Chunky Cable Knit Hat with Free Pattern

If you're thinking about making someone a hand knit gift this season, a charming, chunky, cable stitch hat should be on the list of contenders. Hats are really easy to make and have so many possible variations. You can change up the type of yarn, the colors and the stitch pattern in endless ways.

I've made lots of knitted hats over the years and for the most part just make up the pattern. I've always knitted my hats flat because it's easy enough to stitch up the side seam and I never seem to have circular needles at the right length. So, basically what I do, is determine the finished size I want for my hat, then swatch my yarn to determine gauge. Determine the number of stitches to cast on. Choose a stitch pattern and knit until I'm about 1 inch shy of the finished height. Then I decrease the stitches to shape the crown. So here's what I did to make this hat.

Disclaimer: This is a (mostly) untested and definitely not perfect pattern. I do not guarantee that it will work for all knitters.

Chunky Cable Knit Hat
Finished measurements:  21 inch circumference, 10 inch height
Gauge: 4 inches = 9.5 sts and 12 rows
1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
US size 13 straight needing needles

Cast on 48 stitches. Make a knit 2, purl 2 rib for 4 rows. 
Six Stitch Cable Pattern
Row 1: (RS) *p1, k6, p1* Repeat to end of row.
Row 2: *k1, p6, k1* Repeat to end of row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 one time.
Row 5: (RS) *p1, slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k3, knit 3 sts from cable needle, p1* repeat to end.
Row 6:  *k1, p6, k1* Repeat to end of row.

Repeat Cable Pattern 1 time. Begin to shape crown.

1st Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, sl2 to cable needle, k2tog, k2 knit 2 sts from cable needle, p1* repeat to end
3rd Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, p1*, repeat to end
5th Decrease Row: (RS) *p1, sl1, k2tog, psso, p2tog*
6th Decrease Row: (WS) p2tog 6 times, k1

Cut yarn about 20 inches long and thread on needle. Run needle through live stitches and pull tight. Sew up side seam.

Here are a few other hand knit hats of various yarn and stitch patterns. As you can see, the pale blue alternates cable stitches and a knit stitch panel. The long white seed stitch hat in the back folds up to make a brim. If you want to add a brim to your hat, make the rib stitch section at the beginning about 5 inches long or desired length.

One of the great things about making hats is that because they are so quick to make (especially with a chunky yarn), you can really experiment and try new things. If it doesn't work out you can always frog it and start again.

What are you knitting this season? Do you have any go-to knitted gifts?


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  1. I love this pattern - thank you for posting it! I am knitting my first cardigan, right now, and I think your hat will be my first attempt at cables (I am VERY intimidated by cables - ha!) :-).

  2. Love Love - Just pinned this awesome pattern!

  3. Gorgeous hat! It looks lovely. Great chunky feel, makes it look so cosy. The chunkiness minimises the number of cable turns too - win-win! Wish I had a pretty oval face, I have yet to find a nice knit hat for a squarish face - any ideas? ;)

  4. I am just coming up on the decrease rows and am kind of new to this... What do I do for the second and fourth rows in the decreases? Are these just knit rows? Thank you for the pattern... I am attempting some last minute gifts? :)

  5. For the decrease you knit the knits and purl the purls. I think this gives k1 p5 k1
    for row 2 and k1 p3 k1 for row 4. On my biggest needles with my chunkiest wool this made a child sized hat so I'm going to add 3 cables (24 stitches) and repeat the 6 rows 4 times before I decrease.
    Lovely pattern and it's only taken a coupe of hours of knitting.

  6. This is a great pattern but the specifications above made a baby hat! I think the pattern may be missing some cable rows.

    1. After the first 6 rows of the cable pattern, there's an instruction to repeat those 6 rows.

      I also might just have a small head, so definitely take a look at the finished measurements and compare to your own size.

    2. on the decreasing you say to "sl 2 st to cable needle" but do not say whether to hold them to the front or back?? can you or anyone else clarify? i AM STUCK!

    3. I finished this hat and figured out the decreasing.....But even after repeating the pattern twice as stated I also came out with a baby size hat. I think this pattern would best be served by repeating the pattern 3 times, possibly 4 for a more slouchy style.


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