(Warning: Exactly 2 paragraphs of chit-chat before pattern actually begins!)
Ashley and Alicea from LeLe Photography asked me to knit some fun and funky baby hats for them to use as photography props on their newborn photo shoots. I couldn't quite find a pattern I liked (for free anyway) so I decided to design one and make it available to anyone who would like to knit one for their baby or photography business. All I ask in return is that you friend our Facebook page, Knit While He Naps, so that we can keep growing and posting more free patterns for everyone! It's a really easy pattern and I'm sure someone out there must have made one similar. This is just the way that I knit it up. Please feel free to use the following directions to make your own, for a friend, or for charity. If you want to sell the hats you make, that's ok too! I ask out of courtesy that you credit me as designer, and please keep in mind that the LeLe name is trademarked to LeLe Photography, who allow us to use it with permission. So maybe if you could include a link to their website as well, www.lelephotography.com, and that would be extra nice. Of course, you technically don't have to do any of this BUT I have found fiber artists to be some of the nicest, most polite people in the world.
I have written these out pretty basic, more for an advanced beginner to understand. If you have questions please feel free to message me. Tutorials for making an I-cord or German Twisted Cast On abound on the internet/youtube.com. I knit this in super bulky weight yarn so that it would hold it's shape better for photographs. If you are knitting this for a baby to wear, you could knit this up in a softer bulky weight yarn and adjust needle size accordingly. Although I don't think guage really matters for a prop hat. You could always measure your baby's head, knit a swatch, and do the math to adjust accordingly. I got about 11sts to 4" in stockinette. Please shorten the I-Cord if you are making for everyday wear so that it is not a dangerous length/choking hazard for baby.
Ok then here we go.....
Yarn: Super Bulky Weight ( I used Adrienne Vittadini-Mia to make the one in the picture 50g/50yards 11sts 4" guage on Us11 size needles but Malabrigo Rasta is an absolutely lovely variegated and super soft option that I use when making this for gifts and not props. The super bulky weight holds it's shape as well as the Mia yarn mentioned above.
Needles: Size 8 DPNs ( I knit loosely so use Size 10 if you knit tight or to the gauge), and a size smaller for the ribbing if you want.
Hat Size: 0-3 months (gauge not important for prop hat)
Cast on 48 stitches using German Twisted Cast On, or similarly stretchy cast on.
Place marker and join in the round.
Work 1x1 ribbing for 1 inch. (using a smaller size needle here if you'd like, mostly to keep ribbing from puffing out too much)
Switch to stockinette for 2.5-3 inches, then begin decreases.
Round 1: (k6, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: (k5, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: (k4, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: (k3, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: (k2, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 10, 11, 12: Knit
Round 13: (k1, k2tog) Repeat.
Round 14-18: Knit
Round 19: (k2tog) Repeat.
Round 20-27: Knit
Round 28: (k2tog) 3 sts remain.
You should now have 3 sts on one needle. Begin knitting an I-Cord with the 3 sts. I knit about 15 rounds to make the length in the picture. Watch your tension on this part so the cord doesn't get a distinct bend in it. Or do as I sometimes do and stuff a little wool in the tail part.
Break yarn leaving a long tail.
Draw yarn through remaining 3 sts and knot.
Make a tassel, using tail to attach to hat, and weave all ends in.
You could also make a big Pom Pom instead if tassels aren't you're thing.