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Wise Old Owl Hats

Wise Old Owl HatWe’ve been seeing this adorable, clever, and classic owl cable design everywhere lately — from baby hats to adult sweaters. Unable to resist, we came up with our own FREE PATTERNS in both a CHILD size and an ADULT size to fit any owl lover in your life!

This cabled hat is cleverly designed to look like there are adorable owls encircling it– you can add buttons for eyes if you wish, or omit them for a more subtle effect. The child’s hat pictured here is knit in the super soft Lobster Pot Cashmere and the adult size is done in Rowan Coccoon.

We are also offering a class to help the cable-nervous get started.

Wise Old Owl Hat – Child Version

Finished measurements: 19” unstretched

Materials:
Lobster Pot 8ply cashmere or any worsted weight yarn with a gauge of 4.5-5 sts per inch
Size 7 circular needle and dpns
stitch markers
4 small buttons for eyes (optional, you can use more, less, or none at all)
sewing needle and thread.

Gauge: 4.5 per inch in stockinette stitch. The cabled owl sections will tighten up your gauge.

Abbreviations:
C4F: slip two sts onto cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle
C4B: slip two sts onto cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle

Owl Cable pattern:
(multiple of 11 sts)
Rounds 1-3: *p3, k8, repeat from * to end
Round 4: *p3, C4B, C4f, repeat from * to end
Rounds 5-11: same as round 1
Round 12: same as round 4
Round 13: same as round 1
Rounds 14-15: *p3, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1. repeat from * to end
Round 16-17: same as round 1
Round 18: same as round 4
Round 19: same as round 1

Directions:
Cast on 100 sts, join in round and work in 2×2 ribbing for 1 inch.
Switch to stockinette and work for 5 rounds, decreasing 1 st evenly spaced in row 3.
99 sts.

Work 19 rows of owl cable pattern over all sts.
Knit 1 or more rows and increase 5 sts.- 104 sts.

Continue in stockinette stitch until work measures 5 inches including ribbing or to desired length.

Decrease as follows:
*K 11 k2tog, repeat from * to end.
K1 round plain.
K 10 k2tog.
K1 plain.

Continue decreasing in this manner until 56 sts remain.
Then decrease every round until 8 sts remain.

Cut yarn and pass through remaining sts to fasten off. Weave in all ends and block. Sew buttons over the purl sections within the cable pattern that form the owl’s eyes

Wise Old Owl HatWise Old Owl Hat – Adult Version (updated 1/9/2013)

Finished measurements: 20” unstretched
Materials:
1 ball Rowan Cocoon or any chunky weight yarn you can get 3.5 sts per inch gauge with
size 10 circular needle and dpns, stitch marker
4 small buttons for eyes (optional, you can use more, less, or none at all)
sewing needle and thread

Gauge: 3.5 sts per inch

Abbreviations:
C4F: slip two sts onto cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable neeedle
C4B: slip two sts onto cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle

Owl Cable pattern:
(multiple of 11 sts)
Rounds 1-3: *p3, k8, repeat from * to end
Round 4: *p3, C4B, C4f, repeat from * to end
Rounds 5-11: same as round 1
Round 12: same as round 4
Round 13: same as round 1
Rounds 14-15: *p3, k1, p2, k2, p2, k1. repeat from * to end
Round 16-17: same as round 1
Round 18: same as round 4
Round 19: same as round 1

Directions:
Cast on 88, join in round and work in 2×2 ribbing for 1 inch.
Switch to stockinette and work for 5 rounds.

Work 19 rows of owl cable pattern over all sts.
Knit 1 or more rows and increase 2 sts.- 90sts.

Continue in stockinette stitch until work measures 6 inches including ribbing or to desired length.

Decrease as follows:
*K9, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
K1 round plain.
*K8, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
K1 round plain.
*K7, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.
K1 round plain.

Continue decreasing in this manner until 40 sts remain.
Then decrease every round (no plain rounds) until 8 sts remain. Cut yarn and pass through remaining sts to fasten off.

Weave in all ends and block. Sew buttons over the purl sections within the cable pattern that form the owl’s eyes.

Useful Links:
FREE Wise Old Owl Hat pattern PDF (child)
FREE Wise Old Owl Hat pattern PDF (adult) updated 1/9/2013

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34 Responses to “Wise Old Owl Hats”

  1. Phyllis says:

    For the adult hat, when you say continue decreasing in this manner until 40 sts remain…….
    do you mean to keep knitting 7 and then 2 together or do you do K6,k2tog and then
    5 and 2 together etc,?
    I made the childrens hat and that turned out great but am a little stuck on this
    direction. Thanks

  2. emma says:

    Hi Phyllis!

    Yes, “in like manner” means you continue decreasing the number of knits before the k2togs by one.
    Example:
    *k6, k2tog, repeat from * to the end
    knit
    *k5, k2tog, repeat from * to the end
    knit
    etc.

    Once you have 40 stitches left, start decreasing every round instead of every other round. Following the same decrease pattern.

    Hope this helps!

  3. christin says:

    Do you have a free crochet pattern for this hat?

  4. emma says:

    Hi Christin!
    Thanks for reading! We don’t have a crochet version, but I found a few on Ravelry:
    “It’s a Hoot! an Owl Hat”
    “Owl Hat”
    Hope this helps!
    -Emma G.

  5. Catherine says:

    On the adult version, why do you increase to 90 stitches? When you start the decrease with K9 K2tog, you need multilples of 11 which is what you had with the 88 stitches you start with. I got to the first decrease row and had 2 extra stitches.

  6. nancy says:

    is there a scarf pattern to go with this

  7. nancy says:

    I m looking for a matching scarf pattern

  8. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Nancy!
    We don’t have a matching scarf pattern. But I found a few patterns on Ravelry that could match the hat nicely:
    Owl Sitting-in-a-tree Scarf
    Owl McOwl
    Winter Woods Owl Scarf

  9. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Catherine!
    Ooops! You’re right! I just updated the adult pattern PDf and the instructions above.
    Happy knitting!
    -Emma G.

  10. Angela says:

    I wish there was a way to knit these cute owls into fingerless gloves on a loom!

  11. Ana says:

    Could you make a video on youtube on how to make this adult hat, please. I’m new to knitting and would love to make a hat like this. A video would help visualize the steps :)

  12. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Ana!

    That is a terrific idea! Unfortunately we don’t yet have video capabilities. What about a photo tutorial?
    -EG

  13. Jean says:

    Decrease as follows:
    *K 11 k2tog, repeat from * to end. K1 round plain.
    K 10 k2tog. I don’ understand do I knit the rest of the row? Or repeat?
    K1 plain. Does plain mean knit I round?

    Love the design!

  14. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Jean!
    Yes, ‘K1 round plain’ means knit one round.
    Hope this helps!
    -Emma G.

  15. Gwen Yim says:

    Hi, please could you tell me if the size needles for the adult hat are a size 10 US or metric (MM)?

    Thank you

  16. Carol Talbot says:

    I have been knitting for many years but was completely stumped with the decreasing instructions…you must start with K8, K2 tog. ….not K9. The Math is very confusing as I kept dividing knit 9 into 90 sts. and that seemed to work and after ripping that row back about 20 times, I finally figured out the mistake. I saw that you had corrected the error on Ravelry but then it wasn’t corrected when I made the hat. Anyway, thanks for the cute hat pattern…I made it for my neighbour who is an avid owl collector and has recently lost one of her pets, so I thought this would cheer her up. It’s also lovely and warm and winter is just about here. Thanks.

  17. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Gwen!
    That would be US size 10. Sorry for any confusion!
    Best,
    Emma G.

  18. Knit Culture says:

    Hello Carol!

    At least it sounds like the hat was well-received and worth all the trouble! Thank you for letting me know that there are some discrepancies in the corrections, I will look into it to save others the hassle.

    Best,
    Emma G.

  19. karen hedges says:

    Hi, is your needle size 10 a 4 in GB? Also what does ‘dpns’ mean and what size cable needle?

    Regards
    Karen

  20. Knit Culture says:

    Hello Karen!
    Yes, US size 10 would be UK size 4. ‘Dpns’ means double-pointed needles, and, I would just use a cable needle that suits the yarn weight. We don’t really have standardized cable needles here, they usually just come in a pack of three. :)
    Hope this helps!
    -Emma

  21. karen hedges says:

    your comment

  22. karen hedges says:

    am confused by decreasing instructions!!! Do i end up with 90 stitches and decrease by k9 k2tog etc??????

  23. Andi M. says:

    Thanks for this pattern. It’s so cute. I can’t wait to make it.

  24. Knit Culture says:

    Yay! Share your pictures with our Ravelry group, I’d love to see how it turns out for you!
    -Emma G.

  25. Barb says:

    I made this hat for 2 of my granddaughters and LOVE the end product. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if you have a child’s owl glove pattern. I can find adult size ones, but not a child’s pattern. Thanks.

  26. Daytha says:

    How to translate the knit stitch to crochet stitch for the owl hat?

  27. Knit Culture says:

    Hello Daytha!
    There is no way to translate a knit pattern into a crochet pattern, however there are many crochet versions of knit patterns.
    Here’s a few patterns I found of crochet owl hats that are similar to our hat:
    “Owl Hat” – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/owl-hat-crochet-adult
    “It’s a Hoot! an Owl Hat” – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/its-a-hoot-an-owl-hat
    Hope this helps!
    -Emma G.

  28. Patty B says:

    Just finishing this pattern. The directions were very easy to follow once I found the corrected cast on stitches. I’m using two strands of yarn(making this a very bulky hat) and #9 needles. The hat is still too large in the rib band. Is there any way to tighten this after the hat is completed?

    Also, should this hat be blocked? The puffy owls look so cute I don’t want to risk compromising the pattern.

    Thank you for such a cute pattern. I think I would like to try it with less bulky yarn next time. How would I adjust the pattern for a worsted weight?

    Thank you. Patty

  29. Knit Culture says:

    Hi Patty!

    Glad you liked the pattern! I don’t know of a way to tighten the ribbed band after it’s been knit. But in the future, you can knit the ribbed band on a needle one or two sizes smaller, and then when you get to the owls, resume knitting on the needle size recommended.

    Blocking definitely helps even out stitches, but it also makes things slightly bigger. So if the hat is too big already, I wouldn’t block it.

    For changing the adult’s hat pattern to worsted, I would first knit a swatch and calculate how many stitches you need to cast-on to get your head size. And then either add another owl section or, add more purl stitches between the owls. Keep in mind that if you add stitches to the body of the hat, you will have to adjust your decreases.
    Hope this helps!
    Emma G.

  30. jane Williams says:

    Yelp, I did what u wrote & increased to 90. Damn!

  31. Donna Towne says:

    This is sooo cute.. must try it soon…

  32. diana says:

    Why do you cast on 100 sts for child’s hat and only 88 for adult’s hat? Love the pattern.

  33. Knit Culture says:

    Hello Diana!

    Great question! The Child’s version is done in a worsted weight while the Adult version was done in a chunky weight yarn. Hope this helps!
    -Emma G.

  34. Alie says:

    Thanks so much for this pattern! I can’t wait to try it! I wanted to incorporate an owl onto the back of a pet’s sweater- this will be great!

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