Of all of the things I’ve ever made, the project that gets the most compliments, hands down, are the earflap hats that I knit for my daughters. Everywhere we go it seems, people rave about how cute they are. I’ve also noticed that I get a ton of blog traffic from people who are looking for a baby/kids’ earflap hat pattern. It didn’t take much dinking to convert the adult pattern I use to kids’ sizes, in fact I’ve done it for a lot of people, I’d just never written it all up.
What follows is a version for DK weight yarn — I’ll eventually get a worsted version up too.
Size: Newborn (Infant, Li’l Kid)
(These are roughly 14″, 16″, and 18″ around, for heads a wee bit larger than those measurements.)
- about 50g of DK weight yarn (I used KnitPicks Merino Style — less than one skein for the newborn size — but you can use any yarn that knits to gauge. RYC Cashsoft DK would be perfect!)
- at least three DPNs and a matching 16″ circular needle (I used US6, but again, you can use whatever knits to gauge)
- one stitch marker
Gauge: 19 sts = 4″ in stockinette stitch (5 sts/inch is probably close enough!)
CO 7 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P to last stitch, K1.
Row 2: K1, Kfb, K to last 2 stitches, Kfb, K1.
Repeat these two rows until there are 15 stitches on the needles.
Knit straight until piece measures 2.75″ (3″, 3.25″).
Cut yarn, leaving a 12″ tail, and leave the earflap on its DPN.
Repeat for second ear flap.
Using a cable cast on, CO 10 (12, 14) stitches on the circular needle. Knit the 15 stitches from first ear flap, then CO 24 (27, 30) stitches. K15 from second ear flap, then CO 10 (12, 14).
(Confused? Here’s a video that shows what I’m talking about!)
Join, being careful not to twist stitches, place marker and begin knitting in the round. As you knit around this first row, you’ll notice four gaps, on either side of each ear flap. When you get to those, K2tog to close them up. At the end of the round, you should have 70 (77, 84) stitches on the needles.
Continue knitting all rounds until hat measures 3″ (3.5″, 4″) from the cast-on row. (Rows 4-12 would be a great place for colorwork!) Then begin the decreases as follows, switching to DPNs or two circs (video here) when the diameter of the hat is too small for your circular needle:
(Decrease) Row 1: *K8 (9, 10), K2tog*
Row 2: K all sts
(Decrease) row 3: *K7 (8, 9), K2tog*
Row 4: K all sts
(Decrease) row 5: *K6 (7, 8), K2tog*
Row 6: K all sts
Decrease in this manner until there are 35 sts on the needles.
Then decrease in the same manner, omitting the “k all sts” rows, until there are 7 sts remaining.
Pull yarn through the last 7 sts with a tapestry needle, pull through to inside and weave in end.
Weave in all ends. (I like to leave the tails where I ended the earflaps long so that I can use them to tighten up of otherwise correct anything that looks wonky around the earflap join area.)
There are a few ways you can add straps — pick up 3-4 sts and knit in garter stitch or seed stitch until desired length. OR pick up 3-4 stitches and knit i-cord until desired length. OR, thread through three long pieces of yarn and braid the double-strands until desired length, then tie off and trim.
Block and lay flat to dry.
(While you could absolutely use an acrylic or other non-blockable yarn for the hat, your earflaps might be a little curly. ;) )
This pattern is and always will be free! If you extra-specially love it and can’t quite find the words to say thanks, you can always give me a dollar. ;)