swain hat

Welcome to September, folks! I genuinely can’t believe that this Summer is drawing to a close already. It’s been such a happy one, filled with swimming, riding bikes, playing outside at playgrounds/beaches/trails/fields, slurping popsicles, and all of the countless other things that make summertime a golden time.

With knitting season just around the corner, however, I thought I’d start things off right with a new pattern release! This is the Swain Hat.


(Mega kudos to my sister for modeling; she just wears hats so well.)

The Swain Hat, named for one of the ski resorts that I used to visit when I was young, is a classic beanie designed to showcase intricate medallion cables and a deep ribbed brim. In other words: the perfect après-ski style, especially when it comes to that pom-pom!



The pattern includes two sizes for children/teens and adults. If you’re using a yarn with animal fiber (i.e., a fiber with elasticity/memory) in it, like the 100% wool yarn shown here, then I recommend choosing the size that is a bit smaller than your actual head circumference so that you get a nice, smooth, close fit. The adult size is shown here with about 3” of negative ease.

And, like most knitted hats these days, this unisex hat is worked in one piece in the round from the brim upward. While the cables might look complicated, I promise that if you can knit a basic cable cross, you can knit these cables! (I love things that are easy to knit but look much more complex!) You can make the brim shorter for a single brim that doesn’t fold up, or you can make the brim even longer for an extra cozy layer on your ears.


The cables are separated from one another by nice, wide panels of reverse stockinette stitch for two reasons: (1) these cables are striking enough that they deserved some “negative” space around them to really stand out; and (2) the yarn that I used creates a dynamic, beautiful fabric on its own that deserved to be showcased.

I used flyWHEEL yarn from Harrisville Designs, a beautifully tweedy and warm sportweight wool yarn in a wide range of colors.  I’ve worked with this yarn before for my October Glory shawl. I’m a HUGE fan of this yarn; the crisp, clear texture of this cable and rib hat just sings in flyWHEEL and a portion of the proceeds of this yarn go to restoring the hydropower project in Harrisville, New Hampshire. (But please know that other wool-based sportweight yarns, in a solid or mostly-solid color, should also work nicely if you’re in the mood to dive into your yarn stash!)


The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted my favorite tubular cast-on for the brim, but that’s an optional detail. The pattern includes detailed instructions for how to create that professional edge, but your regular long tail cast-on will also work! The pattern also includes both written and charted instructions for the cable panels.

In honor of the upcoming holiday weekend, the Swain Hat will be 25% off through midnight Eastern time on Monday, September 7th. The discount will be applied in your basket; no need to use a coupon code! You can find the pattern here on Ravelry or right here at DCD.

I hope that wherever you are, and however you are approaching the coming season (schooling/working/traveling/living through a pandemic), that you and your loved ones are well and safe. Knitting and creating in general can bring us a momentary sense of normalcy when the world feels anything but.

Happy knitting!

xo Danielle

6 thoughts on “swain hat”

  1. Kudos to you, too, on another captivating piece of knitted loveliness…SO pretty and warm and it makes it possible to look forward to the coming colder months…smile….!!

  2. Danielle,   That creation will work perfectly down in Swain!   You need a snow back ground in the picture.  Sent many a school bus load of “how to ski” learners down to Swain, for many years while at Gates Chili.   Good Luck, Stay Safe,   Peter

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