Modern Chullo

by Lisa McFetridge

» photos: Erin O’Neil

The Modern Chullo was inspired by a very un-modern tradition, the South American Chullo Hat. A knitting tradition, made mainly in alpaca, mostly knit by men, with earflaps and many colors.

Most folks don’t know that the chullo, like irish knit sweaters, often tell the story of the wearer. Marital status, home town among other things can be knit into the hat!

I found a book in the library (now out of print) called “Andean Folk Knitting,” by Cynthia LeCount, which has the most amazing color plates of chullos from all over the Andean region. One of the motifs I loved in the book was the cactus. The cactus became the center of my more modern chullo, made with fall colors, reds and oranges.

My chullo has a less traditional shape and takes advantage of the great color palette provided by the Cascade 220 line of yarns. Why no alpaca? Easy, alpaca makes me itch!



Toddler [Child, Large Child, Adult]
Size Shown: Child

Finished Measurements

Finished Circumference: approximately 17[18, 19, 21½] inches
Finished Length: approximately 7[7½, 8, 9] inches


Cascade 220 [100% wool; 220 yards/200 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram hank];

#2413 Red (MC); 75[85, 100, 110] yards
#7826 California Poppy (CC1); 35[40, 45, 55] yards
#9565 Koi (CC2): 15[20, 20, 25] yards
#8505 White (CC3); 15[20, 20, 25] yards
#0980 Pesto (CC4); 5[5, 10, 10] yards

Recommended needle sizes

US size 7 (4.5mm) 24 inch circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge
US size 7 (4.5 mm) dpns


Seam needle
Stitch marker
Crochet hook, size J (6 mm) or any medium size, just used for making a chain at top of hat


20 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches in stranded St st slightly stretched.
Gauge is critical for this design.

Pattern Notes

Such a small amount of Pesto is used, this is a great chance to use up one of those little balls of a Green, or other contrasting color that may be lurking in the knitting basket.

Skills Required

knitting in the round on circulars and/or on dpns, fair isle



Cast on 84[90, 96, 108] sts using MC & CC1 and 2 color long tail cast on. 
Place marker and join to work in rnds, being careful not to twist sts.

Braid: (GOOGLE “knitted braid video” and several links will come up to videos of a braid being made.  My favorite starts with “Knitting Tip #6”  - round 3 is accomplished a bit differently than I do it, but it looks just the same in the end!)


Rnd 1: * With MC K1, with CC1 K1; repeat from * around.
Rnd 2: * With MC P1 moving yarn just used to left, with CC1 P1 moving yarn just used to the left; repeat from * around always moving yarn just used to left.
Rnd 3: *P1 MC moving yarn just used to the right, P1 CC1 moving yarn just used to the right; repeat between *s across round ALWAYS moving yarn just used to RIGHT.
With MC knit 1[1, 2, 2] rounds.
Next Rnd: * With CC1 k1, with CC2 k1; repeat from * around.
Next Rnd: * With CC1 k1, with CC2 k1; repeat from * around.
With CC3 knit 1 rnd.
Next Rnd: * With CC4 k1, with CC3 k1; repeat from * around.
With CC3 knit 1 rnd.
Next Rnd: * With CC1 k1, with CC2 k1; repeat from * around.
Next Rnd: * With CC1 k1, with CC2 k1; repeat from * around.
With MC knit 1[2, 2, 3] rnds.

Work Cactus chart for size you are making over next 16 rnds.
Work chart 7[6, 8, 9] times on each rnd.





With MC knit 1[1, 3, 5] rnds.
Next Rnd: *K11[13, 14, 7], k2tog; repeat from * around: 78[84, 90, 96] sts.
Knit all rnds in MC until hat measures 4½[5, 5½, 5½] inches from beginning.

Work Chevron chart over next 6 rnds, working chart 13[14, 15, 16] times on each rnd.


Knit all remaining rnds in CC1 changing to dpns when necessary.
Next Rnd: * K4, k2tog; repeat from * around: 65[70, 75, 80] sts.
Knit 2[3, 4, 5] rnds.
Next Rnd: * K3, k2tog; repeat from * around: 52[56, 60, 64] sts.
Knit 2[2, 3, 3] rnds.
Next Rnd: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * around: 39[42, 45, 48] sts.
Knit 1[2, 2, 2] rnds.
Next Rnd: * K0[0, 1, 1], k2tog; repeat from * around to last 1[0, 0, 0] st, k1[0, 0, 0]: 20[21, 30, 32] sts.

Large Child & Adult Size Only
Knit 1 rnd.
Next Rnd: K2tog around: [15, 16] sts.

All Sizes
Cut yarn leaving 18 inch tail, thread yarn needle with end and weave through remaining sts, pulling tightly to close. Secure with a stitch leaving tail on outside of work.



Fairy Pull: Using Tail left at tip of hat, insert crochet hook through any st at tip of hat, yarn over and pull tail through stitch and loop on hook making a chain stitch. Chain 11 more sts, or desired number of chain sts to make desired pull length. Reinsert hook in stitch at tip of hat, yarn over and pull tail all the way through stitch and remaining loop on hook to finish and secure. Thread yarn needle with end, secure pull with one more stitch and work tail into wrong side of work. Trim.

Weave in ends. Block.

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Designer Photo

I love small projects, mostly colorwork, but texture is wonderful too! Mixing colors, making a little piece of art with scraps of wooly color is my thing. One can never have enough yarn, unless my husband is reading this, in which case, I haven't bought any in a long long time. My patterns are available under my full name: Lisa McFetridge on Ravelry, Knit Picks and Patternfish.

Pattern © 2013 Lisa McFetridge. Contact 

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