I love projects that teach me something. This little hat is one of those things. Meet Inga. I've seen the braided edging on numerous glove/mitten and hat patterns, but had no idea how it was done. That's why I wanted to make this hat.
And you know what? It isn't difficult at all! As a matter of fact, it's really quite simple and ingenious. It is, however, a somewhat slow and tangled technique. Basically, what you're doing is twisting the yarns above or below each other, while knitting reverse stocking stitch (purling all the stitches).
The details? The Inga Hat, available here (it's free). The yarn is Sandnes Garn Alpakka, a lovely, smooshy dk weight alpaca yarn from Norway. I'm using a 3.5 mm circular needle. What you see so far is one evening's worth of knitting. So far, the only downside I can see is that I used the 3.5 mm needle on the braided edging, where I should have gone down to a 3.0 mm. However, I couldn't find a 16" 3.0 mm circ, so I used what I COULD find. It does curl up, but I think that, once on the head, that should fix itself. As well, I'm not that far into the hat yet; it may well straighten itself out as I go along. We'll see. If not, I can always tack it down slightly to keep it from curling.