Nonna Rosalie's Toque by Ninnah Hart

Nonna Rosalie's Toque

May 2020
DK (11 wpi) ?
22 stitches and 35 rows = 4 inches
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
210 - 250 yards (192 - 229 m)
Small, Large
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This pattern is available for free.

I’m excited to say I have completed my very first self-designed knitting pattern!

I’m calling my pattern “Nonna Rosalie’s Toque”, in honor of my little Italian great-grandmother Rosalina Lombardi. Growing up, I heard stories of feisty “Little Grandma” and her bootlegging shenanigans in Denver during prohibition. She immigrated in November of 1908, stepping off a steamer in New York at the age of 15. The reality is that she likely had only a large scarf to cover her head and keep her warm. But I like to imagine her wearing a feminine and low profile head covering, more like the cloche that would become popular in the 1920’s.

With this picture in my head, I chose to create a double brim knit hat perfect for keeping the ears warm. The crown is covered in small bow knots, providing subtle pattern and texture like a vintage calico. Depending on the type of yarn you use, the texture is much more muted.

My pattern has two sizes to accommodate most adult head sizes and different looks — beanie vs slouchy. The brim is knit in basic stockinette stitch on smaller needles. This still provides a good bit of stretch, but it won’t stretch as much as your standard ribbing. For that reason, play close attention to your gauge!

You can use any DK weight yarn that gets gauge, but I used Nako Vals Lightweight and Premier Yarns Anti-Pilling Everyday DK. Only one color is needed, but feel free to get creative by knitting the brim in a different color than the crown!

To knit this pattern, you will need:
Size 6 US (4.0 mm) 16” circular needle (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Size 7 US (4.5mm) 16” circular needle (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Stitch marker
Tapestry Needle