I had a small amount of some leftover Noro that wasn't enough to make an item by itself, but if I added a bit of a matching solid colored yarn it would make a baby hat. I didn't know how much area the Noro would cover. If I started knitting at the cuff, it would make a narrow stripe of varied color, leaving most of the hat a boring solid color. I wanted to make the most of the special yarn, so I decided to knit the hat upside-down. I started at the top of the crown with a few stitches and increased as I worked my way down to the brim. It worked very well! Here are the details so that you can try it too.
Top-Down Baby Hat
You will need a small bit of leftover Noro Kureyon (or other worsted-weight self-striping yarn) between 6g and 10g, and some matching solid worsted weight yarn. My completed sample hats all weigh 28g and use Patons Classic Merino Wool as the solid.
You will also need a set of 4 or 5 size 7US/4.5mm double-pointed needles, one needle 2 or 3 sizes larger for binding off, a tapestry needle to weave in the ends, a tape measure and a pair of scissors or other cutting device. If you don't have size 7 needles, use size 6 or 8. For this project, precise gauge isn't important.
Using Noro, cast on 8 stitches, leaving a 4-inch/10cm tail.
Row 1: Increase by knitting in the front and the back (KFB) of every stitch; 16 stitches. Arrange stitches on 3 needles in the following manner: 6 stitches on the first needle, 4 stitches on the second needle, 6 stitches on the 3rd needle. Join, without twisting the work, and begin knitting in the round. Edit: Or use the Emily Ocker Circular Cast-On, here.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *Knit 1 stitch, KFB in next stitch* repeat between *'s across row; 24 stitches.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: *Knit 2 stitches, KFB in next stitch* across row; 32 stitches.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: *Knit 3 stitches, KFB in next stitch* across row; 40 stitches.
Rnd 8: Knit.
Rnd 9: *Knit 4 stitches, KFB in next stitch* across row; 48 stitches.
Rnd 10: Knit.
Rnd 11: *Knit 5 stitches, KFB in next stitch* across row; 56 stitches.
Rnd 10: Knit.
Rnd 11: *Knit 6 stitches, KFB in next stitch* across row; 64 stitches.
Rnd 12: Mark this row with a bit of yarn tied around the first stitch. Knit across the row.
At this point your hat should look something like the photo at right. Yes, there's a hole in the middle, but that's alright, you'll close that up when the hat's all done.
Continue knitting every row on 64 stitches, changing to your solid color when you run out of Noro, until the work measures 3.5 inches/9cm in length from the marked row.
Start working K1P1 ribbing for the cuff (or K2P2, or garter stitch) and continue until cuff is 1.5 inches/4cm long. Bind off with larger needle and cut yarn leaving a 4-inch/10cm tail. Remove yarn marker. Using tapestry needle, weave in the tail from the cast-off edge.
Edit: If you have used the Emily Ocker Cast-On, disregard the next section and simply weave in the yarn tail from the crown of the hat.
Thread the tail at the crown of the hat onto the tapestry needle. Run the needle through the 8 stitches on the cast-on edge (see photo at left) and pull through gently, and run the needle through stitches a second time.
Pull up yarn, gathering up the cast-on edge until it closes completely. Weave in the end.
If you want, you can add earflaps to it. See my pattern here to find out how.
Now all you have left to do is to make a pair of simple 24-stitch socks to match. Some patterns can be found here and here. These patterns make the same basic sock, the only difference is the stitch used for the leg and the heel flap.