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rear hat view

Hybrid Hat—Free Pattern!

Hybrid is a hat pattern that combines the best of both worlds— the sleeker beanie style appearance with the comfortable slouchy hat fit.

Let’s talk about hats. I know your thoughts upon reading this might be something along the lines of, “Hat?! It’s the middle of summer! Why on earth would I want to think about knit hats right now?” Well, let me tell you why! Hats are one of my favorite knitting projects for summer months. They are small, lightweight and very rarely have to touch any part of your body other than the parts of your hands/fingers that hold the needle. Best of all, by the time the weather does cool off, your “cute knit hat” collection has grown! Ta da!

Anyways, I digress. I wear a lot of hats, whether it’s a ball cap style hat to keep the rain off my glasses or a knit hat to keep my head warm in Portland’s chilly weather. Or, let’s be honest, to hide my hair because I chose “snooze” instead of taking a shower and rolled out bed 5 minutes before needing to walk the kids to the bus stop. I do have a slouchy style hat that I knit myself last winter but it is huge and not exactly the most flattering, even if it is super comfortable. I struggle with a lot of knit beanie style hats, though, because they make my head itchy and give me crazy hat hair. I think this comes from the tighter fit that comes with that style of hat.

Top-down view of hat

Hybrid is a hat pattern that I designed to combine the best of both worlds— the sleeker beanie style appearance with the comfortable slouchy hat fit. Using a simple “knit 1, slip 1 with yarn in back” repeat that alternates every few rows creates an interesting texture that really shows off the colors on your favorite tonal or variegated yarns without being a basic stockinette stitch hat. The slipped stitches also create a slightly thicker, squishy material that keeps your head nice and toasty.

Side view of hybrid hat

This texture, however, is also a bit less stretchy than your average hat, necessitating a few more stitches than you would typically use for a heavy DK/light worsted weight hat. By using that increased stitch count from the beginning, the 1×1 rib edge doesn’t fit quite as tight as a normal beanie style hat, helping to reduce itchiness and the “hat hair” line around the back of the neck. My sample uses a tubular cast on, which looks as if the stitches continue around the edge of the hat and up the inside, giving an extra stretchy and smooth edge that helps the looser fit. Andrea Mowry has a great video tutorial on how to do a tubular cast on. A Long Tail Cast-on can be used instead of the Tubular Cast-on if you would prefer.

edge of hybrid hat

Hybrid is a pattern easy enough for a beginner knitter but interesting and quick enough for knitters of any level. Skills needed include:

  • Stretchy cast-on, such as a Long Tail Cast-on or Tubular Cast-on
  • Knit (k)
  • Purl (p)
  • Slip 1 with yarn in back (Sl1wyib)
  • Kit 2 together (K2tog)

This pattern is available for FREE on Ravelry and I would love to see your project page if you decide to knit this hat! You can also tag me on Instagram at @craftslayerpdx or use the hashtag #craftslayerpdx or #hybridhat on your finished photos. Let me know if you have any questions or comments at Enjoy!