Fringe Hatalong No. 4: Laurus by Dianna Walla

Fringe Hatalong No. 4: Laurus by Dianna Walla

Colorwork! I wanted to include some colorwork knitting in this little Fringe Hatalong Series and got in touch with my friend Dianna Walla, who has a knack for beautiful stranded designs. We agreed it would be fun to do a variation on her adorable Nordic Knitting Conference Mitts, and that we would keep the colorwork to a minimum — just enough to adorn the hat, while keeping it accessible for those of you who might be tackling colorwork for the first time. The result is this charming beanie, which we’ve named the Laurus hat, as it looks a little like a wreath around the crown of your head. I hope you love it as much as I do. And thanks so much to Dianna for the fantastic free pattern!

Laurus is written for three different head sizes and two heights — slouchy and fitted — so there are lots of options. And depending on your size and color choices, could easily suit any decade or gender. See the preview post for yarn guidance and download the pattern to get started. Remember to share everywhere with hashtag #fringehatalong.


This is a stockinette hat but colorwork typically affects gauge, as people tend to knit more tightly when doing stranded knitting. So you’ll want to swatch the colorwork motif and swatch in the round, for sure. The pattern gauge is 18 sts / 4 in and the chart is 6 sts wide. So to be safe, I would cast on 4 repeats, or 24 sts, to be sure you have at least 4 inches to measure. (6 chart sts x 4 = 24) I’ve been recommending Ysolda’s tutorial for how to swatch in the round, if that’s new to you.


Everything I said about lace charts hold true here — working from the bottom right corner, how to make it less intimidating, etc. So review that if needed. The obvious difference is that instead of knits and purls being charted here, it’s only the color changes. So in this case a white box is your main color (MC) and a black dot is your contrast color (CC).


Beyond the chart itself, Dianna has some great posts on her blog about colorwork knitting, which are listed right here. I also wrote a bit about the basics in Colorwork for first-timers. So hopefully those posts will all prove useful. And as always, we and the rest of your fellow knitters are happy to help, so post your questions below.


For the featured charity this round, I got in touch with Robyn Devine to see what she might recommend. Robyn has a blog called She Makes Hats, and the name is an understatement. She knits hats for charities, like many people, and it’s her personal mission to knit 10,000 hats for 10,000 people in her lifetime. (As well as persuading as many people as possible to knit at least one hat for charity.) So she’s an authority on which charities are a good match for which hats. For this unisex 100% wool hat, she made what I thought was the perfect suggestion: “Hats And More for War-Torn Syria is dedicated to helping the four million Syrian refugees around the world, with a focus on sending items to the refugee camps in Jordan most often. Items are sent to the Salaam Cultural Museum, which has volunteers bring everything from hand knits to medical supplies overseas on a regular basis.” As it happens, the Salaam Cultural Museum is in Seattle, where Dianna also hails from. So if you’re inclined to donate your hat, that’s our suggestion for this round — thank you, Robyn!

DOWNLOAD THE LAURUS HAT PATTERN and remember to share your progress with hashtag #fringehatalong wherever you post. And be sure to fave/queue the pattern at Ravelry. I’ll be on the lookout for photos everywhere, and will be answering questions posted in the comments below. (Sorry, I’m not able to reliably answer questions across multiple platforms!)

Happy knitting!

Fringe Hatalong No. 4: Laurus by Dianna Walla

PREVIOUSLY in the Fringe Hatalong Series: Hermaness Worsted by Gudrun Johnston


Photos by Kathy Cadigan

37 thoughts on “Fringe Hatalong No. 4: Laurus by Dianna Walla

  1. Thank you so much for choosing the Syrian Refugee crisis. The need is so great and the Ravelry group is just the most encouraging group I’ve met on the Internet

  2. This hat seems just for me. I have the name, the yarn in abundance, needed inspiration for some gifts, and agree that the charity choice is on target. I am also reminded of how much I like some of Dianna Walla’s designs. Thanks.

  3. I think I’d prefer this hat as double knit instead of stranded, that’s how I will do mine, someday when I need a break from my current projects.

  4. Love this hat. Making the colorwork minimal is so genius. While the technique is traditional the look is all modern.

  5. Thanks a lot for the pattern. I only started colorwork recently and loving it, this is a great opportunity to progress. And the hat is lovely. This will be my next week-end project. Love the hatalongs !

  6. Thanks for the pattern, Karen. I love Dianna’s patterns! If we’re knitting for the charity, do you think we should use a washable or easy-care fiber? Have some leftover Cascade 220 that might work out really nicely.

  7. I am new to color work and a fairly new knitter in general. I’m not exactly sure how the stranding might (or might not) affect what size I should choose for my hat… Can you help me with this? My head is 22 inches around. Thank you!

    • As with all hats like this, negative ease is ideal (unless you like your hats particularly loose). Working a swatch that features both the colorwork and plain stockinette will help give you a sense of how the fabric stretches between the two. If your colorwork section is tighter, you may either want to knit a larger size hat, or simply go up a needle size (at least) for the colorwork rounds.

  8. Thank you for this beautiful pattern! It’s perfect for using up some leftover yarn. I cast on last night, and I’m already past the color work. My colors are a bit boring (navy with grey), but I can’t wait to see everybody’s projects. I listed my project on ravelry: , will add photos soon.

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  13. So, I’m late to the Laurus party – but just got my yarn and am rarin’ to go. But I’m having problems figuring out the pattern – 3 sizes 2 heights. I want to make the slouchy version but can’t really find that as an option in the pattern itself. Perhaps I missed some initial instructions on hat sizes because I didn’t do the other hats. The number of stitches in parentheses are just bigger sizes? Should I measure my hat wearer’s head?
    I have done a fair amount of stranded color work and think this will be a breeze once I figure out the size.
    Thanks for any help you can give me!

    • Hi, Jean. Yeah, the bracketed numbers are circumferences. The length options are noted in the measurements section and factor into the knitting when you get past the colorwork section. It will tell you to knit to X for the fitted version and Y for the slouchy version before starting the crown decreases.

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