Pattern: 2 Hour Santa Hat (with cheap yarn!), adult and baby sizes


I was thinking about making a Santa hat. Didn’t have the right yarn on hand, didn’t have time to go to the yarn shop. I wanted bulky yarn, with something that would make a nice woolly white part.

I was idly walking down the yarn aisle at Fred Meyer last night, where they generally only have icky yarn like Red Heart. Then something caught my eye. Red Heart, no less. Light and Lofty, a yarn that usually looks UG-LEE, but in the color “Puff”… well, it should have said “Santa Hat” all over it. It is fuzzy and woolly (in the 100% acrylic sense) and looks exactly like the white trim on a Santa hat. (I guess I will also use it to make bunny tails and such on some knitted bunnies I have planned.)

So then I needed a bulky red yarn that would not be as fuzzy and woolly looking as the Light and Lofty. There is very little to choose from at Fred Meyer, but the Lion Brand Homespun in Candy Apple was the perfect red, and seemed as if it would be a tolerable texture (though a little more textured than I wanted). So I bought them both and later that evening I had a hat! So here’s the pattern if you want to make a last minute Santa Hat too. (If you want to make the baby version, read on — it’s after the adult one.)

(Edited in Nov. 2007 to add some important notes — READ THESE!)

Important note: There are two methods included here — the quick and dirty triangle shape which takes no thought whatsoever, and makes a right-triangle shaped hat (the Adult pattern), and the more normal hat with evenly distributed decreases which requires one to count a bit (the Baby pattern). You can knit either hat for either size — just change the number of cast-on stitches. I recommend the Baby hat method, even for adults, as it makes a nicer shape. But the Adult hat is slightly faster.

Gauge note: The gauge given here, 2.5 stitches/inch, is using the Light and Lofty yarn around the brim. The Homespun gauge will probably be smaller, but in the hats I made, it didn’t matter.

Yardage note: I don’t know exact yardage, but it was very little. You should be able to make several hats from a skein of Light and Lofty, and at least a couple if not more from a skein of Homespun.

Size note: To make a hat for toddler or child size, you will have to extrapolate, as the baby size is designed for the smallest babies. Some folks have found that the baby hat comes out fairly small, so add some stitches to make this for larger babies, toddlers, etc.


  • 1 skein Red Heart Light & Lofty, “Puff” (you actually need much less than a full skein.)
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun, “Candy Apple” (much less needed)
  • US 11 straight needles
  • Yarn needle
  • Pompom maker (or just use cardboard like I do)

The gauge is really hard to tell with the L&L; I just winged it and it turned out OK. Looks as if I was getting about 2.5 stitches/inch. The Homespun gauge is smaller but it didn’t seem to matter.

Cast on 44 stitches in the white yarn.
K all (garter stitch) for 1.5 – 2 inches, whichever you prefer.
Change to red yarn.
Knit stocking stitch until the cap is 4″ tall.

* K1, SSK, K until 3 sts left, K 2 together, K1
P all
Repeat from * until you have decreased to 12 sts.
Break yarn, leaving about an 18″ tail, then pull the leftover yarn through the last stitches to make the tip of the hat. Sew up the seam down the back of the hat.

Make a pompom with the white yarn and attach it to the top of the hat.

Voila! Santa’s hat!

Baby version of the Santa hat

A note about the hat: by doing the decreases this way you end up with a hat that is a right triangle. This means that the hat is longer in the back. For a Santa hat that looks just fine. But if you want it to be more normal-shaped you just put the decreases all the way around instead of on the edge. The picture to the left is the baby version of the hat, which uses this method.

Baby Santa hat (Same materials used):

CO 32 sts
K all (garter stitch) for 1.5 – 2 inches, whichever you prefer.
Change to red yarn.
Knit stocking stitch until the cap is 4″ tall.
*K2, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (24 sts remain.)
P all.
K all.
P all.
K all.
P all.
*K1, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (16 sts remain.)
P all.
K all.
P all.
*K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the row. (8 sts remain.)
P all.
K all. (You can keep on in stocking stitch for as many rows as you like to make a floppy point,or just stop here.)

Break yarn, leaving about an 18″ tail, then pull the leftover yarn through the last stitches to make the tip of the hat. Sew up the seam down the back of the hat.

Make a pompom with the white yarn and attach it to the top of the hat.

Voila! Santa baby!

If you make one of these please send me the URL to your pictures so I can link to you here! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

50 thoughts on “Pattern: 2 Hour Santa Hat (with cheap yarn!), adult and baby sizes

  1. Wow! I’ve been having my own little Red Heart discovery with a baby sweater I’m working on– just posted on Thank god for cheap yarn alternatives. I’ll save your pattern for next holiday season!

  2. Hi! I am tering to make some baby coths i do not have much to give to my baby but if u can hlope me to do some cool cloths that well be grat if you are to bues that ok too..

  3. There are a couple of patterns for baby hats here on the website; all I can suggest is that you check out the patterns and see if you like them. I don’t have any patterns for other baby clothes (yet).

  4. I’m sorry, I’m a slow knitter so I can’t take commissions (it would probably take me the rest of the year to knit those). I’m not sure who can do that for you, but I’m sure there is someone out there who can. Good luck in your search.

  5. Promised a young neighbor I would make him a long stocking hat like Santa wears. He’s about eight years old, so adult size is too big, infant too small. About how many stitches should I start with? If I want to make it longer for him, can I add extra rows between the decrease rows? Should those be at the wider part of the hat? I’m torn between the two styles; will the adult style look better on a kid? Sorry for all the questions; I’m not a very confident knitter! m2

  6. Somewhere online you can find a chart that shows the average head size for children. Then just multiply that x 2.5 and that will give you a rough idea.

    Alternatively, you could make the adult size but use 2×2 ribbing instead of garter for the white part. Then it will fit a smaller size.

    If you add extra rows the hat will have a steeper point. Which is probably fine. But I would just knit it a little longer before you start the decreases instead. Also, I would recommend making the baby style, just in a larger size, because the adult one is the simpler, right-triangle shape — if you have time, the other one is going to look better, I think.

  7. Just found your pattern for the santa hat. My daughter seen someone this year with a homemade santa hat. And she requested to have them for the family for next year. Which adds up about 12 people give or take. Your pattern looks eaay and is explained well. I’m looking forward to making everyone one.

  8. No, it will probably not fit either, but it depends on the kid. The answer I posted above applies here too:

    “Somewhere online you can find a chart that shows the average head size (in inches) for children. Then just multiply that x 2.5 and that will give you a rough idea (of how many stitches to cast on).”

    I don’t recall off the top of my head how many inches around a kid’s head is. If these are for your kids, you could just measure them. So for example, if the kid’s head is 18 inches around, multiply 18 x 2.5, which gives you 45. Cast on 45 and then follow the pattern.

  9. Thanks very much for this “recipe”. I’ve just knocked one up based on the baby hat – using some normal DK yarn I had laying around the house, I thought it wouldn’t look as good because it’s not fluffy, but it’s actually turned out pretty convincing! For anyone else’s reference, I used the 8mm needles as in the pattern, cast on 66 stitches, began decreasing at 4 inches as for the original pattern, but did two extra lots of increases (a k4, k2tog; and then a k3 2tog) with the 4 rows of st as intervals until I picked up on the original pattern again. Had 11 stitches after the last row of decreases which seemed a bit wide so I decreased another two and knitted a few more rows. Until it was actually stitched together I thought it was going to look odd but it’s pretty effective as a finished article. Although I’m a slow knitter it probably only took me about 3 hours in total, most of which was “dead” time (watching TV). So thanks very much and merry Christmas to you!

  10. Thank you for sharing this pattern. I am wondering why you change stitches from Garter to Stockinet after the first four inches. I did not use the yarn you suggested as I found the color Cincinnati Red. This yarn is not nubby–the switch is very noticeable. I will appreciate your guidance. Regards,

  11. I think you might have misread the pattern. I changed from garter stitch to stocking stitch after 1.5″ to 2″ — basically, the white part is garter, the red part is stocking. It is because the white part is supposed to look fluffier than the red part.

  12. Thank you–and rereading the pattern again now I understand. However, I’m very pleased with the result of my mistake. This hat is really cute. Regards,


  14. Just knitted these for our 11 week old twins. I live in the UK so didn’t use the same wool but the pattern was brilliant. I have never knitted anything before so had to google all the abbreviations, but I did it! They’ll hopefully wear them all day Christmas day… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

  15. I think this hat (both adult and child version) is adorable. I have a niece who is with child. This will be a great gift to welcome her new baby (maybe to go with a pair of booties, Santa style). Thanks!

  16. Icky yarn like Red Heart? The pattern is cute but your attitude is pretty snobby. There is nothing wrong with Red Heart yarn.

  17. Cappy: plain Red Heart feels rough and plasticky to my fingers. It’s not a snobbish thing — I don’t have a problem with acrylic if it’s the right yarn for a project. But the basic Red Heart is not nice stuff to my skin. I don’t mind the Red Heart Soft or whatever it’s called, and I think they have some others that I have used. But that basic, scratchy Red Heart? Yuck, to me. If you like it it’s not icky to you. Knit with what you like.

    susan: do you mean a circular needle? You could remove a couple of stitches, sure.

  18. I knit the Santa hat with size 11 circular needle, Homespun yarn, adult pattern and it came out beautiful. I am a newby to knitting and my knitting group is using this pattern (the hat I made) for our santa hat project. I will be making another hat and this time I will use the baby santa instructions. Thank you so….much for the pattern. I hat lots of fun making it.

  19. Yes, I was referring to a circular needle. All needles are round I guess ๐Ÿ™‚
    Do the number of stitches remain the same with the circular method, or do I have to drop or add one to make the numbers work out correctly. Seems like a simple question, but I am a new knitter. Thanks for any help.

  20. I’m sorry I didn’t see your last comment sooner! Usually if you are converting from flat to circular, you remove a couple of stitches (the ones that would have been sewn into the seam in flat knitting). But this pattern is pretty forgiving. It would probably be fine either way.

    The part that is garter stitched is done differently when circular knitting. You K one round, P one round, K one round, etc. It’s like knitting stockinette in flat knitting.

  21. I too am a new knitter, but I LOVE this pattern. I’d love to make 6 of these for our immediate family…all adult size. BUT, I am not sure of the “k4K2tog” term. Is that “knit 4 stitches then knit 2 stitches together”? thus making each row two stitches shorter? Is there a site you can recommend that would explain abbreviations and have tutorials for us beginners? Thanks so muchg for sharing this pattern and for any additional help you can give. I hope I can make these.

  22. The pattern doesn’t say “k4k2tog” does it? (It’s been so long since I wrote this…!) I searched and did not find k4 in it.

    Probably “k4K2tog” would mean what you think it means. It would be better written as “K4, K2tog” to be clearer. But this pattern has “K2, K2tog” and “K1, K2tog” instead. (At least, the second version of the pattern does.)

  23. When you say “Knit stocking stitch until the cap is 4รขโ‚ฌยณ tall.”… Do you mean the total height of the cap (including the white brim) or just the red part should be 4” and then decrease from there?

  24. I’m sorry it’s ambiguous. It’s been so long since I wrote this (7 years!) that I’m not even sure! I don’t have the hat here on hand at the moment to check. I let someone wear it last year and he didn’t give it back. ๐Ÿ™

    Looking at the pictures and thinking about how hats fit, I think it’s probable that I meant 4″ total. Imagine the hat on your head. Measure 4″ up from that place on your head and see if that seems to be a good place to start decreasing. To me, it seems like that is about right.

  25. Thanks! I started decreasing about 3″ into the red, so the total was about 5″, and it worked out fine. I was following the baby pattern and I want the hat to be longer without having a narrow tail at the top so next time I think I will go even farther before decreasing. I will post a pic once the pompom is on ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. That’s adorable! Thanks for letting me see the picture!

    I just bought yarn to make another one for myself.

  27. Thank you for such a cute hat. I knitted it last year for my 1 year old granddaughter using white eyelash wool for brim & fluffy red dk (leftover) & it turned out absolutely brilliant. Must knit another one for this year. Pattern Very easy to follow. Thank You :)))

  28. kt, I have never used a Knifty Knitter, so I can’t really answer. Maybe someone else who has will comment.

  29. Thanks for posting this! (I know it was some time ago!!) I told my kids I would make them santa hats for Christmas and your pattern turned out great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Such a cute pattern, thank you.

    I tried to make an adult hat using baby method (cast on 44 stitches to start) but it’s turned out really small (ie tiny baby size). Help, what have I done wrong?? I used size 11 needles. I am new to knitting so don’t know what I’m doing!

  31. I can’t really say for sure. If you are a new knitter you might be knitting very tightly, or the yarn is thinner than it should be. If you do a swatch you can find out whether the gauge works for you. The project is so small, though, that you almost can just do the whole hat instead of a swatch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I’m using your pattern as a guide, trying to make a Santa Hat with bulky yarn, knitting in the round and casting on 56 stitches. (Tried first with 44, but it was too small. The white was done in k2 p2 rib and will be turned over for a cuff. I’m about to frog most of the red, since I did the paired decreases and don’t like the right-triangle look. My concern with the baby hat decreases is that the pattern only calls for them every six rows, and ten of them; won’t it give a stepped look to the hat?

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