Put A Bird On It!

I'm currently obsessed with "Portlandia," a new tv show on IFC that pokes fun at Portland and all us peculiar Portlanders that take ourselves so darn seriously.  One of my favorite episodes so far begins with Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen putting birds on everything and calling it art.  They paint, stitch and glue various birds on plain items and call it art.  I just couldn't resist designing a rustic, kinda Anthropologie meets Portland Tree Hugger slouchy hat and putting a rather large bird on it.  Feel free to add any kind of bird embellishment that floats your boat (or not) - 'cause that's the Portland way.


Approximately 10" high & 22" in diameter (has a little stretch)


Istex Bulky Lopi (100% Icelandic Pure New Wool); 67 yds/100 g.
      1  sk #0085 (oatmeal) Color A
      1  sk #0867 (chocolate) Color B                    


Size 13  16" Circular
Size 13  Double Points

Stitch Marker
Cable Needle
Yarn Needle
Bird Embellishments (button, scrap yarn)


12 sts/4 " st stitch

Using circular needles, CO 72 st (using color A).  Join yarn to knit in round, pm.

Rows 1 - 3:  p.

Row 4:  *"Cable 4 back " (slip the next 2 sts onto cable ndl & hold at back of work, k2 from left-hand ndl, then k the 2 sts from cable ndl)"; rep from * to * around.

Row 5:  k.

Row 6:  *"Cable 4 front" (slip the next 2 sts onto cable ndl & hold at front of work, k2 from left-hand ndl, then k the 2 sts from cable ndl)*; rep from * to * around.

Row 7:  k.

Rows 8 - 15:  Rep Rows  4-7 two more times (12 rows total).

Row 16:  Using Color B, *k1, p1* rep from * to * around.

Row 17:  Using Color A, *p1, k1* rep from * to * around.

Rows 18 - 27:  Rep Rows 16 & 17  five  more times (12 rows total).

Rows 28 - 32:  Continuing with Color A, p around.

Row 33:  *p10, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 34:  *p9, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 35:  *p8, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 36:  *p7, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 37:  *p6, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 38:  *p5, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Row 39:  *p4, p2tog* rep from * to * around.

Break yarn, leaving a 10" tail. With yarn needle, thread remaining 18 sts on yarn, tighten up to close opening & secure.

Using yarn needle, weave in all loose ends.


The bird was made from Color B, which I knitted in a stockinette st swatch approx 9" x 9" using sz 13 ndls and felted (machine washed twice in very hot water with a dash of dish washing liquid).  I had plenty to make the 3" x 6" free form bird & wing pieces with some left for another project.  I drew a rough bird outline, pinned it to the felt & cut around it. 

Using yarn scraps, I stitched the bird to the hat and used a 7/8" button to anchor the wing to the bird.  I got carried away with the detail, but I think a more primitive bird shape would also look good and doesn't necessarily require a wing, either.


  1. I so love this hat! Brilliant!! I am going to make one for meself, cuz I am in need of a warm and ultra cool one of a kind hat!
    I will free form/felt a design also.
    Thank you so much for your 'Portlandia'!
    True inspiration!!

  2. Linda,
    Thanks for your kind comments on this design. I think you will like the hat. It knits up quickly in bulky yarn and the cabled section is stretchy so it has a good fit.

    I will be anxious to see your version of the hat. Have fun & please share a pic of your finished project!