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Magic Hats on a Flat Knitting Machine

Thick, reversible, warm, and easily adaptable from hipster-slouchy to prep-school fitted... these hats are my favorites. And, a little secret: I knit them (mostly) on my knitting machine!

Below I'll share my methods for knitting these hats on my Silver Reed LK150 knitting machine.

Please note: I'm a casual machine knitter and these instructions are not as precise or meticulous as my hand-knitting patterns. Also, I add a fair amount of hand knitting to the crowns of these hats. If you have suggestions for me for my machine knitting instructions, please leave a comment!


100g fingering weight (CYCA #1) yarn

Knitting Machine

US 0 (2 mm) 24" circular knitting needle

US 5 (3.75 mm) 24" circular knitting needle

Tapestry needle


22 sts and 32 rows = 4"/10cm with the knitting machine set to a tension 3.

Step 1: With my knitting machine set to a tension 3, I cast on 100 stitches, leaving a substantial yarn tail on the edge of the work to be used later in knitting the crown. I work approximately 190 rows and remove the fabric from the machine.

Step 2: With the size US 0 (2 mm) knitting needle, slide the live stitches onto the needle (the small needle is used to "catch" the stitches). Change to the US 5 (3.75 mm) needle and work the crown as follows:

Row 1: either k2tog or p2tog (whichever row you are facing) across the row. 50 sts remain.

Rows 2-4: work Stockinette Stitch.

Row 5: either k2tog or p2tog (whichever row you are facing) across the row. 25 sts remain.

Row 6: work one row in Stockinette Stitch.

Row 7: either k2tog or p2tog (whichever row you are facing) across the row to the last stitch, work 1 stitch. 13 sts remain.

Cut the yarn, leaving an 18" tail. Thread the tail onto the tapestry needle and pull through the remaining 13 stitches to secure them.

Repeat step 2 for the other side of the hat.

Step 3: using one of the yarn tails, seam the hat together.

Notes: to avoid having as much handknitting, cast on 50 stitches onto every other needle, work 3 rows, and then introduce the skipped needles to increase to 100 stitches. When you begin working the crown (step 2), you would begin with row 5 instead of row 1. This might leave some holes. When you are ready to decrease after row 190, place every other stitch onto the neighboring stitch and push back the empty needles. Work 3 rows and then take the stitches off the machine and proceed with Step 2, row 5 as above.


Handknitting version: my Innie Outie Hat is another version of this hat, but worked in the round using Sport weight (CYCA #2) yarn.

To adapt the pattern on this page for handknitting, I would recommend casting on 100 sts provisionally to a US 5 (3.75 mm) 16"/40 cm circular needle. Join in the round and work Stockinette Stitch for 22" (56 cm). Shape the crown from Row 1 of Step 2, above. Switch to DPN and work all rounds in knit. Remove the provisional cast on and repeat the crown shaping on the other side.

If you prefer, I've also got some *gorgeous* Magic Hats in my online store, already knit and ready to ship! 😉

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