free knitting pattern: hospital hat

Here is a free knitting pattern for a super-easy newborn hat. I am calling it the Hospital Hat because while I am a proponent of home birth, the baby I knitted it for will be born in a hospital. If you prefer to download a PDF, you can get one at Ravelry or leave a comment here (use your real email address).

Hospital Hat by Annika Barranti

For non-commercial use only. You may knit hats as gifts or for charity. Please do not redistribute the pattern (but feel free to link to it).

Newborn babies need a lot of help keeping as warm as they were in utero. This super-easy little hat knits up fast, uses very little yarn, and is cuter than the ones the hospital provides.

You will need:

  • about 50 yards of light worsted yarn
    • I used Borocco Pure Merino, which is machine washable and so soft.
    • For Hats To Haiti, Tahki Cotton Classic would be good
  • needles to get you a gauge of 5 stitches per inch (approx. size 6)

please note that Dolly\'s head is smaller than a (full-term) newborn!Cast on 64 stitches (I like the cable cast on method) and join in the round.

Work garter stitch edging: knit one round, purl one round. Work for half an inch (four rounds total) or to the length you like.

Work stockinette, knitting every round, until you have a tube that measures 3 inches from the cast on.

Next round decrease 8 times: k6, k2tog, repeat to end. Knit one round plain. Decrease every other round until 24 stitches remain, then decrease every round until 8 stitches remain. k2tog four times: four stitches remain.

Work i-cord for three inches.

Next round k2tog twice. Last round k2tog, then pull yarn through to tie off.

Weave in ends and tie i-cord in a knot.

Originally posted in brief at Mama to Mama in answer to Amanda’s call for knitted hat patterns. Please note that Dolly is smaller than a (full-term) newborn.

If anything is unclear, please let me know! Happy knitting.

13 thoughts on “free knitting pattern: hospital hat

  1. Lolly

    November 6, 2008 at 1:36pm

    I have been DYING to knit something. I need to get my ass to a store and get some good yarn.

    Lolly’s last blog post..God bless her

  2. Kjrstn

    November 6, 2008 at 8:11pm

    Awww, Dolly’s still wearing her Halloween costume! Awesome!!

  3. nana

    November 6, 2008 at 10:09pm

    I would like the PDF. you know how to reach me. mom

  4. Heather

    April 25, 2009 at 5:22am

    I am just beginning to knit and this pattern is exactly what I’ve been looking to make for my sweet baby due in 2 months! Most other patterns are either too complicated or just not cute! Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, but do I knit this on circular needles? If so, what length would you recommend? Thanks!

  5. denis

    July 13, 2009 at 7:52am

    It’s so beautiful. Thanks for share..

  6. leslie

    January 6, 2010 at 11:32am

    very cute hat! when i decrease at the end, do i k6, k2tog every other round? when i do this, i end up with an uneven amount of stitches. what am i doing wrong?

  7. Christine

    March 30, 2010 at 1:31pm

    I am having the same problem as Leslie. I have frogged this twice and am really frustrated now! The decreases must decrease too, but I’m not sure how.

  8. Annika

    April 5, 2010 at 6:04pm

    Hello all–

    I’ve been replying by email but thought I should respond here for anyone else who has trouble.

    Heather, I knitted this all on DPNs.

    Leslie and Christine, each decrease round has fewer stitches between the decreases. First k6, k2tog, then k5, k2tog, and so forth.

  9. Cathy

    May 13, 2010 at 6:17am

    This is a great pattern. Thanks for posting this! I’m trying to adapt this hat to a premie size. Could you provide some help with how to make it smaller? I tried CO with 48 (since it’s still divisible by 8), but it didn’t work out when I did the decreasing rows. Thanks for any help!

  10. Sarah

    July 19, 2011 at 9:28pm

    Thank you for this easy yet beautiful pattern! I made it and it and found your directions flawless and easy to follow. This hat will keep my little niece who is due in about a month or so warm. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this pattern! It is very sweet of you.

  11. Sarah

    November 29, 2011 at 1:17pm

    I saw your comment about home birth at the beginning of the pattern, and I wanted to say, “Hi.” My three girls were all born at home (and the later two enjoyed mommy-knit hats).

    I think I’m going to whip up a few of these with some of my (copious) stash yarn. It will be nice to have some gifts on hand, since I never seem to get things made in a reasonable time once by friends’ babies are actually born. Thank you for this free pattern. I made your Leapfrog Pants for my 2 year old, and we adore them!!

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