June 21, 2023
Greetings Makers! Hannah here with an extra special pattern this month–one created in partnership with my talented husband Mark Ollenburger, who also knits! We’re the designers, knitwear bloggers, and makers behind Bears Den Essentials (@bearsdenessentials). One of the first complicated techniques I taught Mark when he learned how to knit was fair isle. He loved it so much that he wanted to create a pattern celebrating one of our favorite pastimes, fly fishing!
Inspired by the colorful scales of one of our local river residents, the Brown Trout Beanie is a fun and slightly more advanced pattern for people who love to rock a toque year-round like we do. This beanie is the perfect accessory for men and women to wear in town or on the river, and the folded over brim will be sure to keep your head and ears nice and warm on colder days–which will be here again before we know it!
The pattern looks complicated, but the floats in the fair isle design are no greater than one stitch apart. The stranded colorwork chart provides a clear way for you to recreate the beautiful red spots surrounded by blue and light gray halos that are a hallmark of this coldwater-loving stream denizen. You’re welcome to replicate the pattern in other colors, all you need is one main color and seven contrasting colors. We’re a little biased towards these colors in particular, but we hope you’ll share your finished knits with us to see what creations you come up with (@bearsdenessentials).
This month’s pattern was also extra special to knit up because I got to test out the brand new knitting needles, available soon, from Clover. Am I allowed to say that these are the best knitting needles in the world? I hope so because they are now my favorite. I love the smooth finish of the needles and tapered tips, which make knitting up fair isle soooo much easier. For once, I didn’t get a hand cramp half-way through my extended knitting sessions. Another handy feature is that the joints from the needle-cord now swivel, so they don’t get twisted up when you’re changing yarns. Suffice to say, they’re all I’ll be knitting with going forward. When you throw this project onto your needles, make sure those needles come from Clover!
285 Yards (260 meters) | 127.5 grams | Worsted Weight (Category 4)
RECOMMENDED COLORS: Hat requires 1 skein of each.
–Clover Knitting Needle Point Protectors (recommended but not required)
The Brown Trout Beanie is designed to be slouchy and sized to fit an average adult’s head (22”-24”). Model has a 23” circumference head.
Finished Circumference: 17” (43 cm) around brim, 18” (46 cm) around body of hat
Folded Brim Length: 2.5” (6.5 cm)
Finished Hat Length 9” (23 cm) – brim folded in half
Approx. 20 sts/ 24 rounds = 4 inches (10 cm) square in fair isle pattern stitch using 4.5mm/US 7 needles
Abbreviations and Stitch Glossary:
CONSTRUCTION OVERVIEW: This Beanie is worked in the round from the bottom up, starting with a 2×2 ribbing to create a folded-over brim. Body of hat entails colorwork to create a lovely fair isle design reminiscent of our local river resident, the brown trout. Follow the pattern stitch chart to work the fair isle portion on the body of the hat. Crown is a 4-corner decrease knit in stockinette stitch. The hat is worn slightly slouchy with room at the top. You can add a pom pom, or rock it without a topper–your choice! I recommend blocking it before wearing, and then moving forward hand washing it gently with your preferred wool wash.
With size US 6 (4 mm) circular needles, cast on 88 sts. Place stitch marker, then join in the round. Be careful not to twist the yarn.
Round 1: K2, p2 around to end-of-round marker, sm.
Continue working in ribbing (k2, p2) until work measures 5” (13 cm) from CO edge.
Change to size US 7 (4.5 mm) circular needles.
Round 1: K1, m1l, *k20, m1r, k2, m1l, repeat from around to last st, m1r, k1. (96 sts)
Using MC, CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4, CC5, CC6, & CC7 yarn start working in the stranded pattern according to the chart below in stockinette stitch, repeating this pattern 4 times in each round.
You will be working 26 rounds.
Change to MC.
Knit around to end-of-round marker until piece measures ~9.5” (24cm) from CO edge.
CROWN: 4-corner Decrease
Change to size US 7 (4.5 mm) double-pointed needles when needed.
Round 1: *K2tog, k20, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (88 sts rem)
Round 2 (and all other even-numbered rounds): Knit around to end-of-round marker, sm.
Round 3: *K2tog, k18, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (80 sts rem)
Round 5: *K2tog, k16, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (72 sts rem)
Round 7: *K2tog, k14, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (64 sts rem)
Round 9: *K2tog, k12, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (56 sts rem)
Round 11: *K2tog, k10, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (48 sts rem)
Round 13: *K2tog, k8, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (40 sts rem)
Round 15: *K2tog, k6, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (32 sts rem)
Round 16: *K2tog, k4, ssk, sm, repeat from * around to end-of-round marker, sm. (24 sts rem)
Cut yarn leaving roughly 12” (30 cm), thread yarn through remaining sts, pull tightly, thread through rem sts, and secure on WS.
STRANDED PATTERN CHART: Read the chart from bottom upwards, each round from right to left. See legend for reference.
Block and weave in ends.
Pom poms are completely optional, but I love them so much. We made this pom pom using the Large Pom Pom Maker by Clover and two strands of impeccable yarn: one in putty and one in gold. For a tutorial on how to create a pom pom and tie it onto your hat securely, check out this video.
I hope you had as much fun making this beanie as much as I did designing it for you! Don’t forget to follow Bears Den Essentials on social media and to share your finished projects tagging @BearsDenEssentials and with the hashtags #BearsdenEssentials and #BearsDenInTheWild!
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