For example, suppose you want to space 8 decreases, evenly spaced, on a hat top of 93 stitches. 93 stitches isn't evenly divisible by 8. The nearest even multiple of 8 is 88, which would be 8 decreases spaced 11 stitches apart, with 5 excess stitches left over.

1) Random decreasing before you get to the decrease rounds

In this solution, in the last few rounds *before*the decrease rounds begin, the 5 stitches would randomly be decreased away by working two stitches together at five random points. By the time you get to the decrease rounds, you would have 88 stitches: 8 markers placed 11 stitches apart. This is the most common solution, I think, and it works very well in garter stitch (use k2togs), reverse stockinette (on the k side, use k2togs, on the purl side, p2togs) and other bumpy fabrics. However, in stockinette, especially in bulky yarns (relatively few stitches) this has the potential to show somewhat as a disturbance in the fabric.

**2) Differentially beginning the decrease round**

click to enlarge |

*column*, there is no clue to the eye that they don't all start on the same

*row*. You

*can*see it if you look closely, but since the decrease pattern is undisturbed, the eye assumes symmetry.

the decreases on this hat top start on a different rows |

I find that this works not only on hat tops (as shown above) but also on raglan decreases, sock gusset decreases and so on. Also, differentially beginning works for increases, also. With this trick under your belt, it is not necessary to cast on evenly divisible multiples for hats, sweaters, etc., freeing you to make garments which fit better.

ADDENDUM, 2014:

__There is a new TECHknitting post which has more tricks evenly space decreases on an uneven stitch count--the tricks are part of a pattern for a scrap tam.__

--TK

PS: For hats with a seam, put the excess stitches in the back for slightly greater fullness where it is needed--the (rounder) back of the head, rather than on the (flatter) forehead.

PPS: 8 evenly spaced decreases, worked every other round (one decrease round, followed by a plain round) is the default decrease rate for a hat top. It doesn't always yield a perfectly flat top, however. Switch to smaller needles in the last few rows (as was done in the illustrated hat above) and you'll have more a chance to avoid "knipples" at the hat top.

## 8 comments :

Such a brilliant, and simple, solution. Thank you!

-christina

Now why didn't I think of this before?!

Thanks!

Another brilliant post! Bookmarking this--I know it will come in handy in the future.

You have a fabulous brain! Thanks!

Thank you for this post this always drives me crazy!

I never of thought of that, I'll have to try it out!

Amazing that my first thought to find a solution to this question was to come to your blog and right there on the first page was what I was looking for.

I do have a further question: If I want a pretty much flat top for a hat or such, how do I determine how many decreases I do in a round? Say I have 140 stitches. Do I do 8 decreases, or is there a ratio one should use based on how many stitches? I have Vickie Square's book on Folk hats that has 9 decreases in a round for a cordobes hat decreasing from 99 stitches, making a flat top. For my wip of 140 stitches around: 9x15=135, so I could randomly dec to 135 - or dec 5 in a round - and then do the sets of 9 like she did, or dec to 138 and do sets of 8. What I really want to know is what gives the flattest result. The item I'm making will be fulled when done, so surface appearance is not critical.

Hi Eric--in my hands, anyway, the default would be 8 stitches decreased every second row--which is the same as 4 every single row. In my experience 9 every second row would be too many, leading to a puckered top, while 7 would be too few, leading to a somewhat peaked (or "knipple-y") top.

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