How to Knit an Ear Flap Hat

Written by michelle powell-smith
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How to Knit an Ear Flap Hat
Wool yarn is a good choice for colder climates. (girl in winter clothes image by goce risteski from

A knit earflap hat is warm, cosy and stylish. It works well for people of all ages and can be knit in a variety of yarn weights. A bulky-knit hat in wool is ideal for cold climates especially, but a soft, lighter yarn can make a good baby hat in a warmer area. This is a top-down knit hat pattern and can easily be resized by adding increase rounds or choosing a different yarn weight and needle size.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bulky weight yarn for an adult-size hat or worsted for a child-size ear flap hat
  • Size 9- to 16-inch circular needle or size appropriate for your yarn
  • 4 or 5 size 9 double-point needles or size appropriate for your yarn
  • Stitch markers
  • Scrap yarn or stitch holders

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  1. 1

    Cast four stitches onto your double-point needles to start your knit ear flap hat, one stitch per needle if using five double point needles. Join and knit into the front and back (kfb) of each stitch for two rounds (16 stitches).

  2. 2

    Knit front and back, knit one on round three, taking your stitch count to 24 stitches. Add an additional knit stitch between each increase for a kfb, knit two pattern on round four for a total of 32 stitches on your ear flap hat. Knit row five and all following odd rows even until increases are completed.

  3. 3

    Knit row five and all odd-numbered rows through row 11 even. Work row four in a kfb, knit three pattern, repeating to the end of the row. You will spread your increases out with one more knit stitch on each row, so row six will be a kfb, k4 pattern and row eight will repeat kfb, knit five. Continue increase rows until your hat is the desired size. Your total stitch count should be 64, 72 or 80 stitches in bulky weight for a small, medium or large adult hat. If you wish to work an adult hat in worsted weight, continue increasing to 88 or 96 stitches.

  4. 4

    Transfer your work from double points to circular needles, simply knitting from the double points onto the circulars when you have enough stitches in place. Knit all rows until the hat is 6 to 7 inches in total length for an adult hat and somewhat less for an infant or child's hat.

  5. 5

    Work eight to 10 rows of garter stitch, knit two purl two ribbing or seed stitch as you prefer. Subtract 26 stitches (13 stitches per ear flap) from your total stitch count and divide this number by two. Cast off that number of stitches as you begin the next round of knitting. Knit 13, then cast off the remaining stitches, minus 13 at the end of the round.

  6. 6

    Join another ball of yarn or work the ear flaps one at a time. Work 10 to 12 rows in garter or seed stitch on each ear flap. Decrease the ear flaps to points by working in a knit one, slip-slip-knit, knit in pattern to the last three stitches, knit two together pattern on alternate rows until seven stitches remain. Bind off and attach ties if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Gauge for an adult hat should be 14.5 stitches to 4 inches. Work additional increases for an adult hat if using a finer-gauge yarn.
  • I-cord is ideal for ties.
  • Add a pom-pom, particularly for a child's hat.
  • Keep ties short or skip them for infants and young children.

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