I’m pretty crazy for owls. I think I got it from my Nana (my Mom’s Mom). She was a birder and had bird and owl decor items throughout her home. I vividly remember a macramé owl hanging that she had in her kitchen. When I started knitting one of the first things that I made was an Owl Hat. That owl hat evolved over the years. Initially it was just one owl. Then the owls went all the way around, but only one had button eyes. Now the owls go all the way around the hat and they have all have button eyes. It’s my favorite iteration and has lasted the longest without tweaking.
Not only did my Nana inspire my love of owls, but at the beginning all of the owl hats that I made used buttons from her vast button collection. Just another way I could share her love for birds of all kinds.
This knit owl hat has been far and away the most popular and requested item that I make. And now I’m going to share the pattern with you! Grab your knitting needles and get started.
A few pattern notes:
When increasing I prefer a M1 increase for this hat, rather than increasing by knitting front and back. (Here’s how I prefer to do the M1 increase)
I didn’t include a cable needle on the list of materials, but you will need one.
This is an adult women’s size, but would also fit teenagers/older kids.
If you need to increase the size of the hat, the owl pattern is 11 stitches. To go up a size I would recommend casting on 80, work in ribbing for the first 8 rounds, and then increase to 88 stitches on round 9.
Gauge is 5.5 stitches per inch.
Yardage is about 120 yards. (The skeins of yarn I get are 140 yards and that is always enough for me.)
The pattern needs 14 buttons for the owls as written (it makes 7 owls). If you increase the stitches to 88 you will need 16 buttons. If you increase to 99 stitches you will need 18 buttons.
C4B – means to move 2 stitches to the cable needle, hold the work in back, knit 2 stitches, then knit the 2 stitches on the cable needle. This is a cable worked over a total of 4 stitches.
C4F – similar to C4B, but hold the cable need in front.
Many readers are noting that they need to increase either needle size (start with 5mm needles) or the number of stitches cast on from the pattern (start with 82 and then increase to 88). Some readers have also suggested dropping the number of straight knit rows after the owls. You can start decreasing as soon as your hat it long enough for your personal preferences.
In addition to double pointed needles I also have a pair of short (8 inch) circular needles that I use to make hats. Either would work to make this hat in the round as written. When I use the 8-inch circular needles, I do switch to the double pointed needles during the decreases.
If you run into problems or have questions, leave me a comment and let me know. I’d also love to see any finished owl hats that you make!
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