I’m finally getting around to sharing the hat that I knit for Little Bear this past Christmas. He looooves Star Wars, so I knew he’d love a stormtrooper hat. I liked Sheila Stromberg’s Star Wars hat pattern, but I didn’t want stormtrooper helmets all the way around, so I just followed the stormtrooper section of their charts. (All of this is detailed in the pattern below.)
I was stymied at first by the idea of knitting intarsia in the round. I was knitting a T.Rex hat for Munchkin as well (I’ll share that in another post), and I knit Munchkin’s hat straight and then double stitched the T.Rex on at the end. It was so easy to do, but the dinosaur was a little denser and stiffer than I wanted. I didn’t want to double stitch the stormtrooper helmet onto Little Bear’s hat, since that would take up so much more of the front of the hat.
So I did what we all do—I googled it. I found this video from Mason Dixon Knitting showing how to knit intarsia in the round (technically it’s a way of knitting it straight but connecting the ends of the rows together so that it stays round). It worked beautifully. The seam should be nearly invisible, but in my case it’s not, because I accidentally knit two together when I was supposed to slip slip knit, and by the time I realized it, I wasn’t about to go back and take it all out. I figured the blackness of the yarn would hide it, and Little Bear hasn’t noticed. If you do it right, though—unlike me—you shouldn’t be able to see where you joined the ends of the rows together.
I’ve included written instructions for how to knit the intarsia section in the pattern, as well as instructions for if you feel more comfortable double stitching it on. Either way works. And the sizes go from Toddler to Large Adult, so you can make a stormtrooper hat for fans of any age.
Pattern notes: This hat may be knit using intarsia or double stitching. Both instructions are written here.
Needle: US size 8 (5mm), 16” circular; US size 8 (5mm), set of 4 double-pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Yarns used: Loops and Threads Impeccable (worsted (4); 100% acrylic; 277 yards/127.5 grams), 1 skein of black and 1 skein of white.
Yardage: 130 yards.
Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows = 1 inch (2.5 cm).
Other Notions: 3 stitch markers, yarn needle for finishing.
Final Measurements: This pattern is written in sizes Toddler (Child, Adult, Large Adult). Hat circumferences are 18 (20, 22, 24) inches or 45.7 (50.8, 55.9, 61) cm.
k = knit
p = purl
pm = place marker
yo = yarn over
sm = slip marker
sl = slip stitch purlwise
ssk = slip slip knit
p2tog = purl two together
Chart: I used just the stormtrooper helmet section of this Star Wars hat pattern from Sheila Stromberg. The chart section I used was 15 stitches wide by 20 rows high (stitches 2 through 16 and rows 2 through 21 on the chart).
Using circular needles, cast on 72 (80, 88, 96) stitches. Join into a round, being careful not to twist your stitches. Place marker at the beginning of the round.
First 6 (6, 6, 9) rounds: k1, p1, repeat to end.
Instructions for intarsia:
Next 2 (2, 5, 5) rounds: knit.
Next round: k29 (33, 37, 41), pm, k15, pm, k28 (32, 36, 40).
Begin knitting from chart as follows:
Round 1: yo, k to marker, sm, knit first row of chart (reading it right to left), sm, k to last stitch, sl1, remove marker, place slipped stitch back onto left needle, ssk (one of the sts in the ssk is the yo from the beginning of the round). Replace marker, turn your work.
Round 2: yo, p to marker, sm, purl second row of chart (reading it left to right), sm, p to last stitch, sl1, remove marker, place slipped stitch back onto left needle, p2tog (one of the sts in the p2tog is the yo from the beginning of the round). Replace marker, turn your work.
Repeat these two rounds, continuing to read consecutive rows of the chart, always reading right to left on RS rounds and left to right on WS rounds.
When chart is completed, return to knitting in the round without turning your work. (You may remove the markers at either end of the chart pattern.)
Next 1 (1, 3, 6) rounds: knit.
Continue to decreases.
Instructions for double stitching:
Next 24 (24, 29, 32) rounds: knit.
Continue to decreases. Once hat is complete, use markers or scrap yarn to mark out the borders of the chart: 29 (33, 37, 41) stitches from the beginning of the round, and 3 (3, 6, 6) rows from the ribbed border. Follow the chart to double stitch stormtrooper helmet onto hat. Sew ends under.
Round 1: k7 (8, 9, 10), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 2: knit.
Round 3: k6 (7, 8, 9), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 4: knit.
Round 5: k5 (6, 7, 8), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 6: knit.
Round 7 (all sizes EXCEPT Toddler): k–(5, 6, 7), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 8 (all sizes EXCEPT Toddler): knit.
Round 9 (Large Adult ONLY): k6, k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 10 (Large Adult ONLY): knit.
Round 11 (all sizes): k4 (4, 5, 5), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 12: k3 (3, 4, 4), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 13: k2 (2, 3, 3), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 14: k1 (1, 2, 2), k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 15 (Toddler and Child sizes ONLY): k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 16 (Adult and Large Adult sizes ONLY): k1, k2tog, repeat to end.
Round 17 (Adult and Large Adult sizes ONLY): k2tog, repeat to end.
Cut yarn about 6 inches from last stitch, thread through remaining stitches. Sew all ends under. Block.