A double-thick, super-easy, super-fast, super-economical, super-warm, super-versatile, super-stretchy (so one size fits a wide range of kids) very cute hat. This is an easy pattern to use for a hat for the Project. It took me only a few hours to make, and I used yarn leftovers.
Here's the pattern:
Use 2 strands of yarn held together throughout, (or one strand of bulky or super-bulky, I suppose). I used one strand Plymouth Encore worsted in red and one strand Patons Country Garden DK superwash wool in apricot. You can get creative with stripes, whatever. You can make it slightly larger by using two strands of worsted weight, and even go up to a size 15 US needle.
The gauge I got was about 3 stitches to the inch. Row gauge doesn't really matter.
US 13 (9 mm) 16-inch circular needle
Cast on 40 stitches. Join, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Knit all rounds, resulting in a tube shape, 'til the tube reaches 17-18 inches long. Cut yarn, leaving a piece about 12 inches long. Thread the yarn through the stitches left on the needle and pull to gather. It forms a sweet little pinwheel on the top. See?
Secure. Cut yarn after weaving it in a bit to make sure it's secure. Take another piece of yarn and thread it through the cast-on edge on the other end of the tube. Gather snugly. Stuff this end up through the tube and attach this gathered bit to the top gathered bit. Tack with a piece of yarn. You're done. You can adorn it if you wish, but I don't think I will.
This hat can be worn with the brim rolled up or down, and it's very stretchy, yet snug and warm, so the age range it will fit is quite large. My guess is it will fit ages 2-8, or maybe even up to 10. It can actually fit on my head, but I have admitted to being a bit of a pinhead. It fits me so it wouldn't keep me that warm in super-cold weather, as it doesn't cover my ears very well. But it will fit many a kid really well.
This is how the size, with brim rolled down, compares to an adult-size store-bought ski cap:
For my next trick, I'm going to do exactly the same thing, but end it at about 13 inches, and seam the edges together to result in a matching double-thick neckwarmer.