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Lace Edged Chemo Caps

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These two lace edged caps can be made in a solid color or with two colors. The one on the left is a madiera lace and the one on the right a scallop lace.

This is the in-the-round version of the pattern. For a straight needle version go here.

Adult woman, size medium – 20″ circumference, 7.5″ height

17 stitches and 23 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

1.7 oz (90 yards) of soft worsted weight yarn
Size 8 (5 mm) 47″ circular needle (for magic loopor set of size 8 (5 mm) double pointed needles
Yarn needle

k = knit
p = purl
k2tog = knit two together
sk2p = slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over the knit 2 together; 2 stitches have been decreased
ssk = slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, insert left needle into front of both slipped stitches and knit.
yo = yarn over

Madeira Lace Cast on and Body:
Cast on 84. Join to knit in the round. Divide stitches between double pointed needles or needles for a magic loop. Divide with multiples of 14 on each needle. Repeat the round directions across the round.

Rnd 1: p
Rnd 2: p
Rnd 3: k2, yo, k4, sk2p, k4, yo, k1
Rnd 4: k
Rnd 5: k3, yo, k3, sk2p, k3, yo, k2
Rnd 6: k
Rnd 7: k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2, sk2p, k2, yo, k1, yo, ssk
Rnd 8: k
Rnd 9: k5, yo, k1, sk2p, k1, yo, k4
Rnd 10: k
Rnd 11: k2, yo, sk2p, yo, k1, yo, sk2p, yo, k1, yo, sk2p, yo, k1
Rnd 12: k
Rnd 13: p
Rnd 14: p
For two colors, make color change here.
Rnd 15: k
Rnd 16: k2, p1, k9, p1, k1
Repeat rounds 15 and 16 until the hat measures 5.75″ from the edge. End with a Rnd 16. Work Crown.

Scallop Lace Cast on and Body:
Cast on 84. Join to knit in the round. Divide stitches between double pointed needles or needles for a magic loop. Divide with multiples of 14 on each needle. Repeat the round directions across the round.

Rnd 1 and 2: p
Rnd 3: k
Rnd 4: k1, yo, k3, ssk, yo, sk2p, yo, k2tog, k3, yo
Rnds 5-12: Repeat rnds 3 and 4 four more times.
Rnds 13 and 14: p
For two colors, make color change here.
Rnd 15: k
Rnd 16: k2, p1, k9, p1, k1
Repeat rounds 15 and 16 until the hat measures 5.75″ from the edge. End with a Rnd 16. Work Crown.

Rnd 1: k3, ssk, k5, k2tog, k2
Rnd 2: k2, p1, k7, p1, k1
Rnd 3: k3, ssk, k3, k2tog, k2
Rnd 4: k2, p1, k5, p1, k1
Rnd 5: k3, ssk, k1, k2tog, k2
Rnd 6: k2, p1, k3, p1, k1
Rnd 7: k3, sk2p, k2
Rnd 8: k2, p1, k1, p1, k1
Rnd 9: k2, sk2p. k1
Rnd 10: k2, p1, k1
Rnd 11: k1, sk2p
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

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

Charity, Clothing, Knitted, My Patterns

104 Comments to “Lace Edged Chemo Caps”


    Lovely! Am I allowed to make and sell at shop with other chemo caps and supplies? If not for selling can I donate to the shop? I am a cancer survivor 3 xs over.

  2. Thank you for being so considerate of knitters who donate so much of their time talent and treasure to care about those who need chemo hats. It is so nice to be able to use your
    patterns without restrictions.

  3. Do you have a pattern for this project in crochet? I LOVE the look of this cap.

    Warm regards,
    Michelle aka The BearTwinsMom

  4. Thank you so much. I Knit for cancer patients and besides my own patterns I am always looking for more. Variety is the spice that keep the laughter going in our group who knits for our cancer lodge.

  5. The chemo caps are going to be next on my liat. Last Christmas I made scarves for soldiers and veterans. I’m making several afghans for the new hospice in my area. They wil be done inabout three wkes, but I can make the Chemco caps. My sister-in-law is a breast cancer for several years. She is my insperation to do the caps. I’m retired and when I do my crocheting and knitting I give most of it away to people who really need the items.


    • 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

  7. How could I decrease this pattern so that I may make these hats for, say, 4-6 year olds?

    • The pattern is a multiple of 14 stitches, so you can make it with 14 fewer stitches to make it smaller. You can also make it with sport or DK weight yarn and size 6 (4 mm) needles and it should be about the right size.

  8. The Madeira Lace Chemo Cap is beautiful. I am confused. Is the “5.75” from the edge” from the beginning or from the edge where the second color is introduced. This is my first hat so I have no reference point. I am so pleased with the results of this very feminine cap. My two friends receiving chem will be pleased.

  9. Love the look of the caps. I hope to make some to donate to a local oncologist … to give back to people who gave to me! 🙂
    What is the gauge I’m working with? Thanks!!!

  10. I was recently diagnosed. I would like to knit this cap before starting my chemotherapy. I have a large head and wonder if a larger size needle (perhaps a 9 or 10?)would produce the result I need. Thank you.

  11. As I live in Florida, could these hats be made using cotton thread so they are not so hot?

  12. I want to make this but cannot find out how to print this pattern. Can you help me? Thanks.

  13. What is a MAGIC LOOP?

  14. Thank you for these patterns. So far, I’ve made about 3 of each style to give to my local cancer center. Also going to make some for the local nursing home. These are wonderful patterns.

  15. Love the hats, have a couple of friends that are going through chemo now.

  16. Can these patterns be done with a knitting loom? And if so what yarn would you use? I am trying my hand at prayer shawls on a loom but would love to be able to give a hat also.

    • I’ve not used a loom, so I’m not familiar with how flexible they are for making various stitches, or what yarns are appropriate for them. I hope a reader with loom experience will jump in here with some advice.

  17. Is it possible to make these beautiful hats with 2 needles ?

    • To convert to regular knitting, every other row will need to be reversed (purls for knits, knits for purls) and worked in reverse order. Also, if a hat is worked this way, it will need to be sewn together to form a seam.

  18. Here in Australia we use ply instead of worsted so what is the equivalent please. Is stockinette 1 row knit 1 row purl?

    • That would be your 8 ply.

      Yes, in non-round knitting, stockinette is alternate rows of knit and purl so that the front is all knit stitches and the back is all purls.

  19. Is th 5 3/4″ from the shorter point of the scalloped edge or the longer point. It makes about 1/2-3/4 ” difference.

  20. I made the Madeira Lace Chemo Hat and I love it. Now I would like to made a child’s with the same design. Would you be able to give me the number of stitches for that? Thanks

  21. When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, knowing I would lose my hair had me looking for patterns. I knit this for myself but received so many compliments I have knit them and left them at my oncologists and at the hospital where I received my radiation. My hair is starting to grow back, but I will continue to knit and donate these hats.

  22. Thank you so much for the lovely pattern of the Lace Chemo Caps. I’ve only made the scallop one so far, easy to do and so beautiful. I plan to make more and donate them.

  23. I love the look of these caps, but I am currently doing loom
    knitting. Do you have these patterns for the loom?

  24. This is a wonderful cap, and thanks to all of you who make it and other things for donating to those sick, in the military, etc. This is something I look forward to doing when and if I am ever lucky enough to retire.

  25. Hi. I love the hats and want to knit one for myself as I start chemo Thursday.
    But I’m confused. Can I just knit these in the round without the magic loop as I don’t know how to use the magic loop? thank you.

    • You can. I just suggest the magic loop or dpns as ways to manage the circumference of the hat, especially once you get into the crown.

  26. Thanks so much for these! I love that they’re dainty and lady-like but not too lacy. So many of the people I’ve knit for don’t want a lot of holes while they’re still getting used to no hair – too self-conscious. These are a perfect balance.

  27. love this pattern…have another one I am working on but that pattern called for bulky yarn so those caps are going to be thick..these are so cute and look like they will work good with just regular yarn..thanks for sharing. I am trying to make 100 caps by next year (the 10 year anniversary of my mom passing away from cancer) to donate to the military hospital that took such good care of her so that they can give them to chemo patients.

  28. Reading all of the above comments has inspired me to knit these caps in remembrance of family and friends who have experienced chemo. They are no longer with us but are dearly loved. Thank you for designing them.

  29. Love these two little hats and want to start knitting for charity. I am a relative beginner, but think I can handle this. I only have one question: for the Madeira cap, you have the instruction of sk2p – do you slip the first stitch knit-wise, or purl wise? The other instruction for ssk says to slip knit wise, so I am wondering if that direction applies to the sk2p..

    Thank you for your help, and of course, your extreme generosity in sharing this pattern. I will definitely be giving them away (well, may keep one for myself, LOL!)…..warmest holiday wishes!

  30. Charlotte Wahlstrom

    Thanks for making the PDF version so the print can be larger! My old eyes need help.

  31. My sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I have offered to make her some cancer caps. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and patterns with us, and also for giving us permission to use them for charity. I currently do volunteer work at our local hospital helping raise funds for the hospital, and I am seriously now thinking about knitting up some caps to sell to raise funds for charity.

    The hats are lovely, BTW. Very feminine.

  32. I crocheted 2 small lap blankets (ideal for wheelchair persons) that my mother and I were making for the hospital in her area….she has since passed and I have no contact information and would like to donate closer to home…My local hospital does not want these blankets and I know of no where else that I could donate….Any ideas for me?

    • It would be nice to have somewhere near you to donate since shipping expenses are so high. You may can find an organization by looking on the web. Here is an About article with some places to start.


      Also, if you join Ravelry, there are Groups that make items for charity. You can search for groups based on category, so while in the Charity category, you can do an advanced search to limit to groups near where you are.

    • Nursing homes will appreciate them as many of the older persons get no gifts. giving them at Christmas is extra nice

  33. I’m making the Madeira Lace Cap for myself–will start chemo next week. I think its turning out great. I haven’t done much lace knitting so this is a challenge for me but I’m enjoying it. I think I will try the other one in cotton–should be cooler for summer. Thank you for these great patterns.

  34. I just received a large ball of PHENTEX sport yarn.Is this yarn suitable to knit these hats and what size needles do you suggest? thanks

  35. What a lovely pattern. Ican’t wait to start. I too would love to make for a shop for cancer pt. I have just started my journey with chemo for ovarian and love wearing all the caps and scarves. It makes you feel pretty going through an ugly time. Thanks for your talent and will to share.

  36. Hello mamma I wonder if I can use circular 16″

    • You will be fine with a circular until the crown reductions. You would then either need to transition to double pointed needles or start knitting flat at that point and have a seam in the top.

  37. Christine Doherty

    I need help. I am a relatively new knitter. Believe it or not I am having a difficult time finding the proper wool for this hat. I live in a small town in SC but can order on line if someone directs me. Believe I have looked and looked. Feeling very inadequate. Any help would be much appreciated.

    • A lot of readers think that if the hat it to be used as a chemo hat that it should be made in a soft cotton. I like Knitting Fever King Tut. If it is to be used as a non-chemo hat, then a soft wool or wool blend would be nice.

  38. Help! I am knitting the Madeira hat for my friend who is starting chemo for ovarian cancer. The cap is beautiful and was easy but I’m just now starting the crown and it makes no sense to me even though I consider myself an intermediate knitter. In row one of the crown I seem to be off the pattern. On the picture I see how the stitches come together to decrease and make an upside-down v and it keeps the three stitches between the purls. I am so frustrated because I have done and taken out row one of the crown row over and over. Can you or anyone please help me?

    • Let’s start with stitch count and see if that reveals the issue. The body of the hat is 84 stitches. This is 6 repeats of a 14 stitch pattern. On the first round of the crown, each set of 14 stitches should be reduced to 12 stitches. So if you mark the first 14 stitches of the round, after one pass through the first row of the crown, you should reach the end of those stitches and have 12 on the needle. After completing the round, you should have 72 total stitches.

      • Thank you Mama Tucker! I took your suggestions, was very careful and the stitches fell into place. I knitted the Madiera cap in cream for the lacy edge and soft mauve for the crown and it turned out beautiful. It has been sent to my friend who just has her first intensive chemo treatment in South Carolina and she loves it. I will be knitting a scallop lace hat soon. After your kind suggestion I’m sure I will have no trouble at all.

  39. I wish you would let us pin it on Pinterest for later reminder.

    • We have Pinterest pins on our to-do list for future enhancements to the site. In the mean time, you can copy the url of the pattern at the top of your browser. Then in Pinterest, on the board you want to put the Pin, select Add a Pin and then From the Web and it will have a blank you can paste the url into.

  40. Hi, I’m having trouble with the beginning of your scalloped lace pattern. on Round 4, the amount of stitches doesn’t add up. The instructions can be repeated 4 times, but on the 5 repeat, you run into the beginning of the round again. Am i miscounting something?

    • The pattern should repeat exactly 6 times. There are 14 stitches of the repeat. So for the 84 stitch cast on 14×6=84.

      Rnd 4: k1, yo, k3, ssk, yo, sk2p, yo, k2tog, k3, yo
      Uses: 1 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 14 stitches
      Makes: 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 1 = 14 stitches

  41. Thank you so much for the lovely Madeira Lace Edged Chemo Cap pattern. I made one this evening for a friend in need, and I’m sure that she will love it!

  42. I am wondering if you have to use the “Magic Loop” method with circulars? I don’t know how to do magic loop and I’ve never done DPNs… and really want to do this for a friend of mine who has just been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

    • You can make the main body of the hat on a smaller circular, such as a 16″. The crown reductions will make the stitches too tight for this method. If you don’t convert to some sort of method for knitting in-the-round on a small circumference, you can split at this point and knit back and forth and just seam the crown.

  43. Is there a way to print just the patter only? Have printed 13 pages of comments! Enjoy reading them but don’t need them printed out. Waste of paper and ink.

    • There is a printer icon at the top of the pattern. It creates a clean printer-ready version without the comments.

  44. I am wondering if there is a way to alter the pattern for a head circumference of 23 (with hair.) Thank you.

    • You want knit hats to be an inch or so smaller than the head circumference. If you add a whole repeat of the pattern around (7 instead of 6) the hat will be a bit over 23″, so would be too loose. I don’t think it needs to be much larger than the pattern, so probably just increasing a needle size would do it.

  45. The link to do a magic loop does not work and I am a little confused. Can I make the hat without the magic loop? I looked it up on you tube but I don’t understand why I need. Please help! these are wonderful hats <3

    • you do start with the top or bottom?

    • These are made in-the-round starting from the bottom. The bottom part can be made on a small circular needle, but the reductions in the crown will make it too small to do in the standard way on a circular needle. The crown can be made on double pointed needles or using any of several techniques for knitting in-the-round on small circumferences. There are also straight needle versions of these if you don’t want to make them in-the-round.


    • The directions are to be repeated around the whole round. I didn’t indicated sections to be repeated because the whole line is to be repeated.

  47. I’m new with knitting what is stockinette and bitwise

    • Stockinette is a knitted fabric that is all knits on the front and all purls on the back. If knitting back and forth, it is made by knitting front rows and purling back rows.

      To slip one knit-wise means to insert the needle in the stitch as though you were going to knit it, but instead of knitting it, just slip it onto the needle.
      To slip one purl-wise means to insert the needle in the stitch as though you were going to purl it, but instead of purling it, just slit it onto the needle.

  48. I’m doing this hat, It is very pretty. I counted my stitches and I have 94 instead of 85. Does the stitches increase or did I do something wrong. I have been knitting for a long time.

    • The stitches of every round should stay the same until the crown when they will start to decrease. Check that all of your sk2p stitches are taking three stitches down to one.

  49. Hello,
    Would you please email me the instructions to knit the Amelia Earhart/chemo hat? Thank you.

  50. I made some of these when I was diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia. Now I am making them to send to the kids for Operation Christmas Child.

  51. Thank you for the free pattern. I have two people that are in need of chemo caps and these two will make lovely additions to their wardrobes!

  52. Cynthia Burrell

    Can I used a 16 inch circular needle?

    • You will be able to use a 16 inch circular until you get into the crown reductions. You will then need to either convert to some sort of small circumference method or start knitting back and forth and make a seam in the crown.

  53. Have made several of these hats for Chemo gals. A nice change and very pretty and usable after the hair comes back.
    Thanks so much for the patterns.

  54. I started out knitting hats for cancer patients, but in the last few years, I have been donating them to the St. Vincent de Paul group at church who help the homeless.

    My son is now a coordinator for a shower ministry for the homeless, hats are being sent their way, too.

    I love variety in your hat patterns and love using all different colors…exciting colors make me knit faster!

    Than you for the beautiful work that you do!

  55. I am having trouble selecting a yarn for these caps. I used worsted yarn and it was much too bulky. Ripped it out… Can you give me the name of something that will show the lace patterns? I am housebound with leukemia and have to order yarn for my projects. Thanks !

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