My knitting guild just started a new charity project, knitting hats for children living in an orphanage in a mountainous region of Kenya. I wanted a pattern that was super fast, super cute, and would work perfectly with the four skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn I had sitting in my stash. But everything I found on Ravelry was designed for adult-sized heads ... and all the patterns in my library were designed for DK or worsted weight yarn. So out of necessity I drafted up my own simple kid's hat pattern for super-bulky yarn. Given the coincidence that I knit this as our azaleas are starting to bloom using the "Phoenix Azalea" colorway, I'm calling this the "azalea hat."
Pattern name: Azalea Hat (Ravelry pattern page)
16" circumference (unstretched)
Modeled on daughter's 18" head above.
One skein Lion Brand Hometown USA (81 yards per skein; shown in "Phoenix Azalea")
Size 13 16" circular needle
Size 13 double-point needles
Stitch marker for marking the beginning of your round
Gauge: 2 stitches per inch
Cast on 36 stitches, join to knit in the round (placing marker to indicated beginning of round).
Row 1: K2, P2 until end
Continue in K2, P2 ribbing until knitting measures 2 inches.
Begin stockinette section.
Knit until hat measures 6 inches (including 2 inches of ribbing).
Begin decreases: *K5, K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with K1 (31 stitches remaining)
Next row: Switch to DPNs. *K4, K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with K1 (26 stitches remaining)
Next row: *K3, K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with K1 (21 stitches remaining)
Next row: *K2, K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with K1 (16 stitches remaining)
Next row: *K1, K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with K1 (11 stitches remaining)
Next row: *K2tog* repeat until end of row, end with k1 (6 stitches remaining)
Next row: *K2tog, K1* repeat until end of row (4 stitches remaining)
Begin i-cord to finish top of hat.
Place all four stitches on a single dpn, so that the yarn is attached to the stitch on last stitch on the far left. Knit 1 row. Begin next row as if to make i-cord, but bind off as you knit each stitch.
Weave in ends and enjoy!
Alternate ending: if you don't like making i-cord, draw your yarn through the last four stitches to close top of hat. Top with a pom-pom or leave as is, whichever you prefer!
This picture doesn't quite show it, but I love how the decreases make a nice swirl at the top of the hat. I'm pretty sure you might be able to eeek out two hats from one skein ... I have cast on for another hat to test this theory and will report back!