Holiday Gifts: Quick and Fun Knitted Hat Patterns


The Easy Ombre soft hat. Free pattern on Ravelry. I loved doing this; it was quick and easy, and the stranding’s double layer of yarn makes it warmer than you might think.

(Mary Mooney/staff)

All hail the humble hat. It uses a (relatively) limited amount of yarn, it can be whipped up in a weekend, and it may be just the thing to get you out of a how-am-I holiday gift.never-will-do-all-that-knitting-jam.

I caught hat models on Ravelry lately, drawn to cute designs (Slouchy is all the rage!), and – let’s be honest – the not instant but near gratification that comes from quick projects. Here are a bunch of my favorites. Check them out, try them out, and let me know your own favorite hat designs. The holidays are coming. Don’t lose your mind – knit him a hat!

I love my Four Corner hat. I wear it all winter. Mine is in green and white; I made this pretty purple for my friend Elaine.

Four-cornered hat. I fell in love with this pattern at the late Yarn Garden in Portland, which had a knit sample. I’m not normally a hat person – or at least I wasn’t back then – but something about this one just spoke to me. Beautiful, funky and with an interesting construction, it’s in my personal Utterly Awesome Patterns Hall of Fame. I made a bunch of Four Corner hats, for myself and for friends, and for years I used a picture of this hat as an avatar on Ravelry and Twitter. And without fail, a few times a year I get a note from someone saying, “I love this hat!! What style is it?” It’s this one. Do it. Carry. To like.

Sockhead Soft Hat. Perfectly simple and a great use of sock yarn. A nice rib band, then a ton of soothing stockinette, then a few decreases, and boom! You have a really cute floppy hat.

Easy Ombre Soft Hat. Adorable, easy and a great way to practice two-tone knitting. I messed up my gauge on this so it’s a beanie, not a slouch – my weirdly big head is probably a factor here too – but I love this hat.

Graham. Good simple, unisex hat that makes up a snap. I also love the sag.

Witch cats hat. I belong to two black cats, okay? And it’s adorable. Imagine it with white cats on a blue background, gray cats on a pink background, purple cats on a black background, etc. Again, a cool, non-scary way to practice two-tone knitting and claim your feline allegiance.

Baa-ble hat. So. Shit. Cute. How can you not love sheep? (And this model has a matching balaclava and mittenstoo much!)

Snappy hat. I love the cables and the fact that it is made of bulky wires. This beauty is fast and fun.

bank head. With sizes from baby to adult XL, this is a hat you can make for everyone on your list. And the basic pattern means you can use your choice of yarn to brighten it up or tone it down, depending on the recipient’s needs.

The water under the bridge. Cheri Clark from The Naked Sheep Knitting Shop designed this beauty for the 2013 Rose City Wool Tour, and it’s one of my favorites. It has a really nice edge, and the pom poms/tassels help make it a must-have. The Casablanca yarn it calls for has been discontinued, but any of our local yarn stores (aka, Fiber World Treasures) should be able to point you to an acceptable substitute. (I am thinking about something Noro would work.)

Tryon Creek Trillium Hat. Another Rose City Yarn Crawl favorite. This one is from Crawl 2016, courtesy of Judy Smitke of Northwest Wools. Even if you were intimidated by embroidery – and you shouldn’t be, by the way; it’s not too complex – you can leave it on and still have a super cute, cleverly shaped hat.

Jason’s Cashmere Beanie. Nice design, nice cables and unisex. You will love working on this one. And like all hats, the relatively small amounts of yarn needed make it a good (and economical) excuse to use a luxury yarn like cashmere.

Ballard Soft Hat. The Ravelry page for this pattern states that “The easy-to-remember lace pattern of this hat makes it a very simple and elegant gift to a skein.” As someone who’s made four (and counting) in different colors for different people, I can vouch for that sag.

Not a hat person? Check out my recent article on Favorite Scarf Patterns. And be sure to watch for an article later this month on knitting and/or crocheting holiday ornaments. Happy DIY Holidays!

-Mary Mooney
[email protected]
503-412-7020; @MarieKnitsPDX

About Tracy G. Larimore

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