Inspired by a vintage baby hat (c.1915) and designed while watching the second series of Downton Abbey, this knitsofacto free knitting pattern was inevitably named Downton. But when I first posted the PDF on Ravelry I had no idea how popular my tribute to the world famous television programme Downton Abbey would become ... that would be up to 1000 downloads a day popular while the last series was airing in the USA! Which is humbling, and overall happy-making. I just love that so many people are keeping warm wearing a hat I designed. You can read more about the design below, and in the original Downton Hat blog post. And on Ravelry, if you're a Ravelry member. And if you scroll to the foot of this page you'll find a Downton Hat video tutorial. Please read the rest of this page for FAQs/further information before seeking pattern support. For pattern support please post a query in the Downton Hat discussion thread on the knitsofacto Ravelry group discussion board (you will need to complete a simple sign up process if you don't already have a Ravelry account). You can download the free pattern in English here and in French here.
Worked in cosy double moss stitch the hat has an invisible rib band inside the reverse stocking stitch brim which will hold it snugly on the head. And the sizing, from baby to adult, makes it perfect winter wear for mother and child. The crown is knitted flat and then the work is transferred to a circular needle and continued in the round. If you are purl averse, as I know many are, it's quite possible to reverse direction and knit the brim. Staci of VeryPink has now published a Downton Hat video tutorial that, among other things, illustrates just that. The video is embedded below, beneath the answers to FAQs which will be found at the bottom of this page.
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A necessary note re. copyright. All knitsofacto knitting patterns are my copyright and I would ask you to respect that. At time of writing all of the patterns I have published as knitsofacto are available free of charge - just click on the buttons in the sidebar or the links on the Tutorials and Original Patterns page to download them - but I'd be a very happy bunny if you'd consider making a charitable donation of a pound/dollar or two to Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders) via p/hop if you're happy with your Downton hat or Runrig mitts etc.. This is in keeping with p/hop's own 'honesty box' system. I've not charged you for my patterns so that children in need the world over may benefit in this way so I'd really rather you didn't seek to profit personally from my altruism, but knitting a Downton or a Demne etc. to sell to benefit a charity you support is of course absolutely fine. The patterns are clearly marked as being for your personal use only and it saddens me to see items knitted from my patterns on sale without any mention of the possibility of charitable giving.
It's worth noting here, given the often heated debates about issues of copyright that take place on Ravelry and elsewhere, that although copyright applies to the written pattern only, here in the UK designers also have internationally enforceable design rights that extend to items knitted from those patterms. I will not hesitate to defend those rights.
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Downton Hat FAQ answers:
If you knit to gauge you will require 100g to 150g of the recommended yarn to complete your hat. If substituting yarn you may need more or less than is given in the pattern. Please always knit a gauge swatch if substituting yarn (in fact, please always knit a gauge swatch, period!).
The instruction to knit or purl zero stitches (K0 and P0) indicates that for the size you are knitting there are no stitches to work at that point, a larger or smaller size may be different.
The number of stitches on the needle for each size - (baby to adult) 96/104/112/120/128/136 - translates to a hat circumference of 16/17.3/18.6/20/21.3/22.6 inches if knitted to gauge.
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A number of yarn shops and knitting teachers have run Downton Hat classes in the past, if you are organising such a class and would like me to add a link to it here please do get in touch.