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« Purl Soho's Holiday Gift List! | Main | Whit's Knits: Little Cable Knee Highs »

Whit's Knits: Super Soft Merino Hats for Everyone!

I love the boisterous song that the colors of Super Soft Merino sing together, like the refrain that a group of merry hikers might belt out through a snow-covered forest!

And what better way to have some fun with color than to knit up a whole gaggle of hats? Looking at them all together, I imagine a lollipop shop where all the surfaces are white and all the lollipops bob around with their candy bright heads!

On Christmas morning, when all the wrapping paper is off these hats, I love that my whole family will be left with the same happy thoughts as I'm having now. What good cheer and warm feelings to bring to a holiday gathering!

Of course, an added bonus is that nothing's faster to knit than a hat, and one that knits up at three stitches to the inch is, well, even faster! Purl Soho's new Super Soft Merino is the perfect yarn to get the job done. Decadently soft, prettily spun, and wonderfully toasty, it is one heck of a beautiful hat yarn! -Whitney


The Materials

  • Purl Soho's Super Soft Merino, 100% merino wool, 87 yards per skein. I used the colors Heirloom White, Oyster Gray, Super Pink, Red Zinnia, Clementine Orange, Yellow Yellow, Extra Green, Desert Sky, Peacock Blue and Timeless Navy. And here's how much Super Soft Merino each hat requires:
  • Baby - about 36 yards
  • Toddler - about 47 yards
  • Kid - about 58 yards
  • Women's - about 69 yards
  • Men's - about 80 yards


The Pattern


3 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Sizes

Baby (Toddler, Kid, Women's, Men's)

12 (14, 16, 18, 20) inches in circumference

6 (6 3/4, 7 1/2, 8 1/4, 9) inches high


This pattern includes one basic hat pattern (in five sizes), and four different ideas for stripes and color blocks. You can knit any size hat in any color design, or of course, it's always fun to come up with your own color story!


Basic Hat Pattern

SHOWN ABOVE: Baby hat in Extra Green and Women's hat in Super Pink.


Cast 36 (42, 48, 54, 60) stitches onto the circular needles.

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

Round 1: *K3, p3, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 four (4, 5, 5, 6) more times.


Knit every round until piece measures 4 1/2 (5, 5 1/2, 6, 6 1/2) inches from the cast one edge.


  • Baby: start the crown with Round 9
  • Toddler: start with Round 7
  • Kid: start with Round 5
  • Women's: start with Round 3
  • Men's: start with Round 1

Round 1: *K8, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (54 stitches)

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: *K7, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: *K6, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (42 stitches)

Round 6: Knit.

Round 7: *K5, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (36 stitches)

Round 8: Knit.

Changing to double pointed needles...

Round 9: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)

Round 10: *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Round 11: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (18 stitches)

Round 12: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (12 stitches)

Round 13: *K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (6 stitches)

Cut the tail and thread it through the remaining stitches. Weave it into the inside of the hat. Weave in the other ends and you're done!


One Stripe Hat

SHOWN ABOVE: Baby hat in Heirloom White and Desert Sky; and Kid hat in Oyster Gray and Yellow Yellow.

Following the Basic Hat Pattern (above)...

With Color A, cast on and knit the cuff . Cut Color A.

With Color B, knit to 1/4 inch of crown. Cut Color B.

With Color A, knit 1 round and then knit the crown.


Three Stripes Hat

SHOWN ABOVE: Kid hat in Oyster Gray, Clementine Orange and Red Zinnia; and Men's hat in Heirloom White, Peacock Blue and Timeless Navy.

Following the Basic Hat Pattern (above)...

With Color A, knit the cuff and the body until piece measures 2 (2 1/4, 2 1/2, 2 3/4, 3) inches from the cast one edge. Cut Color A.

With Color B, continue to knit the body for 2 (2 1/4, 2 1/2, 2 3/4, 3) more inches. Cut Color B.

With Color C, knit 1 round, then knit the crown.


Pinstripe Hat

SHOWN ABOVE: Toddler hat in Heirloom White and Extra Green; and Men's hat in Heirloom White and Clementine Orange

Following the Basic Hat Pattern (above)...

With Color A, knit the cuff.

*With Color A, knit 2 rounds.

With Color B, knit 1 round.

Repeat from * to end of hat.


Rainbow Stripe Hat

SHOWN ABOVE: Toddler hat in Oyster Gray with Red Zinnia, Clementine Orange, Yellow Yellow, Extra Green and Peacock Blue; Women's hat in Heirloom White with Red Zinnia, Super Pink, Desert Sky, Peacock Blue and Timeless Navy

Following the Basic Hat Pattern (above)...

With Color A, knit the cuff.

Still with Color A, knit 3 (3, 3, 4, 4) rounds.

With Color B, knit 1 round.

*With Color A, knit 2 (3, 4, 4, 5) rounds.

With Color C, knit 1 round.

Changing colors for each stripe, repeat from * to end of hat.

Here's where to start the crown shaping for each size hat:

  • Baby: Start crown shaping with the Color F (5th) stripe.
  • Toddler: After the Color E (4th) stripe, knit 1 round with Color A. Next round, start crown shaping.
  • Kid: Start crown shaping with the Color E (4th) stripe
  • Women's: Knit Color E (4th) stripe. Next round, start crown shaping.
  • Men's: After the Color D (3rd) stripe, knit 2 rounds with Color A. Next round, start crown shaping.

Remember to maintain the stripe pattern as you knit the crown!

Reader Comments (51)

i assume the two different needle options are just to suit the scale of the pattern you're working? or should you switch to the DPNs for the crown?
November 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhelen
Hi Helen-

You switch to the DPNs for the crown.

Thank you so much for your question!

November 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I assume these hats should fit snug on the head? I knitted the men's size for my husband (who has a large head) and it was much too large. I used a different yarn, but one that knitted 3 stitches to an inch and had to modify the pattern so that the body of the hat measured 3.5 inches, rather than 6.5 inches and the hat fits much better.

Thanks for the fantastic pattern!
November 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
Hi! Quick question-do you find hat the men's size hat is too long for your head? I'm making some for my friends and I know their head circumferences would be closer to 20 inches, but I'm worried about the length of the hat. Thanks!

November 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria K.
Hi Maria K,

First, I'm thinking that you may want to knit a woman's size hat for a 20-inch head, just so that it will fit snugly. And second, yes, the hats do have a little room at the top (about an inch or so). They're not designed to sit right down on top of the head, but knitting the body a little bit shorter will change that!

Thanks for your question! And please let me know if you have others!
November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I've been drooling over these hats since you posted them. I live in Victoria BC and am looking for a yarn to use. Would you recommend trying to match the gauge of the pattern - 3 stitches to the inch on US #11, or should I try to match the original gauge of the Super Soft Merino. If I lived in NYC I'd be down there to grab some myself asap!
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne B
Do you have a cotton yarn that I could use instead of the wool? I cannot use wool due to allergies.
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Anne B-

Any chunky weight yarn should work, which is about 3-stitches to the inch.

Thank you for your question!


ps- We ship to Canada all the time : )
November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Add a pom pom! I knitted up one of these hats as soon as I saw the pattern, added a pom pom and it's my new favourite. Thanks for all the amazing, free patterns! I love your website!
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKC
Thanks Molly! You can bet I will be ordering some, but Christmas is coming up soon!
November 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne B
Hi Melissa,

A lovely option would be doubling up the Blue Sky Cotton: . If you'd like an idea of how that would look, check out our Chevron Blanket (it's also doubled Blue Sky Cotton): .

I hope this suggestion works out for you and thanks so much for asking!
November 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Got every color of this amazing yarn yesterday and started whipping out these adorable beanies. It is soooo soft.
Three quick questions. I also have lots of colors of Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes. Can i combine some of the Blue Sky for the single stripes?
Can you explain how create single row stripes without creating a jag.
Also, would a cable cast on work well to create elasticity at the rim.
When I look over my knitted projects from 2012, ninty percent of the projects come from The Purl Bee. THANK YOU
December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJane
I'm fairly new to knitting but I think I can attempt these hats. When switching colors for the stripes, do you add in the new color for each stripe the same way you would add a new ball of yarn? Or is there some way you are carrying both colors all the way through the hat that I don't know yet?! Thanks! Not sure if my question makes sense!
December 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
Hi Jane,

Great! I'm so glad you have a pile of Super Soft Merino to play with! Here are the answers to your questions:

1. The Blue Sky Worsted may be a touch thinner than the Super Soft Merino but should be fine for a stripe here and there!

2. Knitty has a good tutorial of the "jogless jog": . I'm not a huge fan of the technique because I always end up with a visible diagonal line where the tension is a bit tighter. Maybe people have figured out how to avoid this, but I just stick with the jog and chalk it up to one of the quirks of hand knitting!

3. I think that the cable cast on tends to look a bit messy, except in a case where because of dense cabling or other specific concerns, you really need the added flexibility. But here, I think a long tail cast on with an appropriately loose tension is the best choice!

Thanks for your questions and have fun with all that yarn!
December 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Sam,

Perfect sense! If you have wide stripes (I'd say more than an inch wide), you do need to cut the yarn and add a new one the way you do with a new ball of yarn. But if you're working with thinner stripes (like this pinstripe hat) you can indeed carry the yarn up the inside of the hat. Here's a link to my explanation for "Knitting Stripes in the Round": I hope it helps!

Thanks for your question and good luck!
December 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney! Thanks so much, so helpful! Now to attempt it, I will let you know how it goes! :) I love your blog and patterns!
December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam
i love these. they are the closest things to cakes. really nice sense of colour you have (and i don't). congratulations!
December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
these hats are sooo cute and so easy to knit. and I'm a beginning knitter. the one thing I've encounters is that my cuff doesn't seem to be tight enough and after my son has worn his hat twice it is pretty stretched out. Is there any way to make it tighter to start with, or to correct for this?
December 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbecky
I would love to make these little hats for a friend who is having twin girls next month. Any suggestions on how much I should alter the pattern for newborns? At this point, each twin is about 5 pounds...Thanks so much!
December 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis
Hi Alexis,

The next size down would be a 30-stitch cast on for a 10-inch circumference. This sounds pretty small to me, but so do the twins! Make sure you start the crown with Round 10.

Sounds awfully cute! Good luck!

December 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Becky,

Yes, you can knit the cuff with a needle one or even two sizes smaller than the one you knit the rest of the hat with.

I hope this helps and thanks so much for asking!

December 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
When do you start shaping the crown for a Men's rainbow stripe hat? Thanks! I LOVE, love, love these hats!!
December 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie
after a marathon of christmas knitting, i thought i'd take a break. just saw this pattern! no break for me!
December 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramber
HI Melanie,

Whoops!! I'm so sorry; I totally forgot that piece of info! I just added it to the pattern. Thank you so much for pointing out the omission!

December 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! I am loving knitting this pattern! I was just curious if it would be a good idea to block the hats when finished.
Thank you!
December 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
Hi Carolyn,

I didn't block any of these hats, but if you feel like you want to clean up your stitches then you definitely can! Otherwise, I don't think blocking is really necessary in this case. I'd just pop it on and go!

Thanks for asking!
December 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
How many dpn do i need to use and how do i know how many stitches for each needle. Sorry, am a real novice.
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
HI Nancy,

You should distribute the stitches as evenly as possible among the three needles and then use a fourth needle to knit with.

For a full discussion of the subject, check out our Double Pointed Needles Tutorial right here: . It's got lots of tips and helpful advice.

Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have more!

December 31, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! Do you know when you will be restocking the other colors of the super soft merino yarn? I'm wondering if I should hold out a bit longer or just order the colors you have available. Thanks!!
January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
Hi Sharon-

We should be getting more in the middle of this month. If you'd like us to email it when it comes back please drop us a line at customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com.

Thank you!

January 4, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
My knit group sat down to work on these hats (baby size) and we are struggling as the 16inch circular needles do not allow enough slack to get the rows connected. are there 12 inch needles in size 11? we went ahead and did a toddler hat and that worked but, the smaller amount of stitches (36) just did not work. i have read and re read the instructions and i can't see what i am missing. someone in our group suggested using the magic loop method instead for the baby hats but, i can't find anything in the pattern for that. thank you, kathy
January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Hi Kathy,

I used a 16-inch circular needle even for the baby hat, but if you (and your group) find that uncomfortable, then you can knit the whole hat on double pointed needles or indeed, you can use the magic loop method. For the magic loop you will need at least a 32-inch #11 needle. Here is a good magic loop video tutorial from Knitting Help: .

Thanks for your question, and I'm so sorry you had trouble with the needle length!

February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
When knitting the pinstripe design, do you cut the main color, tie on the next colour and keep knitting with it until you cut that and return to the main colour? Thanks for the help : )
February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy McM
Hi Dorothy McM,

You could cut each yarn as you finish it, but it would be much easier to "carry" the yarns up the inside of the hat. Here's how: .

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you run into any problems and thanks so much for your question!

February 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,

I am going to make one of the hats with the Blue Sky Cotton. I'm concerned about the needle size since the Blue Sky Cotton is a little thinner than the Merino. For instance, the baby blanket suggested 13 inch needles. I also used the Blue Sky Cotton for that blanket but used 9 inch needles so her fingers and toes wouldn't go through the blanket. Would 9 inch needles be sufficient as long as I kept the gauge correct?

Thank you,
September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
Hi Lindsay-

Needle size is always just a suggestion. As long as you are getting the correct gauge it doesn't matter what sized needles you use to get there.

Thanks so much for writing in!

September 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there!

Even here in Berlin, purlbee is loved dearly ... I do not know where to start knitting first ...!
The colourful hats are just beautiful.
However, I do not seem to get the sizes right. My little son has a head circumference of 48cm which shoud be sth like 19inches. But the circumference of a man's head is given as 20inches. At what point do I get this wrong?
Thanks a lot for your help, starting asap - wool ready!

November 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpatricia
Hi Patricia,

Because hats tend to stretch so much, these finish a few inches smaller than the actual head circumference of the wearer. So, for a 19-inch head, you'd want to make a hat that is about 16 inches around. Also, for future reference, this is true for most hat patterns!

Thank you so much for asking and also for sending so much enthusiasm from Berlin! I love it!

November 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love this pattern, but I have loads of worsted weight yarn I'd like to use up. Do you have a conversion or another similar pattern for this type of yarn?

Thanks so much!
November 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorag
What a beautiful pattern! I would like to use Jill Eaton minnowknits extra fine superwash merino which is 41/2 sts/inch on US8 needles fot the toddler hat. Do you think it will work or do I need to amend the amount of stiches or use different size needles?
December 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFran
Hi Fran-

We are not familiar with this yarn but it sounds like a worsted weight so unfortunately it sounds like it won't work for this pattern. You might want to check out our Basic Hats for Everyone here:

Thank you for writing in!

December 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks for the great patterns! My friend and I made 12 hats for each of our family members. We gave them out all at once...don't open until Grandma says open!"

Happy New Year!!
December 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue
HI what size would you use for a four years old? Kid or toddler? Thank you so much!
I have no little head to measure at hand ; )
April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClairette Tricote
Hi Clairette,

I knit my son the kid size when he was four years old, and it fit just right!

Thanks for asking and I hope you enjoy making your hat!

April 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello! My name is Marcia and I'm from Brazil. Please, I would like to know the numbers of stitches for all sizes if I use 4 mm needle (US7 or 8). Thank you!
April 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMárcia
Hi Marica-

Unfortunately we are not able to re-write this pattern in different gauges right now but you might want to check out our Basic Hats for Everyone pattern since it uses a US size 7 needle:

Thanks you!

April 20, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hiya..Just wanted to ask if I can knit this hat with a 6.5 mm needle for a man as my yarn (Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky DK Yarn - tension - 15 sts) recommends using a 6.5 mm needle. Do I need to increase the stitches if I use this yarn and these needles? Thank you!
April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDish
Hi DIsh-

You will need to cast on more stitches. First you should do a gauge swatch- If you are getting 15 stitches over 4 inches (3.75 stitches per inch) like the yarn suggests I would cast on 78 stitches to get a hat that is 20-inches in diameter. If you are getting a different gauge simply multiply the stitches per inch by 20-inches and round to the nearest multiple of 6 to get your cast on number. You can follow the rest of the pattern as written, just keep decreasing until you reach 6 stitches at the top of the crown.

Thanks for your question!

May 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great! Thanks a lot for your response! :)

May 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDish
How can I down load this knitting pattern. I knit for charity and this pattern is perfect as I need beanies for boy's and men. Already knitted loads for girls.
I cannot find any where to download. Pleas can you help.
July 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Blinston

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