Starboard Hat

A spring baby hat made in bamboo yarn.

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The Starboard Beanie is a sweet baby hat I designed with a new Lion Brand yarn, Nuboo (this is not a sponsored post, I just very much like the yarn and designed the pattern using this yarn).

I picked this yarn up and I immediately knew I wanted to knit a baby hat with it (this was an impulse buy and it made it to the top of my project list. For whatever reason, I was really excited about the yarn). As this yarn is new to me and I want to be up front about what I did and didn’t like about it, I’ve got a few more details on the yarn below than I normally would have in a pattern post.

As always, if you’re ready to knit, grab the pattern by clicking the blue-ish button at the top of the page. If you’d like to learn more about the yarn and my experience on it or you want to review the pattern details before downloading the pattern pdf, please keep reading.

If you need help knitting the i-cord top to the hat, there’s a photo tutorial with more information on i-cords and how they work here.

Image of two folded and stacked hats, two balls of yarn, one hat laying flat, a set of double pointed knitting needles, and a notions tin.
Picture of the Starboard hats, my leftover yarn after knitting three samples, and my needles and notions tin.

About The Yarn (Specs And A Review)

Nuboo is a new yarn by Lion Brand made of 100% lyocell. Lyocell is a fiber made from bamboo. Lion Brand advertises this as being sustainably harvested. I have not fully vetted those claims, but I am really excited about bringing more plant-based fibers into my stash.

From the label:

  • Yardage and Weight: 157 yards/ 144 meters; 3 ounces/85 grams per skein
  • Care Instructions: Machine Wash and Lay Flat to Dry.
  • Fiber Content: 100% Lyocell;
  • Made in China
My two skeins of Nuboo yarn.

This yarn reminds me of a lot of cotton and cotton blend yarns in that it was very splitty. I decided to use my Clover double pointed knitting needles as I find bamboo needles with a blunter tip better for working with splitty yarns (I have a post about working with splitty yarns here). While the bamboo needles helped, the yarn splitting was a problem.

I also had a little trouble getting the manufacturers gauge. When I used the recommended US 7 (4.5 mm) knitting needles, I could get pretty close to the label’s gauge but my swatch felt too thin and my stitches were untidy. I ultimately went down a needle size, used a tighter gauge, and am really happy with the results.

Image of the two leftover balls of Nuboo yarn and two of the Starboard hats with opposite stripe patterns.
Image of the two leftover balls of Nuboo yarn and two of the Starboard hats with opposite stripe patterns.

Given that I’ve just told you that the yarn was splitty and that the manufacturer’s recommended needle size and gauge created a fabric I didn’t like, you may be wondering if I’d recommend this yarn.

Yes, I would recommend this yarn for a couple of reasons.

First, the look and feel of the yarn is incredible. The palette of 18 or so colors are really appealing to me. The colors feel like they could best be described as earth tones, but this yarn has a shine too it so the earth tones feel more vibrant than if the same color had been applied to a wool yarn. The feel of the yarn on the skein and when knit is also so soft. It has a texture that I think is going to be really good for sensitive and delicate heads.

Second, it’s a heavier weight than the Truboo and Coboo options. I like Coboo in particular and was hoping Lion Brand would come out with a heavier weight yarn as part of this collection. While this isn’t quiet a heavy as I expected, I really like the weight and feel of the yarn.

Overall, I would use this yarn again and do recommend it. But I would also recommend that it be used when you have the time and patience to pay close attention to your stitches as it does tend to split.

The Pattern: Construction

Construction: The Starboard baby hat is a striped, lightweight hat available in four sizes to fit preemies, newborns, 6-month olds, and 12-month olds. This hat uses a plant-based fiber (lyocell) and is perfect for warm weather. Using the recommended yarn, you have enough to make two hats with either matching or opposite stripe patterns in any of the sizes.

Skill level:  Intermediate

  • Skills needed: Knitting and purling in the round, decreasing by knitting two together (k2tog) and knitting three together (k3tog), and knitting an i-cord.

Size: Preemie (Newborn, 6-months, 12-months)

  • Circumference: stretches to fit 13” (14 ½”, 16”, 18”) head circumference.
  • Height: 4 ¾”, (5”, 5 ¾”, 6 ½”)
  • Gauge: 22sts and 28 rows per 4” in stockinette stitch knit in the round.


  • 45, (55, 65, 75) yards of main color and  25, (35, 45, 55) yards in contrasting color. Shown in Lion Brand Nuboo, (100% Lyocell, 157 yards, 85 g.), Denim and Frost (1 skein each).
  • US 4 (3.5 mm) double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • US 6 (4.0 mm)  double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Stitch Marker
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors

If you grab two balls of the Nuboo yarn to use for this hat pattern, you’ll have enough to make at least two, possible three hats. A great gift idea is to knit two hats with opposite stripe patterns. You can do the same size or two different sizes the baby can wear as they grow.

If you knit a Starboard hat and are on Instagram, please share it with me. I really enjoy seeing your projects. I’m @knitmckinley Instagram and I use the hashtag #knitmckinley for my projects and patterns.

Happy knitting,


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