A list of free baby bonnet knitting patterns that can be found on the Internet.
A baby bonnet is a baby hat but unlike a baby hat or beanie, it has a soft head covering for babies that cover the hair and ears but not the forehead. It has a unique shape and is usually fastened to the head with cords. It is also not as tight a fit as a beanie. Even then, I think it provides more shade than a beanie even though it doesn’t have a brim.
I noticed 3 techniques frequently used to produce the distinctive shape of the bonnet:
- Knitted flat
- Knit in the round from the “brim” up
- Knit in the round from the crown down
My pick of patterns include all 3 techniques. Besides the standard bonnet shape, there is also the pixie pointed top and the boxy shapes.
Baby Bonnet Knitting Patterns Knitted flat
1. Samantha’s Wee Newborn Fairy Bonnet
This fairy bonnet is a quick project to knit up for a baby shower gift. It is basically a stockinette rectangle with a garter border on 3 sides. The tie cord comes with a flower and is attached to the bonnet by an eyelet.
Samantha’s blog itself contains the instructions and some work-in-progress pictures which I find helpful. She doesn’t specify the type of yarn to use except that it should be worsted weight yarn. Although no gauge was given, she did give the measurement for the rectangle before seaming.
She crocheted the tie cord and flowers. Unfortunately, I don’t like to crochet. Thank goodness, she offers substitution – knitted i-cord and any small knitted flower.
Pattern: Samantha’s Wee Newborn Fairy Bonnet
2. Pixie Hat
This pixie hat looks like an elf’s hat. It is knitted flat and the shape is created because of the ribbing.
Although this pattern is listed in Ravelry, it is not available there. The actual pattern is now cached at web archive. Crystal Palace Yarns claimed that they archived all their patterns in Internet Archive after they retired the business. I hope the archive is permanent. (Alternative source: Crystal Palace Pixie Hat PDF)
The designer Diana recommends one skein of Crystal Palace Baby Georgia which is a 100% mercerized cotton yarn. Since Crystal Palace is no longer in business, suggested substitution would be any type of yarn in fingering weight. The instructions are quite straightforward although it doesn’t include the gauge or the measurement of the finished product.
Pattern: Diana’s pixie hat
3. Lattice Bonnet
This sweet bonnet is knitted flat and then seamed. The textured stitch featured on the bonnet is called the quilted lattice stitch. Like the Newborn Fairy bonnet, this is a knitted rectangle of quilted lattice stitch where one side is seamed up to form the bonnet.
The pattern includes 4 sizes: Preemie, Newborn, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months. Measurements for each size is given. Gauge is given as 25 sts and 35 rows to 4 inches in quilted lattice stitch.
The recommended yarn is Knitpicks’ Shine Sport Yarn which is a Sport weight yarn with 60% Pima cotton and 40% wood fiber.
Pattern: The lattice bonnet (pdf document)
4. Patty’s Adorable Baby Bonnet
This adorable bonnet is basically a T-shape with the sides sewn together to form a cube-like bonnet. Cast on accordingly and start on the rim of the bonnet with ribbing. Transit to garter stitch for the body and back of the bonnet.
Suggested yarn is the O-Wool balance which is worsted weight (9 WPI). 3 sizes are available: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6 to 12 months.
This pattern is not professionally written with regard to the layout of the pattern. Other than that, I think it is easy to follow.
Pattern: Patty’s adorable baby bonnet (pdf file at Ravelry).
5. Amanda’s Baby On Board Bonnet
This little boxy bonnet is fairly gender neutral. It uses purl ridges as part of the pattern. The bonnet is boxy, like Patty’s Adorable T-Shaped bonnet.
It offers 2 sizes: newborn and 1-year-old. Finished item measures 15 and 18 inch in circumference respectively. The recommended yarn is Cascade Yarns Superwash Aran Splatter which is 100% superwash merino wool.
The instructions for decreasing the bonnet reminds me of how a sock heel is knitted. There is i-cord involved and here’s a video for quick reference.
The more I study this pattern, the more I like it. 🙂
Pattern: Amanda’s Baby On Board Bonnet
6. Franklin’s Baby Hood
This is a vintage A Cornelia Mee’s pattern dated 1844 adapted by Franklin Habit at knitty.com.
Knitted flat in three separate pieces which are then sewn together. A little more complicated than I like. The recommended yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light which is made up of 50% Super Fine Alpaca and 50% Peruvian Highland Wool. 2 skeins needed. Gauge is 24 sts and 32 rows to 4 inch in stockinette stitch. Measurements are 9 inches high including frill.
Franklin’s instructions are quite detailed and I do not see any difficulties following them to knit the 3 pieces. I am not so sure about the sewing up instructions. It is after all designed as a family heirloom so I guess it has to be awe-inspiringly difficult to make.
Pattern: Franklin’s Baby Hood
7. Vintage-Style Baby Bonnet by CraftFoxes
This is a vintage-style bonnet featuring a moss-like stitch texture for the cap. This is knitted flat and the instructions for the texture stitch is included within the instructions in Step 1.
The back shaping is achieved using an 8-stitch decrease. I like that Hadley Fierlinger, the designer included the number of stitches left on the needles after each row of decreases. It helps keep track of progress after each row and catches any mistakes early.
The last piece is the thin neckband. It is knitted as a separate piece and attached to the base of the cap where the button and buttonhole is.
The pattern offers 3 sizes with finished measurements and gauge. The recommended yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK – Piglet (001) which is a double weight yarn of 75% extra-fine merino wool, 20% silk and 5% cashmere.
The pattern can be found in this book: Vintage Knits for Modern Babies by Hadley Fierlinger or from this craftfoxes.com web page.
8. Princess Charlotte’s Bonnet
This pattern is inspired by the one that Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William and Catherine, wore when she first appeared outside the hospital. The little girl is already making a fashion statement. The 2 cables are not actually cabled at all. Learn how to make mock cables with this quick knit. ;P
The pattern offers 3 sizes: Newborn, 3-6 months and 6 to 12 months. Gauge is 26 sts and 48 rows to 4 inches in garter stitch. No recommended yarn except that it should be fingering weight and you will need about 183m for the largest size.
The pattern calls for provisional cast-on and knowledge of picking up stitches. It isn’t really very professionally written, many terms are not standard. It seems that patterns with quirky construction tend to have awkward terms.
I think the instructions could be clearer. For one, it starts with the CO but doesn’t say what it is for. The neck, the brim or a part that has no name. Of course, if I spend enough time staring, I might suspect that it is the section with the 2 mock cables.
It could also do with more work-in-progress pictures. This is one of those patterns I can’t visualize how it works just by reading the instructions. I must learn as I knit.
Pattern: Princess Charlotte’s bonnet
9. Knitted Cable Bonnet
The bonnet is secured to the head with a band and button. It has a nice cable band across the head and a ribbed band with a button to secure the bonnet to the baby.
This pattern has 3 sizes: 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 1-2 years. Gauge is 22 sts and 28 rows to 4 inch in stockinette stitch. The recommended yarn is Sirdar Snuggly DK.
The pattern calls for the knitting of the cable panel first and then pick up stitches from the side of the panel to create the body and back of the bonnet. Pick up stitches from the other side to make the brim and button strap. Looks simple enough. 🙂
Need to know how to pick up stitches along the edge, here is a video for quick reference.
TECHknitter has a comprehensive write-up on picking up stitches: http://techknitting.blogspot.sg/2015/11/pick-up-stitches-along-selvage.html.
Pattern: The Knitted cable bonnet
10. Lotta’s I-Cord Bonnet
One of the few patterns that start with an I-cord as well as an I-cord cast-on. I am not familiar with the I-cord cast-on technique and will need to check it out first.
It also calls for Kitchener graft stitch or a three needle bind-off which I know.
Interestingly, the frills on the first section of the bonnet are made by using smaller needles for the garter stitch bands and bigger needles for the band within.
The patterns offer 4 sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months. No recommended yarns except that it should be fingering, sport or lighter DK that will satisfy the gauge of 23 stitches to 4 inches. That’s not very clear but Lotta, the designer did mention that the bonnet should be made to fit the baby it was made for.
This pattern is not written by a professional designer and English isn’t her first language so there are a few typos. But I think if I am not fussy, I should be able to make this bonnet with minimal difficulties.
Pattern: Lotta’s I-Cord Bonnet
11. Melissa’s Lacy Baby Bonnet
Melissa designed this lacy bonnet to match the baptismal gown she knitted for her niece. It has a picot edging, a lacy panel and a baseband that fit nicely at the nape of the neck.
There is only 1 size. The gauge is 22 sts and 26 rows to 4 inches. The recommended yarn is Paton Silk Bamboo yarn.
She included a link to instructions for the rolled ribbon rosettes that she used as embellishments instead of assuming that people know how to do these.
Sections include Picot Edging (forming the brim), Bonnet body, a diagram of the bonnet laid flat and showing the sides to be sewn up to shape the bonnet.
What I think is most clever about this pattern is the use of a 36-in long satin ribbon as the straps by threading it through the eyelet holes of the picot edging. How sweet.
Pattern: Melissa’s Lacy Baby Bonnet
12. Knitted Baby Balaclava
The official title of this pattern is Baby hat knitting pattern free. It doesn’t do the pattern justice. This bonnet has no straps, no buttons, no ribbons, no I-cords. Just pull it over the head of the baby or child, adjust and WA LA!
This pattern has sizes for 6-month old to a 4-year old. The recommended yarn is Bernat Softee Baby. Gauge is 21 sts and 40 rows to 4 inch in garter stitch.
Instructions are clear. Cast on starts at the face opening and the whole piece is knitted flat with increasing and decreasing stitches to shape the balaclava. The only sewing up is at the neckband.
Pattern: Baby knitted balaclava
Baby Bonnet Knitting Patterns Knitted in the Round
13. Kate’s Alfalfa
This bonnet has such a cute shape. It is similar to Diana’s pixie hat but is knitted in the round from the brim up and shaped with cleverly placed increases and decreases. I like the little pointy hat because it makes the baby looks like a little elf. It measures 7 inches high with a 12-inch circumference. Fits most babies from 4 to 12 months.
Kate recommends using the Fibre Company Terra yarn. It is Aran weight (or 8 WPI or wraps per inch) with 40% baby alpaca, 40% merino wool, 20% silk. Gauge is about 20 sts and 27 rows to 4 inches in stockinette using 4mm needles.
The pattern is available as a Ravelry download and will be a pdf file. There are quite a bit of abbreviation and Kate has provided a web page to check these abbreviations. Sections include I-cord, Garter stitch in the round, Brim, Body.
I only have 2 complaints about this pattern:
1. The instructions for the body is presented in one big block with no breaks. She bold the rounds that are significant. If so, wouldn’t it better to start each bold round with a new paragraph? I can, of course, copy the instructions into a word document and create the spacing myself.
2. She provided generic i-cord instructions at the beginning of the instructions without the cast on. For new knitters, this would have been confusing. It is only when you have come to the end of the pattern do you see that you are supposed to make two 4-stitch i-cords. I think it is better to co-locate the i-cord instructions.
Pattern: Kate’s Alfalfa
14. Adrian’s Top Down Bonnet with Anime Character
The top-down bonnet is knitted in the round. Adrian uses the Turkish cast-on (called the Figure 8 cast on in the pattern). It is most commonly used for toe-up socks because it creates a nice slightly curved top. Turkish cast on is quite easy. Here’s a video by Jane Richmond showing how it is done.
This is another video by Garnstudio Drops Design here using the continental style.
For written instructions, Ambah has a written and photo tutorial on it.
There are 4 sizes: Newborn, baby, child, and adult (yeah!) Gauge is 6 stitches and 8 rows to 1 inch in stockinette stitch. The recommended yarn is any sport weight yarn although the sample Totoro bonnet is made using Knitpicks Ambrosia in Fog which has, unfortunately, being discontinued.
The pattern is a basic top-down bonnet. It gives instructions to make the ears, eyes, and features of Totoro. No help for other anime characters. The pattern is available on Ravelry as a pdf file. It is available in English, French, and Finnish.
15. Kris’ Dino Cap
Imagination is such a powerful thing. A few little spikes on the top of a simple ear flap hat transforms this cap into a dinosaur cap worthy of a little dinosaur fan.
The pattern has 3 sizes: Newborn, 2 years and 3 years. The recommended yarn is Plymouth Encore Worsted. Gauge is 18 sts and 24 rows to 4 inches in stockinette stitch. Measurement for the finished cap is 14 inch for the newborn and 19 for the 3-year old.
The pattern uses short rows to shape the earflaps. Sections include: Lining and Earflaps, Joining the lining, Shape Crown, Spikes, and Braids. It is really one of the more interesting constructions I have come across for bonnets.
Pattern: The dinocap (word document)
Combination of Flat Knitting and Knit in the Round
16. Pure Stitches’ Bearly Bonnet
Knitted in garter stitch flat in the beginning, the Bearly bonnet is later joined and knitted in the round to form the back of the bonnet.
The ears are knitted separately in 4 pieces and then sewn onto the bonnet afterward. Personally, I would avoid knitting 4 pieces of ears. I would use the Turkish cast on and knit the ears in the round (see instructions for this cast-on at ).
The pattern is not professionally written
Pattern: Bearly Bonnet (word document). It is available in English and Danish.
I selected these 16 baby bonnet knitting patterns because of the different themes, designs, and knitting techniques. I was surprised that there are more patterns that are knitted flat than knitted in the round.
If you like this list, you might also like my knitted baby hats list.