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  1. Gwenda
    February 24, 2022 @ 11:22 am

    Hi there! I love your patterns (especially that you offer FREE ones) and have recently purchased your “Beloved” hat pattern – can’t wait to get started! I was reviewing the instructions above for this Barley hat pattern and wonder if there might be a mistake in the images for the decreases rounds in the garter sections of the hat. Shouldn’t these be PURL 2 together? I’m thinking that doing a K2tog in the middle of the garter sections will create a different column of stitches. Just curious….. ?

    • Alexa Ludeman
      February 24, 2022 @ 11:56 am

      Hi Gwenda – Garter stitch in the round is created by knitting 1 round, then purling the next. So for the first part of the decreases you are working the k2tog on the knit rounds, and purling (without decreasing) on the next round. Then, when the decreases get a little faster at the very top you are going to work k2tog on the knit rounds, and p2tog in the purl rounds. Does that make sense?

  2. Alyssa
    July 22, 2021 @ 2:55 pm

    I am a total beginner here and so far have found all of these resources helpful! I am wondering for the measurement of the body of the hat (Repeat these two rounds until your hat measures 4 (5, 6, 7, 8, 8.5) inches from cast-on for a snug beanie style hat.) – is that measurement from the bottom of the ribbing (the first cast-on), or is it from the top of the ribbing when I started the body of the hat?

    • Alexa Ludeman
      July 23, 2021 @ 10:48 am

      Hi Alyssa – You want to measure that from the cast on, at the bottom of the ribbing

  3. cookiesandtomatoes
    November 7, 2020 @ 7:48 pm


    My local shop and they helped me find a pair of needles and a ball of wool for this project.

    This might be a silly question, but I see that the instructions say to cast 84 stitches to start (as per the instructions for a small adult size). The result is 22.5cm / 8.5 inches ( This seems way too small. I’m wondering if it’s because of the thickness of my yarn? This is the label ( and the yarn (

    Should I just keep adding stitches until I reach the circumference of my head (52cm/ 20.5 inches)?

    • Emily Wessel
      November 9, 2020 @ 2:11 am

      Hi – I’d try casting on much more loosely, so that the cast-on will stretch much further. Is your circular needle 16″ long? I can’t tell from the photo, but if your circular needle is too long, you won’t be able to stretch the 84 cast-on stitches all the way around, and will need to cast on to a set of double-pointed needles (or a shorter circular) instead.

  4. Judy Barnes
    April 17, 2020 @ 2:24 pm

    Just gathering supplies. Should the size 8 double-point needles also be 16″ long or can they be shorter? Thanks!

    • alexaludeman
      April 20, 2020 @ 2:05 pm

      Hi Judy – They should definitely be shorter! 6-8″ is my recommendation for a new knitter (but you can go shorter if you like)

  5. Mylène
    March 25, 2020 @ 4:27 pm

    So great! Thanks!

    About sizing, if my head is 22,5 inches, which size should I make with Merino and Silk Wool?

    Take care!

    • alexaludeman
      March 25, 2020 @ 8:29 pm

      Hi Mylene – Our patterns come with a ‘to fit head’ measurement. Hats usually have a couple of inches of negative ease so they fit nice and snug. You could knit the medium or the large, depending on how snug you’d like your hat.

  6. Ruth Grishkat
    February 21, 2020 @ 7:13 am

    I am a beginner and I am making this hat. What does set up row mean?

    • alexaludeman
      February 21, 2020 @ 12:26 pm

      Hi Ruth – that means it’s a row that sets up further rows, so usually it includes placing markers, or establishing a stitch pattern

  7. Peggy
    November 3, 2019 @ 9:15 am

    Is there no market placed in the pearl section of the set up decrease round?

    • alexaludeman
      November 5, 2019 @ 12:34 pm

      Yep, there is a marker right in the middle of the garter section

  8. Barbara Clark
    October 14, 2019 @ 11:34 am

    The pattern I have for barley light says sock yarn cast on 96(102,114 etc.). Your pattern says cast on 66 (72, 78 etc) I take it this is just the difference between the child and adult pattern? Also you do have a decrease in the middle of the garter stitch section? Also (and this is the last one–my 114 is not divisible by 17 (in the barley child pattern). Just follow direction and it will all come out in the end??? Thank you., Barbara

    • alexaludeman
      October 15, 2019 @ 10:37 am

      Hi Barbara – While the techniques in this tutorial apply to both the Barley hat and the Barley light, the numbers are from the Barley hat pattern (the worsted weight version). So you will need to use the Barley light pattern for the numbers. There is indeed a decrease in the middle of the garter section.

  9. John Miller
    July 27, 2019 @ 9:55 am

    I just started to learn to knit two weeks ago. I thought I was doing ok until I reached the time to decrease my rounds BUT, instead of having 66 stitches to deal with, I found my last round before the decrease is 75! (I counted 3 times). Don’t know how I got there but, somehow, I need to get to a number divisible by 6 to move forward. Suggestions? Thanks.

    • Emily Wessel
      August 1, 2019 @ 11:31 pm

      It’s pretty common to gain (or lose) stitches mysteriously when you begin. If you work three k2togs in the next row, that will decrease your stitch count down to 72, which is divisible by 6 :) Best luck!

  10. Kari
    July 24, 2019 @ 10:12 pm

    I want to make this hat out of bamboo and cotton, for a friend going thru chemo, but want to use dk yarn (20 st over 4″) instead of worsted. Is it possible to adjust the pattern to do this? if so, how do I go about doing that? I look forward to your thoughts.

    • Emily Wessel
      July 26, 2019 @ 5:11 am

      Hi Kari – I’d suggest knitting one size bigger than you would if you were using worsted / aran weight yarn. It should come out about the right size! Best luck, Emily

  11. Penny
    March 14, 2019 @ 2:57 pm

    Hello, I’m having a meltdown regarding dpns vs circulars (40”) and magic loop. I’m knitting toddler size barley hat and have decreased to 48 stitches. Must I start magic loop technique now?
    Or can I continue just with the long circular? I’m lost for some reason!

    • alexaludeman
      March 14, 2019 @ 6:25 pm

      Hmm, I’m a bit lost too. You can use the magic loop technique for the whole hat, using a long circular and pulling the cord out.

  12. Luise
    March 13, 2019 @ 10:38 pm

    Do I have to increase at the beginning of round marker too? Or only at the 5 other markers?

    • alexaludeman
      March 14, 2019 @ 7:08 pm

      Hi – all 6 markers.

  13. Rose
    October 1, 2018 @ 5:11 pm

    Loved the hat and how it looks.

  14. pegah
    February 17, 2018 @ 5:20 pm

    Hi. Thank you for this nice hat pattern.

    I am a beginner knitter and have a question about the body part of the hat. In the instruction it says that the smaller portion section is garter, but why it is one-row purl and one-row knit? Isn’t it going to make a stockinette pattern? And in the larger portion, it is all knit stitches which results in garter pattern. Would you please explain?
    Thank you.

    • alexaludeman
      February 19, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

      Hi – If you try it I think you will see. When working back and forth garter stitch is created by knitting each row, but in the round the right side of the work is always facing so it works the opposite way. Garter is created by knitting 1 round and purling 1 round, stockinette is created by knitting every round.

      • pegah
        February 20, 2018 @ 9:53 am

        Very interesting. Thank you :)

  15. Daphne
    December 2, 2017 @ 9:25 am

    My garter stich section is always shorter than the stockinette. Help!!

    • alexaludeman
      December 3, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

      Hi Daphne – no problem at all, garter stitch is always going to ‘scrunch up’ more than stockinette so that is to be expected. Measure your hat from the stockinette side and when you block your finished hat the garter section will block to the same length as the stockinette.

      • Jenn
        April 18, 2020 @ 8:05 pm

        I came to the comments just to see if anyone asked about this! I thought I was making a newbie mistake. Thanks!

  16. Julie Boyer
    October 10, 2017 @ 8:06 am

    Thinking of using this pattern for a messy bun hat. What do you think? Would just need to modify the top of the hat! Thanks for sharing all this great knowledge on your site!!

  17. Our Favourites in Falkland | This is Knit
    August 25, 2017 @ 4:25 am

    […] the pattern comes in sizes from baby all the way up to adult large, and that TinCanKnits have wonderful tutorials on their site to walk you through the pattern if this is your first adventure in hat […]

  18. Our Favourites in Falkland - This is Knit
    May 12, 2017 @ 2:18 pm

    […] the pattern comes in sizes from baby all the way up to adult large, and that TinCanKnits have wonderful tutorials on their site to walk you through the pattern if this is your first adventure in hat […]

  19. Knit: hat take2 | Wanderings in the Labyrinth
    April 27, 2017 @ 5:35 pm

    […] Let’s knit a hat […]

  20. queenviiixxxciccccc
    February 20, 2017 @ 10:16 pm

    Thanks forKNIT===r sharing this type of

  21. Let’s Knit an Antler Toque | Tin Can Knits
    February 9, 2017 @ 12:43 pm

    […] and hat knitting in general. If you are looking for something a little simpler, try our free Barley hat pattern and tutorial from The Simple […]

  22. mallow blossom
    January 3, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    I love this pattern, could you tell what brand are your double pointed needles? The seem so nice and smooth. Thanks!

    • alexaludeman
      January 3, 2017 @ 5:09 pm

      I do love them! They are Lantern Moon needles

  23. Andrea
    October 30, 2016 @ 12:52 pm

    What does Purl to stitches before marker, P2tog twice then knit two stitches before marker K2 tog to end mean? Very confusing

    • alexaludeman
      October 31, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

      I think you might be missing some brackets here. Your work will have 6 markers in it, you will purl to 2 sts before the marker, p2tog, then purl to 2 sts before the next marker, p2tog, then knit to 2 sts before the next marker, k2tog etc.

  24. Esther Shchory
    October 7, 2016 @ 12:57 pm

    I have noticed any other comments so maybe I am the only one who made this mistake.
    I am not a beginning knitter so did not feel the need to follow the link explaining how to cast on.
    I cast on 66 sts and then joined the round with a knit 2 tog and was left with 65 stitches which naturally didn’t work for the ribbing.
    I couldn’t figure out where I had gone wrong until I began desperately clicking on all the links and finally arrived at the cast on tutorial where it became clear I should actually cast on 67 sts.

    The comment “remember that you already knit the first stitch (the knit 2 together to join for working in the round)’ is a little mysterious and appears to refer to some instruction not included on this page or in the pattern but there is no indication what it refers to.
    Maybe the the addition of the phrase ‘see cast on instructions” with a link might be clearer.

    • Cherie Richardson
      December 1, 2016 @ 3:31 am

      I didn’t look at this page until I came to the decrease section. And, since I don’t use a k2tog when I join in the round, my cast on stitches were the correct number ;).

  25. LD
    September 10, 2016 @ 5:49 pm

    I love the Simple collection (made my first sweater using flax, thank you!!)

    Question on modifying this pattern: if a person needed to make it a bit larger (to fit head size 24”) would it be better to cast on extra stitches, or use a slightly larger needle size than recommended in your gauge, or just cast on using the larger needles and… hope that it’s good enough?

    Thanks, and keep being awesome!

    • alexaludeman
      September 13, 2016 @ 10:25 am

      The largest size is made to fit a 24″ head, not to worry! (but to answer your question, more stitches is usually the answer)

  26. Viki Caldwell
    August 6, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

    I can’t find a hat pattern with 94 stitches, so I’m not sure how to do the crown.
    The 94 stitches are divisible by 8. Can you tell how to decrease evenly? Thanks!

    • alexaludeman
      August 6, 2016 @ 9:28 pm

      Hi Viki – 94 is not divisible by 8, I would probably decrease 4 sts in the next round, then you can follow the decrease instructions for the Barley size Adult M

  27. Nancy Ellen Hennekens Helgerson
    August 1, 2016 @ 3:10 pm

    I usually buy quality yarn, but am using some red heart for my first hat. Is that terrible????

    • alexaludeman
      August 2, 2016 @ 9:31 am

      Hi Nancy – there is nothing terrible about acrylic yarn, it just isn’t forgiving the way natural fibers are. It doesn’t really block and it generally doesn’t feel as nice as wool to work with or to wear, that’s all.

  28. Maya
    June 23, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

    Hi , love your patterns and am finally attempting the barley hat in a beautiful alpaca yarn. My question is I accidentally lost the plot with the knit every second row and have now just reverse stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch. How will this affect my hat? I have done so much now and it looks good so I dont want to pull it out. so was there a reason to use garter stitch -i was thinking it may look clearer?

    • alexaludeman
      June 25, 2016 @ 11:08 pm

      Hi Maya – not to worry, your hat will be just perfect! There are more than a few hats on Ravelry with that ‘design detail’

  29. Tere
    January 13, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    Knitting the Barley. So adorable. Just love all your knits. Your patterns are great and so clear. Just need a little clarification on the decrease. K2TOG’s are done on the knit row, wrong side of hat. Right side stays in the established pattern. Thank you, Tere

    • alexaludeman
      January 13, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

      Hi Tere – The hat is knit in the round, so there are no wrong side rows…

  30. Máiread
    December 16, 2015 @ 2:56 am

    how to get the free pattern?

  31. Diane
    November 17, 2015 @ 7:57 pm

    Can I use the magic loop instead of switching to dpns?

    • alexaludeman
      November 18, 2015 @ 10:01 am

      Hi Diane – yep!

  32. Roberta Coleman
    November 6, 2015 @ 7:46 pm

    Thank you. The instructions and tutorials are excellent. I feel confident using any of your patterns.

  33. Roberta Coleman
    October 30, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

    Should I change to DPN’s at the beginning of the decrease, when all the needles have an even amount of stitches?

    • alexaludeman
      November 5, 2015 @ 9:35 am

      I usually switch as late as possible, when the sts are quite spread apart on the circular.

  34. Podcast créatif #2 - Vive le tricot en rond ! - Happy Inspirations
    September 15, 2015 @ 1:21 am

    […] attention, mais je pense consacrer également des billets spéciaux – le bonnet « Barley » , the Simple Collection de Tin Can Knits, en laine Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. Le […]

  35. Michele
    August 19, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

    Hi Alexa,
    First thank you so much for sharing this gift with us all, such a blessing. Now on to the question, must I use double pointed needles to make this hat? I don’t know why however, this has been the reason I shy away from knitting hats whenever I see DPN I decide I just won’t make the pattern and thus as a new knitter this keeps me from making anything other than a square, dishcloth, scarf etc. Please advise and again thank you,
    < michele ps i'm on ravelry.

  36. Kayla
    March 24, 2015 @ 2:21 pm

    Do you end on a knit or pearl row before starting the decrease?

    • alexaludeman
      March 24, 2015 @ 2:33 pm

      You are working a round 1 before the decreases, so a purl row

  37. Zee
    February 22, 2015 @ 6:08 pm

    Is it absolutely necessary to change the needle size after the ribbing?

    • alexaludeman
      February 25, 2015 @ 9:39 pm

      Yep, you want to have a nice tight ribbing and the rest of the hat is on larger needles. If you keep going on the small needles it will come out too small.

  38. Loyda Irizarry
    January 21, 2015 @ 11:07 am

    Hi, I’m new to your site and fairly new to knitting. I am confused about your pattern. 1. It looks like you knit one section and purl the other. 2. Don’t I begin the stockinette section at the beginning of the starter row (where tail is)Where my starter marker is?TY Loyda

    • Emily Wessel
      January 22, 2015 @ 9:25 am

      Hello Loyda – you work the garter stitch section (purling every second round) over the first 22 (24, 26, 28, 30, 32) stitches of the round. So at the very start of the round, after your beginning-of-round marker, to the second marker. You do this following the pattern, repeating these 2 rounds:

      Round 1: purl to marker, knit to end of round
      Round 2: knit

      Enjoy the knit!

  39. Rose
    January 19, 2015 @ 12:57 pm

    I don’t understand p2tog twice? Is that mean last 4 stitches?

    • alexaludeman
      January 19, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

      You are repeating the whole instructions twice, not just the p2tog. Purl to 2 sts before marker, p2tog, purl to 2 sts before marker, p2tog

  40. Pikachu Hat, and Pink WIP Pokemon Hat | Pika Plushies
    October 17, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    […] will improvise the details on the mystery hat, as well. If you’re new to circular knitting, the Tin Can Knits blog offers a step by step tutorial with pictures. You can also try making your hat from a basic […]

  41. Pikachu Hat, and a WIP Hat | Pika Plushies
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  42. Let’s Knit a Sweater | Tin Can Knits
    September 7, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

    […] Ribbing: (k1, p1) around Repeat ribbing until piece measures 1 (1.5) inches from cast on for Child (Adult) sizes. Change to larger needles. [an illustration of this technique shown here] […]

  43. Lauren Romero
    July 21, 2014 @ 7:36 pm

    From what portion of the hat do you measure for length before beginning the decreases? Garter stitch makes a more horizontally compressed fabric, and mine currently measures an inch shorter from the cast on than the stockinette portion of the hat.

    • alexaludeman
      July 22, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

      Solid question, I would measure on the stockinette side.

  44. claireeadie
    July 4, 2014 @ 12:36 am

    I am starting a circular baby shawl on circular needles, working from the middle out. How do you cast on only 9 stitches and knit these few stitches on circular needles?

  45. Jerry Dathe
    February 4, 2014 @ 3:50 am

    Thanks so much for this series of patterns. Barley was my first hat and my second knitting project ever. It taught me knitting in the round and DPNs. One question though…in Finishing, Step 3, you say to move the tail to the inside of the hat and secure it. Can you explain “secure it,” please? I just moved it to the inside and wove in the end. Thanks!

    • alexaludeman
      February 11, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

      Weaving in the end is exactly what we mean. Sometimes I make a little knot first.

  46. Dana
    January 24, 2014 @ 1:43 pm

    Hi, I have never used dpns before and was wondering if it matters what length they are? I have seen 7 in and 5 in, and not sure which to use? Or if I should be looking for a different length? Thanks!

    • alexaludeman
      February 11, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

      I like the shorties personally (5 inches) but the longer ones are a little easier to learn on. It’s really just preference!

  47. Amy McGowan
    November 26, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    I need assistance! Why are there two different gauges listed for Barley? I see one uses garter and one stockenette. Am I supposed to find gauge with larger needle and then use needles two sizes smaller to start? I knit tight and almost always find gauge when I go up 2 sizes. I can get perfect gauge with US10 needles in garter for this pattern. Am I supposed to find gauge with smaller needles in I am sure I am making this too complicated. Thank you for any guidance.

    • alexaludeman
      December 2, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

      Hi Amy

      One gauge is given in stockinette and one is given in garter. Because the 2 different stitches are different (garter is a ‘squishier’ fabric while stockinette is more smooth) the same needles and yarn will result in a different gauge. SO, if you are knitting a gauge swatch you will want to know what your gauge is on larger needles in either stockinette or garter (while the ribbing is done on smaller needles fo for a nice tight brim). Check out our tutorial on gauge here if you still need a little more information.

  48. Marylin
    September 15, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    Ok sweet. Thanks! I don’t think I had my stitches lined up with my markers, so it went all crazy. Lol
    I guess I missed the part where you do the round 1 one more time.

    • Marylin
      September 15, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

      Also, the dpns freak me out. I’m paranoid the stitches are going to fall out. And it’s kinda confusing, to me. I’m self taught (well, teaching).

  49. Marylin
    September 14, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

    The set up round of decreasing: does this happen AFTER a round 2 from the previous section? Thus making the set up round two rows of knitting in the purl section?
    Also, there are 22 purl stitches is this section, as indicated in the baby hat, when decreasing in the set up row, that leaves two extra purl stitches where the decreasing “seam” would be. Is that supposed to be like that? Thanks so much.

    • alexaludeman
      September 14, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

      Hi Marylin

      The instructions are to knit round 1 once more, so the garter panel continues as set. For the decrease section the 22 stitch garter panel remains. The instructions are to knit 9 then K2tog. The k2tog takes up 2 sts so 9+2 is 11 and 11×2 is 22.