This morning I found a stack of hats I knitted for my son that he has worn from birth to present.
It’s hard to believe he fit into that teeny green hat! The biggest, most worn hat is definitely too small so I decided it was time to make him a new one.
Since Jack is 3 and has all the opinions in the world, I thought it would be fun to let him choose the colors for his hat. I opted for an ear flap hat to keep his body warm during recess.
We had a really fun time together today picking colors as we went along. When I sent a photo to a friend she said, “It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure hat!” We have a title, folks!
This hat really isn’t different from my other ear flap hat patterns, but its always fun to add a twist to something I know by heart. This is my favorite hat pattern because it knits up quickly, is warm and has so much room for creativity (as evidenced by this adorable hat). It’s also a great way to use up bits of yarn you have lying around.
Jack and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Hat
a kids ear flap hat
- Size US 9, 16-inch circular and double point needles
- Several colors of leftover yarn, either bulky or two strands of worsted knitted together
- Tapestry Needle
- Pom pom maker (optional)
kfb = knit one stitch, then without dropping the working stitch, knit in the back of the stitch, thus increasing your stitch by one.
k2,p2 = knit 2, purl 2
k2tog = knit two stitches together
Ear flap (make 2):
With two double point needles cast on 4 stitches, leaving a 12-inch tail. This will be incorporated into the braided tie later.
Row 1 (wrong side): purl
Row 2 (right side): Kfb, k2, kfb (6 st.)
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are 18 stitches. Set this flap aside and repeat with second flap.
Start the hat using the same color as the ear flaps. With the circular needle, cast on 14 stitches for the back of hat; knit across stitches of the first ear flap making sure the right side is facing you. Cast on 22 stitches for the front; knit across second ear flap. There will be 72 stitches in all.
Join stitches carefully without twisting. K2, p2 on the front and back part of the hat (regular knit the ear flaps) for 6 rounds. This will make the nice ribbing and will prevent the hat from curling up.
Cut yarn, leaving a six-inch tail. Bring in a new color and knit 2 or 3 rounds, depending on your preference. Cut yarn, leaving a six-inch tail.
Continue knitting and changing stripes until the hat is about 5.5 inches tall. I usually go with 34-36 rows from the edge of the hat.
Start decreasing as follows:
Round 1: *K2tog knit 6.* Repeat * till end of round.
Round 2 (and all even rounds): Knit
Round 3: *K2tog, K 5*. Repeat * till end of round.
Round 5:*K2tog, K 4*. Repeat * till end of round. (this is where you should probably switch to the double points).
Round 7: *K2tog, K 3.* Repeat * till end of round.
Round 9:*K2tog, K 2.* Repeat * till end of round.
Round 11:*K2tog, K 1.* Repeat * till end of round.
Round 13: *K2tog.* Repeat * till end of round.
Gather remaining stitches with a darning needle and fasten off. Weave in all tails. The inside of your hat should look pretty cool, with all sorts of colorful ends. Tighten all the knots you made and then double tie them. Don’t pull too tightly as you want the stitches on the outside to look uniform. Just play with the tension of the knots before double knotting. I then knot the yarn ends vertically to one anther, if that makes sense, and trim them.
Using all the colors from your stripes, cut 7 strands of yarn, about 24-inches long. Fold them in half and push the folded edge through the bottom of the ear flap from back to front. Draw the ends of the strands back through the loop and tighten the loop. Divide the strands into three groups and braid them till they are about 8 inches long. Tie a knot at the end of the braid and leave two inches as fringe. Don’t cut the ends of the fringe until you’ve put in both ties. That way you can cut them evenly.
For the pom pom:
Use all your color strands together to create the pom pom. I love my pom pom maker, but you can also use the giant fork method. Once your pom pom is trimmed and pretty, secure it to the top of the hat using yarn and a darning needle. I like to go through the pom pom a few times to really get it to stay on the hat.