Try this helmet-shaped hat for a fun, quick knit. The textured surface adds interest, while the ear flaps and loose fit are so practical—no cold ears or hat head after wearing Vespa (plus pattern includes instructions for an optional ponytail hole). The stitch pattern, a variation of the Hornet’s Nest pattern from Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns, is engaging without being overly difficult.
I named this hat “Vespa” both because it is Italian for hornet, and because it reminds me of a funky, compact helmet you might wear while scooting your other Vespa around the city (tie the cords under your chin if you’re afraid the hat will blow away!).
Earflaps are worked flat, then joined with the back neck; once front stitches are cast on, hat is worked in the round. I-cords with pods (optional) are worked separately, then sewn to the bottom of the earflaps.
Yarn: Worsted weight, 200 yds/183 m. Shown in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Minerva (50% merino, 50% silk; approx 530 yd/240 g): color “Plums,” 1 skein (hat actually takes only 1/3 skein).
Needles: Size 8 (4 mm): 16” or 20” circular and set of double-pointed (dp) needles. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m); tapestry needle; fiberfill or scrap yarn for stuffing pods.
Gauge: 19 sts and 25 rows = 4” (10 cm) in stockinette st; 2 reps of Vespa patt st = approx 3 1/4” (stitch count changes drastically from row to row).