Monday, November 19, 2007

Chromosome Cap

Here's another geeky knit from yours truly - cables that look like chromosomes! Display your dorkdom with pride.

Queue this on Ravelry!

Plymouth Encore Worsted [75% acrylic/25% wool; 200yds/183m per 3.5oz/100g skein]; color: #256; one skein
US #8/5mm 16-inch circular needle
Set of US #8/5mm double-pointed needles
Cable needle
Tapestry needle

20 sts x 40 rnds = 4in (10cm) in garter stitch, relaxed
Note: When working in the round, alternate knit rounds and purl rounds to create garter stitch.

Finished Size:
Child (Adult Small, Adult Large) = 19 (21, 23)in [48 (53, 58)cm] head circumference
[Shown in Adult Large]

Click here for Abbreviations

Special Abbreviations:
BC3 = slip 1 to cable needle and hold in back of work, knit 2 from left needle, purl 1 from cable needle
FC3 = slip 2 to cable needle and hold in front of work, purl 1 from left needle, knit 2 from cable needle
wrap4 = with yarn in back of work, slip next 4 stitches to cable needle, (bring yarn to front between cable needle and left needle, bring yarn to back between cable needle and right needle) twice, slip 4 wrapped stitches to right needle without knitting them

CO 80 (90, 100) sts on circular needle. Join to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist.
Rounds 1, 3, 5, 7: purl.
Round 2 and all even rnds: knit.
Round 9, 11: *[p2, k2] twice, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 13: *p2, FC3, BC3, p2 (3, 4), k2, p2, k2, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 15: *p3, wrap4, p3 (4, 5), k2, p2, k2, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 17: *p2, BC3, FC3, p2 (3, 4), k2, p2, k2, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 19: *[p2, k2] twice, p2 (3, 4), FC3, BC3, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 21: *[p2, k2] twice, p3 (4, 5), wrap4, p1 (2, 3)*; rep between *s around.
Round 23: *[p2, k2] twice, p2 (3, 4), BC3, FC3, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Round 25: *[p2, k2] twice, p0 (1, 2)*; rep between *s around.
Cont in garter st for 6 (12, 14) rnds, ending with a purl rnd.

Child Size Only:
Dec Round: *k38, k2tog*; rep between *s around - 78 sts. Purl 1 rnd even.

Large Adult Size Only:
Dec Round: *k23, k2tog*; rep between *s around - 96 sts. Purl 1 rnd even.

Crown Shaping (All Sizes):
Switch to dpns when necessary. Cont to purl every other rnd even.
Round 1: *k11 (13, 14), k2tog*; rep between *s around - 72 (84, 90) sts.
Round 3: *k10 (12, 13), k2tog*; rep between *s around - 66 (78, 84) sts.
Round 5: *k9 (11, 12), k2tog*; rep between *s around - 60 (72, 78) sts.
Cont to dec 6 sts every knit rnd in this manner until 36 sts remain.
Purl 1 rnd even. Next round, k2tog around - 18 sts.
Purl 1 rnd even. Next round, k2tog around - 9 sts.
Purl 1 rnd even.

Cut yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail. Using tapestry needle, thread tail through rem sts, pull tight, and tie off. Weave in ends.

Feel free to comment here with questions.

This pattern is intended for personal use only. Please do not try to sell it or any product made from it. Thank you.


  1. I can't even tell you how much my mom, the scientist, is going to love this! Thank you for posting this!

  2. You're very welcome! I hope your mom likes it.

  3. I'm a cytogeneticist (and a knitter) and I can't believe I never thought of this. It's brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Thanks! Glad you like it.

  5. I'm unclear about the wrap4 part. I read the special abberviation on it, but I found it really confusing. Can you explain it a little more simply as i am a new knitter

  6. Basically, you're just wrapping the yarn around those 4 stitches to cinch them in at the center of the chromosome. You just slip those 4 stitches onto a cable needle, wrap the working yarn around all 4 of them twice, then proceed with the knitting on the other side. Does that make more sense?

  7. I just made this and posted about it today! SO CUTE!!!

  8. Annie said... Is it ok to donate the finished item.

  9. I have a question on the wrap 4. After you transfer them to the right needle and complete that row, do you drop the wraps on the next row or knit them?

  10. You don't drop them or knit them. They are literally just wrapped around the cabled stitches, cinching them together in the middle of each chromosome. The stitches that are wrapped will continue to be knitted on subsequent rows, but the wraps should never be on your needles.

    Does that make sense?

  11. I think I understand. My daughter is a doctor and I want to make this hat for her. Needless to say, I am new to knitting. Thanks for your help!

  12. I want to try this pattern but I can't figure out how to print it.

    1. I'm working on getting on all my old blog post patterns converted to pdfs for easy download and printing, but unfortunately, I haven't gotten to them all yet. For now, you should be able to print directly from your web browser. There are different ways to get to the print screen depending on which browser you're using, but I believe, in most if not all browsers, you can right-click anywhere on the page, and there should be an option to print on the menu that pops up. Just beware there might be a couple pages that are just the comments section, so you don't need to waste paper on those. You can look at the print preview to see where the pattern stops and the comments start, and then adjust which pages you want to print accordingly. Hope that helps!

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