Keep out the cold with these free knitting patterns for hats using leftover yarn
Before I introduce you to a collection of free knitting patterns for hats using leftover yarn, let me tell you what made me compile this list.
In northeastern Oklahoma, winter-like cold has arrived much earlier than usual. A few years ago, while I still lived in Ohio, I purchased a heavy black winter coat that was perfect for bitter winters. It has one flaw: a very floppy hood. It keeps my head nicely warm when it is up, but if it is windy, that hood falls right off my head.
I tell you this because this morning, I decided that I was tired of holding my hood up in windy weather, and I was tired of borrowing my husband or older daughter’s hats. I’m a knitter! I should have my own hand-made hat! You would think that with all the hats I have made over the years, I would have one of my own. (Well, I used to, but I left it at my grandfather-in-law’s house last year.)
I went into my yarn stash, fully intending to pull out a nice skein of yarn with which to make my hat. Preferrably, I wanted a wool or wool-blend hat. But upon rooting through my stash, I realized that I didn’t have a single worsted-weight skein of wool/wool-blend yarn. I had other weights — bulky, DK — but no worsted. I also had lots and lots and lots of beautiful scraps of leftover wool yarn.
That’s when I realized that I had yet to compile a list of knitting patterns for hats that can be used with leftover yarn. And so, after assembling some of my prettiest leftover half- and even quarter-skeins of worsted weight wool yarn, I sat down with Ravelry and set about to compile a list.
Of course, one could simple make an ordinary, run-of-the-mill striped hat with many partial skeins of yarn. But I generally like to make hats with a little bit more interest than a simple ribbed brim and stockinette stitch striping.
Below is the result of my Ravelry browsing. And I’ll even tell you which pattern I picked!
Free Knitting Patterns for Hats Using Leftover Yarn
Scrap Yarn Hat for Baby/Child: This is a precious little hat that is a great way to practice colorwork on a smaller scale. Just click the button that says “Add to Cart” to access the pattern and proceed through the checkout process. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged!
Golden Pear: This is another baby hat, though you can make it larger by adding cast-on stitches in multiples of 8. “Golden pear” refers to the colors of yarn the designer chose. Of course you can choose any colors you wish for a delightful design.
Turn a Square: This hat pattern continues to be one of the most popular adult hat patterns on Ravelry. The pattern places simple yet interesting stripes throughout. Again, you’ll need to go through a check-out process to access the pattern, but it is indeed free.
Thorpe: Here’s an earflap hat pattern with two variations, stranded and solid colored.
Rib-a-Roni: A fully ribbed hat that can be made solid or with stripes. Scroll down through the blog post until you hit upon the pattern.
Fish Hat (Dead or Alive?): This hat is just too funny for words. It’s perfect for a zany child or an equally zany (and adventurous) adult.
Scrappy Flap Hat: This is a stranded hat pattern in both child and adult sizes. Not for the faint of heart, but very rewarding!
Oisin Hat: If you’d like to try a stranded hat on a smaller scale, you need this baby beanie.
Floppy Fair Isle Hat: The warning is right in the title! This is indeed a Fair Isle hat, wonderful for using up leftover yarn. If you’re ready to tackle Fair Isle, or if you’re a pro, this may be the hat for you.
December Stripes Pattern: Here’s a stranded beanie that is available for both children and adults. Another great way to practice stranded knitting! Note that the blog post at the bottom of the Ravelry page is no longer active, but the “free Ravelry download” link still works.
Malabrigo Motley: If you have lots of different colors of leftover yarn, this is the hat for you. Have fun with it!
Scrap-Happy Celebration Hat: Finally, we’ve reached the pattern I chose. I wanted simple stripes that wouldn’t require a lot of concentration to knit. But I still wanted enough interest to hold my attention. I also wanted a slouchy hat, rather than a snug-fitting beanie. The purl round added whenever you change colors was just enough to make a hat that I could knit without getting too impatient! (I’ve finished the hat since publishing this article — see it here!)
I hope you’ve found a hat to knit with your leftover yarn, just as I have, from these free knitting patterns for hats.