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Quick and Easy Baby Hats to Knit

Updated on February 23, 2016

Hats can Also be Knit Flat and Seamed


Baby Hats as Swatches

Elizabeth Zimmerman always recommended knitting a "swatch cap" with the yarn and needles you plan to use for a sweater. Better to discover any problems with a yarn or with your gauge while working a small project than wait to make a sweater that doesn't fit!

Instructions for a Basic Hat Knit in the Round

Knitting in the round means no seam to sew up at the end! The great knitting teacher, Elizabeth Zimmerman, recommended seamless knitting wherever possible.

Using a 9-inch circular knitting needle or a set of double-pointed needles, (U.S. size 9 or 10) and heavy worsted yarn such as Lion Brand Jiffy, cast on 40 stitches. Place a stitch marker or a loop of contrasting yarn after the last stitch. After making sure the stitches are not twisted around the needle, knit into first cast-on stitch and continue knitting around until you reach the marker again. First round is complete.

Slip marker and knit around again. Continue knitting rounds until the piece is about 7 inches long. The bottom rounds will be rolling up a bit, but this is all right--a part of the design. Stockinette stitch, which is what you are doing by knitting every round, always curls toward the right side unless constrained by an edging such as ribbing. This rolled edge is the hem of the baby hat.

Break off yarn, leaving a 10-inch tail. Thread the end of the yarn through a large-eyed plastic needle and pull the yarn through all stitches that remain on the circular knitting needle. Remove the knitting needle and pull the yarn tight to close the top of the hat. Weave in loose ends of yarn on wrong side of hat. The basic baby hat is complete, unless you want to add a pom-pom to the top. (If you do, please make sure it is securely attached!)

Ribbed Hat on Straight Needles

Cast on 40 stitches using Jiffy or similar yarn and size 9 needles. Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 6.5 inches. Break off yarn. Use a tapestry needle to thread the yarn through the stitiches remaining on the needle. Remove stitches form the needle and pull yarn end tight. Use mattress stitch to sew up the seam and hide the yarn ends. Your hat is done!

Beyond the Basic Baby Hat

One simple way to spice up the basic hat is to change colors at the beginning of a round and make a stripe. You may also take two different colors of baby yarn and hold them together, working with the two strands as if they were one strand. This can give a tweed effect.

A pumpkin hat, perfect for Halloween or for an October baby gift, can be made by knitting an orange hat, then cutting a leafy shape from green felt to embellish the top of the hat. Use a sewing needle and matching green sewing thread to securely stitch the felt to the top of the hat.

A strawberry hat is made in the same way as the pumpkin. Simply substitute red yarn for orange and use black yarn or embroidery floss to embroider French knot "seeds" on the red hat.

The basic hat can be topped with loom flowers or pom-poms as well. See the links below for instructions on making these embellishments. Be sure to secure any decorations so they cannot become a choking hazard for baby.

One-Hour Baby Hat Video


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    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 3 years ago from USA

      Wonderful basic hat pattern and some great ideas for other hat designs! Hats are always fun to knit - they are quick and satisfying projects. Thanks for sharing this.