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Aren’t hats great? What kind of holiday-handknit party poopers would turn up their noses at a nice, warm hat? Great hats are the low-hanging fruit of Ravelry. So many excellent designers have published free hat patterns—loving gifts to knitters—and so many of the hats look like they are not only beautiful and useful, but fun to knit.

So here’s my list of eight great free hat patterns. Stick it up on the fridge, and you’ll be ready, should the impulse strike.

Bankhead by Susie Gourlay. Wide ribbing and a fashionable slouch.

Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits. Part of an eBook that includes the stunning Antler Cardigan, which you can knit to fit the whole family, from tiny tot to adult size 4XL. Now that’s hardcore holiday knitting.

Regular Guy Beanie by Chuck Wright. Because regular guys are all about the stockinette. Knits on the RS, purls on the WS, as God intended.

Man Hat by Haven Ashley. Again with the gendering of inanimate objects. This reversible hat is for everybody, including that fussy guy on your list who likes his headgear very classic.

Graham by Jennifer Adams. Slouchy, but not too slouchy.

Turn a Square by Jared Flood. 17,000 Ravelers can’t be wrong. This hat is a beloved rite of passage and the best use ever for scraps of Noro Silk Garden.

Wurm by Katharina Nopp. Ingenious welts that trap warm air.

Rikke by Sarah Young. Stretchy garter goodness. Such a clean, modern look.


  • Thanks, I’m going to try a couple of these…. in December

  • Tempting choices!

  • I love the look of Rilke, but does it stay on your head?!? It just seems like without the band it would get all stretchy and fall off. Any experiences anyone?

    • I have made two Rikke hats. One I gave to a friend that liked to wear hers more as a beret. The extra “slouch” can be flattened easily beret style and it looked great on her. And yes, with the smaller needle size to start, no problem w it slipping. I love this pattern!

    • I’ve made several Rikke hats. The band is knit with smaller needles, so it stays on beautifully.

    • I have made four Rikke hats as the pattern is written and they stay on! Definitely use smaller needles for the band and you’ll be all set. I’ve used DK weight yarns from Spun Right Round, Hedgehog Fibres, and Savvy Skeins, all with awesome results.

    • I have made 2 Rikke. Using a #4 needle allows the first several inches to be much more snug than the rest of the hat knit on a #7. Since both were gifts I am not sure how they have withstood constant use, but I imagine washing and reblocking helps.

    • We need a field test of these hats!

  • I am made a few favorite knit slouchy hats – they are pretty quick and look great in everyone. And the pattern is free! #winwin

  • Kay–since you are writing about knitting hats and I am still decompressing from a marathon knitathon of knitting pink pussy hats (11 of them) and marching in Washington DC this past Saturday, I wanted to thank you. I first learned of the pink hats and the march from a picture you posted either on Instagram or Twitter. Curiosity and inspiration resulted in me investigating further and deciding to take a road trip from East Tennessee to Washington DC to visit my daughter and outfit her and her friends in hats for our march. Thanks so many times over!

  • Add the cc copycat hat to the list. Great hat

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