Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat

This morning I found a stack of hats I knitted for my son that he has worn from birth to present.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

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.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

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.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

Jack and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Hat

a kids ear flap hat

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com
Materials:
  • 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)
Abbreviations:

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

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

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.

Hat body:

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.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

Braided ties:

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.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

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.

Choose Your Own Adventure Hat | Make this striped ear flap hat using yarn scraps of all different colors. Free pattern from alaskaknitnat.com

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23 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Adventure Hat”

  1. Really cute! I need to learn how to knit with so many colors…I just know the basic I guess? 🙂 thank you for sharing.

  2. I don’t know why but I can’t print out the pattern for My Classic Ear Flap Hat 😦 could you e-mail it to me ?
    Thanks
    Juda

  3. This hat is so much fun! Did you happen to line this one with fleece? In a previous post, I saw that some of your hats had fleece on the ear flaps and my 5 year old son, also very confident in his many opinions, decided he needed an ear flap hat with fleece. I was hoping for some pointers as to how to line it! Thank you!

    1. Hi there, I didn’t line this particular hat with fleece but I can tell you how I line my hats. I cut out two triangles that are slightly smaller than the shape of each ear flap. Then I cut out a rectangle that is about two inches tall and the length of the forehead. I whip stitch these three pieces to the inside of the hat. I don’t line the back of the hat. I feel like the ears and forehead make the most contact with the hat because the back of your head has hair insulation. I hope my explanation is clear enough to point you in the right direction.
      Thanks for your great question,
      Natasha

  4. For those having trouble printing the pattern I copied and pasted it into a word program and it printed off great!! This is the kind of hat I have been looking for for my grandkids Brax and Finn. They will love them.

  5. Hey thanks for this awesome pattern! For the even rounds during decrease – are you sure it’s knit or should it purl? I am a new knitter but it seems that we were doing stockinette so should we continue that on the decrease? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rachel, this is the magical thing about knitting in the round – you never have to purl to achieve the stockinette stitch. Keep on knitting through the decreases. It should turn out fine.
      Happy knitting!
      Natasha

      1. Wow, thank you for such a quick reply!
        Ah, that’s the rub – I should’ve mentioned I’m knitting on straight needles. Haven’t graduated to round yet! 🙂

      2. Aha – well that’s a whole different story in afraid. I never have knit hats on straight needles. Knitting in the round is easier than you think. Hats knit up SO much more quickly in the round because you never have to turn your work or purl. So in your case, you will need to purl every other row for the entire pattern.

  6. Good day Alaskakintnat
    This is a beautiful hat and Jack did a great job with the colors. This is just the perfect hat pattern I’ve been looking for. However I need to make it for a one year old.
    Can you help me with decreasing the number of stitches to make for a toddler.
    Thanks. Will look out for your reply.

    1. I just did it for a six month old! I was using pretty thin wool and I only did one color since I’m a novice but I did 60 stitches, then I started the decreasing at *K2tog, K4* as it was easily divisible with 60. I played with the proportion but I think I ended up with
      16 x 2 earflaps
      12 for back of hat
      16 for front of hat

      The tricky thing was the height – I had to measure it on the baby a couple times and undo/redo rows. It came out to be a little over 5″ in height, not counting the flaps (also I wasn’t clear from the pattern if the ear flaps were included in that height measurement – again, rookie here!). The ear flaps ended up much wider than her tiny little ears so I might’ve adjusted that, but then again her mom didn’t seem to mind as that’s extra warmth and the baby isn’t too fussy with that stuff at this age. Good luck!

  7. When you say set first earflap aside, do I cut yarn and start a new flap, or leave on dpn and start over on other dpn. I’m confused as to how to use the same ball of yarn for both the flaps and the hat.

    1. Hi Donna – yes, you cut the yarn and start a whole new earflap. Then when you finish the second flap you cut the yarn again so you will have two separate ear flaps until you incorporate them during the cast on row.
      Happy knitting!
      Natasha

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