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Buffalo Bills Throwback Helmet Hat

January 15, 2008

From this:

manageable lenghts of yarn?

To this:

intarsia hat.

To this:

throwback helmet hat

Wait, I should be smiling:

throwback helmet hat

Phew. That was a challenging project. Thankfully, I love the end product, but it was a load of work to get there.

Buffalo Bills Throwback Helmet Hat
Pattern: my own design, based on my Dad’s request and these pictures.
Neeldes: US 7
Yarn: Cascade 220 in navy and white, Plymouth Galway in red.
Start: Dec. 2007.
Finish: Jan. 2008.

How I Did It

  • The hat was knit back and forth in rows using the intarsia technique.
  • When the length reached 6″, I began the crown shaping by decreasing four stitches on each row on either side of the stripes (in the white section, leaving the stripes intact). The reason I did it this way was because I had just knit Whitney’s 70’s Hat from The Purl Bee. It used the same type of shaping and I thought it would give me the round helmet-y shape I was going for, while preserving the stripe placement.
  • throwback helmet hat

  • When there were 15 stitches left in the white section on each side, I began working back and forth on the front stripes only, joining it to the white section by *working to one stitch before the end of the row then ssk (or p2tog, if you’re on the purl side). Turn. Sl 1.* Repeat until all the white stitches have been consumed. Got it?
  • Then, I grafted the front stripes to the back stripes, and sewed the back seam using mattress stitch.
  • It was too big, so I had to felt it. Luckily I had the good sense to thread a strand of cotton through the back loops of the cast-on edge to facilitate the picking up of stitches for the hem, which I did post-felting. Unfortunately I did not have the good sense of grabbing the camera for pictures of this part of the process. I felted by hand, and that was something I had never done before.
  • Here’s something fantastic I learned: To match the right leaning decrease of a k2tog on the purl side, you use p2tog. Well okay, I did know that, but I had no idea what the left leaning decrease would be on the purl side. So, thanks to my handy Vogue Knitting book, I learned that you do it thusly: s1 knitwise, s1 knitwise, put those stitches back on the left needle and p2tog through the back loop. Booya.

throwback helmet hat

Now we just wait to see if my Dad likes it!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2008 4:44 pm

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I can’t think of anything else to say. It looks amazing.

  2. January 15, 2008 5:14 pm

    that is amazing and i bow to your awesomeness!

  3. January 15, 2008 5:25 pm

    Looks great! Your dad will love it.

  4. January 15, 2008 5:50 pm

    Your dad will love it, I’m sure. Great job!

  5. katie permalink
    January 15, 2008 9:06 pm

    He will LOVE it! You rock, Mandy. Totally original.

  6. January 15, 2008 11:26 pm

    It does look great. I love how the white didn’t felt as much. Superbowl worthy, I’d say.

  7. crimsonpurl permalink
    January 15, 2008 11:44 pm

    Wow! You did a great job!! I so want to do intrasia one day!

  8. January 16, 2008 1:46 am


  9. January 16, 2008 9:51 am

    Aren’t you just the most clever person? What a great gift, so excellently executed. I can’t say I’d want one myself, but I’m sure your dad is delighted.

  10. January 16, 2008 11:08 am

    You rock!

  11. January 16, 2008 3:08 pm

    WOW. How fantastic to have an idea of something and be able to just DO IT, to your great satisfaction. You’re awesome.

  12. January 16, 2008 4:41 pm

    Only knitters will know how much work that little piece of genius was. That is great stuff!

  13. January 16, 2008 6:55 pm

    Amazing! You rock 🙂 What a fabulous gift

  14. carpoolknitter permalink
    January 19, 2008 1:45 am

    He looks proud and happy in it on your flickr page. Nice work!

  15. January 26, 2008 11:06 pm

    Wow. That’s awesome!! So cool. What a great daughter you are.

  16. November 30, 2008 10:00 pm


  17. December 9, 2008 1:52 pm

    WOW! My hubby has been telling me he wants a helmet hat for skiing! He wants a Y on both sides and the stripe down the middle…but what is intrasia? I’m unsure where to start…

  18. dave s permalink
    December 27, 2009 5:43 pm

    YOUR HAT IS AWESOME…..I’d love to buy 2 from you if you are up to the work!


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