Easter is about the only time of year you might hear talk of bonnets, but for babies, bonnets are a fact of life! Snuggly and warm, bonnets embrace the delicate contours of a baby's head, while under-the-chin ties prevent the famous "stroller fling".

The engineering of these little Baby Bonnets was inspired by the small miracle in sock knitting that is "turning the heel". I thought it would be neat to isolate that magical moment, using it to structure the planes of a bonnet. First from the front peak to the mid-crown and then across the entire back, you essentially "turn the heel", but somehow instead of a sock, you end up with a sweet Baby Bonnet!

Thinking about tender babies,  I turned to one of Purl Soho's most exquisite yarns, Anzula's For Better Or Worsted. A beautiful blend of superwash merino, cashmere and nylon, it is soft, sumptuous, and stunningly hand dyed. Just right for babies!

I hope you enjoy knitting this little one-skein project. It's a bit surprising and a whole lot of fun!

Materials

  • 1 skein of Anzula's For Better or Worsted, 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Nylon. These colors, from the left, are Au Natural, Clay, and Avocado. (One skein will make two Baby Bonnets with only about 5 yards to spare, so be sure of your gauge!)
  • A US #6 circular needle. Any length between 16 and 40 inches is okay, but I would recommend 20 or 24 inches.
  • Two US #5 double pointed needles.

Gauge

5 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Sizes + Dimensions

To fit a 9 month to 18 month old. (Baby Eleanor, pictured in our photos, is 7 months old and a bit on the small side. The Baby Bonnet is perhaps a little big on her...)

  • From cheek to cheek: 14 inches
  • From bottom of side to middle of the crown: 6 1/2 inches
  • From forehead to back of crown: 5 inches

Pattern

The Crown

Cast 46 stitches onto the circular needle.

Row 1 (right side): K25, slip slip knit (ssk), k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you. (27 stitches on the left needle and 18 stitches on the right needle)

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn the work so the right side is facing you. (26 stitches on the left needle and 18 stitches on the right needle)

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap (see below), ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.

Here's the so-called "gap":

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the stitches have been worked, purling instead of slipping the first stitch of the last row. (26 stitches remain)

Next Row (right side): Knit.

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Repeat the last 2 rows seven more times.

Bind off loosely, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

The Right Side

With the right side facing you, pick up 14 stitches along the side of the Crown from Point A to B (15 stitches on needle). Place a marker. Pick up 18 stitches from Point B to C. (33 stitches total)

Row 1 (wrong side): P2tog, purl to end. (1 stitch decreased)

Row 2: Knit to marker, make 1 left, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times, removing the marker on the last row. (30 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): Repeat Row 1. (29 stitches)

Next Row: Knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (28 stitches)

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: Knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat the last 2 rows three more times. (24 sttiches)

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Knit.

Repeat the last 2 rows four more times.

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Ssk, knit to end. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat the last 2 rows two more times. (21 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Bind off loosely. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

The Left Side

With the right side facing you, join new yarn and pick up 18 stitches along the other side of the Crown from Point A to B. Place a marker. Pick up 15 stitches from Point B to C. (33 stitches total)

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl to last 2 stitches, p2tog through the back loop (p2tog tbl). (1 stitch decreased)

Row 2: Ssk, knit to marker, slip marker, make 1 right, knit to end.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 two more times, removing the marker on the last row. (30 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): Repeat Row 1. (29 stitches)

Next Row: Ssk, knit to end. (28 stitches)

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: Ssk, knit to end. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat the last 2 rows three more times. (24 sttiches)

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Knit.

Repeat the last 2 rows four more times.

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Next Row: Knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat the last 2 rows two more times. (21 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): Purl.

Bind off loosely, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

The Back

With the right side facing you, pick up 29 stitches along the back of the Left Side (30 stitches on needle), pick up 24 stitches along the back of the Crown, and pick up 30 stitches along the back of the Right Side. (84 stitches total)

Row 1 (wrong side): P44, p2tog , p1, turn the work so the right side is facing you. (46 stitches on the left needle and 37 stitches on the right needle)

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 purlwise, k5, ssk, k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you. (45 stitches on the left needle and 37 stitches on the right needle)

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), p1, turn.

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk, k1, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until 7 stitches remain on each end of the needle after the gaps. (52 stitches total)

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p13, p2tog tbl, p6, p2tog, purl to the 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Next Row: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk, k1, turn.

Repeat the last 2 rows two more times. (1 stitch on each end after the gaps, 40 stitches total)

Next Row (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog. (39 stitches)

Next Row: Bind off loosely to last 2 stitches, ssk, and bind off the final stitch.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

The Attached I-Cord

Cast 3 stitches onto a US #5 double pointed needle.

Knit an I-cord that is 9 1/2 inches unstretched and 12 inches stretched.

With the right side facing you and beginning at Point A, knit an Attached I-cord. Between Points A and B pick up 32 stitches.

Between Points B and C pick up 7 stitches. And between Points C and D pick up 32 stitches.

Continue to knit an (unattached) I-cord to match the length of the first one (9 1/2 inches unstretched).

Bind off. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

Now, with a double pointed needle, pick up 2 stitches from the unattached I-cord at Point D. Then pick up 1 stitch from the bound off edge of the Left Side.

As you now knit the Attached I-cord, pick up 18 stitches along the Left Side. Pick up 35 stitches along the Back, and pick up 18 stitches along the Right Side.

Bind off. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

Use the tail to sew the bound off end of this I-cord to the first I-cord you made.

Weave in the ends and gently block your wee Baby Bonnet!