Baby Candy Cane Stocking Cap — Free Pattern

My photographer friend commissioned me to make a cute stocking cap for her holiday baby photo shoots.

I’ve never made anything so tall and pointy, but I think the effect is perfect. Could a baby look more like an adorable naked Christmas elf?

Photo by Laura Stennett Photography
Photo by Laura Stennett Photography

This pattern is for a 3-6 month head. It’s also a great introduction to knitting stripes.

Ho ho hope you enjoy it!


Baby Candy Cane Stocking Cap


One skein of red worsted weight yarn

One skein of cream worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart soft)

Size 9 circular needles

Set of 9 double-point needles

darning needle

pom pom maker or large fork


Abbreviation: K2tog = knit two stitches together



With the red yarn cast on 64 stitches on your circular needle. Join with first stitch being careful not to twist the stitches. Begin ribbing in k1, p1 for six rounds.

Switch to white yarn and knit 2 rounds. There is no need to cut the red yarn as the rows are so narrow you can easily bring up the other yarn when you need it.

Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for 25 more rounds changing colors every 2 rounds. Transfer stitches to double pointed needles and begin decreasing as follows (while continuing to switch colors every 2 rounds):

*K2tog, k6, repeat * till end of round

knit 3 rounds

*K2tog, k5, repeat * till end of round

knit 4 rounds

*K2tog, k4, repeat * till end of round

knit 6 rounds

*K2tog, k3, repeat * till end of round

knit 15 rounds

*K2tog, k2, repeat * till end of round

knit 16 rounds

*K2tog, k1, repeat * till end of round

knit 5 rounds

*K2tog, repeat * till end of round

k 4 rounds. Cut yarn leaving a 12-inch tail. Using a darning needle, draw up remaining stitches and weave in all ends.


Make your pom pom and sew it to the top.



Happy Holidays from Alaska Knit Nat!


27 thoughts on “Baby Candy Cane Stocking Cap — Free Pattern”

    1. Julie,
      This would be such a fun adult hat. I have a couple of suggestions:
      You could use this same pattern but increase the number of stitches from 64 to 72 or 80, depending on whether it’s a medium or large head.
      You could increase the needle size to 10 or 11 and use chunky yarn or knit with two strands of worsted at once.

      Here’s my pattern for a regular adult hat to give you some perspective. Instead of the regular decrease pattern, follow the decrease pattern for the candy cane hat:

      Thanks for commenting,

  1. Can you help me figure out how many stitches to use to make this hat for a 12 – 18 month child and/or a 24 month child?

    1. Sure! I suggest knitting the same pattern but cast on 72 stitches. It tends to be a little bit stretchy so 72 stitches will probably fit a 12-24 month child.
      Thanks for asking,

  2. Bunny Hop yarn has been discontinued. I can’t find out what the yarn weight (category) was for this yarn so I can find a substitute.

    1. Gerri, any synthetic worsted weight yarn will do fine for this project. You could use wool in worsted, but you never know if it might be too itchy for a baby so that’s why I stick with acrylic yarn such as red heart or Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand.

  3. Is the photo really showing a hat with all knit rows? It looks to me as though one row of knit then one row of purl.

    1. Hi Miranda,
      That’s a great question! If you were knitting on straight needles, then you would be right. In order to achieve a stockinette stitch you would knit one row and then purl one row. But the magic of knitting in the round on circular needles is you never have to purl. You knit in a big spiral and it ends up automatically creating a stockinette stitch. This is one of the reasons I enjoy knitting hats in the round.
      Thanks for your comments,

  4. Hello
    I wonder if you can tell of an equivalent wool in British wools I get confused, is it the same as Double Knit wool by any chance please.
    Thank you for sharing such a delightful pattern.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      I’ve been a knitter all my life and I just now realized that DK weight yarn stood for “double knit.” Thank you for the clarification! Yes, worsted weight is the same as double knit.
      Thank you so much for your comment,

  5. Made this hat – adorable but it seems like it came out big. I probably knit loose, I used size 7 for the ribbing and 9 for the body. If I want to do it for a say 0-3 size what do you recommend?
    BTW I adore your website


    1. Dear Sharon,
      This is a very accommodating pattern. The original hat ended up fitting a 6 month old AND a 2 year old! For a smaller size I recommend using size 6 needles for the body. You may want to consider using a lighter weight yarn for the smaller sized needles.

      Hope that works and thanks for your kind comment!

  6. I’ve just come across this pattern and love it already, i have a grandchild coming in the new year maybe a bit earlier i’ve never knit on circular needles before but i’m willing to try it does seem easier just doing knit only there’s no purl.. I can’t wait to try it not sure what colour to do it in we don’t know what sex our grandchild will be yet..

  7. I just joined today, I’m looking forward to talking with you. I can crochet real good. As far as knitting I can do the knit and pearl but I don’t know how to make anything, and I don’t know how to end it. Please don’t LOL at me.
    Peggy, Manchester N.H.

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