The Freebie hat was inspired by a beanie I owned years ago. I loved it so much. It was slouchy and cozy, made of wool, a ribbed design that wasn’t bound off at the brim, but had elastic running through the live stitches to give it a very flexible fit.
People often asked me if I had knit it myself. When I replied that I hadn’t I was met with the response “Oh”. You know the Oh- disappointed, slightly pitying because everyone involved thought that you SHOULD have knitted it. They gave the look that I was practically a fraud for wearing a knitted item that I hadn’t knit myself (maybe I’m reading into it too much). In any case, I stopped wearing the hat because I did feel like a fraud, and eventually the hat disappeared.
I miss that hat, so I made my own much cooler hat inspired by the original.
Anyone who has learned to increase and work in the round can make this hat. It’s knit from the top down in 1x1 ribbing and it isn’t bound off, elastic stretch cord is threaded through the live stitches to keep them secure and give a nice stretchy and flexible fit.
Download the pdf here: download now
By Brittany Wilson
1 set US 10/6mm double pointed needles
1 set US 10.5 or 10.75/6 or 7mm double pointed needles
1 set US 11/8mm double pointed needles or 16” circular needle
- Tapestry needle
- 0.5mm Clear Elastic Stretch Cord (you can usually find it in the jewelry section in a craft store)
Bulky Hand Spun Yarn- 6-7 WPI, 60-80 yards minimum, more if you wish to add a pompom. The sample was knit in a merino blend 3-ply yarn.
GAUGE On largest size needles
14 sts/16 rows = 4" in 1x1 ribbing
SIZING- Can be worked to desired size, hat has a very flexible fit.
Width: 7” laying flat at brim, slightly cinched by elastic thread.
Adult Sample size shown:
Width: 9” laying flat at brim, slightly cinched by elastic thread.
Sizing: One size fits most children/adults. Sizing can vary based on the relaxed sizing of the pattern.
Repeat Instructions: When instructions occur within ( ) or [ ] followed by a number to repeat, you will repeat the instructions between the ( ) or [ ] that number of times.
CO- Cast On
BO- Bind Off
YO- Yarn Over
TBL- Through Back Loop
All sizes: Using size 10 needles and Long-Tail Cast On, CO 6 sts. Place marker and join work into the round.
Round 1: (K1, YO) around- 12 sts
Round 2: (K1, K1TBL) around
Round 3: (K2, YO) around- 18 sts
Round 4: (K2, K1TBL) around
Round 5-6: Repeat Rounds 3-4- 27 sts
On the next round, switch to size 10.5 or 10.75 needles.
Round 7: (K3, YO) around- 36 sts
Round 8: (K1, P1, K1, P1TBL) around
Round 9: (K1, P1, K1, YO, P1, K1, P1, YO) around- 48 sts
Round 10: (K1, P1, K1, K1TBL, P1, K1, P1, P1TBL) around
Round 11: [K1, P1, K1, YO, (K1, P1) 2 times, YO, P1] around- 60 sts
Round 12: [K1, P1, K1, P1TBL, (K1, P1) 2 times, K1TBL, P1] around
On the next round, switch to size 11 needles.
For child size continue to body instructions.
Round 13: [K1, P1, K1, YO, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1, YO, K1, P1] around- 72 sts
Round 14: [K1, P1, K1, K1TBL, (P1, K1) 2 times, P1, P1TBL, K1, P1] around
Round 15: [K1, P1, K1, YO, (K1, P1) 3 times, YO, P1, K1, P1] around- 84 sts
Round 16: [K1, P1, K1, P1TBL, (K1, P1) 3 times, K1TBL, P1, K1, P1] around
Continue working in K1, P1 ribbing until hat reaches 8.5”, you run out of yarn or reach the desired length.
Secure yarn end and weave in ends.
Measure the circumference of your head and cut 2 strands of elastic thread 2” longer than that measurement. Thread elastic through your live stitches, they will act as your “bind off”. Tie each strand together separately, as tightly as is comfortable for you. You are using 2 strands in case 1 breaks, that way you still have a strand holding your sts together. Weave in elastic ends as you would yarn ends.
I wet blocked my hat and formed it over a kitchen mixing bowl to dry so that there wouldn’t be any creases, but you may block your hat however you desire.
Pompoms are optional, but if I had had extra yarn I would have made one.