Sawmill Hat: In-Depth Tutorial


sawmill hat in black and white

The Sawmill hat from Cosy Knits is a really good project if you are new to colourwork. The gauge is heavy enough that you’ll have the knitting done very quickly and the stitch pattern is not too complex and has enough repetition that you’ll be able to memorise it. There are a few skills that you’ll find useful for working on this hat and I’ve pulled together some tutorials that should help you out if you’re new to colourwork or circular knitting.

Picking Colours

The first thing you need to think about when knitting a colourwork design is the colours. But interestingly ‘tone’ is far more important than the actual colours used! In the photo above I’ve taken out all the colour to create only a black and white image. This gives you information on colour tone, or how dark/light the colours are relative to each other. For colourwork to stand out you want contrast in the tone rather than the colour. In the photo you can see that the lightest colour is the background one. Then the single stripe of colour near the top is the middle tone and the first colourwork colour introduced is the darkest one.

If you are having difficulty figuring out the tones of your colours (the actual colour is very distracting!) why don’t you take a black and white picture and use this as your guide?

2-Handed Colourwork

Stranded colourwork is primarily worked in the round. This is by far the easiest way of doing it. There are many different ways of holding the 2 colours; some drop and lift the different colours, others use colourwork rings but the most common and successful methods I’ve found is 2-handed colourwork. With this method you hold one colour in each hand. Ideally you want the dominant (or pattern) colour in your left hand and the background colour in your right hand.

You can see it in action in this video:

Circular Knitting

Working a hat in the round for the first time can be a little tricky. There are many different ways to knit a small circumference and it takes a bit of trial and error to find the method that is right for you!

The 2 methods I general use are:

Magic Loop

This has got a big advantage because you never have to change the needle for the project. As a hat is a good bit bigger than a sleeve or sock though you generally need a 40″ / 100 cm long cord to make it comfortable.

Double Pointed Needles

The other method starts with a short circular needle which can be used until you begin decreasing for the crown. At this point the circular needle will become too long so you will need to move to double pointed needles.

If you want to try out Sawmill Hat you can find kits that include the book, yarn and extra goodies here.

Don’t forget to add your finished hat to the Cosy Knits finished photo thread here to be in the raffle drawing.