You’ve seen them everywhere; now you can knit a ponytail hat for everyone in your life, including yourself!
If you use Facebook, Pinterest, and/or Instagram, or if you read other knitting e-newsletters and/or blogs, you know how very popular the “ponytail hat” has become! I must admit I find this a little inexplicable. Oh, I understand the appeal of the ponytail hat — who wouldn’t want a hat that allows a ponytail to swing freely rather than be bunched up under?
What I don’t quite understand is why it’s so popular now. Ponytail hats have been around for a very long time. I’ve often seen them when hunting for hat knitting patterns. Knitty, one of my favorite online knitting magazines, published one of the cutest of the ponytail hats, Piggle, over 10 years ago!
But it really doesn’t matter why the ponytail hat has suddenly become trendy. What probably matters to you is finding the right pattern, because if you know anyone with long hair and they know you knit, you can probably count on it: someone will ask you to make one for her. Someone may have already!
Don’t worry! I’m here to help.
Two Categories for Ponytail Hat Patterns
Ponytail hat patterns tend to fall into one of two categories. One is the simple method. You may know that it’s quite easy to turn nearly any brim-up beanie into a ponytail hat by simply not closing the very top. Most brim-up beanie patterns tell you to reduce down to a single digit of stitches — or maybe even 1 — and then draw the stitches together and fasten off. You can, instead, stop reducing when you have about 10 stitches or so on the needles. Then just cast off instead of reducing and fastening off. Voila: instant ponytail hat!
The second category is a little more complex. This kind of ponytail hat works a hole into the back of the hat, rather than leaving the top open.
I’ll divide these free ponytail hat patterns into the two categories to make it easier to find just the right pattern.
Ponytail Hat Patterns: the Simple Method
Holey Hat: This is definitely one of the easiest and quickest. You’ll use bulky weight yarn, ribbing at the brim, and simple stockinette throughout the body of the hat.
Quick Gifts 1: Ponytail Beanie: This beanie (right) looks almost like a very wide headband. It’s fully ribbed, so it will conform snugly to the wearer’s head. As an added bonus, this style is great for folks with very long hair because the hole is so large.
Goodie Bag Hat: This is a clever spin on a ponytail hat. The top is gathered with a drawstring, and the ruffles really do create a “goodie bag” resemblance.
Rowan Ponytail Hat: For proof of the longevity of the ponytail hat, check out this vintage pattern! It’s so old that it’s now in the public domain. It offers a fascinating fancy slip stitch pattern, as well as garter stitch at the top and bottom. This may be the first knitted hat I’ve ever seen that resembles a crocheted hat.
XO Cabled Ponytail Hat: The hat’s name says exactly what it features: an “XO” cable design. So cute!
Yellowstone Skate Ski Hat: This hat features two different cable designs, and they are absolutely adorable. I also love the bison photo at the top of the page. It makes me want to buy bison yarn!
Tea-Cozy Hat: This hat resembles the Goodie Bag hat with its drawstring-gathered top, but the brim is ribbed for a more snug fit. I think this hat would really shine with a lovely handpainted yarn. Just click the photo in the top row labeled “Tea-Cozy Hat” to download.
Messy Bun Hat: This heavily textured, chunky hat is so cute! It’s called “Messy Bun Hat” but of course it can easily be used for a high ponytail instead.
A Stroll in the Park: If you’re itching for something a little more challenging in your ponytail hat creation, the beautiful houndstooth colorwork in this pattern should fit the bill nicely!
Ponytail Hat Patterns: Getting Tricky
Ponytail Pi Hat: If you like math, you’ll love this adorable hat. The directions help you figure out exactly where to place the hole for optimal ponytail hold. Scroll down the page until you see the green ponytail hat photo, then click the link to download.
Piggle: I still think this is the cutest ponytail hat ever. It holds not one, but two ponytails, aka pigtails, thus the name. Not only is it adorable, but it’s also a great way to practice lace.
Pony Tail Hat: What makes this hat special is the fact that it’s loom-knit. I don’t loom knit, but I know a lot of charity knitters do. So here’s your ponytail hat!
Ponytail Hat 3: This funky hat uses 2 skeins of yarn to create a fun striping and textured effect.
Bucaneve Hat: Until now, all these patterns have been for beanies. But if you or your “please make me a ponytail hat” person longs for a slouchy hat, no worries. The Bucaneve Hat has you covered!
Hannah: The beauty of this pattern lies in the buttons. No need to worry about messing up your hair when putting this hat on or taking it off, because the hat buttons gently around the head. Brilliant!
Lena Mathisson’s Softyarn Designs Hats: These patterns are not free, but they’re also not expensive. And they are insanely clever. They all feature button-up backs. The clever twist: you can place your ponytail wherever you want in the back. From low to high, Lena’s patterns will have you covered!
Now you’re ready to create that ponytail hat of your friend or relative’s dreams. Which one is your favorite?