Fair Isle Turtles Hat by Maria Sckolnick

Fair Isle Turtles Hat

Fingering (14 wpi) ?
US 2 - 2.75 mm
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

This Fall I wanted to make hats for all of my nieces and my one nephew. I came up with a very pretty design for the girls but felt the little boy might want something different. Turtles and fair isle seemed like something no-one age 4 would pass up. So I made a grid and filled it with pretty colors of turtles surrounded by patterns. Then I knit the hat top down making it up as I went along, using my pattern grid as a guide. It turned out to be really cute and I wanted to share the chart, so any experienced knitter could use it as a guide. So once it was finished, I cleaned up my grid chart and added in the increases/decreases after the fact. It should be quite accurate.

I decided to use an alpaca fingering yarn - lightweight but warm and not bulky at all. Knit Picks has great colors.

My hat turned out to work well for a 51cm head circumference. To make a larger size you will have to use a thicker yarn and larger needles or adjust the pattern repeats to allow more stitches. You will have to make a swatch with the stranded pattern for your gauge, as stranded knitting tends to be tighter and less stretchy than one color knit. Or you do what I did - start at the top and increase until perfect. If parts of your stranded work are tighter than others, just go up a needle size or two for those sections.

Most sections have 12 or 24 stitch repeats but some are different. That means you won’t be able to just add in an extra repeat to size up - you would have to adjust those 8-stitch repeats.

This is just the pattern chart - no detailed instruction. I cast on 12 stitches and knit from the top down. It is a little fiddely to start that way, but it turned out fine. To finish the hat I sized down a needle and knit in the background color for 2 rows. Then I purled one row and knit another 10 rows. I flipped this section to the inside and stitched it on with invisible stitches.

If you want to try this and get stuck at any point, feel free to send me a message. I would love to help. This kind of project is intuitive for me and so I don’t know what kinds of questions might come up. But I am sure I can help you figure it out and make your own Turtles.