empHATic – a free knit pattern


Here is a free knit pattern that I’ve had in the works for a while. Its a little different than most patterns; this one is written for five different thicknesses of yarn. My idea was to write a pattern that a knitter could use to make a basic slouchy hat with whatever yarn they happen to have on hand. A regular commercial size ball of yarn (in some cases not even a whole ball) will make a hat.

Superwash Yarns from knitpicks.com

empHATic – a free knit pattern

I’ve included the details for the yarns and needles that I used in my five example hats. I’m also including the gauge I have for each. Gauge is the key to getting a good fitting hat so I encourage you to experiment with needle size to get the gauge you need. Keep in mind that there is some variation in the thickness of yarns from one company/yarn line to another especially at the extremely large and extremely fine ends of the spectrum (which is why gauge matters more than needle size).

empHATic - a free knit pattern

Materials for an empHATic Hat


(after blocking)
No 6 - Super BulkyJiffy Thick & Quick
(120g or approx 70 yds)
Size 10.5 (6.5mm)Size 13 (9mm)2 sts per inch
No 5 - BulkyPatons Classic Wool Bulky
(90g or approx 75yds)
Size 8 (5mm)Size 10 (6mm)3.25 sts per inch
No 4 - WorstedUniversal Yarn Classic Shades
(75g or approx 150 yds)
Size 4 (4mm)Size 8 (5mm)4 sts per inch
No 3 - Sport Universal Yarn Renew Wool
(70g or approx 200 yds)
Size 4 (3.5mm)Size 6 (4mm)5 sts per inch
No 2 - FingeringChainChix Hand Dyed Sock
(55g or approx 220 yds)
Size 1 (2.25mm)Size 2.5 (3mm)6.5 sts per inch



  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • m1 = make one (an increase). I used the backwards e-loop make one. Check out the video in this Free Tutorial if you need help with that.
  • k2tog = knit 2 together (a decrease)


Making the Brim

Using smaller needles…

No 6 - Super Bulky36 sts
No 5 - Bulky60 sts
No 4 - Worsted84 sts
No 3 - Sport108 sts
No 2 - Fingering132 sts


Join to work in the round.

Round 1: *k2,p2* repeat to end

Repeat Round 1 until the brim is (at least) 2 inches from cast on.

Making the Body

Switch to larger needles…

Round 1 : k

Round 2: *k2, m1* repeat to end

YARN SIZENumber of Stitches after increases:
No 6 - Super Bulky54
No 5 - Bulky90
No 4 - Worsted126
No 3 - Sport162
No 2 - Fingering198

Round 3: k

Repeat Round 3 until the body of the hat is (at least) 5 inches.

FinishingΒ the Top

Continue with larger needles…

Round 1: *k7, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 2: (and all other even numbered rounds): k

Round 3: *k6, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 5: *k5, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 7: *k4, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 9: *k3, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 11: *k2, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 13: *k1, k2tog* repeat to end

Round 15: *k2tog* repeat to end

(don’t forget round 16!)

For hats in worsted, sport and fingering, repeat rounds 15 and 16 once more.

Break yarn and thread the tail with a tapestry needle. Using the tapestry needle, thread tail through all the remaining live loops and then draw closed. Weave in all ends.

empHATic - a free hat pattern
The Feline Overlord now claims them for her own.

I hope you like it, I hope it becomes your go-to basic hat pattern and I hope you’ll come up with all sorts of ways to personalize it.


If you like free patterns (who doesn’t?) check out my Free Patterns page. I have stuff for knitters and crocheters. Enjoy!
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14 Comments on "empHATic – a free knit pattern"

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Oh my gosh, Jen I have so been looking forward to this! Talk about a stash buster! Yay! Sorry for the over use of exclamations, I am not inly really excited, I’m also sick πŸ™ I so needed to see something like this today.


Sorry you are sick! Knitting is what you should do. It may not be a cure but its a good distraction.

Glad you like it. I hope it leads you into making many many hats. Why should I be the only one with 14 knit hats is a drawer?


Okay, I finally pulled out my needles (again)! Now I have to do something with them instead of staring at them, remembering that everything I try to knit in the round has a huge gap at the join πŸ™‚

I think this pattern will be easier to start with than a few of your other patterns I’ve been wanting to get to. I love the versatility – and the name! Thanks for putting the time into writing it for all yarn weights!


Glad you like it! You’ll be officially bi-craftual in no time.

This is an easy pattern. Yep. Its an evolution of the pattern I put together years ago to teach newbie knitters how to knit in the round. Back then I only had the bulky weight version. But the principles are the same and now a knitter can get going with whatever yarn they like. πŸ™‚


I’m glad you mentioned that problem with your website. I recall trying to comment and getting a very weird message on my PC; since I’ve so often gotten viruses, etc., I was afraid I had again got one.
Anywho, It is so kind and generous of you to offer this really useful pattern free. When I get so ink for my printer, I will certainly print a copy of it. Thanks!


Glad you like it!

And blah on all computer problems everywhere. They tell me the upgrades are done. I hope they are. But…. computer people tell lies you know. they are like weather forecasters that way.


Thanks for the pattern. A nice, simple hat that can easily be personalized, just what every knitter should have in her library.


Can you use a straight knitting needle with this pattern? If you can , is the pattern exactly the same ?