The knook is a new tool I picked up at the craft store (available at michaels, joann, hobby lobby) and I wanted a nice easy hat pattern that is customizable. well I couldn't find a free one so HERE YA GO.
The knook is a crochet hook with a long cord attached on the end. to make the fabric you do a crochet motion (actually like tunisan or afghan stitch) but the fabric is definitely knit. for more help on the actual use there are a ton of helpful videos. this project only uses the basic knit stitch.
here is the knook website : http://www.leisurearts.com/products/knook-beginner-set-for-medium-weight-yarn.html
periodically measure your strip until you reach the desired length. remember this is stretchy so you should comfortably stretch it to your head circumference. This particular hat for my son is 17 inches unstretched and 21 stitches comfortably stretched.
(hats generally run 21 inches small child, 22 inches big kid/teen, 23 inches adult. but I can stick my mom sized head in this one too it is that stretchy.)
now you have your round band (check size now if you can just to be sure it is comfy and not too tight! a little loose cuts down on hat-hair.
go around your piece and pick up one stitch per crochet row, then start knooking around like crazy. keep working circular, not back and forth. again if you are new to the knook, check out the youtube videos.
so you can use any decreasing method you want, but to get this cool spiral you gotta do it really evenly. use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your round.
first decrease round: decrease evenly to get a multiple of six stitches on your knook
knook one round even.
all other decrease rounds: decrease 6 stitches evenly around each round.
(example: for 72 stitches --
1st round: knit 10, knit 2 together around.
2nd round: knit 9, knit 2 together around.
3: knit 8, knit 2 together around
and so on until you have just 12 or 6 stitches left on the knook)
cut yarn and thread end with a yarn needle then go through the remaining stitches a couple times with that yarn needle and pull it closed. weave in ends.