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Dear Kay,

I just really like knitting this Setesdal Hat, what can I say? It has that potato chip knitting quality—you’re scheming up the next one while you’re finishing the first one.

My First One

I stuck close to the pattern’s specified colors, though I did fool around with them a bit. Honestly, I like Arne & Carlos’s idea better than mine.

Ribbon Red, Gold Nugget, Wind Chime, Daphne, and Frost Pink Norwegian Wool shown here.

Theirs on the right, mine on the left, not yet blocked.

Here it is, all quickly steam blocked per Arne & Carlos’s suggested method, which is new to me. Amazingly responsive Rowan Norwegian Wool shows off its good behavior.

I don’t hate it, but as I was finishing it I thought, What if I dial it all the way back to black and white?

Number Two: The Starkness

Cloud Dancer and Peat Norwegian Wool

I like this one. Clean and boingy. Barely recognizable as a sibling to Hat No. 1. The stitch pattern looks utterly different.

As I finished this one, I thought about the bands of stitch patterns in the Setesdal Hat. Each band is an opportunity to play with two colors. Those zigzags look cool when they’re really different from what’s around them.

The Third One: Zigzag

So I went hard for the zigzags.

And I dialed back the contrast for the majority of the hat, so that the zigzag bands become A Big Deal.

Frost Pink, Wind Chime, Gold Nugget, Ribbon Red, and Frost Grey Norwegian Wool

Big deal zigzags!

Next up?

I keep thinking about the fact that these are the same stitch pattern.

Each time I swap out a color, it changes everything. Every color choice alters the result. Color, tone, contrast—the possibilities are endless, and I can’t stop scheming. This kaleidoscope stitch pattern has got me hooked.

What’s ahead for Number Four? How about all 14 colors of Norwegian Wool and just see how that goes? Like when you moosh three flavors of ice cream together. What could possibly go wrong? Or knit it with two strands of one color, but still stranded?

OK that’s too conceptual even for me.

Arne & Carlos Explain It All for You

We are loving the Wednesday hangouts with Arne & Carlos on their podcast. Last week they went deep into the Setesdal Hat—have a look at Sit and Knit for a Bit!

Meanwhile . . .

Over in the Lounge, the Setesdal Hat knitalong is in full swing. Go have a look and get inspired! Post your hat progress there or Instagram with #moderndailyknitting and #arneandcarlos, and you’ll be eligible for awesome prizes.

Grab one each of five colors—or one each of two colors—here for your Setesdal Hat, and you’ll find yourself mesmerized just like the rest of us. And of course, our exclusive yarn  bundle is available too, here.




  • I agree – so addicting! And rounds just fly by, yet still giving time to daydream about color combos for the next one. Or several. . .

    • Thank you for the inspiration!

  • I love the two color version. How many balls of Norwegian wool of each color are needed for the two color version?

    • I’m wondering the same thing.

      • Ann tells you this in the “Meanwhile” section. You only need one ball of each color.

        • Thanks! I missed seeing that.

  • Haha, I also wondered about using just one color but stranding! Maybe I’ll try a swatch, just for fun.

  • Glad to see a 2 color option. Looks great.

  • Did you do something different in the construction? Yours looks different than theirs and I like yours better.
    Yours is less round and tight and more like the kind of hat I’ll wear and make for family because I find it more flattering.
    No offense to theirs, I just prefer your hats better

    • Cristin, I think what you’re seeing is the random variation that happens when different knitters make something. It looks to me like row gauge is different on my hats, making them taller. I used my Tulip bamboo interchangeables; maybe using a metal needle would alter my row gauge? Our resident expert Patty Lyons has a great post about row gauge, here:

      • I use the Tulip needles also. After reading the great review here about 3 years ago, I bought 2 sets. The long needle and short needle interchangeable. Never had a problem with these.

  • I look absolutely horrid in this shape of hat. I wish it wasn’t the default pattern shape for almost every hat out there.

  • Black and white. Swoon. That’s a great looking hat.

  • The black and white version is lovely. I would definitely strand with two white threads where there’s far more white than black. It will keep the fabric much more even in thickness. I’ve done this many times with other patterns, especially when there are one or two rounds of a single color. Also very useful in sweaters.

  • I love all the variations. It’s mostly too warm to wear hats in South Carolina but we do have some cold days. I had great start to this lovely hat and then my 3 month old pup decided he wanted it. f.r.o.g. {[bad words}} Back on track just starting the first gold round. Hopefully i don’t leave it where he can get it this time. Oh Well

  • Thank you, just what I needed 🙂

  • Inspirational and creative craftmanship

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