How to Knit a Long Stocking Cap

    by eHow Contributor

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    A long stocking cap adds a whimsical touch to a winter ensemble for kids and adults alike. They are soft, easy to make and make a unique gift for anyone on your gift list. Stocking caps is warm -- the end can double as a scarf if you make it long enough -- though about 30 inches is long enough to, quite literally, make your point. Stocking caps are generally worked from the headband to the point, figure a head circumference range of 19 to 22 inches when casting on.

    Things You'll Need

    • 1 skein main color soft cotton or wool yarn
    • 1 skein contrast color soft cotton or wool yarn
    • 9-inch circular needles size 7 (4.5 mm) or size to meet gauge
    • Scissors
    • Large-eyed needle

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    Knitting the Hat

    Using the main color, cast on 88 stitches onto the circular needles. Join in round, twist stitches, and knit in a pattern of knit two, purl two for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2inches. This makes the cuff of your cap.

    Use the scissors to cut a 4-inch tail off the main color, tie the contrast color on close to the needles. Knit a row, always twist stitches and continue to knit four rows with the contrast color; this completes a stripe of color.

    Knit four sets of four rows, alternating the color for each stripe. You should now have the cuff in the main color, a four-row stripe, one in the contrast color, stripe two in the main color, stripe three in the contrast color and stripe four in the main color.

    Switch back to the contrast color and start stripe five, this row starts shaping the top of the cap. Knit the stripe decreasing as follows: row one, knit two together, knit 11, repeat around; row two, knit; row three, knit two together, knit 10, repeat around; row four, knit.

    Starting with stripe six, knit each even row in main color, knit normally with four rows in each stripe. Knit odd rows in contrast color, decreasing one knit stitch each time only in row two of the stripe. Stripe seven, knit two together, knit nine. Stripe nine, knit two together, knit eight. Continue until you reach the stripe that knits two together, knit four. Once you get to stripes seven or eight, you may want to switch from knitting in the round to turning the work and then knitting. This allows for when stitches become too tight to fit 9-inch round needles.

    Knit with no decreases for four stripes.

    Knit the last stripe as knit two together, knit four until you have 10 to 12 stitches left on the needle.

    Cut a tail approximately 18 inches long with the scissors, thread in the large-eyed needle. Sew through the final stitches from the back so if you draw it up, it gathers tightly. Set it aside.

    Making the Tassel and Braid

    Make the tassel for the tip of the cap by winding both colors of yarn around four straight fingers of your hand held together until the yarn is about 1/2 inch thick on one side of your fingers for a typical 1-inch tassel.

    Cut the contrast color even with the bottom of your hand; allow the main color to be cut 12 inches below your hand. Thread this through the large eyed needle, spread your fingers apart enough to allow the needle to wind the thread around the yarn between your ring finger and your last finger. This forms the top of the tassel.

    Wind it several times around and pull tightly, thread the needle through the smaller loop and carefully remove your hand. Knot this on top and leave the yarn attached. Set this aside.

    Make the braid by cutting six to 10 strands of the main color approximately 15 inches in length, fold in half over a knitting needle, braid strands to the end, and tie the end up with loose yarn from the braid.

    Putting It All Together

    Attach the tassel to the braid by taking the loose yarn still in the needle of the tassel and sew it through the braid loop made by the knitting needle.

    Sew it back into the tassel, pull tightly to secure them together. Sew through tassel so the yarn dangles down with the rest of the tassel.

    Turn the hat inside out. Re-thread the needle onto loose yarn of the hat end. Place the braid end inside the hat so it hangs from the end on the right side, and sew it securely to end with needle. Continue to sew down the slit made by knitting last few rows as straight knit. Knot and cut loose ends. Turn hat right side out. Trim any long threads

    • If you twist the yarn's first and last stitches on the first row of each color change, it will make the color bands appear even.
    • Your gauge should be 4.5 stitches per 1 inch.