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Knitted Elf Hat Pattern (Free Striped Christmas Hat)

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT SUPPORT HANDY LITTLE ME CONTENT AND FREE PATTERNS.

In this blog post, you will see a knitted elf hat pattern (free striped Christmas hat).

This striped beanie would make a great holiday accessory for visiting friends or family photographs!

Knit on 6 mm knitting needles (US 10) circular needles.

This classic beanie is a really easy knit, knitting every round to create a stocking stitch.

This holiday hat pattern will introduce you to shaping and decreasing and using basic knit and purl stitches.

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab the printable PDF pattern in my shop here.

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Knitted elf hat pattern

Knit A Hat For The Holidays

Hats are the perfect project for the holidays. 

Knit a Christmas elf hat for a friend or a loved one; it’s a great gift for a baby, a teen, or an adult.

You can choose your size, a Christmas red yarn and a Christmas green plus white for those easy stripes, and you can make one in the afternoon.

If you want a different color or colorful effect without doing any colorwork, choose a self-striping yarn.

Don’t forget to add a pompom for some flare to the top of the hat.

You may also like this striped beanie hat knitting pattern.

knitted elf hats for adults

How To Knit An Elf Hat

Purchase the inexpensive, ad-free, PDF printable pattern in my shop here.

Notes

Skill Level – Easy (Easy pattern for advanced beginners)

Knitting an elf hat is a fun and festive project that you can customize with your favorite colors and details for the holiday season.

This is an advanced beginner knitting pattern, and the techniques involved are casting on, knitting, and purl stitches, knitting in the round, K2tog, and changing colors.

This classic holiday hat can be knit in seven sizes: baby (little elf) to adult large.

Wear on Christmas Eve or give away as handmade gifts to friends and family to wear as a fun holiday accessory.

Adjustments can be made if you wish to make this hat in a medium weight yarn (like a worsted weight) by knitting the next size up.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this festive hats pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell the finished product using this pattern, giving pattern credit to Handy Little Me/Louise Bollanos.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your own listings or any online listings.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.
elf hat

Size Information

Gauge – 14 sts/22 rows in 4×4 inches/10×10 cm in stocking stitch.

  • Baby 0-3 months – 13-15″
  • Baby 3-12 months – 15-18″
  • 1-2 years Toddler – 18-19″
  • 3-12 years Child – 19-21″
  • Teen/Adult Small – 21-22″
  • Adult medium – 22-24″
  • Adult Large – 24-26″
elf hat knitted

The Supplies You Need

Yarn

  • You will need three colors of yarn (1 ball of each color or see the estimated yards below for each size);
  • Yarn A – Green
  • Yarn B – White
  • Yarn C – Red
  • The yarn weight is bulky weight yarn/chunky yarn/12 ply.
  • Estimated yards needed for each size…
  • Baby 0-3 months – 48 yds
  • Baby 3-12 months – 58 yds
  • 1-2 years Toddler – 60 yds
  • 3-12 years Child – 70 yds
  • Teen/Adult Small – 76 yds
  • Adult medium – 92 yds
  • Adult Large – 106 yds

Needles

Notions

  • Tape measure
  • Darning needle/Yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch marker

Other Tools

elf hat knit

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK) List

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue(ing)
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together
  • P – Purl
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • WS – Wrong side
knitted elf hat

Knitted Elf Hat Pattern

*Please note you can use the long tail cast on or any stretchy cast on.

View the elf hat patterns below in the seven sizes…

0-3 Months

Cast on 32 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 4 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 8 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

3-12 Months

Cast on 40 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 4 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 9 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

1-2 Years Toddler

Cast on 48 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 4 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 10 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K4* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

3-12 Years Child

Cast on 56 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 6 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 11 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K5* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K4* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot. Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

Teen/Adult Small

Cast on 64 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 6 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 12 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K6* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K5* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K4* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

Adult Medium

Cast on 72 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 6 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 13 inches from the cast on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K7* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K6* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K5* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K4* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.

Adult Large

Cast on 80 sts with Yarn A.

Join in the round and place a marker if you wish.

Round 1 – *K1, P1*, rep from *to* to the end of the round.

Continue to work in 1×1 ribbing, repeating round 1 until the piece measures 6 inches.

  • Change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Change to Yarn C and Knit 6 rounds.

Repeat working in Yarn B for 6 rounds and then Yarn C for 6 rounds until the piece measures 14 inches from the cast-on edge.

Decrease

You can change your needles to double-pointed needles if the decreases become too tight to knit or use the magic loop technique.

Keeping the color change sequence, work as follows…

  • *K2tog, K8* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K7* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K6* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K5* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K4* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K3* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K2* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • *K2tog, K1* repeat from * to* to the end of the round.
  • Knit 5 rounds.
  • If the last color is not Yarn B (white), change to Yarn B and Knit 6 rounds.
  • Cut yarn, thread a tapestry needle, and weave the end through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull up tight and secure with a knot.
  • Then, weave in any other loose ends.
  • Make a pompom in Yarn A.
  • Attach it to the endpoint of the hat (stitch it into place securely) and weave any loose ends.
knitted elf hats

How Do You Size A Beanie Knit?    

Sizing a knitted beanie is important to ensure a proper fit.

Here are the general steps to size a knit beanie:

  1. Measure the Head:
    • Measure the circumference of the head where the brim of the beanie will sit. Typically, this is around the widest part of the head, just above the ears and eyebrows.
  2. Determine the Desired Fit:
    • Consider the fit you want for the beanie. A snug fit will have negative ease (the finished size is smaller than the head circumference), while a looser fit may have some positive ease.
  3. Calculate the Cast-On Stitch Number:
    • To determine the number of stitches to cast on, you’ll need to know the gauge (number of stitches per inch/centimeter) of your knitting. Multiply the desired circumference by the stitches per inch/centimeter to get an approximate number of stitches.
      Stitches to Cast On=Head Circumference×Stitches per Inch/CentimeterStitches to Cast On=Head Circumference×Stitches per Inch/Centimeter
  4. Select the Right Needles and Yarn:
    • Choose needles and yarn that match the gauge you want. The gauge can vary depending on the pattern and the thickness of the yarn.
  5. Start with Ribbing or a Stretchy Cast-On:
    • Begin your beanie with a ribbing section or a stretchy cast-on to ensure the brim has some elasticity. Common ribbing patterns include k1, p1, or k2, p2.
  6. Knit the Body of the Beanie:
    • Continue knitting in the desired stitch pattern until the beanie reaches the desired length. Be mindful of any stitch patterns or decreases used to shape the crown of the beanie.
  7. Measure the Length:
    • Measure the length of the beanie from the brim to the top. Some patterns may provide specific measurements, such as the total length or the length before beginning crown decreases.
  8. Decrease for the Crown:
    • To shape the crown, you’ll need to decrease the number of stitches. The specific decrease pattern will depend on the design you’re following. Common methods include knitting two stitches together (k2tog) or using a centered double decrease (CDD).
  9. Finish the Top:
    • Continue decreasing until you have a small number of stitches left. Thread the yarn through those stitches, pull tight, and secure.
  10. Block the Beanie:
    • Blocking can help even out stitches and ensure the beanie keeps its shape. Follow the blocking instructions for the specific yarn you’re using.

Remember that the actual size of the finished beanie may vary based on factors such as the elasticity of the yarn and the stitch pattern used. 

If you’re using a pattern, it’s crucial to follow any sizing guidelines provided.

Adjustments can also be made during the knitting process, such as adding or subtracting a few stitches to achieve a custom fit.

elf hats

Can You Knit A Beanie With Straight Needles?    

Knit a simple beanie with bulky yarn and straight needles. 

This is an easy project for complete beginners, with step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial.

The winter hat is made in 100% wool for warmth.

The perfect hat for beginners.

Check out the free knitting pattern here – How To Knit A Hat For Complete Beginners (+ Video Tutorial)

knitted ribbed hat in the petite wool

Knitting Lessons

If you are a new knitter and need help with the knitting basics, check out the knitting lessons here – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials)

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know. 

Including how to cast on, how to knit the knit stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, short rows, the magic loop method, the linen stitch, the seed stitch, and a list of knitting abbreviations, and more. 

And if you need more video tutorials, check out my YouTube channel here  Handy Little Me – YouTube 

Share your work with us…

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making the elf hat knitting pattern, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Handylittleme Facebook group and share a photo.

I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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