Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

Hats are the best. A great way to learn to knit (or crochet!), pick up new skills, add variety to your queue, get that “I made it!” feeling fast. And of course, they don’t require a lot of yarn and they’re the perfect handmade gifts: The receiver is wowed with something you made yourself — without your spending a month or more making it! For this round of the holiday hat knitting cheat sheet, as I did with our Fringe Hatalong Series a few years ago (6 free patterns), I’ve organized it by the skills involved, from what I think of as the simplest to most challenging. You may dispute the order, and of course there’s no requirement that you knit them all or in this sequence, but if you’re looking for some fun patterns for charity or holiday gift knitting, and the chance to maybe pick up some new skills in the process, check out these gems that have caught my eye this year—

1: Crochet!
The Dawn Hat
by Brandi Harper

2: A little bit of slip-stitch (plus folded brim)
Understory
by Alyssa Coffey

3: Slip-stitch faux cables
September Hat
by Caroline Dick (free pattern, and there’s more where that came from)

4: Mosaic x 3 (aka 2-color slip-stitch)
Incise
by Hunter Hammersen

5: A spot of cabling
Northern Peak
by Jill Zielinski

6: 2-color stranded knitting
Eye Catcher Hat
by Jennifer Berg

7: Brioche rib
Hester’s Hat
by Lori Versaci

8: Brioche basketry
Baskets of Brioche Hat
by Lavanya Patricella

9: Lace
Penny Hat
by Tin Can Knits

10: Lace + bobbles!
York
by Courtney Kelley (see also)

And for lots more gift knitting ideas and pattern roundups, give this page a scroll!

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16 thoughts on “Holiday hat knitting cheat sheet: 10 skill-stretching patterns

  1. After seeing the price of some hats (almost $10) I am very confused why people complain about the price of the excellent Purl Soho patterns. These high prices for a hat might be the reason that there are not many projects on the needles.

    • On the other hand, independent designers put many hours of work and upfront money into each pattern they create. They should be paid reasonably for their work. There are plenty of free patterns for people on a budget. I am grateful that independent designers continue to take the risk and bring their new ideas and creativity to us in the form of patterns for sale. I didn’t see any patterns for $10, but even that doesn’t seem like so much when you consider that you can use the pattern forever, and support someone doing original, creative work.

      • “even that doesn’t seem like so much when you consider that you can use the pattern forever, and support someone doing original, creative work.”

        Which is also what Purl Soho provides.

  2. No tams? I find they’re a great solution when you wear your hair in a bun. I’m quite taken with Churchmouse Yarns’ “Studio Beret” in a chunky yarn knitted firmly so as to make a “mouldable” shape. I cast on for one of these last night. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to my old faves, Knitty’s “Three Tams” from way back in 2007 or my own “Yule”. Toques (aka beanies in US terminology) just don’t work for me.

  3. I’m just about to complete a huge chunky knit blanket and need to take a break from big projects for a while. One of these hats seems like a perfect option–I have my eye on #4!

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