Mammen Stitch Hat

Nalbinding Hat Pattern – Mammen Stitch

Mammen Stitch Hat Pattern

Nalbinding Hat PatternMammen
A pattern for making a naalbinding hat using the Mammen Stitch. (Finnish 1+2)
Nalbinding stitches are formed by making loops that are wrapped around your thumb, rather than using a knitting needle or crochet hook. Since everyone’s thumb is a different size it is difficult to define the number of stitches required. Frequent checking of your work needs to be done to see if the article will fit around your head, your hands or foot.


This nalbinding hat is worked from the bottom up.
Suggested Yarn weight: DK weight wool yarn
Approximate amount required: 50-60 grams

Nalbinding is worked using short lengths of yarn (2 – 8 meters in length)
The yarn ends can be joined by using a Russian Join technique.

Russian Join Technique

The yarn ends are joined by threading the yarn through a needle. Wrap the yarn around the needle. Form a loop on the needle. Wrap the new yarn through the loop and pass the needle through the old yarn.

Repeat with the new yarn, wrapping the yarn around the needle, and pull the needle through. Tighten the 2 ends and trim.

Russian Join

Russian Join Technique

Nalbinding Chain

Work a length of chain until it fits around your head.
For this hat, I worked a chain of approximately 90 stitches – 24 inches (61 cm).
I make the chain about an inch longer than what I need, as it takes a few stitches for the nalbinding loops to fully form.

How to Make a Nalbinding Chain
One method of making a nalbinding chain:
Thread the nalbinding needle with 2 – 5 meters of wool yarn.
At one end form a small loop by wrapping it around your index finger. Leave this knotted loop fairly loose in tension.
Place the loop between your thumb and index finger.
Wrap the wool yarn around your thumb twice.
Slip the needle through the loop between your thumb
and through the 2 loops you have formed on your thumb.
Pull the yarn through all of the loops and
Wrap the yarn once again around your thumb.
This forms a new loop on your thumb.

With the nalbinding needle pick up the old loop on your thumb and the first loop that is between your thumb and index finger.
Turn the needle and pass it through the loops that are on your thumb.
Pull the yarn through.
This forms the next loop.

Repeat this loop making process until you have the desired length of chain / and number of loops required.

How to Make a Nalbinding Chain – YouTube

If you are having problems making a nalbinding chain, you can cheat by making a chain using a crochet chain stitch. Use a large crochet hook so that your loops quite loose.

Once the chain is a sufficient length, the 2 ends are joined together to create a circle (similar to the crochet technique. The rest of the hat is worked in the round. When you join the chain together to begin the first row of nalbinding, skip the first few stitches. These can be unpicked once the project has been completed.

Nalbinding Hat
Nalbinding Hat

Mammen Stitch – Finnish 1+2 – Closeup

The Mammen Nalbinding stitch or Finnish 1+2 is formed by picking up 1 new stitch plus 2 previous stitches from behind the thumb.
The nalbinding needle is then rotated to go under the Thumb Loop and through the yarn that is wrapped around your thumb.

After joining the chain loop work in rounds using the Mammen Stitch until you have reached the top of the hat. For this hat I worked 13 rows.
Check the size frequently as you are stitching to ensure that your stitch lengths remain at an even tension.

Nalbinding Hat - Mammen Stitch
Nalbinding Hat – Mammen Stitch

Top of the Hat

To form the top of the hat begin to decrease row by row. Decreasing in Nalbinding is similar to decreasing in crochet.
When pickup up the new stitch from the previous row, skip a stitch and pick up the next one.
For this hat I decrease 10 times across the row.
1st Row: (over 90 stitches work 8 stitches, skip a stitch, repeat.
2nd row: Work 7 stitches, skip a stitch, repeat.
3rd Row: Work 6 stitches, skip a stitch, repeat.
Repeat until you get to the top of the hat with a few stitches remaining. Close the remaining loop by sew these stitches together.
Sew in remaining ends.

Nalbinding – Mammen Stitch – Rumble

More About Nalbinding
Nalbinding Stitch Summary
Nalbinding Patterns
Nalbinding Stitches