DIY Cable Knit Hat + A Few Novice Tips on Knitting in the Round

If you look closely you'll see a whole myriad of mistakes I've made. Nevermind that. I actually firmly hold that I like the mistakes—they're personal and I think that's nice.

I saw this pattern (not the project shown) on Pinterest and I loved it. Trouble is, I have zero experience knitting in the Portuguese style. I'm a little rusty on knitting overall. On top of that I'm really not great at knitting in the round.

That didn't stop me from buying two pairs of circular needles, a whole heap of yarn, and breakfast and lunch with my old knitting friend. Whatever qualities I lack, I do indeed, persist. 

So, I got started right away on my new two-color hat and realized the yarn was to big and the pattern was a little too complicated for my experience and I'm not great at the knitting in the round thing. And, oh yeah, I'd never tried knitting the Portuguese way before—all while trying to hold a conversation and drink one coffee and one tea, because I'm painfully indecisive. I figured I could tackle one of these knitting related issues but definitely not all four. So having my heart set on a hat, I decided to first learn the technique with a pattern I thought I could manage. I chose this one. I didn't follow it exactly, you can probably tell, but I do love it and have been wearing it everywhere.


So since it's not my pattern to share, I'll share what I did different from the pattern and what new skills I learned. The original is like $3, you'll manage.

Here's the pattern I used:

Here's what I learned:

  • Knitting in the round isn't so bad. The first row is the worst part for me anyways. Make sure you knit the whole thing in a circle, this is most important on the first round.
  • Again on the first round, make sure none of your stitches are twisted because you wont be able to fix it later. Just keep all the stitches facing the same way. I keep all of mine facing inward. As in towards the inside of the circle.
  • In the beginning what I do is split the stitches about half way through and pull the slack of the plastic part through to meet up the two different ends. This can help you see the whole thing as you're just getting started. Plus you'll need to do this anyways to make sure both needles meet.
  • The Portuguese-style is very similar, if not the same as the process of flicking, which turns out to be great for lefties, good news for me. The Portuguese way purls the whole way through keeping the back, or the wrong side, of the project facing the knitter the whole time. It's not so bad once you're used to it, plus you don't have to drop the needles each time.
  • The yarn I used was Big Twist Yarns Chunky in the color Gingerbread.
  • To learn to cable-knit I watched this video. This one is a six stitch cable. It's not as difficult as it looks. I actually was using incense sticks to slide the yarn off to. I'd recommend getting a proper cabling needle.
  • I used the same circular needle in size six for the whole project. The original pattern calls for two different sizes. I didn't do that, but you can see in the original pattern how the size changes and creates a bulkier effect around the band.