How to knit a baby hat with ear flaps

Written by michelle powell-smith
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Keeping a hat on a baby can be a challenge, but an ear flap hat is a good solution to this problem, particularly in quite cold climates. While an ear flap hat is slightly more challenging to knit than a basic baby hat, it is a project that can be tackled by someone relatively new to knitting. This is a top-down baby hat, worked from the crown to the ear flaps. Adapt the basic baby ear flap hat by adding stripes or patterns to your knitting, inserting cables or altering gauge to fit different sizes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Worsted weight yarn
  • Needles to get desired gauge, both circular and double pointed
  • Yarn needle
  • Crochet hook
  • Pom-pom maker, optional

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    How to Knit a Baby Hat with Ear Flaps

  1. 1

    Knit a gauge swatch. You should have a gauge of 18 stitches to 4 inches and 24 rows to 4 inches for this project, but the pattern can be adapted to other yarn weights if you prefer. A size 7 to size 8 (U.S.) needle will work well for most knitters.

  2. 2

    Cast on 64 stitches using your preferred cast on. Add stitches in multiples of 8 to increase the size of this knit baby hat. Join, placing a stitch marker at the start of round. Be sure not to twist your stitches at the join.

  3. 3

    Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for approximately 1 1/2 inches. Increase the length of the hat brim for a larger size hat. Work in stockinet, knitting all rows, until the hat measures approximately 4 1/2 inches from the cast on edge. On the last row, place a stitch marker every 8 stitches.

  4. 4

    Begin decreasing in each row. After each marker, knit 2 together and knit to the next marker. Switch to double point needles when needed. Slip marker and knit 2 together. When you have decreased to 8 stitches, remove all markers and knit 2 together around the row for a total of 4 remaining stitches. Break your yarn and thread through the live stitches, pulling tight and tying off.

  5. 5

    Using a crochet hook, pick up 10 stitches anywhere along the hat brim. Using two short double pointed needles, knit 10 to 12 rows. On the next right-side row, decrease at each end, using your preferred decrease. Decrease every other row 2 more times for a total of 4 remaining stitches. Bind off. Repeat the knit ear flap on the other side of the hat, spacing the ear flaps an even distance apart. Attach a ribbon, i-cord or crochet chain for tying.

Tips and warnings

  • Extend the ear flaps once you reach 4 stitches to create a button band under the chin for your knit baby hat with ear flaps.
  • Add ear flaps to the knit baby hat of your choice by picking up stitches along the brim and following these steps.
  • Be careful using a hat like this on a toddler because of the risk of choking. Consider an elastic chin strap in this case.

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