Knitting hats in warm weather can seem counter intuitive, but a cotton sunhat can be great protection for tiny heads. Especially when you’re going in and out of places that are blasting air conditioning. This pattern is sized to fit newborns through 18-month old children. I call this hat a cloche because it has that bell shape to it, but it could probably be classified as a bucket hat or sunhat as the brim is meant to provide a little shade from the sun.
I’ve updated the pattern to my current template and formatting, but the pattern itself is the same as the original. I’ve also added some helpful info below to help you pick your yarn, needles, and add that all-important bow. You can purchase the pattern for $6 here on this website or on Raverly or Etsy.
The Day in the Park Cloche is knit bottom up from the brim to the crown in the round. You start with a lot of stitches to form the bell part of the cloche and then use a contrasting color to add a pop of color. You’ll knit the bow in your contrasting color back and forth before folding it into the bow shape and adding it to the hat. Sized to fit babies up to 18-months, this hat is a great knit for warmer weather and will be a super cute addition to any hat collection.
Skill Level and Sizing:
- Skill level: Intermediate
- Skills needed: Knitting in the round, knitting and purling, slipping stitches, and decreasing by knitting two together.
- Size: Newborn – 3 months, (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months)
- Circumference: 12 ½”, (14”, 16”, 17 ½”)
- Height above brim: 4 ½” (5”, 5 ½”, 6”)
Gauge: 18 sts and 28 rows per 4” in stockinette stitch knit in the round
- US 6 (4mm) 16” circular and double-pointed needles
- Main Color (MC) Yarn: each size takes less than 100 yards
- Contrasting Color (CC) Yarn: ; size takes less than 25 yards
- Hats shown use Bernat Softee Cotton in Seaside Blue and White.
- Stitch Marker
- Yarn needle
Picking your Yarn
I had originally knit the Day in the Park Cloche in Jojoland Tonic. I knit samples while updating the pattern for new pictures using Bernat Softee Cotton and got essentially the same gauge as I had with the original hats.
Jojoland Tonic is a blend of 15% and 85% acrylic yarn and Bernat Softee Cotton is a blend of 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. This hat will work well in cotton, cotton-blend, or acrylic yarns. I would probably stay away from wool yarns and would highly recommend leaning towards a yarn with cotton or other natural fiber.
Full disclosure: I love Lion Brand’s new Truboo and Nuboo yarns but would not use those for this project. Both of those are made of fibers derived from bamboo. They were both really drapey and I could not achieve the brim shape I was looking for. Coboo may work for this project, but I hadn’t tried that yarn.
The main thing to watch out for when knitting hats for tiny heads is to keep an eye on your gauge. Regardless of which yarn you pick for this project, getting a significantly different gauge on a baby hat can make a big different in size.
Selecting your Knitting Needles
The hat is worked in the round from the bottom up with a brim that has twice the number of stitches as the cap of the hat. I use a 16″ circular for the brim and then switch to double pointed needles at the decrease round. I also use the DPN’s to knit bow (the bow is knit flat).
I would recommend against knitting the larger sizes using only DPNs because you cast on a significant number of stitches and you may have stitches slip off your needle’s even if you use 7″ DPNs. I would start the hat using a 16″ circular needle and then switch to double-pointed needles, if you have them. If you don’t, you can absolutely knit the hat on your dpn’s but you’ll need to keep an eye on your stitches.
When working with cotton yarns, I will generally stick with bamboo or knitting needles with a blunter tip. This is because cotton yarns can be splitty. If you are frustrated by working with splitty yarns, check out this post I wrote with my tips. I think splitty yarns can be worth a little frustration for the right project, but I like to minimize frustration in my knitting and craft life.
Adding a Bow to Your Day in the Park Cloche
Adding the bow to your cloche is actually super simple, but it can look a little confusing at first. Here’s how you do it:
First, you knit your rectangle, following the directions in the pattern. Weave the ends in and then grab your extra length of yarn. Then, you fold the bow in half lengthwise so the side you want to be the front is on the inside of your fold (the two halves of the front will touch, and the back will be on the outside). This fold will look like a “V”.
Then fold your rectangle so it makes an “M” shape. Think of your first fold as a “V” shape and you take the tops of that “V” down to meet the bottom fold so you’ve turned it into an “M”.
Next, take your extra length of yarn and wrap it tightly around the middle. Leave 6″ on each end to tie the yarn in place and then secure the bow to the hat.
You should tie a knot or double-knot the yarn to secure the folds of the bow in place. I will secure the bow on the contrasting color band at about the same place I added the CC when knitting the hat (at the beginning of the round). This way the bow can cover up any little imperfections I may have had when changing colors.
(This is important info:) When you add your bow to your hat, I do not recommend using more than a single knot. Keep in mind that the bow is going to be right at the brim of this hat and the inside of that part of the hat will touch the baby’s forehead. A cotton knot can be rough and isn’t something any of us would want rubbing against our forehead. Use a single knot and then weave in the ends to secure the bow in place.
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