverse St st, at the beginning and end of every row, with the 2x2 Rib continuing in the center.

Rows 19-64 (70): Continue until 2 sts remain in the 2x2 Rib in the center of the hat, increasing the number of knit sts worked at the beginning and end of every third row by 2, decreasing the number of 2x2 Rib sts worked in the center of the hat by 2 on each side, and working all intervening rows by knitting the knit sts and purling the purl sts. Break yarn.

Transfer first 49 (53) sts to spare needle, with point facing towards center of work. Using Kitchener Stitch (see Special Techniques, page 158), graft sts together, beginning at center of work.

CO 10sts. Begin 1x1 Rib. Work even until piece measures 12 (12 3/4)" [30.5 (32.5) cm] from the beginning, or to 3 3/4" (9.5 cm) less than desired length.

Make Buttonhole
Row 1 (RS): Work 4 sts, k1-f/b, p1, pass second st on right-handed needle over last st, k1-f/b, pass third st on right-handed needle over last 2 sts, work to end.
Row 2: Work 3 sts, p2tog, k2, p1, k1, p2tog, work to end.
*Work even for 7 rows. Repeat buttonhole rows. Repeat from * once. Work even until piece measures 15 3/4 (16 1/2)" [40 (42) cm] from the beginning, ending with a WS row. BO all sts in pattern.

Block pieces lightly. Sew side edge of neckband to CO edge of hat, beginning with CO edge of neckband flush with right edge of Hat. Sew button to neckband, so that when fastened, neckband fits comfortably around neck.

Thanks to Kristen Rengren and the folks at Stewart Tabori & Chang for sharing this project with us.

Read more knitting-related posts. More crafty project downloads can be found in our How-Tuesday
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