Schnapps

Schnapps
My Very Best Friend!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Adapting Hat Patterns for Circular and Straight Needles

I’m frequently asked how to adapt a pattern of mine either from circulars to flat needles or vice-versa.  When I am going to switch a pattern, I always get out a paper and pen and work it out before I pick up my needles.  I decided that it might be helpful to post something about how I do it so that everyone can adapt whichever patterns they wish.

Of course, Schnapps is always helping me too!


The main difference between the two is that when you knit flat, you have both a ‘right’ side and a ‘wrong’ side, while knitting in the round just has ‘right’ side rows.  I’m sure there is a much more elegant description, but this made it easy for me to understand.  When you are adapting a pattern, you have to change the ‘wrong’ side rows to suit the way you are knitting.  You have to switch the knit and purl stitches to accommodate the piece.

When adjusting a flat pattern to knitting in the round, it’s necessary to drop any edge stitches from the pattern, since you will not be seaming the piece at the end.

When knitting a hat flat, adjusting a circular pattern, I find it is helpful to add 2 stitches to the total number so that you can have one knit stitch on either end as a selvedge stitch.  This makes seaming the hat so much easier and neater!


For example in the Caterpillar Chemo Cap, the pattern is written for circular knitting.  I’m going to show you how to adjust it here.  Here is the original pattern:

            Cast on 62 stitches

Row 1:  K4, P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * across row
Row 2:  K1, P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 3, K3
Row 3:  K2, P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 2, K2
Row 4:  K3, P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 1, K1
Row 5:  P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 4, K4
Row 6:  Knit all stitches


Adjusted for Knitting Flat:

Cast on 64 stitches – one edge stitch for each side.

Row 1 would remain the same.  It is your right side row. You just need to add the edge stitches.
Row 1:  K1 (edge) K4, P2, *K6, P2*;
repeat from * to * across row to last stitch, K1 (edge)


Row 2, the wrong side row, would change – reversing knit and purl stitches.
Row 2:  K1 (edge) P1, K2, *P6, K2*; repeat from * to * to last 4, P3, K1 (edge)


Row 3 would remain the same, since it is also a right side row.
Row 3:  K1 (edge), K2, P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 3, K2, K1 (edge)


Row 4 would reverse stitches.
Row 4:  K1 (edge), P3, K2, *P6, K2*; repeat from * to * to last 2, P1, K1 (edge)


Row 5, again, remains the same.
Row 5:  K1 (edge), P2, *K6, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 5, K4, K1 (edge)

Row 6 would reverse stitches.
Row 6:  Purl all stitches


So, all the wrong side rows knit stitches become purl stitches and purl stitches become knit stitches.  You have added 2 stitches so the first and last stitch of every row will be a knit stitch to give you a selvedge edge.

If you are adapting a flat knit to a circular one, the idea is the same; only you drop the edge stitches.  The Basket of Love Beanie has both patterns posted, so you can look at that to see what I mean as well.  Here is another flat pattern that I have adapted to show how easily it can be done.

The Stylish Tiles Hat was posted as a flat knit this way:

Cast on 86 stitches

Row 1:           K1, * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 2:           Purl all stitches
Row 3:           K1, * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 4:           K1, * P3, K1, P6, K1, P3 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 5:           K1, * K2, P1, K8, P1, K2 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 6:           K1, * P1, K1, P10, K1, P1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 7:           K1, * P1, K12, P1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 8:           K1, * P1, K1, P10, K1, P1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 9:           K1, * K2, P1, K8, P1, K2 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 10:         K1, *P3, K1, P6, K1, P3 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 11:         K1, * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch, K1
Row 12:         Purl all stitches

To adjust it to circular knitting, do the following:

Cast on 84 stitches

Row 1 remains the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.  It’s the right side.
Row 1:           * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 2 will switch since it is a wrong side row.
Row 2:           Knit all stitches

Row 3 will stay the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.
Row 3:           * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 4 will switch.
Row 4:           * K3, P1, K6, P1, K3 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 5 will stay the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.
Row 5:           * K2, P1, K8, P1, K2 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 6 will switch.
Row 6:           * K1, P1, K10, P1, K1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 7 will stay the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.
Row 7:             * P1, K12, P1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 8 will switch.
Row 8:          * K1, P1, K10, P1, K1 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 9 will stay the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.
Row 9:           * K2, P1, K8, P1, K2 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 10 will switch.
Row 10:         *K3, P1, K6, P1, K3 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 11 will stay the same, minus the first and last knit stitch.
Row 11:         * K4, P6, K4 *; repeat from * to * to last stitch

Row 12 will switch.
Row 12:         Knit all stitches


I hope this is clear and easy to understand and that I did not confuse anyone with my rambling explanations. 

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for a nice simple explanation...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Schnapps is a beautiful model! What a handsome guy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such an easy to understand explanation. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the great explanation! Bring on the hat fun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks so much for the visual explanation. i can do this. i am bookmarking this page for future reference.

    ReplyDelete
  6. hello, i stumbled across your blog while searching for how to switch circular hat patterns to flat. i understand changing for ws rows what i am getting confused about is how to do the decrease stitches. do you do it like you the pattern calls for? i just cant picture that part i just my mind. thank you do:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you are changing from a circular pattern to a flat pattern and the decrease calls for say Row 1: K8, K2tog, Row 2: k7, k2tog you would knit Row 1 as written and change Row 2 to p7, p2tog. You still have to reverse the stitches on the wrong side rows.

    Hope that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was very helpful. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Robin very well explained. I have a question if circular needle pattern says M1L (Make one left) or M1R we have to change it for working on flat pattern or it is remain same.

    ReplyDelete