Learning how to knit a hat is a fun and rewarding experience. If you’ve just completed your first scarf, and you’re looking for a new challenge, then this hat is it!
This free hat pattern is called the Blank Slate Hat because it’s a simple, classic design that can be decorated and embellished to suit your taste and personality (more on that below).
The hat is knit flat on straight needles and then seamed together with mattress stitch for an invisible join.
Ready to learn how to knit a hat? Let’s get started!
Materials & Notes
Yarn Used: 1 ball of Rico Essentials Super Super Chunky Yarn (50% wool/50% acrylic; 105yds/100g) in color 32
Other Similar Yarns:
- Lana Grossa Ragazza Lei (merino one-ply)
- Lion Brand Hometown USA (budget acrylic option) in color Ft Lauderdale Coral
- Malabrigo Rasta (gorgeous hand-painted yarn) in color Almond Blossom
Gauge: 11 sts = 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch
Finished Measurements: circumference is 17.5″ and height is 8.5″
Favorite Jewels & Appliques (0ptional):
- Assorted sequin appliqués
- Rhinestone appliques
- Handmade Flower applique
- Love & Peace appliqué
- Chanel No. 5 applique
- Assorted jewel buttons
How to Knit a Hat Video Tutorial
For a step-by-step walkthrough of this hat pattern, watch the video tutorial below. It goes through the entire Blank Slate Hat pattern from beginning to end.
The video also covers three ways to embellish the hat so that it’s no longer a “blank slate” but a unique expression of your taste and personality.
(To download the pattern instructions as a PDF, scroll to the bottom of the page)
Cast on 49 sts with long tail cast on
Row 1 (WS): *K1, P1; repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Row 2 (RS): P1, *K1, P1; repeat from * to end of row
Repeat Rows 1-2 until piece measures 3”. End having worked Row 1.
Increase Row (RS): K1, KFB, knit to end of row (50 sts)
Work in Stockinette Stitch as follows:
Row 1 (WS): purl all stitches
Row 2 (RS): knit all stitches
Repeat Rows 1-2 until piece measures 6” from cast on edge. End having worked Row 1.
Row 1 (RS): *K3, K2tog; repeat from * to end of row (40 sts)
Row 2 and all even rows (WS): purl all stitches
Row 3 (RS): *K2, K2tog; repeat from * to end or row (30 sts)
Row 5 (RS): *K1, K2tog; repeat from * to end of row (20 sts)
Row 7 (RS): *K2tog; repeat from * to end of row (10 sts)
With working yarn, measure out a length of yarn that’s three times the length of the seam. Cut the yarn loose.
Thread the yarn onto a tapestry needle and seam the hat together with mattress stitch. Weave in ends.
Create a pom pom with a pom pom tracer that’s between 2.5 and 3”.
Secure the pom pom to the top of the hat. Weave in ends.
* *: repeat instructions between asterisks the number of times indicated
K2tog: knit two stitches together
KFB: knit into the front and back of the stitch
RS: right side of knitting
WS: wrong side of knitting
Embellishing the Hat
So, you’ve learned how to knit a hat, and now you want to add some personality to it. Great!
I have three easy ideas for jazzing up the blank slate hat. Let’s get into them.
1. Color Blocking
Color blocking is a fun way to mix big blocks of colors together – hence the name “color blocking.”
Some great color combinations are complimentary colors. These are colors that sit opposite to each other on the color wheel. These include red and green; orange and blue; and purple and yellow.
For a subtle color block look, you can mix different shades of the same color. For instance, pink and red and pastel blue and dark blue are satisfying combinations.
Look for more color inspiration from your favorite sports team, country’s flag or Hogwarts House!
To color block the Blank Slate Hat, choose two colors to work with – let’s call them color A and color B. (To view this in action, watch the video above and skip to 40:42 for color blocking)
Knit the hat as normal with color A. When you reach the decrease rows, switch to color B:
Insert the right needle into the first stitch of decrease Row 1. Instead of using color A to knit, pick up color B, wrap it around the right needle and pull the yarn through the first stitch.
You’ve now knit one stitch in color B! Continue knitting decrease row 1 with color B.
After knitting decrease row 1, cut off color A, leaving a 5″ tail. You can later weave the tail into the knitting. Continue knitting the rest of the hat with color B. And that’s it!
2. DIY Marled Yarn
Making your own marled yarn is a lot easier than it seems.
All you need is some sewing thread. For my marled hat, I held three strands of cotton sewing thread together with my yarn, creating a kind of franken-yarn.
Then, I knit the entire Blank Slate Hat with my franken-yarn. That’s it! To view this in action, watch the video above and skip to 43:07.
I’m holding three strands of sewing thread together because I find that it makes a bolder marled yarn. However, experiment to see how many threads you need to get the look you want.
3. Jewels & Appliques
A great way to add shine and drama to your new hat is by attaching appliques and jewels.
For jewels, I recommend finding ones that allow you to sew them to the hat. They should have two small holes that you can stick a sewing needle into.
This allows you the flexibility to play around with the jewel’s placement. It also means you don’t have to glue the jewels onto your hat (primal scream!)
To view this in action, watch the video above and skip to 44:36 for jewels and appliques.
To attach an applique, simple find the right placement on your hat and sew the applique in place with a sewing needle and thread.
And that’s a wrap on the Blank Slate Hat! If you knit this hat, please tag me on Instagram @sheepandstitch. (I would love to see your hat!) If you have a Ravelry account, add your hat to the Blank Slate Hat project page here.
Download the pattern as a PDF file below. For best viewing, open the file in Adobe Reader (a free software for PC and Macs)