Do the Twist!

The Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood

The Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood is in my top five favorite knitted hats list. I've only knit one, and I gave it to my brother before I took a photo of it! Can you believe it? Some knitters would say that no photo means no finished object, but I really did finish it.The Koolhaas is a truly unisex hat that looks great on men or women, and if you have teenagers, they'll love it.

We've kitted this project again for you, so get yours now because they sold out super-quick last time we offered the kit. We've paired the project with Bijou Basin Ranch's Bijou Bliss. This is a yak/wool blend that you'll love working with. It's soft with the great stitch definition that's essential for getting the best results from the Koolhaas stitch pattern.

What makes the Koolhaas fun to knit is the twisted-stitch lattice pattern. This stitch pattern gives a lot of bang for its buck because it's easy to work and easy to memorize, but it looks complicated and challenging.

The texture of the twisted stitches provides a lot of the wow factor in this hat. Twisting the stitches makes them really stand out from the reverse stockinette background. The lattice becomes very 3D because of the twisted stitches.

If you've never knitted twisted stitches, or if it's been awhile, here's a little more information about the technique.

Twisted-Stitch Knitting

Both Styria (north/central Austria) and Bavaria (southern Germany) claim to be the district of origin for this beautiful knitted fabric. Beyond tracing the beginnings of the twisted-stitch knitting tradition to the eighteenth century, little detailed history is available about the technique. Motifs were passed along from knitter to knitter and tangibly preserved for future generations by means of knitted samplers.

Koolhaas Hat, back view
Catherine Grace's Koolhaas
Hat and glove set

With its traveling stitches and cables, the technique is similar to Aran knitting except that each knit stitch is worked into the back of the stitch: thus the name twisted-stitch knitting. With no "plain" stitches, the knitting itself is relatively slow, but the reward is enormous as the twists tighten and raise each stitch to enhance the detail of the resulting topography.


If you are familiar with basic cable techniques, you will have no difficulty with the right and left twists because they are actually the smallest possible cables: one stitch crossing over another. You merely have to get into the habit of working into the back of each knit stitch.

—Meg Swanson, Interweave Knits, Fall 2010

Pretty easy yet impactful stitch pattern, I think. The design really does evoke the Rem Koolhaas-designed Seattle Public Library, which is what inspired Jared's Koolhaas hat design.

I lived in Seattle for about twenty years and I was fortunate to be there when the library was being built. It was a big deal, and rightly so. The finished building is fabulously beautiful and unique. It's as wonderful inside as out, too. There are really nice reading areas, amazing views, and high-tech library services. It's a great place to hang out.

But back to the hat! We did a Koolhaas knit-along in Fall 2011, and it was so much fun. Catherine Grace loved her hat so much she added a matching motif to a pair of gloves (photo at right). So pretty!

I know you'll enjoy knitting the Koolhaas as much as we did. So get your Koolhaas Kit today, start knitting, and remember to take a photo of your finished hat!


P.S. Have you knitted the Koolhaas Hat? Leave a comment below and tell us what you thought about knitting the twisted-stitch lattice pattern?

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