Mommy and Me Hats with Your Knitting Machine
Are you the mother of a little girl, or do you know someone who is? I think it’s so adorable when mothers and daughters have matching accessories, especially hats. As the mother of a little boy, I haven’t had the chance to match with my child nearly as much as I’d like, except for when I wear my Batman shirt! So, I’d like to share with you a tutorial on how to make cute, matching Mommy and Me hats on your knitting machine. You can use any color yarn that you’d like; the options are endless!
Here’s the list of items you’ll need to complete this set:
- A 48-needle knitting machine
- 1 skein of Lion Brand Mandala yarn in Liger (This is a multicolored yarn that reminds me of cotton candy!)
- A blunt, large needle (I used a plastic canvas needle, but plastic needles are usually included with your knitting machine when you purchase it)
- Faux fur pom-poms with an elastic loop
- Clear nail polish
2 buttons, in the color of your choice, measuring about 1 inch
Let’s get started…
After you’ve gathered your supplies, place your knitting machine on a stable, clean surface. The first thing you want to do is cast on your yarn – basically, think of it as “threading” your machine. The best and clearest explanation of how to cast on and off your knitting machine that I’ve found is from Kate Polizzi and can be found here. Kate gives you a clear overhead shot of her machine as she’s working and explains how to cast on.
Once you’ve cast on, make sure to turn your crank very, very slowly for the first few rows. You’ll want to be watching your needles to make sure that you don’t have any stitches come off the machine. (If this is your first time using a knitting machine, I definitely recommend doing some test knits before you take on a project. Cast on, knit several rows, and then cast off so you can get used to your machine and how it feels.) For the Mommy hat, I knit 120 rows with the yarn running through the top tension guide. For me, this created a slightly loose knit, as this yarn is smaller than the hole in the tension guide. For the Me hat, I knit just over 95 rows with the yarn running through all three of the holes in the tension guide (see picture below). This gave me a tighter knit, which was perfect for this toddler sized hat. When you’re about halfway through, attach a couple of clamps/clothespins to help weigh the yarn down. It gives you cleaner, tighter stitches and helps prevent the yarn slipping off the needles.
Once you’ve reached the last row, follow the instructions on Kate Polizzi’s video to cast off your yarn. Make sure to go slowly as you start to pick up the stitches with your needle. I used a plastic canvas metal needle in the picture below, but the plastic needles included with your machine work just as well.
Once you’ve cast off your yarn, removed your weights/clamps and taken your work off your machine, it’s time to assemble your hats. Take the yarn from the end where you just cast off, and pull until the round collapses into a tight, cinched hole, like a drawstring bag. Leave the long tail of yarn and go to the other end of your work and do the same thing. Once you’ve done that, you’ll essentially have a long tube with a string at either end.
Fold the tube in on itself, pushing one end up inside the other end, creating a double layer hat. Using your needle, take the yarn tail from the inside of the hat and thread it through the top of the hat, right next to the other yarn tail. Double knot the two pieces of yarn together, and then thread them both back through the hat to the inside of the hat. Double knot them again, and then cut the excess yarn off. Place a small dab of clear nail polish over the yarn knot to help prevent it coming undone and fraying.
Next, place the button on the very top of the hat, and attach it to the hat with your needle and yarn, making sure to go through each hole in the button at least twice. Knot the yarn on the inside of the hat, trim the excess off and, again, use the clear nail polish to lightly cover the yarn knot.
Once that has dried, take your faux fur pom-pom, and place the elastic loop around the button. I used faux fur pom-poms for two reasons: 1) They’re cuter than traditional yarn pom-poms, and 2) They’re removable so you can wash your hat. (Hand wash preferred, but you can wash the hats without the pom-poms on the gentle cycle and tumble dry low)
Repeat the process with your second hat, and now you have a matching set. If you’re using the same yarn I did, the set won’t match perfectly, since it’s a multicolored yarn. I actually like the fact that they’re not identical, as I feel it gives it a little more character. If you wanted them to be identical, your best bet would be to use a solid color yarn, or to start each hat with the same color yarn. The latter would probably require two skeins of yarn to make sure you ran through the same colors in the same order.
Wrapping It Up
Isn’t this set adorable? As the mom of a little boy, I don’t get to do cute, girly colors very often for my projects, so I was really excited about this set. The faux fur pom-poms are also a nice touch and could be any color you wanted. I went with black, since that was the color I have the most of (I purchased my pom-poms in bulk from Amazon) and it goes with anything. I bet it would look really cute with white pom-poms as well!
What did you think of this project? What knitting machine project would you like to see next? Let me know in the comments!