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Garter Ear Flap Hat

This Garter Ear Flap Hat was an engineering feat to get me back on my feet. You see, I didn’t exactly have that quintessential fresh-start feeling that so often comes with the New Year. Instead, I spent January 1st in bed with the flu and its attendant fever, aches, chills, and delirium. Just as the worst was passing, Mother Nature blasted us with a Polar Vortex that I did not have the strength nor will to face.

Cabin fever set in! Groggy from illness and stir-crazed from quarantine, I was determined to prove my health (and sanity), and so, making this hat became a triumphant product of my bruised spirit. I created this hat that simultaneously hangs on and hugs my head, which provides protection and insulation from a season that had been beating me down.

Still enamored with the ease of working short rows in garter stitch (as with my Knit Elbow Patches), I constructed this hat in one seamless piece using Purl Soho’s soft and lush Alpaca Pure. The more I knit with this incredibly comforting yarn, the better I felt. And the topper made it official. Slightly pointed with a tiny tassel, the finish delivered cheer and whimsy. I was back to my healthy self!

With my head toasty warm and back in full heath, that fresh-start feeling did arrive… just a little late this year. A belated Happy New Year to all! May it be a healthy one. -Laura

Materials

Gauge

  • 4 1/4 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch in garter stitch with smaller needle

Sizes

Baby (Toddler, Kid, Adult Small, Adult Medium, Adult Large)

  • Finished Circumference: 14 (16, 17 3/4, 19 3/4, 21 3/4, 23 1/2) inches
  • Finished Height: 7 1/4 (8, 9, 10, 11 1/2, 12 3/4) inches, from bottom of ear flap to top of hat, not including tassel

Notes

The Right and Left Ear Flaps are shaped using short rows. For our complete  Short Rows Tutorial, please click here. NOTE: Because the short rows are worked in garter stitch in this pattern, you do not have to pick up the wraps; simply ignore the wraps when you come to them and work the wrapped stitch normally.

wrp-t [wrap and turn]: keeping the yarn in back, slip the next stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle. Bring the yarn forward as if to purl. Return the stitch from the right needle back to the left needle. Turn the work.

sskp [slip slip knit pass]: Slip two stitches together knitwise, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over knit stitch and off needle. (2 stitches decreased)

Pattern

Begin

With larger needle, cast on 60 (68, 76, 84, 92, 100) stitches.

Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Knit 2 rounds.

Change to smaller needles.

Next round: Knit 3 (4, 4, 4, 5, 6) stitches, place marker (pm), knit 16 (18, 20, 23, 25, 27) stitches for Left Ear Flap, pm, knit 22 (24, 28, 30, 32, 34) stitches for Front, pm, knit 16 (18, 20, 23, 25, 27) stitches for Right Ear Flap, pm, knit to end.

Shape Left Ear Flap

NOTE: For this portion of the pattern, you will be working in Short Rows, back and forth, turning the work part way through each round, rather than continuing to the end of the needle. For a tutorial, click here.

NOTE: If a dash (" - ") appears in place of a number for your size, omit this line of instruction.

Next Row (right side): Knit to 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) stitches before second marker, wrp-t.

Next Row: Knit to 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, -, -, 11) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, -, 10, 10) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, 9, 9, 9) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, 8, 8, 8, 8) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (7, 7, 7, 7, 7) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows (all sizes): Knit to 6 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 5 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 4 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 3 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 2 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 1 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Shape Right Ear Flap

NOTE: For this portion of the pattern, you will once again be working in Short Rows.

NOTE: If a " - " appears in place of a number for your size, omit this line of instruction.

Next Row (right side): Knit to 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) stitches before fourth marker, wrp-t.

Next Row: Knit to 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, -, -, 11) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, -, 10, 10) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, -, 9, 9, 9) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (-, 8, 8, 8, 8) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to - (7, 7, 7, 7, 7) stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows (all sizes): Knit to 6 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 5 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 4 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 3 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 2 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Two Rows: Knit to 1 stitches before next marker, wrp-t.

Next Row: Knit to end of round.

Work Body of Hat

Round 1: Purl (removing 4 stitch markers).

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 4 (4 1/4, 4 3/4, 5 1/4, 6 1/4, 7) inches from the rolled edge at the center of an Ear Flap, or until approximately 3 1/4 (3 3/4, 4 1/4, 4 3/4, 5 1/4, 5 3/4) inches shy of desired finished height.

Shape Crown of Hat

NOTE: Switch to double pointed needles when necessary.

Set-Up Round: P7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12), k1, mark previous stitch, [p14 (16, 18, 20, 22, 24), k1, mark previous stitch] three times, purl to end of round.

Round 1: [Knit to one stitch before next marked stitch, sskp (see Pattern Notes above), move stitch marker to the sskp] four times, knit to end of round. [8 stitches decreased]

Round 2: [Purl to marked stitch, k1] four times, purl to end of round.

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: Repeat Round 2.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 five (6, 7, 8, 9, 10) more times. [12 (12, 12, 12, 12, 12) stitches]

Next Round: Repeat Round 1. [4 (4, 4, 4, 4, 4) stitches]

Next Round: Knit.

Finish

Cut yarn leaving a 24-inch tail, thread onto tapestry needle and pull through remaining stitches. Make a Tiny Attached Tassel by following the instructions found here.

Weave in your ends and block as desired.

Click here to add a comment

74 Responses to Garter Ear Flap Hat


  1. Marny CA says:

    A US #8 12 (for Baby size) or 16-inch circular needle
    A US #7 12 (for Baby size) or 16-inch circular needle

    This means 12-inch circular for baby?

    So adorable!! Thank you!

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Marny-

    Yes, you use a 12-inch circular for the baby size and the 16-inch circular for the larger sizes.

    Thank you for your question!

    Molly

  3. kenza says:

    The bulb pin page describes the pins to be 1 3/4 in. long which seems quite big. Did you mean 3/4 in long instead which seems more plausible?
    http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8863-Merchant-Mills-Bulb-Pin
    Thanks for all the wonderful patterns, supplies and the knitting advice, it's much appreciated!
    kenza

  4. purl bee says:

    Hi Kenza,
    Thank you so much for writing in about this. These bulb pins measure 21mm (approximately 0.8 inches) in length. We are going to get that descriptions on Purl Soho dot com fixed ASAP. I really appreciate you taking the time to write us!
    Best,
    Laura

  5. Lee says:

    I printed out this pattern and knit it quickly in a small size to try the method. Lots of fun. Unfortunately I misunderstood the directions for the top of the hat and worked the decreases every other round instead of every fourth round. The result is a short hat with earflaps and a flat top! It will fit a small child anyway, and I intend to make more hats from this pattern, and work the decreases as written instead!

  6. Woolybnits says:

    Love this pattern. I started one last night, it is one
    Of those projects I can't seem to put down. Thank you!

  7. Maya says:

    Hello
    I feel like a complete dummy but I do not understand the instructions! What does it mean "knit to 10 stitches before second marker"? Knit all the stitches until 10 remain? This makes little sense to me, why mark it with a marker if you are going to leave stitches before it? HELP!
    I know how to work short rows so I am completely confused.
    Thanks!

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Maya.
    The markers are placed to indicate where the ear flaps will go. The ear flaps are worked in short rows, back and forth, between a pair of markers. With each short row you work closer and closer to the markers.. "knit to 10…" "knit to 9…" " knit to 8…" in order to build up the ear flap.

    If you are not familiar with short rows, please take a look at our tutorial, but ALSO be sure to read the NOTES section on this pattern because the tutorial is demonstrated on stockinette stitches and this garter stitch hat has a few different rules.
    http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-advanced-te/2008/6/18/short-rows.html

    Thanks,
    Laura

  9. Alessia says:

    This is a lovely hat! I'm making one for a newborn, but I'm using DROPS Cotton Merino and my gauge was smaller, I have about 5 sts in 1 inch, so I went up a size and it's look fine. I'd like to know…7 1/4 inches are not too many for a baby hat height?
    Thanks a lot
    Alessia

  10. purl bee says:

    Hi Alessia,
    7 1/4 sounds a little tall for a newborn, but probably not too far off. Some people have even added a round or two because 7 1/4 is a bit too short for their baby. So I can't imagine it'd be too too far off for a newborn. You can always work a round or two fewer after you work the ear flaps.
    Please let me know if you have any questions.
    Laura

  11. Ali says:

    Hi Laura, this is such a cute hat! I'm new to knitting and was almost put off by the whole wrap & turn technique but your tutorial was easy to understand and I worked through it :) My question about this is – I'm knitting the toddler size and am curious to know before I start the shaping the crown if I should have 86 stitches? I know I've made some mistakes up to this point, but I'd like to know first if that's the right amount before I start the shaping. Thanks, Ali :)

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi Ali,
    I'm glad you got through the wrap and turns. Short rows are fantastic!

    When you start the SHAPE CROWN OF HAT section of the pattern you should have 68 stitches, the same number that you cast on.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.
    Laura

  13. cait says:

    I completed the left ear flap and did the final wrap and turn, which leaves me with the entire ear flap on the left needle. This seems an impossible way to get to the fourth marker (which isn't even an ear marker, but is the round marker). I have come to this place on several occasions–I keep thinking that I've turned incorrectly or left off a row, but I can't seem to fix it. I love this pattern and REALLY want to do it well. Please help! Thanks so much.

  14. purl bee says:

    Hi Cait.
    There should be 5 markers total: 1 marking the beginning of the round, and two pairs of markers indicating where to shape for the ear flaps.

    Once you have finished the final wrap and turn for the left ear flap, work across the left ear flap, pass one marker and then work up to 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) stitches before the next marker (the fourth marker). You can refer to the pictures in the pattern to double check to see if you're in the right place.

    Please let me know if you have more questions. I hope what I've said here helps, but let me know if I can help or clarify more.
    Thanks.
    Laura

  15. Cait says:

    Hi Laura,
    I wanted to thank you for your help. It was very kind of you to refrain from saying "Just Trust Me!". I had such success that I have knitted two more hats and they are, indeed, quite easy to knit up once the pattern is in your fingers. Thanks again for the clarification. I will be shopping at Purl Soho in the future!

  16. Shae says:

    Hi- thank you for the pattern! If I were to skip the ear flaps and behin with the body of the hat, how many stitches would I cast on for the newborn size? Thanks!

  17. purl bee says:

    Hi Shae,
    Luckily, even if you aren't doing the earflaps, you still cast on the same number of stitches as instructed above!
    Thanks for writing in.
    Laura

  18. Jane says:

    Oh I’m so excited to make one of these, though I see many many more in my future!
    I’m confused though, when I join the cast on stitches and knit every row it turns out stocking stitch rather than garter – any tips?

  19. Jane says:

    Oh I absolutely adore this pattern!
    However I am totally confused because when I joined the cast on row into the round and continued knitting, I end up with stocking stitch instead of garter stitch. Am I meant to purl every second row? I would really appreciate some tips as I have cast on 3 times now and can’t seem to get it (but there are lots of people who have successfully made these so I’m worried I’m missing something completely obvious!)
    Thanks.

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Jane! Hello. You are not missing anything obvious. And you are absolutely right, the first few rounds are knit and therefore stockinette. I started with a few rounds of stockinette so that the edge would roll up a bit to where the garter stitch begins, creating a nice smooth soft edge around the hats. The garter stitch starts with the earflap shaping. Please let me know if you have any questions at all! Laura

  20. Gabriela says:

    Love your site! I’m having trouble with the first ear flap. I started knitting it and once I got about six rows in I noticed it was not between the first two same color stitch markers. Am I resetting to the start of the round (first place marker) with every wrap turn? Also, I’m confused as to what is considered 2 rows. Is it knitting one row and turning considered one row? Or is one row knitting, turning and knitting one row? Thanks!

    • Laura from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Gabriela,
      I am not sure I fully understand what you mean by resetting to the start of the round with every wrap and turn. The basic structure of the hat is as follows…

      The beginning of round is at the center of the back of the hat. It needs to be there for the decrease rounds for shaping the crown to work. The short rows are worked on either side of the hat.

      As for the 2 rows… Knitting and turning is one row and then knitting and turning again makes 2 rows. At which point you’ll have the “right side” facing you and you’ll be ready to work the next 2 rows.

      Please let me know if I’m not being clear. I’d love to help you figure all of this out!
      Thanks for writing in.
      Laura

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