Basic Baby Hats


I’m hosting a World Wide Knit in Public Day event tomorrow at the local cafe where I teach knitting classes. It’s going to be pretty laid back, but I’ll also be collecting donations of knit baby hats for the local hospitals.

It’s not a requirement to participate in the event, but it’s a way for people to participate in something that’s good for the community as a whole. Baby hats are simple to make and don’t take a lot of time (about 2 hrs for me from start to finish), and most knitters will have enough leftover yarn lying about to make a couple. Basically I wanted to give people the opportunity to do something good.  I’ll take care of dropping the hats off, they just need to do the knitting.

While there are literally a thousand baby hat patterns on the internet (and most of them free!) I of course have my own way of doing things. I like to knit my hats with a tubular cast on so that they’re more comfortable, and I knit them (along with basically everything else I knit) with a long circular, in the round using the magic loop method so that I don’t have to worry about seaming.

I’ve had a couple people ask me about my baby hat pattern, so I figured it was about time to write it up. It’s very basic, suitable for most medium weight yarns (anything thicker than sport weight and finer than bulky, “4”/medium on most acrylic yarns) and 4-5mm needles (well, I use 4, but I knit loosely, so I imagine most people would use 4.5 or 5mm). I don’t worry about gauge too much because I figure babies come in all sizes, so feel free to play around with yarns and needles. Full term babies are typically 30-40cm head circumference at birth, and premature babies smaller than that. As written, the hat will be about 30cm unstretched.

Tubular cast on makes for a nice elastic edge to the hat



I also love how the decreases on this hat make for a little swirl at the top. If you do it as written (kx, k2tog), the swirl will go to the right, if you switch it around (ssk, kx) the swirl will move to the left. As I’m a combination knitter, left-leaning decreases are the easier option, so I tend to have left-swirl hats.

If you’re knitting these magic loop and using a tubular cast on, I suggest finishing the set up for the cast on (two k1, s1 rows and then arranging the stitches for 2×2 rib) before joining in the rount – it makes it easier to avoid twisting and the tiny gap is easy to fix when you weave in the ends.

Finally, the pattern!

Basic Baby Hat in the round

Materials: medium weight (DK or Worsted) yarn, 4.5mm needles (either a set of double points or a 80cm (32”) circular), tapestry needle for finishing

Gauge: 20sts and 28 rows in 10cm

(Gauge is not essential, but for this project you should be in the range of 22-18sts/10cm, use a yarn and needle combination that gets into that range)

Finished size – 28-30cm circumference


Cast on  60 sts using prefered cast on method, join in round being careful not to twist

*k2, p2* ribbing for 3cm
Knit around until piece measures 12cm from cast on edge
*k8, k2tog* around
Knit one round
*k7, k2tog* around
Knit one round
*k6, k2tog* around
Knit one round
*k5, k2tog* around
Knit one round
*k4, k2tog* around
*k3, k2tog* around
*k2, k2tog* around
*k2tog* around

Cut yarn, thread on tapestry needle and pull it through remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close.

Weave in ends.

If you’d like a printable version of this pattern, you can download this pdf Basic Baby Hat

Happy Knitting!




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