Knitting A Perfect Hat for A Perfect Toddler

The prefect simple toddler hat.

I am shamed to say my toddler child had been zipping about in a too-small hat and was in need of a new hat with proper fit to keep his head smuggled and warm during this dreadful winter weather.

It seemed simple enough at the time.

  1. Day 1: It’s New Year’s Eve. Decide to knit needed toddler hat. Quick and easy project. Surely mother will be done by midnight.
  2. Honoring New Years resolution, scour yarn stash for the one remaining ball of yarn color appropriate for a male child, left over from holiday’s past (like, way back) when an intended Man Hat never quite got knitted. Apparently the ol’ stash leans more toward the female-colored palette. Who knew “neutrals” could be so, well, gender biased. Select singular skein if Tahkin Yarns Tara Tweed in a sort of turquoise/navy color (surprisingly soft 80% wool:20% nylon).
  3. Browse patterns on Ravelry. Quickly become overwhelmed. Decide to make one up instead.
  4. Read yarn label for stitches per inch and recommended needle size en lieu of swatching. Place child in front of the Lion King II (not age appropriate, BTW…found that out too late…) and measure child’s head. 19 inches. Decide to cast on for 20 inches, fearing a too-small hat that would defeat the entire purpose.
  5. Cast on 90 stitches and knit happily for an hour. Child goes to bed. Knit more. Three inches or so at this point. Fret a bit that the hat looks a wee bit big. What was that I read a while back about Negative Ease? Might have been important…
  6. Go to bed exhausted at 9:30. On New Year’s Eve.
  7. Day 2: Child awakes. Place in front of Dinosaur Train (PBS cartoon about dinosaurs…much more age appropriate). Set hat (still on needles) atop child’s head. Surmise, yes, it does look a bit big but surely he’ll grow into it. 
  8. Continue knitting for 30 minutes. Gut instinct is still saying The Hat Is Too Big!!!!!! Ignore gut instinct. Set project aside. Do something else. Denial is always a suitable solution.
  9. Day 3: Another episode of Dinosaur Train. Take deep breath, slip hat entirely off needles and place upon child’s head. Hat is so large it quickly slips down over the ears and onto shoulders like a cowl. Humph. Hat is also too big for mother. Not a good sign.
  10. Take note of the number of stitches that need to be reduced (18). Unravel project. Mother seriously questions overall brain function and wonders if she has forgotten to count.
  11. Day 4: Cast on the revised number of stitches. Knit for one episode of Dinosaur Train (30 minutes) and again in freezing cold afternoon outside while child digs in dirt with glee. Fingers require one hour to defrost after coming indoors. Well worth the sacrifice. As long the fingers don’t actually fall off.
  12. Continue knitting after child goes to sleep. Begin reducing at 4 inches, noting mother typically reduces an adult-sized hat at 5 inches. This makes perfect sense at the time. Again ignore gut feeling that hat seems oddly too short. Finish hat. Go to bed.
  13. Day 5: Child awakes. Full of hope and pride, place hat on child’s head (while child is distracted watching Dinosaur Train). Feeling not unlike placing crown upon a prince. Hat lands awkwardly more than an inch above the ears.
  14. Whoops.
  15. Child goes to bed. Mother unravels top of hat. Continues knitting another 1.5 inches before reducing (again!!!), plus an extra round for good measure. Then reduces, binds of final stitches. Goes to bed.
  16. Day 6:  One final fitting. At last. It fits. Now mother just needs to weave in ends. And drink wine. (Possibly tequila…)

So much for a project by New Years.

Super cute toddler hat.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and reading How To Knit A Heart Back Home.

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  • Reply Alina January 6, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Oh, Andrea! You posts always lift my spirits 🙂 The hat is perfect, your boy is perfect – you did well 🙂

  • Reply Cheryl TimeToCraft (@CherylInTheUK) January 6, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Lovely hat. Oh, this did make me smile. I’ve done this with sewing. (Decide to do project after child gone to bed. Measure sleeping child while they sleep. In the dark.) Least you could unravel….

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise January 6, 2016 at 6:02 am

    he is perfect and so is your perfect hat!! loved the steps you took to get there 🙂

  • Reply Elise and Life January 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hahaha! This is pretty much how I knit, I wouldn’t feel bad! (or maybe we should both feel bad… nah)

  • Reply caffeinegirl January 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Oh, Andrea, you make me smile! How is it that the simplest projects can turn out to be the most tortured. But you certainly had a happy ending!

  • Reply nanacathy2 January 7, 2016 at 12:53 am

    But well worth it, he looks very cosy and happy.

  • Reply carolinehauf January 7, 2016 at 4:56 am

    Too funny! Well, in the end, eventually you got there 🙂 Super cute kid AND hat!

  • Reply chrisknits January 7, 2016 at 8:51 am

    What a smile!! My problem is I don’t have a kid of every size to try hats on! Not that I want a kid of every size to try hats on, I barely got through raising the two I have to 18 and 21!

  • Reply Stefanie January 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Yay that it’s done. I like the blue and his little noggin’ is cozy.

  • Reply Sandrine January 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Happy boy and cute hat!
    Gut feelings do have interesting things to tell ????
    Happy new year to you

  • Reply knittedblissjc January 7, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    oh, your toddler hat odyssey! Glad you got there in the end, it’s so cute on him!! I feel like my toddler’s hat is a bit too short as well.. she’s outgrown it.

  • Reply arabianknits January 7, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    How funny! I think we all do things like this. I always try to remember that if I don’t like it now, I won’t like it 10 inches from now. I think that applies to things that seem wrong, too. 😉

  • Reply CathieJ January 8, 2016 at 5:46 am

    At least you didn’t give up. The result was a funny story and a really great hat.

  • Reply Elizabeth January 9, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Haha oh dear! Still, the finished hat is very sweet!

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