Contorta by Carolyn Kern


October 2019
DK (11 wpi) ?
35 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in Stitch Pattern
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 2 - 2.75 mm
131 - 175 yards (120 - 160 m)
1 (2, 3)
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This pattern is available for $5.50 USD buy it now

Contorta is one of the 11 modern, minimalist patterns featured in Issue 2 of Making Stories Magazine. The pattern, still available as part of the Issue 2 ebook, has recently been released as an individual pattern in my Ravelry store.

“Touring three US national parks in the summer of 2017 (Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton) we were enthralled by the vast beauty of the mountain forests. Memories of tall slender lodgepole pines stayed with me.“

Those images became the inspiration for my (pinus) Contorta hat design. I charted and swatched many pine trees before sending in my design proposal for Issue 2. It was a delight to work with Marina Skua’s Mendip 4-ply (hand-dyed, British mountain grown wool).

Mendip knit up at a gauge that allowed me to repeat the slender pines, all in a row, around the hat. Contorta is essentially a classic ribbed beanie, inspired by mountain trees, and knit in mountain wool. Enjoy.” - Carolyn

With Making Stories Magazine, we strive to feature companies and makers who focus on sustainability, transparency, fairness and equity in their work. We love telling their stories and hope to inspire and enable crafters to make conscious and informed decisions about the materials they use and the companies they support.

Issue 2 is available through our webshop in print and digital as well as in a subscription, through our Ravelry store as a digital version and selected stockists.


1 (2, 3)

Finished head circumference: 40 (45.75, 51.5) cm / 15.75 (18, 20.25)” - recommended to be worn with 10-13 cm / 4-5” of negative ease.


Marina Skua Mendip 4-ply (100% British Wool; 150 metres / 164 yards per 50 g)

120 (135, 160) metres / 131 (148, 175) yards

Sample shown is knit in colourway Bloom (Stormy). Theresa wears a size 2 with 13.25 cm / 5.25” of negative ease.


2.75 mm / US 2 circular needle with a cable length of 40 cm / 16” (or needle size to obtain gauge)

2.75 mm / US 2 double-pointed needles (or needle size to obtain gauge)

2.25 mm / US 1 circular needle with a cable length of 40 cm / 16” (or needle 1 or 2 sizes smaller than main needle)


35 sts x 40 rows = 10 x 10 cm / 4 x 4” (in the round, in charted stitch pattern, on larger needle, after blocking)


• Blocking tools (blocking mats, t-pins, blocking wires)
• Cable needle
• Darning needle
• Removable stitch markers (optional)
• Stitch markers
• Tape measure


• Photography, Hair & Make-up: Melinda Dela Costa
• Model: Theresa Sindy
• Tech Editing: Marina Skua