Chunky Cable Hat

Just because knitting an intricately cabled Aran sweater sounds a lot like climbing Mount Everest, doesn't mean that cables are only for Channel Island women waiting for their fishermen to come home! Unlike hiking to the world's highest summit, knitting cables is actually really easy... really!

Faye's Chunky Cable Hat is the perfect beginner hill! Quick and manageable, this simple cable pattern results in a truly stunning hat. And Purl Soho's Super Soft Merino is a wonderful vehicle for the hills and valleys of cables, giving them a satisfying depth and sumptuous texture.  Plus, this may be the coziest hat of the year!

Ready for some knitting fun? Get started!



5 ½ stitches = 1 inch in 2 x 2 rib, unstretched


16 inches in circumference, unstretched, and 11 inches tall, to fit most adult women


C8f [Cable 8 front]: Slip 4 stitches onto cable stitch holder and hold in front of work. K2, p2 from left needle, then k2, p2 from cable holder.

C6f [Cable 6 front]: Slip 3 stitches onto cable stitch holder and hold in front of work. K2, p1 from left needle, then k2, p1 from cable holder.



Cast on 88 stitches.

Place a marker and join to work in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Rounds 2-9: Repeat Round 1.

Round 10 (Cable Round): C8f eleven times. (See NOTES, above.)

Repeat Rounds 1-10 two more times.

Repeat Round 1.

Next Round (Decrease Round): *K2, p2, k2, p2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (77 stitches)

Next Round: *K2, p2, k2, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat previous round four more times.

Next Round (Decrease Round): *K2, p2tog, k2, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (66 stitches)

Next Round: *K2, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Next Round (Cable Round): C6f eleven times. (See NOTES, above.)

Next Round: *K2, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Next Round (Decrease Round): *K2tog, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (44 stitches)

Next Round: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Switching to double pointed needles, if you’re using them…

Next Round (Decrease Round): *K3tog, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (22 stitches)


Cut working yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail. Thread tail onto tapestry needle and draw needle through remaining stitches. Pull taut and fasten tail by weaving into inside of hat.

Weave in remaining tails and block if desired.

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33 Responses to Chunky Cable Hat

  1. Ariana says:

    This is so cute, and a bulky hat pattern will practically make itself!
    Just FIY the gauge info has a typo.

  2. Sam says:

    This is so beautiful! I have never done cables but I think I can do this! I would love to make one for me and a matching one for my daughter! How many stitches would you cast on for a toddler size (16″ size probably)? Thanks!

  3. purl bee says:

    Hi Sam-

    Faye recommends that you cast on 64 stitches.You'll be repeating the cable 8 times instead of 11. You can follow the pattern as written, just make sure to make it shorter!

    Thank you for your question!


  4. Sam says:

    Thanks so much! One more question, how would you recommend shortening it? Would you only repeat rows 1-10 twice instead of three times for toddler size? Thanks again! Will you be getting in more pink super soft merino soon? Love that color on my daughter!

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Sam-

    I just emailed with Faye and she thinks that that sounds like it should work out fine.

    Please let us know if you have any more questions!


  6. Stephanie says:


    I saw your note about double pointed needles — so is it possible to finish the hat just in the round? I can't do DPNs but I do know Magic Loop. I was thinking of doing it as ML, but just wanted to confirm that I could finish it just in the round. Thanks!


  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Stephanie-

    Yes, it is possible, to finish the top of the hat without double pointed needles, it will just be a bit tight for the last few rows.

    Thank you!


  8. Allie says:

    This is wonderful. I'm thinking a darker color could make a handsome beanie for a man as well. How do you recommend modifying the pattern for a larger size?

  9. im says:

    What type of cast on did you use?

  10. purl bee says:

    Hi Im-

    Faye used a Long Tail Cast on:

    Thank you!


  11. Katiana says:

    Is this hat, knit with original pattern, slouchy?
    Seems like 11 inches tall would make it slouchy?
    Would be helpful for pictures of it on someones head to see!!

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi Katiana-

    It is slouchy! You can see it on Faye by checking out our instagram feed here:

    Thank you!


  13. Fili says:

    This is a wonderful hat!
    When using a thicker yarn and #15 needles how many stiches would you suggest to cast on?
    Thank you!

  14. purl bee says:

    Hi Fili-

    We suggest that you use the appropriate sized yarn and needles to get the gauge listed in the pattern because a cable pattern like this would need to be completely rewritten in other gauges.

    Thank you so much for writing in!


  15. Trinity says:

    Repeat rounds 1-10 refers to the cable rounds or those right after the cast on? Sorry, I'm horrible at reading patterns.

  16. Kim says:


    I'm trying to make this hat and I'm finding C8F difficult to repeat. The yarn gets very tight. I'm not pulling the yarn tightly, so is it normal when cabling to have tight rows? Does it sort itself out within the next rows?

    Thanks for the pattern and your help.

  17. purl bee says:

    Hi Kim-

    That is normal and it will ease up once you start the rib again.

    Thank you!


  18. Alice says:

    how many stitches would I need to cast on to make the hat somewhat narrower, I'm afraid it would be too wide for my teenage daughter.

  19. purl bee says:

    Hi Alice-

    You could cast on 80 stitches to make it slightly narrower (you need to cast on a multiple of 8) but please make sure to measure her head, it should fit a teenage girl as is.

    Thank you!


  20. sara k. says:

    This is a gorgeous hat–I had great success with bulky baby alpaca and size 11's. Made a swatch and it made all the difference! Very stretchy and slouchy, and a super easy, super quick pattern. I can't wait for a chilly day to wear it!

  21. Rachel says:

    This might be a silly question but when you do say finish and use DPN, what exactly do you mean as the finish? I'm a little new to the knitting game but completely understood the whole pattern up until it said finish.

  22. purl bee says:

    Hello Rachel.
    That is not a silly question at all.
    As you decrease to shape the top of the hat, and you have fewer and fewer stitches, the circular needle will be too long to work on. The stitches will be stretched/straining reaching around the length of the needle. So, once you reach that point, you can switch to double pointed needles. Double pointed needles allow you to work on projects with very small circumferences.
    Please let us know if you have any more questions.

  23. Dakota says:

    When using thicker yarn, what adjustments should I make?

  24. purl bee says:

    Hi Dakota-
    We suggest that you use the appropriate sized yarn and needles to get the gauge listed in the pattern because a cable pattern like this would need to be completely rewritten in other gauges.

    Thank you so much for writing in!


  25. rose says:

    My hat is too wide at the bottom. I casted 88 stitches but the bottom flares out. I don't know what i did wrong.

  26. purl bee says:

    Hi Rose.
    Because of where the first round of cabling takes place and how that round can potentially pull the piece in, it's easy for this hat to look as if the bottom flares. You could always work the first portion of the pattern in a smaller needle size. If I had to guess, you didn't do anything wrong. You just might have a tense or tight way of knitting cables.

  27. Jeniffer says:

    I cast on the 88 stitches and It seems awefully big. Will it tighten up once I start the cables?

  28. Shelley says:

    Hi, I am currently knitting this hat and I don't want it to be as "pointy" as it is in the pictures I see of it on Faye, do you have any suggestions on how I could shorten this a bit?

  29. purl bee says:

    Hi Jeniffer-

    It does pull in a lot at the cable sections. As long as you are getting the correct gauge the pattern will turn out to be the finished dimensions.

    Thanks for your question!


  30. purl bee says:

    Hi Shelley.
    If you eliminate the round between the last two decrease rounds you'll lose a touch of height and round out the top a bit, eliminating some of that pointy-ness.
    If you want it even shorter or less pointy, also omit the round between the second to last and third to last decrease rounds.
    Thanks for writing in.

  31. Kate says:

    I made this and it came out with a "bucket hat" kind of appearance…the bottom is way too loose and I followed the pattern exactly. The hat is completely unwearable. I'm pretty new to knitting so I'm very confused and this isn't the first time this has happened! Anyone know why this is?

  32. purl bee says:

    Hi Kate.
    I am so sorry your labors have been fruitless.
    Oftentimes, people will work cables extremely tightly. If this is the case, this pattern would result in an unusual shape with the bottom much looser than the top since the majority of the hat is worked in cables and working those cables too tight will pull the top of the hat way in, leaving the ribbed edge looking (and fitting) quite strangely.
    Please write us back if we can help in any way.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us and our other readers!

  33. Emilsen Gomez says:

    I just finished the hat, i love the pattern it came out really nice, thanks for sharing!

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