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Stash-Busting Striped Hat


Colorful and Warm
Stash-Busting Striped Hat

The Stash-Busting Striped Hat is 6-12 month size.

© Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This simple striped hat is a great way to clear out little bitty balls from your stash. I knit up the middle size of this beauty with about 75 yards of yarn. Because there are 8 stripes that means I used less than 10 yards of each color for a super-colorful hat that will take the dreary out of any winter day.

You could, of course, work this hat with fewer colors or even in one color, though it will be a lot less fun that way. I think knitting stripes actually makes this project go faster; I finished mine in a couple of evenings.

The sample is worked in a bunch of shades of Red Heart's Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Washable Ewe, which makes the hat extra-nice because it has the warmth of wool but is still machine washable.


  • about 60 (66, 75, 84, 93) yards total of a variety of medium-weight yarns; I used 8 colors of Washable Ewe, but you can use as many or as few as you like
  • set of 4 size 8 US (5 mm) double-pointed knitting needles (for the larger sizes, you might prefer to also have a 16-inch size 8 circular needle for knitting the base of the hat; change to the DPNs when you don't have enough stitches left to work comfortable with the circular)
  • tape measure, scissors, yarn needle


18 stitches and 24 rounds per 4 inches in Stockinette Stitch in the round (4.5 stitches and 6 stitches per inch)


12 (14, 16, 18, 19.5) inches around; to fit a newborn (3-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-3 years, 3-10 years) Instructions are given for the smallest size first with the larger sizes in parentheses. Sample shown knit in size 6-12 months.

Knitting the Striped Hat:

  1. Cast on 56 (64, 72, 80, 88) stitches. Join in the round and work about 1 inch in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing. Place a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round, if desired.
  2. Change colors and switch to Stockinette Stitch (knit every round). Continue to change colors every inch or so (I tended to work 6 or 7 rounds in each color, but didn't pay much attention to row gauge until I got to the shaping) and knit until piece measures 4 (5, 6, 6.5, 7) inches from cast on edge.


Note: The shaping as I worked it is 14 rounds long, so I changed colors in the middle. If you prefer you can knit all the shaping in the same color or change colors more or less often. I like the look of starting each color with a plain round of knitting (no decreases), so either plan to change colors where plain knitting is already written into the pattern or add a round of knitting when you change colors. If you are working all shaping in the same color, omit extra rounds for color changes. This will slightly alter the length of your hat but should not be significant.

  1. Change colors and knit 1 round.
  2. *Knit 6, Knit 2 together. Repeat from * around. 49 (56, 69, 70, 77) stitches.
  3. Knit 1 round.
  4. *K6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. 42 (48, 60, 60, 66) stitches.
  5. Knit 1 round.
  6. *K5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. 35 (40, 51, 50, 55) stitches.
  7. Knit 1 round.
  8. *K4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. 28 (32, 42, 40, 44) stitches.
  9. Knit 1 round. If you want to change colors for either of the 2 smallest sizes, change colors on this round and omit the next round.
  10. Change color, if desired, and knit 1 round.
  11. *K3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. 19 (24, 33, 30, 33) stitches.
  12. Knit 1 round.
  13. *K2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. 10 (16, 24, 20, 22) stitches. For newborn, skip to step 17.
  14. Knit 1 round.
  15. *K1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. (8, 15, 10, 11) stitches. For 3-6 month, skip to step 17.
  16. *K2tog. Repeat from * around. 3-10 year size, end K1. (6, 5, 6) stitches.
  17. Cut yarn and thread onto yarn needle. Slip the remaining stitches onto yarn needle, pull tight, weave in end. Weave in all other ends.
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