Community Knitting: Free Hat Patterns

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Blue hats stacked on a flat surface.

I have been looking for a new community knitting project to donate hats to and have found a really good project that aligns with things I consider important.

Hat Not Hate is an anti-bullying campaign. I like this because it feels fun like the 500 Hats Project I used to participate in felt; giving hats to kids is an incredibly positive thing to do. Kids everywhere deserve a really good, warm winter hat. And I really like the purpose of the program. I like that it focuses on anti-bullying through craftivism.

I knit up a few blue hats using different free patterns I have available. I wanted to share them in case you were also feeling inspired to knit hats for a community or charity project (or yourself, you deserve a new hat, too). This may feel off-season (I am writing this on a 90-degree plus day!), but the deadline to give hats this year is August 1st so I wanted to post this about two months ahead of that deadline.

The hats I’m donating are pictured below with some project notes and links so you can grab the free patterns.

Rhode Trip Hat

The Rhode Trip Hat

As this project is geared towards kids and middle-school aged heads tend to get overlooked, I knit the smallest size of the Rhode Trip Hat. This size give you just about a 17 1/2″ flat circumference that will stretch to fit a 20″ sized hats. This will fit an older youth or teenager with a smaller head. I like hats with a lot negative ease (stretchiness!) because the hat will stay on when it’s windy out.

I have plenty of blue worsted weight yarn left so I’m going knit one more of these before shipping off my package in the largest size. The other group that tends to not have as many hats available is those with larger heads. And whether the individual needs room for a lot of hair or just a bigger head, I like to try and give at least a few hats in what tend to be less donated sizes.

For this hat, I used Lion Brand Basic Stitch anti-pilling in the Steel Blue colorway.

You can get the free pdf for the Rhode Trip hat here (Link).


The Anchored Hat

I only offer the Anchored Hat pattern in two sizes – for babies and adults so went with adult sized hat for this project. This hat has a ton of stretch and a folded brim so it fits a variety of head sizes really well. I really like this hat for charity knitting and for gifting because it’s a classic hat pattern that looks good on men, women, and kids.

For this hat, I used Lion Brand Pound of Love in the Navy colorway. Those are huge balls of yarn. If you were to grab one, you could easily knit four adult sized Anchored hats from a single ball (highly recommend for charity projects; especially those where acrylic yarn is recommended or required).

You can grab a free copy of the Anchored pattern here (Link). If you’d prefer to knot have an all-over ribbed pattern but like the deep, folded ribbed brim, I also offer the Lighthouse Beanie. Lighthouse is also knit using a worsted weight yarn. Lighthouse and Anchored are really similar hats, but Lighthouse switches to stockinette stitch after the brim.

Beacon Hat

The Beacon Hat

I really love the Beacon Hat because it’s a super bulky pattern that knits up gorgeously in no time at all. Cables are also one of my favorite knitting techniques and this all over cabled pattern is really striking and not super-complicated for a knitter just beginning to try out cabling.

I knit this hat using Lion Brand’s Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn in Glacier. I really like this particular color because it is an icy blue, which is a great, bright winter color. The pompom on this hat is the 5″ faux fur pompom with black tips. The black is a little hard to see on the pattern but it adds dimension to the pompom. When it comes to pompoms, I am in the bigger is better club!

You can grab the Beacon pattern (and the pattern for the matching cowl!) here (link).

Super Simple, Super Bulky Hat

The Super Simple, Super Bulky Hat

This is actually a brand new pattern that I’ve had sitting 99% drafted and edited for months! For some reason, I just couldn’t get this hat posted. Partially because it didn’t have a name. I named it the Super Simple, Super Bulky Hat.

I knit the hats to donate to Hat Not Hate in two Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick colors that I think count as blue, although they are both in the blue-gray or slate family. The hat in the foreground of the picture above with the gray faux fur pompom is knit in Storm Front and the hat in the background with the yarn pompom is knit in Slate. They both definitely have blue tones to the yarn so I think they’ll meet the blue yarn requirement of the project.

The Super Simple, Super Bulky Hat pattern is included in this blog post (link).

I’m going to mail these hats off this weekend and I’m really excited about learning more about this project this year. Do you have a charity or community project you knit for? If you do and it happens to also collect hats, consider sharing these patterns so you’re group can use them too.

If you knit hats using these patterns and are on Instagram, please share your pictures with me. You can tag me (I’m @KnitMcKinley) or use the hasthag #KnitMcKinley. I really enjoy seeing your finished hats! And if you enjoyed this post and would like to support this blog, please consider sharing it with your friends and subscribing to my email newsletter (email subscribers get a free copy of the Butcher’s Hill Hat pattern as a thank you).

Happy knitting,


PS: A note on the yarns used: I am not affiliated with or sponsored by Lion Brand, which backs this project. I just happen to use a lot of Lion Brand yarns because I think they make good quality, affordable yarns. All of these patterns are intended to work with a variety of yarns and you should use whatever yarns you enjoy working with!

Stack of blue hats in various patterns.

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