Classic World War II Watch Cap (Archived)
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From designer: Derived from Beanie No. 212
Bucilla Yarn Booklet, Volume 318, dated 1940.
This hat pattern was probably knit at least a million times during World War II, and remains one of the most enduring hat designs. Watch a movie or television program which takes place during the winter months, and somewhere in each outdoor frame will be someone wearing this hat.
What makes Beanie No. 212 distinct is the unique pattern created on the crown of the hat as the crown is shaped. When the hat is knit with classic ribbing all the way to the crown, the ribbing creates a large star-shaped pattern. When the hat is knit with stockinette stitch all the way to the crown, three lines are created which converge at the top of the hat.
What keeps Beanie No. 212 so popular is the variety of patterns which can be included in the hat due to its 6-stitch panel construction. Within those 6-stitch panels, a wide variety of choices can be made to create a unique hat each time this pattern is knit.
For beginners, Beanie No. 212 requires no special skills and can be knit on straight needles.
The hat can be knit for small (medium, large) adult heads by using 96 (104, 112) stitches.