Elizabeth Zimmerman had a favorite pocket, the “Afterthought Pocket.” For all its many benefits, though, installing an Afterthought Pocket in anything large, like a sweater, involves knitting round a teeny tiny pocket on DPNs, turning the entire thing each round. And what fun is that?
Here is my Promethean Pocket, one made beforehand and then installed where you like it at the time; I’ve put it in a hat, in case you like to leave the house to take walks and want to carry your house key, a few bucks for coffee, or just a peppermint or two.
And the name? Well, as we all know (at least, those of us wasting our classical educations) the two Titan brothers were Prometheus (Forethought) and Epimetheus (Afterthought). Epimetheus married Pandora, against his brother’s advice, and then all the trouble got out of her box and… well, you know how it goes from there.
Maybe she should’ve kept the key to that box in her hat pocket.
PROMETHEAN POCKET HAT
I’ve started with just a basic hat here.
YARN: Cascade Heathers 220, sage green color
Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, some lighter sage green (I think this one is actually called Sage)
Size 5 circular, 16″ and DPNS, plus some size 4’s for knitting the pocket (straights, circ, however)
Gauge: 10.5 st & 13.5 rows = 2″
CO 100 in main color.
K2 P3 ribbing for 15 rows.
Switch to stockinette stitch and knit 17 rows.
Switch to other yarn and knit 3 rows.
Alternate MC and CC until hat is desired height (approx 6″). Stop on the 3rd row of a MC stripe.
Pocket will be inserted in following 3 rows, so knit it out of CC.
“JUST TELL ME ABOUT THE POCKET ALREADY”
Okay! Take a separate pair of needles size 4 (to tighten it up) and CO 48. I cast on a few more, thinking I needed the extra room, but really 48 will make a pocket that holds a credit card or folded money.
Knit 21 rows stockinette, then knit halfway across (24) and turn around and knit back.
And it should look like this– note, I’ve pinned mine out flat so you can see it. Yours will curl!
See, I could’ve made a few less stitches. That’s a 26 stitch wide pocket.
Anyways, now FOLD your pocket. Now you should have this:
Now for the fun part– installing the pocket. There are 3 rounds to this and I took pictures for each. I also wrote out an instruction sheet, by the way, which is at the end of this post.
Knit to where the pocket will be on the round. Pick up your pocket and tuck it inside the circulars with the SHORT side nearest where you are knitting.
SLIP one stitch from the short side of the pocket, then SLIP one stitch of the hat.
Repeat 24 times until all stitches from the short side of the pocket are on the right hand needle, separated by hat stitches, like this:
You should end up with this:
Yeah, that long side of the pocket is still in back. Don’t worry about it. Halfway done with this round.
Next, SLIP ALL THE 48 STITCHES BACK to the left needle.
And then, K2tog 24 times (to fasten the pocket stitches to the hat stitches).
Knit around the rest of the round. Round 1 is complete!
Round 2: Knit to where your pocket stitches are. Bind off all 24 stitches. This makes the lower half of the pocket opening. It looks like this:
Don’t worry that you’ve just left a big gap on the needle. Knit the rest of the round.
Round 2 complete!
Round 3: Knit until you get to the bound off stitches. Now what?
Oh yeah– just knit the stitches off that DPN sitting in the middle of your work. No big deal!
(If you like to neaten things up you might K2tog at the first and last stitch, it won’t hurt anything.)
(That’s actually one round later, where I’d switched yarn back to the MC.)
POCKET IS DONE.
To finish hat, simply do the crown decreases. Decrease your 100 stitches (or 98, if you decreased 2 at the corners) to 96 by spacing some K2tog’s around the hat.
Decrease round 1: *K2tog, K15* 6 times.
Decrease round 2: Same as 1, except K14.
Decrease round 3: …except K13. Decrease the number of knit stitches by 1 every round.
When 6 stitches remain, knit 4 rounds I-cord, bind off.
Flip hat inside out. If possible, put it over something round, like a glass head, so you can get the ends woven in and make sure the pocket is flat before you seam it up.
Then flip it right side out and block it. Here’s some unblocked pics of mine:
Oh, and I promised to share my drawn-out instructions– here they are! (Warning: HUGE file.)
Edited to add one more picture: