Knitting Directions for a Men's Cossack-Style Hat

Written by kate kotler
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Knitting Directions for a Men's Cossack-Style Hat
Make a knit hat to keep a loved one's ears warm this winter. (snowy hat image by Karin Lau from

A hand-knit hat to keep a loved one's head and ears warm in the cold winter months is an extremely thoughtful gift. Knitting a Cossack-style hat in a super-chunky cotton yarn is a project for those familiar with knitting in the round. A Cossack-style hat is a warm brimless hat of lambskin or fur. The cap has been interpreted by many artisans, including trendy maker Kangol. Skills needed to complete a Cossack hat in a style similar to Kangol's includes knitting in the round, purling, knitting in stockinet stitch, casting on, binding off and closing a seam with a darning needle.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 skein of super-chunky cotton yarn
  • No. 11 US round knitting needles
  • No. 7 US darning needle

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  1. 1

    Cast on 80 stitches. Knit once around and close the stitches. Purl 80 around for rows two through 19.

  2. 2

    Knit six, knit two together for row 20. Repeat this to the end of the round and there will be 70 stitches left on the needles. Starting in round 21, knit in stockinet stitch. It is important to note that knitting the stockinet stitch on circular needles is different from knitting the same stitch on flat needles. You do not need to purl alternate rounds to create the stitch; simply knit and you'll have created the stockinet stitch. Knit in stockinet through round 30.

  3. 3

    Knit five, knit two together for round 31. Repeat to the end of the round and there will be 60 stitches left on the needles. In rounds 32 through 39, continue to knit in stockinet. In round 40, purl 60 stitches to create a little lip which will flatten out the top of the hat once the seam is sewn closed.

  4. 4

    After round 40, bind off in knit, leaving a yarn tail approximately 6 inches long. Flip the cap inside out. Thread the yarn tail onto the darning needle and sew up the seam at the top of the cap using a whip stitch. Knot the end and weave any remaining yarn back into the seam. Flip the cap right side out and it is ready to wear.

Tips and warnings

  • You can adjust this cap for size by subtracting in 10s from the initial cast on. 80 cast on stitches creates a large-extra large hat. 70 cast on stitches creates a medium hat. 60 cast on stitches creates a small or child's large hat.
  • If you would like to make a more traditional Cossack hat, you can knit this same pattern in double stranded fun fur yarn.

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