Obama-rama Hat

I improvised the pattern for this hat based on the instructions in Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  To get started, you knit a swatch and check your gauge.  I know, this isn’t something that we all love, but if you’re making it up as you go, swatching works.  I got 5 stitches per inch and wanted it to fit a 21-inch head.  You multiply those numbers to get the number of stitches to cast on (105).


I wanted to do a k2 p2 rib to start, so rounded up to the next even number and cast on 106 stitches.  I knit for a couple of inches and the hat was coming out HUGE–fabric is really stretchy.   So I ripped it out and cast on less stitches for a snugger fit. This is why you, too, should knit a gauge swatch with your yarn and needles!

Obama-rama Hat

(as improvised by Peaceful Knitter–this is just how I remember doing my hat and is not meant to be perfect.)

  • Yarn: GGH Tara, approx 110 yards in blue (MC), 10 yards in white (CC) and cotton scraps in red, white and blue

  • Needles: US size 7 16-inch circular needles

CO 100 stitches

K2 P2 for 1.5 inches, or until desired length of ribbing is achieved.

Knit in stockinette stitch for 2 inches.

Join CC and knit stripe in SS for 1 inch.

Join MC and knit in SS for 2 inches, or until hat is 1/2-inch less that desired size.

Decrease row 1:  K2tog, k1 around

Decrease row 2:  K

Rep these 2 rows until 8 stitches remain.  Break yarn and thread onto a tapestry needle.  Thread the needle through the live stitches and pull through.  Put needle through to wrong side and weave in the end to secure.

Duplicate stitch motif
Duplicate stitch motif

I used this chart from Just Jenean to duplicate stitch the Obama logo onto the front of the hat. Try to center the logo so that you have a row of MC above and below.

This was my first time trying out this technique.  I had expected it to be somewhat faster and less fiddly than knitting the motif into the hat.  It probably could be for someone who was more familiar with the ways of the duplicate stitch, but for me…well, let’s just say I was putting the finishing touches on it in bed on Monday night.  it’s tricky getting the tension of the stitches just right so that the yarn beneath doesn’t show through.  The upside is that there is no puckering or pulling in of stitches around the design.

Have you tried duplicate stitch?  If so, are there any tips or tricks you’d like to share?


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