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Cabled Baby Hats

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Both of these hats begin with the same ribbing. Hat I is a more simple pattern since the cabling is contained in the repeat area. I would recommend having experience with both knitting in the round and with cabling before attempting Hat II. Because the cabling is across the entire hat, on some rows stitches will need to be shifted between needles to accommodate cable stitches.

Preemie – 10″ circumference
Newborn – 12″ circumference

22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

0.5 to 0.6 oz (40 to 50 yards) of DK weight baby yarn
Size 6 (4 mm) 40″ circular needle (for magic loopor set of size 6 (4 mm) double pointed needles
Cable needle
Yarn needle

k = knit
p = purl
t3f = twist 3 front – Slip the next 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work. Purl the next stitch from the left-hand needle, knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
t3b = twist 3 back – Slip the next stitch onto cable needle and hold behind work. Knit the next 2 stitchs from left-hand needle, purl the stitch from the cable needle.
c4f = cable 4 front – Slip the next 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front of work. Knit the next 2 stitches from left-hand needle, knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
k2tog = knit two together
ssk = slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, insert left needle into front of both slipped stitches and knit.
* = repeat instructions between *’s across the round. Instructions before a * are for the beginning of the round and instructions after a * are for the last stitches of the round.

Cast on and Ribbing:
Cast on 60 for preemie size or 72 for newborn. Join to knit in the round. Divide stitches between double pointed needles or needles for a magic loop. For Hat I, divide with multiples of 12 on each needle.

Ribbing (6 rounds for preemie size, 8 rounds for newborn size: *k2, p2*

Hat I
Rnd 1: *t3f, p4, t3b, p2*
Rnd 2: *p1, k2, p4, k2, p3*
Rnd 3: *p1, t3f, p2, t3b, p3*
Rnd 4: *p2, k2, p2, k2, p4*
Rnd 5: *p2, t3f, t3b, p4*
Rnd 6: *p3, k4, p5*
Rnd 7: *p3, c4f, p5*
Rnd 8: *p3, k4, p5*
Rnd 9: *p2, t3b, t3f, p4*
Rnd 10: *p2, k2, p2, k2, p4*
Rnd 11: *p1, t3b, p2, t3f, p3*
Rnd 12: *p1, k2, p4, k2, p3*
Rnd 13: *t3b, p4, t3f, p2*
Rnd 14: *k2, p6, k2, p2*
Rnds 15-28: Repeat Rnds 1-14
Rnd 29: *k1, ssk, p4, k2tog, k1, p2*
Rnd 30: *k2, p4, k2, p2*
Rnd 31: *k1, ssk, p2, k2tog, k1, p2*
Rnd 32: *k2, p2, k2, p2*
Rnd 33: *k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, p2*
Rnd 34: *k4, p2*
Rnd 35: *ssk, k2tog, p2*
Rnd 36: *k2, p2*
Rnd 37: *k2tog, p2tog*
Cut the yarn with several inches to work with. With a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops, secure and weave in end.

Hat II
Rnd 1: *k2, p2, k2, p6*
Rnd 2: *k2, p2, k2, p6*
Rnd 3: *t3f, t3b, p6*
Rnd 4: *p1, k4, p7*
Rnd 5: *p1, c4f, p7*
Rnd 6: *p1, k4, p7*
Rnd 7: *t3b, t3f, p6*
Rnd 8: *k2, p2, k2, p6*
Rnd 9: k2, *p2, t3f, p4, t3b* (last t3b includes k2 from beginning of round)
Rnd 10: p3, *k2, p4*, k1
Rnd 11: k1, *p4, t3f, p2, t3b* (last t3b includes k1 from beginning of round)
Rnd 12: p5, *k2, p2, k2, p6*, k2, p2, k2
Rnd 13: *p6, t3f, t3b*
Rnd 14: *p7, k4, p1*
Rnd 15: *p7, c4f, p1*
Rnd 16: *p7, k4, p1*
Rnd 17: *p6, t3b, t3f*
Rnd 18: *p6, k2, p2, k2*
Rnd 19: p1, *p4, t3b, p2, t3f* (last t3f includes p1 from beginning of round)
Rnd 20: *p4, k2*, p4, k1
Rnd 21: k1, p3, *t3b, p4, t3f, p2*, t3b, p4, t3f (last t3f includes k1, p1 from beginning of round)
Rnd 22: *p2, k2, p6, k2* p2, k2, p6
Rnd 23: *t3f, t3b, p6*
Rnd 24: *p1, k4, p7*
Rnd 25: *p1, c4f, p7*
Rnd 26: *p1, k4, p7*
Rnd 27: *t3b, t3f, p6*
Rnd 28: *k2, p2, k2, p6*
Rnd 29: k2, *p2, K1, ssk, p4, k2tog, k1*, p2, k1, ssk, p4, move first stitch from prior round to end of this round, k2tog. This stitch is now permanently moved.
Rnd 30: *k1, p2, k2, p4, k1*
Rnd 31: *k1, p2, k1, ssk, p2, k2tog*
Rnd 32: *k1, p2, k2, p2, k1*
Rnd 33: *k1, p2, k1, ssk, k2tog*
Rnd 34: *k1, p2, k3*
Rnd 35: k1, *p2, ssk, k2tog*, p2, ssk, move first stitch from prior round to end of this round, k2tog. This stitch is now permanently moved.
Rnd 36: *p2, k2*
Rnd 37: *p2tog, k2tog*
Cut the yarn with several inches to work with. With a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops, secure and weave in end.


12/17/2015 – replaced a broken link for Magic Loop method
11/13/2018 – corrected wording of parenthetical on rnd 21.

Restrictions on the use of this pattern are available at http://stitcheryprojects.com/using-my-patterns/.

Baby, Clothing, Knitted, My Patterns

44 Comments to “Cabled Baby Hats”

  1. Both of these hats are lovely and i am looking forward to making them!

  2. t3f

    I have never run across “t3f” abreviation. I cannot make it to look like the picture. Guess I’m not reading it right? I would appreciate any help I can get. Thank you in advance.


    • You can always call your local hospitals and cancer centers to see if they are accepting hat donations. Here are some sites for organizations that take chemo hats:


      Also, another reader has offered to accept hat donations to forward:
      I would be more then happy to accept your caps and turn them in to the hospital for you. We are always in need of items for the NICU, new borns, oncology, hospice and other depts.
      Charlotte Tetzlaff
      W5770 Wildwood Rd
      Neillsville, WI 54456

    • Debbie Macomber a novelist also has a website http://www.debbiemacomber.com where you can send her finished chemo hats called knit one bless two.she then distributes them the hospitals that can use them. I made 2 chemo hats this fall and sent them in. Ellen
      Her physical addree: Debbie Macomber
      P.O.Box 1458
      Port Orchard WA 98366

      Hope this helps.

  4. I am a beginner and am using size 6 regular knitting needles. Will this work? I am hoping that when I am done, that I can finish it off and stitch together at seams by hand.

    • You can knit this flat. The pattern is written for in-the-round, so all the rows are given as right side. If you knit back and forth, you will need to reverse the order and exchange the purls and knits of all the even rows.

      Knitting in the round is fun and not difficult. This is a good tutorial on it. This isn’t my video, but I thought it was a good explanation of knitting in the round. It demonstrates using double pointed needles and circular needles:

  5. I love these hats! Thank you for the pattern. I have made two of hat 1 for friends babies, I really want one for myself now, but i am not sure if my plans for size change are going to work out. I was planning to move to size 8 needles cast on about 108 and repeat 1-7 a third time for increased length? Do you think that will accomodate a 23 in adult head?

    • That sounds like it should work. If you use a sport or DK weight you will probably need the 108, but if you use a worsted weight you might just need 96 or even 84.

  6. I have beenlooking for a new pattern for tiny hats, this is perfect, I have been giving to my local hospital and in the last year or so have seen an increase in the number of babies with low birth size and weights , mostly from drug useing Moms. So have been making smaller hats to give to them.

  7. Thank you so much for your pattern. I made this hat (the first pattern) for myself (adult size) using size 9/5.5mm needle and Red Heart worsted weight yarn. It came out very nice. I want to sent you the picture but I don’t know how. Once again, thank you so much. Have a good day 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for providing such a beautiful pattern. I was not familiar with some of the terms, but your explanation is so clear, I’m sure I can do this. I also liked the comments, so I may try one for myself after I’ve tried the smaller size listed here.

  9. These are adorable, can hardly wait to begin knitting one. THANK YOU!

    PS. For the lady who didn’t know the abreviation, (t3f) the pattern has an explanation to all abreviations.

  10. I am a fairly new knitter, I am trying hat 2 and I am unsure about row 9. When I get to the last t3b Do I slip the two I knitted at the beginning of the row 9 over to the right hand needle then purl the stitch on the cn or do I knit them again? Does that change where I begin the next row and should I still have 24 stitches on each needle.

    • The goal is to keep the same number of stitches on your needles. The cable is going to move from one needle to another over the next few rows, so it can get confusing.

      When you get to that last stitch on your needle, slip it to the cable needle and hold it to the back. Knit one stitch from the next needle onto the current needle to complete the number of stitches for that needle. Knit one more stitch from the next needle onto your empty one then purl the one from the cable needle. Now you have two stitches on your new needle. On the last one of the round you will actually have two stitches into the next round and will pick up with the p3 of the next round to complete that needle.

      I hope that helps.

  11. Stitches from the heart takes hats, blankets etc and ships them to hospitals all overthe country.

  12. JoAnne Cassingham

    I am in the process of knitting cabled baby hat II and am on row 11, but I am totally lost on what to do with the last t3b stitch. I tried following the instruction, but the last stitch does not turn out the way I think it should. When I got to row 12 I have one p stitch too many. Can you help me out? Thank you a bunch.

    • Rnd 11: k1, *p4, t3f, p2, t3b* (last t3b includes k1 from beginning of round)
      Rnd 12: p5, *k2, p2, k2, p6*, k2, p2, k2

      The t3f in rnd 11 would create a purl and 2 knits, so with the first knit and 4 purls, there should be 1 knit, 5 purls, then two knits. The last t3b of round 11 uses the first knit of the round, so this leaves rnd 12 beginning with 5 purls.

  13. Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern. Glad it’s for preemies, too. I’ve added it to my pattern collection for donated items.

  14. Mama,

    thank you very much for putting this pattern online for us to do. so far I have made 3 hats using thid pattern, one with baby yarn, and one I used cotton yarn it was Patons Cotton Sahara yarn, and it is very cute and have got a lot of comments on it. These will be given to my local hospital for the newborn unit.

    and the 3rd hat I made I switched to worsted weight yarn, Red Heart Super Saver and made one to fit an adult woman, I also managed to make a pair of fingerless mittens to match.
    The hat has 9 repeats for 108 stitches in the round and it fits my head about a size 6-7 I made 5 cross patterns about6′ long then did the top shaping. The adult mittens I knit on 48 sts and used # 6 dp needles for all. I used my hand for the shaping ad did 2 crosses before I started working the palm of the hand, for that I saved 18 sts, although 16 would have been a better fit for my hand.
    And with a 1″ k2, p2 pattern and about 15 rows of the pattern for the wrist/arm it seems towork pretty well.
    then I did the thumb at the start of the palm sts I made 15 sts for the thumb, incc every other row, and working 1 row even, By staying wityh the pattern changes that forms the crossed the thumb inc stayed in pattern, It has been a challenge thatwas very interesting to do.


  15. Thank you! I LOVE these hats. I made both of them this week for the new one on the way and am planning on making a couple more for another pregnant lady I know!

  16. I would like to make these hats for 6 month and 1 year olds, should I use larger knitting needles or different type of wool.
    Thank you and thank you for your recent response to a question I sent in. Most helpful.

    • Cast on 84 for a 12 month size. It will be very stretchy so will work for 6 months as well and last a while. You may want to add a few more rows of ribbing to make the hat taller.

  17. These are absolutely beautiful hats! I was so excited when I found the patterns, and even more excited that you offer them for free! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work for the rest of us! I am 11 rounds away from completing hat #2 and then I will do hat #1. I have been teaching myself to knit this past year after a good friend taught me to cast on and to knit and purl straight across, and have been eagerly knitting everything I can find so I can learn new techniques (and using up a huge yarn stash I inherited and can no longer use with my crocheting as it severely aggravates my carpal tunnel syndrome). I love making baby hats because there are so many cute patterns and it addresses my need to have a finished project as they work up quickly when I am tired of another project that takes longer to complete. I have quite a collection of hats and am going to be donating them to our hospital. Actually I guess I should say I hope to donate them to our hospital, but since I live in Canada I don’t know for certain that they have such programs as in the States. I hope they do. If not, maybe I can convince them to start one. And if not, then I will send them to some of the addresses helpfully supplied here. Again, thank you for sharing your beautiful patterns!

  18. Hello,
    I love the hats. I was wondering if you can adjust for a teen size. Thank you

  19. I really enjoyed knitting of these! It was super fast and turned out beautiful. I wrote a review of the pattern on my blog:

  20. Just curious, but it looks like in the picture for hat II all the cables are c4b, not c4f like it says in the pattern? I did it as written, and I love the way it turned out! Just curious if that was a conscious decision to do it the opposite way?

    Also, I took most of the swapping switches between needles out of it and just worked the whole thing on my 16″ round needles! 🙂

    • You have a keen eye! I wrote the pattern with Hat I and Hat II and took the photo not thinking about the order. I had already donated the hats to charity when I realized that I had put Hat II on the left and Hat I on the right, so flipped the photo.

  21. It makes no sense to me how you can knit the preemie hat which is 10″ circumference on round kindles which are 40″. Please explain

  22. do you have this in 3-6mths please?

  23. Is there any chance you could tell me how to adjust the size for a 4 year old? I’ve made two of your other patterns (for newborns) and really loved them, thank you! Thanks in advance, Hayley-anne

    • The easiest way is to use a heavier yarn and larger needles. For a 4 year old the size would work out to use a worsted weight yarn and size 8 (5mm) needles and cast on 84.

  24. I’m wondering if you can clarify the end of Row 21 for me… I know I need to use the first knit stitch from the beginning of the round, but I’m getting confused with the “last p1, k1 of rnd 20” part. Haven’t I already used these for the p4 leading up to the last t3f?
    I feel like I’m making a small, silly mistake here. Thank you in advance for your help!

    • I don’t know why I had worded that one differently, but it should really be similar to the others and read “last t3f includes k1, p1 from beginning of round”. I’ve now changed that in the pattern.

  25. this wonderful blog must belong also to a wonderful person; THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LADY!

  26. Hi there, I’m totally stuck on row 9 of hat number 2. I’m using circular needles. Would someone please be able to make a little video tutorial showing this and how it goes into row 10 and where your row markers are placed. It would be very helpful. Thanks, Merryn

    • I don’t have time to make videos anymore, but I think I can explain this well enough. If you are using a marker at the change of rounds, when you get to the end of round 9, at the end of the last repeat you only have one stitch before the marker when you need to work your last t3b. Remove the marker and use those next two stitches for your t3b, then reset your stitch marker after the t3b.

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