Last fall, M needed a hat. I had two ideas, one was knitted, one was sewed. I’m a working mom, so the sewed one got completed first. I knitted 90% of this hat and then it sat, unfinished, with only the last of the decrease rows and the pompom left to do. Until this winter. Luckily, I had made the hat well large enough that it should fit her next year as well (oh to love the stretchiness of knitting). And when it gets snug, which won’t be for a while, I’ll block it!
I made this hat from 1 skein of Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky in the natural/cream colorway (I’m pretty sure the actual color name is Ecru). I used every last bit of this skein because after finishing the hat I used the remainder for the pompom.
The hat was knit on size 8 needles – I used Addi turbos with a 16″ cable for the body then switched to my Hiya Hiya size 8 double pointed needles to complete the decreases. I got some of the measurements I used from the book The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. I’ve put a bunch of helpful tutorials at the bottom of this post in case someone who’s making their first hat stumbles upon this post.
Though she’s petite for her age, M has a very average 1-year-old’s head size (she’s literally been 50th percentile for head circumference at every checkup since she was born). I would say the fit is loose, slouchy, stretchy, and just right for the hat to last her through not only this winter but next winter as well.
1 wound skein of Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky (or at least 108 yards of a similar, bulky weight yarn)
1 set of Size 8 needles, double pointed
1 set of Size 8 needles, circular, 16″ cable (optional, but very nice to have, especially for beginners)
1 stitch marker (or a small loop of scrap yarn)
1 yarn needle
Ruler or Tape measure
Cast on 72 stitches on your 16″ circular needle (if you have it). (I like Old Norwegian cast on because it’s a little bit looser than a long tail or other kinds of cast on, but not everyone knows it, so if you don’t, just use the cast on method of your choice). Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist, and place a marker at the beginning of your round.
Knit in 1×1 (knit one, purl one) ribbing for 5 inches. Switch to stockinette (knit every stitch) for 3 inches.
Begin to decrease for the top of the hat as follows:
When the hat begins to be too small for the circular needles, switch to the double pointed needles.
Row 1: (Knit 10, K2TOG), around(66 sts)
Row 2: (Knit 9, K2TOG), around (60 sts)
Row 3: (Knit 8, K2TOG), around (54 sts)
Row 4: (Knit 7, K2TOG), around (48 sts)
Row 5: (Knit 6, K2TOG), around (42 sts)
Row 6: (Knit 5, K2TOG), around (36 sts)
Row 7: (Knit 4, K2TOG), around (30 sts)
Row 8: (Knit 3, K2TOG), around (24 sts)
Row 9: (Knit 2, K2TOG), around (18 sts)
Row 10: (Knit 1, K2TOG), around (12 sts)
Row 11: K2TOG around (6 sts)
When 6 stitches are left on the needles, cut yarn leaving about a 12″ tail and using your yarn needle, thread tail through remaining stitches. Pull tightly, closing the hole. Weave tail in and cut.
Make a pom pom using remaining yarn. I would gauge my hand size as a “large woman’s size” and I made my pom pom around my middle, ring, and pinky fingers (as a size reference). Of course, you could make your pom pom larger or smaller to suit your taste. I really like this tutorial for making pom poms:
That’s it! If you need more tutorials on hat-making, I HIGHLY recommend the tincanknits series. If you are looking for good youtube videos about hat-making techniques, this one is pretty good (aside from the presenter being a little in your face).
Most Youtube tutorials are showing you how to make a specific hat pattern, which can get confusing, so instead of searching for “how to knit a hat” I recommend searching for a particular element of a pattern you’re having trouble with, like “How to join to knit in the round” or “How to knit 1×1 ribbing”)