Monday, February 3, 2014

Free Pattern: Handspun Gotland Hat

Photo courtesy of the American Gotland Sheep Society.
I was thrilled to come across some Grey Gotland roving at the SOAR marketplace last fall. Gotland is very similar to the breed of sheep used to make Elven cloaks for the Lord of the Rings, Stansborough Greys. Gotland sheep originated in Sweden (and are still raised there today); they were brought to New Zealand in the 1970s, where they developed their own distinctive traits, in part due to the breeding practices by Barry and Cheryl Eldridge. The Stansboroughs came to be recognized as a breed of sheep in their own right in 2005.

While I have yet to come across bona fide Stansborough fleece to spin, I was quite happy with my experience with Gotland. It's very dense and silky - almost heavy-feeling, yet it was fairly easy to spin. It has a halo similar to mohair, and though I've read that commercially-prepared Gotland top has a matte, slightly coarse quality, I didn't find this to be true of the fiber I spun (if you're wondering, I purchased it from Spinning Straw into Gold).
Grey Gotland Roving from Spinning Straw into Gold.
The resulting yarn is substantial and slightly glossy with a bit of a halo. Once it was spun up, I knew it wanted to become a nice, warm hat to ward off the next polar vortex!

Slouchy Grey Gotland Hat 
by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

  • Approx. 150 yards (6oz.) two-ply Grey Gotland Handspun Yarn (8 WPI); an Aran yarn would be an appropriate substitute if you are looking to use commercially made yarn
  • US #8 (5mm) circular and DPN needles
  • US #6 (4mm) circular needle
  • Darning needle
  • Stitch marker


15 sts and  24 rows = 4" in pattern stitch.

Finished Measurements: 

Approx. 19.5" circumference; however, it is very easy to customize this hat as you go since it is knit from the top down.

Stitch Pattern:
Rnds 1-4: K all sts.
Rnd 5: P all sts.
Rnds 6-7: K all sts.
Rnd 8: P all sts.


With US #8 DPNs, cast on 6 sts. Divide evently among 3 needles and join for rnd. Place marker.

Rnd 1: *Kf&b all sts.
Rnd 2: *Kf&b, k1, rep from * to end.
Rnd 3: *Kf&b, k2, rep from * to end.
Rnd 4: *Kf&b, k3, rep from * to end.
Rnd 5: *Pf&b, p4, rep from * to end.
Rnd 6: *Kf&b, k5, rep from * to end.
Rnd 7: *Kf&b, k6, rep from * to end.
Rnd 8: *Pf&b, p7, rep from * to end.
Rnd 9: *Kf&b, k8. rep from * to end.
Rnd 10: *Kf&b, k9, rep from * to end.
Rnd 11: *Kf&b, k10, rep from * to end.

NOTE: It is very easy to customize the size of this hat by working more or less increase rounds than listed above.

Switch to US#8 circular needles (if using) and work in stitch pattern without increasing til hat measures 7.5" or desired length.

Switch to US#6 circular needles and work *k1, p1 rib for 1.5 inches.

Cut a tail of yarn that is three times the circumference of the knitting to be bound off. Use a sewn bind  off or your favorite stretchy bind off method.

Weave in ends and block. Enjoy!

Click here to queue on Ravelry.

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