Best Hat Knitting Patterns

Many knitters use hats as a way to learn circular knitting (though they can be knit flat as well). Knit hats make great gifts because they feel a little more impressive than knitting a scarf even though they are smaller projects, and there's some give in hats so they don't have to be sized perfectly for a particular head. Here are a few of the best hat knitting patterns, whether you're knitting for a baby, toddler, man or woman. And yes, there's even a flat one.

  • 01 of 10

    Sprout Baby Hat

    sprout baby hat pattern
    Sprout Baby Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The Sprout Baby Hat is one of my favorite of the baby hat knitting patterns. It's a really easy pattern, just Stockinette Stitch with a picot edging (which you can absolutely leave off if you're knitting for a boy), but instead of being closed off in the usual way at the top, it finishes with an I-cord and a cute little leaf at the end.

  • 02 of 10

    Simple Striped Hat

    striped hat knitting pattern
    Simple Striped Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Two-color stripes are an easy way to add personality to a hat, and a project with stripes seems to go faster than one knit in one color because it's so fun to watch the stripes develop. This Simple Striped Hat, sized for babies and children, changes colors on every round, which makes it even faster. Using two colors give it a classic look, but you could also make each round a different color to use up bits of your stash.

  • 03 of 10

    Bunny Hat

    Bunny Hat knitting pattern
    Bunny Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The first animal-inspired hat for kids I ever knit was this Bunny Hat. It's really cute any time of year on any little one, but it's also a great addition to an Easter outfit for folks who live where it's still cold at that time of year. The hat itself is super simple, with a rolled brim, but add ribbing if you prefer that look.

  • 04 of 10

    Dog Hat

    dog hat knitting pattern
    Dog Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    For a kids' hat that's slightly more "boy," try the still super-cute Dog Hat. This one has an easy Stockinette Stitch body and Garter Stitch ears, along with a face that's worked after the knitting is done in duplicate stitch. Leave off the ears for a great classic hat.

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  • 05 of 10

    Flat Hat

    flat hat knitting pattern
    Flat Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    When it comes to knitting hats, there's nothing easier than a flat hat. This Flat Hat is just a rectangle of knitting; there's no shaping at all. When the knitting is done, you fold it in half, sew up the side and close up the top to make a hat that's warm, funky (though you could knit it in more conservative yarn if you wanted) and incredibly easy.

  • 06 of 10

    Roll Brim Hat

    roll brim hat knitting pattern
    Roll Brim Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The next easiest kind of hat to knit after a flat hat is a hat that's worked in the round but is all Stockinette Stitch. There's not a purl to be found in this Roll Brim Hat, which is the perfect choice for a first circular knitting project. It's a great project for a self-striping or multicolored yarn, too.

  • 07 of 10

    Bulky Top-Down Hat

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    The top-down bulky hat. © Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Many knitting patterns for hats call for them to be worked from the bottom up, but you can also knit them from the top down, as is done with this bulky hat that works up in a flash.

  • 08 of 10

    Ribbed Hat

    ribbed mens hat knitting pattern
    Ribbed Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    A ribbed hat is a great, easy look for a man or a woman, and this Ribbed Hat is an easy way to get a reluctant guy (or teenager, for that matter) to wear a knit hat. The bulky wool yarn gives this hat an outdoorsy look and makes it quick to knit.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Camouflage Hat

    camouflage hat knitting pattern
    Camouflage Hat. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    If there's a hunter or outdoorsman in your life, consider knitting them this comfy Camouflage Hat. The hat is worked with a generous ribbed section at the bottom that's meant to be folded over on itself for extra warmth. After that, the hat proceeds quickly in Stockinette.

  • 10 of 10

    How to Design and Knit a Hat

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    The simple Stockinette hat on my head. © Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Once you've knit a few hats from patterns you may begin to realize how simple it would be to design one of your own. This tutorial walks you through the design of a simple Stockinette hat, but you can add in any stitch patterns, stripes or other embellishments you wish in the same manner.