Tuesday, October 3, 2017


About a year ago, we downloaded the soundtrack to Hamilton: An American Musical and our whole family was instantly hooked. We don’t live close enough to any of the live shows to go see it — and probably couldn’t afford tickets if we did — but most of the story is told through the songs so it gives our imaginations a chance to run wild as we sing along.

While on Ravelry recently, I searched for Hamilton-related knitting projects and was happy to find the free HamilKnit hat pattern by Emily Straw. The design has words and phrases from the musical knit around the hat in two type sizes, and a star as in the musical’s logo at the crown.

The stranded colorwork pattern calls for two colors of fingering yarn. I dug through my stash and pulled out some Cascade Yarns 220® Fingering in colorway 7824 Orange and Plymouth Yarn Zino in colorway 8. The Zino has long color changes from purple to gray to orange-brown.

Side View of HamilKnit Knit Hat Inspired by Hamilton Musical

The charted pattern was a breeze to follow, and I was able to knit it up very quickly. The hat is knit in the round, with a tidy colorwork brim that is folded under and knit into place. I only noticed one minor error — in one section, the dashes between the words don’t align horizontally — and that was easy enough to correct as I knit. I love the color combination in this hat, although it’s a little challenging to read the words against the gradient.

It can be difficult for me to determine gauge on stranded colorwork projects because I tend to either knit a little tight or a little loose, and that can change throughout the project. This pattern calls for 27 stitches per four inches (10 cm), and I came close at 27 1/2 stitches. If anything, that should have made the hat slightly narrower, but somehow the circumference is about a half inch larger than the pattern says it should be.

Top View of HamilKnit Knit Hat Inspired by Hamilton Musical

We haven’t worked out yet whose hat this will be, but I have a feeling that eventually I’ll be making enough of these for everyone in our immediate family. As is, the hat fits me pretty well but is too large for our children. If I stick with using wool yarns for future versions, I can felt the hats to make them fit smaller heads as necessary.

Meanwhile, I’ll be singing along with this relevant line from one of the first songs on the soundtrack: “Every action’s an act of creation!”


  1. Nicely done!! I have studiously avoided colorwork thus far in my knitting journey. Kudos to you for being brave enough to tackle it!

    1. Thank you! Colorwork isn't difficult because it's usually just stockinette stitch, but getting the tension just right can be a challenge for me.


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