Wednesday 11 March 2015

What to knit Wednesday: Baby Hats

Another Crooked Little Baby Hat
Today's 'What to knit Wednesday' post is about baby hats. In my friendship circle there have been a LOT of babies in the past 4 years and during the past year I have endeavoured to give handmade items to these babies rather than buying stuff. Small items being the quickest projects, I have spent my time busily knitting bonnets and hats for these little humans and here is my list of 5 patterns that are my go to head warmers.

1. The Crooked Little Baby Bonnet designed by Melissa LaBarre.
I have blogged about this pattern before and it is my go to item for little girls. I won't harp on about it again but do read the post on what I love about this pattern here.

A newborn size Aviatrix
2. Aviatrix designed by Justine Turner.
This is my go to bonnet for little boys. Justine offers this pattern on Ravelry for free and she has designed it for multiple sizes and multiple yarn weights. Knit flat but using short rows to shape the crown of the hat, this pattern is enjoyable for it's clever design as well as it's cute aviator style. Though I generally do love this pattern, I do modify it by knitting a pair of i-cord straps rather than following the designed chin strap.

Recently I have knit a big child size aviatrix for my boy as a 5th birthday present. He is a bit dragon mad so I knit some spikes to sew onto the hat. The stocking stitch sections lend itself perfectly to having spikes sewn on and instantly it becomes a dragon hat. It is worth mentioning that I found the pattern for the spikes from 'The Ninja Herself' blog.

Baby Bear Hat knit with Malabrigo Worsted
3. Baby Bear Hat designed by Jennifer Dickerson.
For those Winter born bubs I like to gift them this little Baby Bear Hat to make them look even cuter than their natural babyness. Jennifer generously offer this pattern for free on her blog, Fiber Flux and has multiple sizes available. Nobody can resist a baby in a bear hat.

This Garter Ear Flap Hat is just too cute with it's little tassel on top.
I recently knit this for a friend's little girl to wear this coming winter. Garter stitch is so commonly used for baby items because it is a classic look but it will also be a cosier garment because of the denser fabric that the stitch creates. 

This Purl Soho pattern is also free on their Purl Bee blog and it too comes in multiple sizes. The hat is knit in the round and short rows are used to create the ear flaps; no seaming is required at all. The addition of the little tassel on top is just a sweet little touch that makes this pattern all the more appealing.

Image source: Pickles blog
5. Cool Kid Hooded Hat from the Pickles blog.
Yet another free pattern, the smallest size that this comes in is 6-12 months, so not exactly newborn gifting but it is such a cute knit that I felt it worth mentioning in this post. Knit with DK/ 8ply weight yarn held double it is a super warm hat that is designed to not be easily pulled off. When the fit is right the hood will wrap snuggly around the child's face and the extra section that comes down the neck to cover the shoulders will challenge the most Houdini like child. The Pickles blog is written by Norwegian designers Anna and Heidi Pickles and you can probably guess why they have designed such a cosy baby knit - if it's not obvious, think about how low the temperatures will get during a Norwegian Winter.

The classic garter stitch paired with contrasting stripes and hood edge is a winning combination in my humble opinion. The one I knit for Miss L in 1-2 year old size was still a bit big last year and looked more like a mini poncho but it was such an easy thing to throw on her when we headed out the door during those cold months.

So here we are 5 super cute bonnets or hats to keep tiny heads warm. Please share your favourite baby hat patterns. Or tell me what features do you look for in hats for kids? Ear flaps? Chin ties or straps? Pom poms on top?

It is worth mentioning, that since multiple sizes are offered for these patterns (other than The Crooked Little Baby Bonnet and the Cool Kid Hooded Hat is only up to size 6) you can knit a family set of these hats if it so takes your fancy. I'd love to see a family of Garter Ear Flap hats one day so get knitting friends.

-- On a side note: The Purl Bee blog and the Pickles blog are both worth a look at if you are looking for some well designed patterns. Both blogs offer a number of their designs for free; the Pickles girls will generally offer one size for free and have purchase details for other sizes. Patterns are of varying skill levels but all are very well explained and often provide links to tutorials for their more complicated steps. Patterns are of all categories from garments for babies to homewares. Check them out if you haven't already come across them.

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