A knitted baby bonnet has a soft head covering for babies that cover the hair and ears but not the forehead. It does not have as tight a fit as a baby beanie.
A beanie can sometimes makes the head look like a cone which is not very flattering. Bonnets have more interesting shapes. And because it is usually fasten to the head with cords or bands, it does not slip off as easily as a beanie when a baby fidgets.
I noticed 3 techniques frequently used to produce the distinctive shape of the bonnet:
- Knitted flat
- Knit in the round from the “brim” up
- Knit in the round from the crown down
My pick of knitted baby bonnet patterns includes all 3 techniques. Besides the standard bonnet shape, there is also the pixie pointed top and the boxy shapes.
Section 1: Baby Bonnet Knitting Patterns Knitted flat
Samantha’s Wee Newborn Fairy Bonnet
This fairy bonnet is a quick project to knit up for a baby shower gift. It is basically a stockinette rectangle with a garter border on 3 sides. The tie cord comes with a flower and is attached to the bonnet by an eyelet.
Samantha’s blog itself contains the instructions and some work-in-progress pictures which I find helpful. She doesn’t specify the type of yarn to use except that it should be worsted weight yarn. Although no gauge was given, she did give the measurement for the rectangle before seaming.
She crocheted the tie cord and flowers. Unfortunately, I don’t like to crochet. Thank goodness, she offers substitution – knitted i-cord and any small knitted flower.
2. Knitted Pixie Hat
This pixie hat looks like an elf’s hat. It is knitted flat and the shape is created by the combination of stockinette stitch and garter stitch. The I-cord is securedly wrapped into the bonnet by a narrow strip of stockinette hem. The tassels are a nice touch too.
The instructions are quite straightforward with step by step pictures and clear instructions.
3. Lattice Bonnet
This sweet bonnet is knitted flat and then seamed. The textured stitch featured on the bonnet is called the quilted lattice stitch. Like the Newborn Fairy bonnet, this is a knitted rectangle of quilted lattice stitch where one side is seamed up to form the bonnet.
The pattern includes 4 sizes: Preemie, Newborn, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months. Measurements for each size are given. Gauge is given as 25 sts and 35 rows to 4 inches in quilted lattice stitch.
4. Patty’s Adorable Knitted Baby Bonnet
This adorable bonnet is basically a T-shape with the sides sewn together to form a cube-like bonnet. Cast on accordingly and start on the rim of the bonnet with ribbing. Transit to garter stitch for the body and back of the bonnet.
This pattern is not professionally written with regard to the layout of the pattern. Other than that, I think it is easy to follow.
5. Amanda’s Baby On Board Bonnet
This little boxy bonnet is fairly gender-neutral. It uses purl ridges as part of the pattern. The bonnet is boxy, like Patty’s Adorable T-Shaped bonnet. The instructions for decreasing the bonnet remind me of how a sock heel is knitted.
It offers 2 sizes: newborn and 1-year-old. The finished item measures 15 and 18 inches in circumference respectively.
6. Franklin’s Baby Hood
This is a vintage A Cornelia Mee’s pattern dated 1844 adapted by Franklin Habit at knitty.com. It is knitted flat in three separate pieces that are then sewn together. A little more complicated than I like.
Franklin’s instructions are quite detailed and I do not see any difficulties following them to knit the 3 pieces. I am not so sure about the sewing-up instructions. It is after all designed as a family heirloom so I guess it has to look awe-inspiringly difficult to make.
Measurements are 9 inches high including frill.
7. Vintage-Style Baby Bonnet by CraftFoxes
This is a vintage-style bonnet featuring a moss-like stitch texture for the cap. This is knitted flat and the instructions for the texture stitch are included within the instructions in Step 1.
The back shaping is achieved using an 8-stitch decrease. I like that the designer, Hadley Fierlinger, included the number of stitches left on the needles after each row of decreases. It helps keep track of progress after each row and catches any mistakes early.
The last piece is the thin neckband. It is knitted as a separate piece and attached to the base of the cap where the button and buttonhole is.
The pattern offers 3 sizes with finished measurements and gauges.
Get the free web-based pattern at Craftfoxes.com. The pattern is also found in Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger (affiliate link)
8. Princess Charlotte’s Bonnet
This pattern is inspired by the one that Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William and Catherine, wore when she first appeared outside the hospital. The little girl is already making a fashion statement. The 2 cables are fake cables. Learn how to make mock cables with this quick knit. ;P
The pattern offers 3 sizes: Newborn, 3-6 months, and 6 to 12 months. Gauge is 26 sts and 48 rows to 4 inches in garter stitch.
The pattern calls for provisional cast-on and knowledge of picking up stitches.
It isn’t professionally written. Many terms used are not standard. I think the instructions could be clearer. For one, it starts with the CO but doesn’t say what it is for. The neck, the brim, or a part that has no name? It could also do with more work-in-progress pictures.
9. Knitted Cable Bonnet
The bonnet has a pretty cable band across the head and a ribbed band with a button to secure the bonnet to the baby.
This pattern has 3 sizes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 1-2 years. Gauge is 22 sts and 28 rows to 4 inches in stockinette stitch.
The pattern calls for the knitting of the cable panel first and then picking up stitches from the side of the panel to create the body and back of the bonnet. Pick up stitches from the other side to make the brim and button strap. Interesting construction and looks simple enough. 🙂
Need to know how to pick up stitches along the edge neatly. Here is a video for quick reference.
TECHknitter has a comprehensive write-up on picking up stitches: http://techknitting.blogspot.sg/2015/11/pick-up-stitches-along-selvage.html.
10. Lotta’s I-Cord Bonnet
One of the few patterns that start with an I-cord as well as an I-cord cast-on. I am not familiar with the I-cord cast-on technique and will need to check it out first.
It also calls for Kitchener graft stitch or a three-needle bind-off which I know.
Interestingly, the frills on the first section of the bonnet are made by using smaller needles for the garter stitch bands and bigger needles for the band within.
The patterns offer 4 sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months. No recommended yarns except that it should be fingering, sport, or lighter DK that will satisfy the gauge of 23 stitches to 4 inches. That’s not very clear but Lotta, the designer did mention that the bonnet should be made to fit the baby it was made for.
This pattern is not written by a professional designer and English isn’t her first language so there are a few typos. But I think if I am not fussy, I should be able to make this bonnet with minimal difficulties.
11. Melissa’s Lacy Baby Bonnet
Melissa designed this lacy bonnet to match the baptismal gown she knitted for her niece. It has a picot edging, a lacy panel, and a baseband that fit nicely at the nape of the neck.
There is only 1 size. The gauge is 22 stitches and 26 rows to 4 inches.
She included a link to instructions for the rolled ribbon rosettes that she used as embellishments instead of assuming that people know how to do these.
There are sections for the picot edging (forming the brim), bonnet body, a diagram of the bonnet laid flat and showing the sides to be sewn up to shape the bonnet.
What I think is most clever about this pattern is the use of a 36-in long satin ribbon as the straps by threading it through the eyelet holes of the picot edging.
12. Knitted Baby Balaclava
The official title of this pattern is the Baby hat knitting pattern. It doesn’t do the pattern justice. This bonnet has no straps, no buttons, no ribbons, no I-cords. Just pull it over the head of the baby or child, adjust, and WA LA!
This pattern has sizes from a 6-month old to a 4-year old.
Instructions are clear. Cast on starts at the face opening and the whole piece is knitted flat with increasing and decreasing stitches to shape the balaclava. The only sewing up is at the neckband.
Section 2: Baby Bonnet Knitting Patterns Knitted in the Round
13. Kate’s Alfalfa
This bonnet has such a cute shape. It is similar to the Knitted pixie hat but is knitted in the round from the brim up and shaped with cleverly placed increases and decreases. I like the little pointy hat because it makes the baby looks like a little elf. It measures 7 inches high with a 12-inch circumference. Fits most babies from 4 to 12 months.
Kate recommends using the Fibre Company Terra yarn. It is the Aran weight (or 8 WPI or wraps per inch) with 40% baby alpaca, 40% merino wool, 20% silk. Gauge is about 20 stitches and 27 rows to 4 inches in stockinette using 4mm needles.
There are quite a lot of abbreviations used although Kate has provided a web page to check these abbreviations. Sections include I-cord, Garter stitch in the round, Brim, Body.
I only have 2 complaints about this pattern:
1. The instructions for the body are presented in one big block with no breaks. She bold the rounds that are significant. If so, wouldn’t it be better to start each bold round with a new paragraph? I can, of course, copy the instructions into a word document and create the spacing myself. It is just more work.
2. She provided generic I-cord instructions at the beginning of the instructions without the cast on. For new knitters, this would have been confusing. It is only when you have come to the end of the pattern do you see that you are supposed to make two 4-stitch I-cords. I think it is better to co-locate the I-cord instructions.
14. Adrian’s Top-Down Bonnet
This top-down bonnet is knitted in the round. Adrian uses the Turkish cast-on (called the Figure 8 cast-on in the pattern). It is most commonly used for toe-up socks because it creates a nice slightly curved top. Turkish cast-on is quite easy. Here’s a video by Jane Richmond showing how it is done.
For written instructions, Ambah has a written and photo tutorial on it.
There are 4 sizes: Newborn, baby, child, and adult (yeah!). Gauge is 6 stitches and 8 rows to 1 inch in stockinette stitch. The recommended yarn is any sport-weight yarn although the sample Totoro bonnet is made using Knitpicks Ambrosia in Fog which has, unfortunately, been discontinued.
There are no additional instructions on how to make the anime parts. The pattern is available on Ravelry as a pdf file. It is available in English, French, and Finnish.
Get the free PDF pattern for Top Down Bonnet at Ravelry. It is available in English, French and Finnish.
15. Kris’ Dino Cap
Imagination is such a powerful thing. A few little spikes on the top of a simple ear flap hat transforms it into a dinosaur cap worthy of a little dinosaur fan.
The pattern has 3 sizes: Newborn, 2 years, and 3 years. Gauge is 18 stitches and 24 rows to 4 inches in stockinette stitch. Measurement for the finished cap is 14 inches for the newborn and 19 for the 3-year old.
The pattern uses short rows to shape the earflaps. Sections include: Lining and Earflaps, Joining the lining, Shape Crown, Spikes, and Braids. It is really one of the more interesting constructions I have come across for bonnets.
Section 3: Combination of Flat Knitting and Knit in the Round
16. Pure Stitches’ Bearly Bonnet
Knitted in garter stitch flat in the beginning, the Bearly bonnet is later joined and knitted in the round to form the back of the bonnet.
The ears are knitted separately in 4 pieces and then sewn onto the bonnet afterward. The assembly of the ears is quite detailed. Personally, I would avoid knitting 4 pieces of ears. I would use the Turkish cast on and knit the ears in the round.
The pattern offers 4 sizes: 3, 6, 9, and 12-18 months. Gauge is not properly listed.
The pattern does not use standard terms and abbreviations. I think it is because the designer is probably not a native English speaker.
Get the free PDF pattern for Beary bonnet at Ravelry. It is available in English and Danish.
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