Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Sun Hat

A Sun Hat
This hat was whipped up in one night when I needed something a bit more picture worthy for a trip to the zoo. My son’s head was small and I had nothing to fit him or protect him from the bright sun. Plus, I always have the need to put the poor kid in something handmade.

*This pattern was not tested by knitters. I only have worked on the two smaller sizes to decide on stitches and fabric density. I would LOVE to have your links, notes, or ideas to your hats so other knitters can have more inspiration. This pattern is very basic and would be really fun and easy to bling it up!

You need to be able to:
-knit in the round
-use double pointed needles
-perform a three needle bind-off
-weave in ends
-knit an icord/crochet chain
* repeat until end/change in pattern
sts - stitch(es)dpn - double pointed needle M1F-make one front -with the left needle, lift the loop between the sts through the front; knit into the back of the loop
tog - together 
nb - newborn

Sizes will be listed as a circumference for a newborn (14”) , small (16”) , med (18”), large (20”). Please use judgment for positive ease with your measurements. Natural materials will tend to “grow” so you may need to work a few less sts. to get a good snug fit.

US 5 16” needles
US 7 16” needles
US 5 or 7 dpn (either size will work for top of hat)
darning needle, place marker

Wool: up to 4 oz. skein worsted wool 120, (140, 160,180) yards **always plan for more
Worsted weight superwash wool is what this pattern is based off of. I personally would not do a heavier weight wool for summer time use. DK would work with a gauge change as would a double stranded sock yarn. Please keep in mind that knit is “porous” and would not protect 100% against the sun’s harmful rays.

Gauge: 5 sts per inch. on size US 7 needles.


CO 85 (92, 99, 113) with US 7 16” circular needles using the long tail cast on. Do this a bit more loose than you normally do as you will use your edge for the three needle bind off.

Once you are ready to join the round, knit one sts and immediately cast it off and place your marker. You have now sealed your round and are ready to knit.

-Knit for 1 3/4”(2”, 2.5”, 2.5”) or whatever length you want the brim to be

-Knit one row of purl for turning

-Continue to knit the same amount of rows/inches 1 3/4”(2”, 2.5”, 2.5”) as you did the first half of your brim. It helps to make a tally as you go so you have the same number of rows on each side.

-To seal your brim, perform a three needle bind off (but keeping stitches live)
Looking at the cast on edge, you will see a row or sts that look like a chain; they run horizontally and are in the “middle” of the two loops. You will pick up each chain loop, one sts at a time using a dpn ( a size 4 works great). Holding that needle with the picked sts parallel and to the back of the live sts on the left circular needle, use the right circular needle to knit both the sts on the left circular needle and the picked up sts on the dpn together. Continue around until all the sts from the cast on edge are knitted together with the sts from the circular needle.

(This has been confusing in the past as I use the term Three Needle Bind Off.  After looking for more examples, it seems the community has different names for the same technique.  You are simply taking live stitches from two needles and knitting them together to form one new row of stitches on one needle)
For a pictorial demonstration, see my Flickr page or look on you-tube :)

Turning the hat: Switch to a size US5 needle
Row 1: decrease:
- nb knit 6, knit 2tog, *knit 5 knit 2tog* to the last 8 sts, knit 6 knit 2tog
- all other sizes *knit 5, knit 2tog*

-Row 2: Purl 2tog*

-Row 3: *knit 1, M1F*

-Row 4 to top of hat:
knit rib pattern *2 sts knit, 2 sts purl* until hat measures from “Row 3”
nb -2” of rib pattern
small -2.5” rib pattern
medium -3” rib pattern
large -3-3.5” rib pattern

-When you have reached your desired height work one row of purl. If you had to adjust your hat’s circumference, use the last row of ribbing to make your total number of sts divisible by 7. You are working your hat for 7 decreases evenly spaced across your row.

Top of hat:
-Begin knitting the hat at even spaced decreases of 7. (i.e. knit 11, knit 2tog around)
-Knit one row around
Repeat these two rounds until there are 49 sts remaining on the needles. You will have changed to dpn sometime during this decrease.

-Continue working every round in the decrease row pattern until there are 7 sts left on your needles. Cut the yarn with a 12” tail. Use a darning needle and run the yarn through the remaining live sts and pull tight. Secure and weave in ends.

Drawstring: (optional)

Cast on 3 sts and knit an icord until you have reached the length you would like to use to attach the hat to the child. For example, 28” is sufficient for a newborn sized hat.
If you prefer to crochet a simple chain, I would recommend to double up the yarn or do a double chain icord.

Run the icord through the holes created in the MIF row.

Please use judgment when using strings to attach hats on small children.

Wash and block and you are done!

**you are more than welcome to knit for a profit using this pattern. Just be kind and recognize me as the author of it! Happy knitting! **
Additional Ideas:
do intarsia on the body of the hat (but decrease the size to make up for the ribbing)
embroider flowers or other shapes
add knitted 3D flowers or stars to hat brim
use decorative ribbon instead of the optional icord string
use scraps up!
textured stitches
knit through the back of the ribbing stitches to give it a new dimension


  1. What a precious and adorable pattern. I think I need to make this in something pink for my new little grand daughter! You did a great job with this posting and your baby is adorable!

    My blog is also mostly about knitting - right now I am knitting the most craziest thing - bird nests!

    Thanks for this pattern!


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  2. SO sweet! Thanks for sharing! =)

  3. I'll take one as long as I can have the sweet little boy with it! Gosh I love your stuff! I don't need the hat right now as Mara won't keep anything on her head but I will want to order something for winter.

  4. This is so adorable! Thank you for sharing your pattern...I think I'll knit this for a couple of friends' babies :)

  5. This is lovely! Now going to cast on. Thanks for sharing! Ros

  6. Adorable! Can you clarify for me the decreases? Should I be doing knitting 2tog after knitting 7 or in the increments divisible by 7? I am a little confused by the i.e used in the pattern. Thank you for the paatern and any help!

  7. Thanks Kirsten for asking me to clarify! I mean that you want to decrease 7 times across your row. So you would knit 11, then knit 2 tog for the decrease row. The next row after the all knit row would be knit 10, knit 2 tog and continue this pattern until you reach 49 sts.

  8. I'm a little confused on how I do a 3 needle bind off on circular needles?

  9. Okay so I did this as a first project waiting for baby...newby to knitting and with the help of the net and your instructions, this little hat turned out so cute! Thanks for putting it out there. Amie

  10. I'm one of those who loves to see how grandmothers knit for their grandchildren. My grandmother knitted a good one for my daughter and had lots of frogs around it.

  11. I'm fairly new to knitting and knitted up a large one for my son, it looks so good, I'm making a small one for my daughter! /media/sda5/My Documents/My Pictures/Family Photos/Picture 129.jpg

  12. I love this pattern, thank you. I am making it for my neice who is 18 months, not sure about what size to make, would it be medium?

  13. My best friend is having a little boy soon so I started making this hat to give her on Saturday for her Baby shower. It is SOOOO cute! (but that adorable little baby in the picture is what sold me on making it hehehe)is that your son? =D

    I was a little confused on the 3 needle bind off, but thanks to youtube, it was quickly mastered. Thank you for this gem :)

  14. I'm confused on the 2nd row after turning the brim. I am making the nb size and wouldn't purling 2tog across make you end up with 36 st? Does the k1 m1f make up for that? Thank you for any helpful hints!

  15. Will someone please help me! I don't understand what I am supposed to 3-needle bind-off. Am I going to knit two separate brim pieces and seam them? I feel so dense! : ( I look forward to posting a picture of the finished hat if someone will help me! Regards, Fairlie

  16. HI!

    I hope I can help you! Did you see the pictorial link I have on the blog? this is also a great tutorial as well You are essentially picking up the loops on the top of the stitches from your cast on edge, folding it at where you did a purl row, and knitting the picked up stitches with the live stitches already on your needles.

    Let me know if I can help you more!

  17. Thank you for responding Kristi! I understand now how to connect the cast on edge with the stiches on the needle but once I finish I will have a band right? Once the cast off is complete then there aren't anymore stitches so what does it mean to turn the hat and start the decrease? I absolutly love this hat and hate to quit but I must missing something.

    I cast on, knit 1 3/4", purled a row, knit another 1 3/4" - now this is all one piece correct, knit in the round and attached? So if I join the top of the circle with the bottom then I just end up with a strip. :(

  18. Thank you for posting this pattern. I just finished a hat for my great nephew. It is adorable (even with the mistakes)! I hope it looks as cute on him as it does on your sweet pea. Regarding the post above, knit the two stiches together, but do not bind off. That way you will have live stiches to continue the hat. I hope this helps!

  19. I like this post. I like this cute boy pose. It's looking very cute to wearing a fine hat.

    Sun Hats

  20. I think it would be less confusing if you didn't call it a 3 needle bind off since there are actually no stitches bound off.

    Esentially what is done is the loop is picked up from the cast on edge, then it could actually could be placed on your left hand needle then that stitch/loop and the next stitch knit tog.

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  22. Replies
    1. newborn - that threw me a bit too

  23. Thanks for letting me know that was confusing. I added the definition of the abbreviation to the pattern.

  24. Linda in LaGrangeMarch 2, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I've finished the hat, knit the I-cord and understand that it is supposed to be woven through the K1, M1f row, but not sure how it works after that - do you just make a square knot with the ends (my hat is for my neighbor's newborn boy so no bows!) or what? On your adorable picture, the I-cord appears to be hanging down and not tied. Thanks for this great pattern - will be making another as soon as my daughter finds out the gender of her baby!

  25. In the picture I see the i-cord but it doesn't look like it's threaded through the hat.

    1. The icord is threaded through the back of the hat. I started just behind the ears and came out across on the other side. You won't see the icord from the front. Hope that helps!

  26. I added a little seed stitch so it would match this sweater:

    Thanks so much for the pattern!

  27. Wonderful photo and the hat is nice too! I was wondering if it might be a good thing to have the stitch count after a row of increases or decreases, keeping us knitters on track. Row two of the decreases is either missing an Asterisk or has one unintentionally included. I have recalculated the pattern to DK on 3(US) and 5(US)needles and the result is quite nice. I was making a sweater and wanted a brimmed had for this beautiful baby boy, but it was only in knitting worsted yarn. I hope that you don't mind the changes. Lucille

    1. No one has explained row 2 of the decreases. Im there and I don't know what to do next.

  28. Fantastic tutorial for a really awesome product. Thank you.

  29. Hello! I'm loving this pattern, but I'm having a difficult time with the decrease at the top of the hat. I have 84 stitches at the purl row, which is indeed divisible by seven, but I have two extra stitches at the end of my round after k11, k2tog. I also noticed that it looks like the hat was decreased by 8 in the picture - I could be wrong, I'm pretty new at this. I might have messed something else up, as no one else seems to be having trouble with this. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Sorry, I meant 6 extra stitches at the end of the round.

    2. Hi! Sorry for the confusion. The pattern was written with a general idea for sizes since this wasn't written for a specific weight of yarn. For the newborn (nb) size, you should have 84 stitches on your needles which is indeed divisible by seven. For this size, you need to knit 10, knit 2 together for your first round to get an even amount of stitches decreased. After than you continue decreases to the size stated in the pattern .

      I hope this helps!

      Kristi :)

  30. Thank you for posting. I think this hat is so cute. :)

  31. P.S. Your baby is so photogenic to a little cutie. :)

  32. It's so cute, Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. I made the newborn size hat from cotton yarn that was donated to our Helping Hands group. I wanted a boy hat, and was attracted to your sweet little man! Thanks for this darling pattern. I'll be making more of these! But I might not use a provisional cast on next time. Having two sets of needles going in the round at once was a bit challenging. But got it done, is the main thing.

    1. When you used cotton yarn. I assume you had to adjust the stitches. Could you tell us?

  34. I am making this for a friend that is due at any moment and I'm stuck! Row 2 decrease after turning the hat says Purl 2tog with only one asterisk so does that mean purl 2tog all the way around or repeat row 1 with purl 5 purl 2tog? 2tog all the way will really make this tight around the head I feel. Also, then row 3 is that knit 1 make 1 all the way?

    1. Hi! Yes! Decrease all the way around. The next row you will increase the same stitches. It does seem off and weird but what it does is tighten the hat enough to keep the brim from being floppy!

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  36. Thanks for sharing this tutorial..!!

    I was properly aware about the ways to design sun hats, but this really helped me..

  37. Hello,
    I have same question
    I am making this for a friend that is due at any moment and I'm stuck! Row 2 decrease after turning the hat says Purl 2tog with only one asterisk so does that mean purl 2tog all the way around or repeat row 1 with purl 5 purl 2tog? 2tog all the way will really make this tight around the head I feel. Also, then row 3 is that knit 1 make 1 all the way?
    Row 1 I had 92 stitch. knitting 5 knit K2tog I have 79 stitches., that will be like 8 inches. It want become too small to go around head? thats confusing. I know in Row 3 increase Row.
    Thank you.

    1. Yep! Decrease all the way around and then you immediately increase. All it does is cinch it in!n

  38. I discovered this pattern and quickly knit it up to add to the accessories in the diaper bag I gave my daughter at her shower. My grandson was born in early July and it is hot and sunny where we live. My daughter has been using it every time she takes him out and has received many compliments. It's adorable! Thank you!

  39. Might have posted but can't find it. Just wanted to say that my friend made this and it turned out gorgeous! She forgot what she did so couldn't help me. Drats!

  40. I'm going to try double knitting the brim instead of knitting the two sides and then folding it together. Will report back.

  41. Anyone else experience asking someone for help 'cause they made something and they don't remember enough to help you?

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