I grabbed some leftover yarn and made this little Knit Flat Baby Hat (preemie/newborn size). I used cream TLC Cotton Plus (a worsted weight cotton/acrylic) and Red Heart Tiki (a skinny yarn with little “flags” of colour) held together and knitted on #10US needles. I thought I would share this hat formula with you, as it’s really simple and you don’t need to knit a gauge swatch before you start. It’s knitted on straight needles in garter stitch, so no fiddling with double pointeds if you’re nervous about using them!
Cast on (with the long tail cast on, leaving enough to seam up the hat later) about the amount you think is right for the depth of the hat, in other words the straight section from bottom edge to crown shaping. Best to err on the side of too many stitches, because you can turn up the brim later. Knit every row until you have an even number of rows that, when slightly stretched, give you the head circumference of the intended wearer.
Then, with the right side facing you and your cast on tail hanging off the right bottom corner of your work, cast off but DO NOT fasten off the last loop. Leave it on the right hand needle, then turn the corner and pick up and knit a stitch into the end of each garter ridge all the way back to your cast on edge. You will now be working at right angles to your original piece of knitting.
Knit back along the row and you will be ready for decreasing for the crown, starting with the right side of your work facing you. Count your stitches.
Here’s where you’re going to have to do a bit of math. Decide how many decreases you want around the hat. An odd number is good. I used 7. I had 44 stitches, 7 goes into 44 six times with two left over, which is good because those extra two will leave me a little border at the end where I’ll be seaming the hat. Now remember that number six? On your first decrease row, you will have to decrease one stitch for every group of 6 stitches, so you will do it this way:
*Knit 4, SSK, repeat from * across the row, knit 2
SSK means to slip the next 2 stitches knitwise separately, put the tip of your left needle into the front of the stitches and knit them together
Now knit one plain row without decreasing.
Remember that those numbers were my personal numbers for that particular hat and every hat will be different. However, once you have figured out the decreases for that first row, all you have to do on subsequent rows is knit one less stitch before the decrease. So I would Knit 3, SSK; knit 1 row; Knit 2, SSK; knit 1 row; Knit 1, SSK; knit 1 row; SSK across.
At this point, after my row of SSKs, I had 8 stitches left. Still too many, so I knitted another row and did another lot of SSKs to bring the count to 4. Then I transferred those stitches to a double pointed needle and knitted enough i-cord to be able to make a little knot.
Sew up the side seam with the tail left from your cast on, and you’re done.