MJ’s Hospital Hat


My fourth niece was born last week, two days before Christmas. I had planned on being present during labor & delivery at my sister’s request to document this beautiful life changing moment with my camera, and I wanted to bring with me a little hospital cap for little Madelynn to wear after she was born. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be there just because of timing but none the less I still had to knit her her first hat from Auntie Caryn.

I browsed online to try to find a quick and basic newborn hospital hat but couldn’t find one I loved so instead I just made one up as I went. It’s a very basic hat, no bells or whistles but it knits up quick and will fit a newborn’s head perfectly. What’s nice about this hat is you can use it as a blueprint to customize it however you’d like. Knit it up in a solid color, variegated yarn, add some stripes (as I did in mine), choose 2×2 or 1×1 ribbing for the brim… endless possibilities. You could even throw in some fair isle motifs in there if you’re up to it. So without further ado, here is the pattern for MJ’s Hospital Hat!


Casting on, knitting in the round, decreasing.

DPN – double pointed needle
CO – cast on
St(s) – stitch(es)
K – knit
P – purl
K2tog – knit two together
SSK – slip slip knit
MC – main color
CC – contrasting color


1 ball of Knit Picks Swish Worsted – 100% superwash merino wool (50g/110 yd).
I used “rogue” as my main color and a small amount of “squirrel heather” for my stripes.

US 4 (3.5mm) DPNs or size to obtain gauge
US 3 (3.25mm) DPNs or one size smaller than gauge needles

Stockinette Stitch: 9.5 sts = 2” with larger needles
*Please check your gauge. I am a very loose knitter so make a gauge swatch and choose needles that obtain the gauge above.

Other Notions
Stitch marker, tapestry needle, scissors.

True Newborn (head circumference of 13”-14.5”)

-This pattern has directions to make the hat pictured. If you choose to, just omit the stripes and continue knitting in your main color.
-This hat is “true newborn” size which means that it should fit the average newborn head, perfect for just born babies.


With US 3 needles and main color, CO 56 sts.
I suggest using Tilly Buddy’s Very Stretchy Cast On. It’s a fantastic cast on and I highly recommend it. It is great for both 1×1 and 2×2 ribbing and has fantastic stretch. You can learn it HERE on TillyBuddy’s youtube channel.

Divide the sts evenly on three DPNs and join in the round being careful not to twist your sts. Mark your beginning of round.

Rounds 1-9: *K2, P2* Repeat from * to * until end. Your brim should measure 1.25” now.
Alternate: You can also do 1×1 ribbing by *K1, P1* around for 9 rounds.
Change to US 4 needles.
Rounds 10-13: Knit every st around with MC.
Join with CC, do not cut MC.
Rounds 14-15: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 16-19: Knit every st around with MC.
Drop the MC and pick up the CC.
Rounds 20-21: Knit every st around in CC.
Drop the CC and pick up the MC.
Rounds 22-25: Knit every st around with MC.

Crown Decreases
Round 1: With CC, *K2tog, k10, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (48 sts)
Round 2: With CC, knit all sts around. Cut CC.
Round 3: With MC, *K2tog, k8, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (40 sts)
Round 4: Knit all.
Round 5: *K2tog, k6, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (32 sts)
Round 6: Knit all.
Round 7: *K2tog, k4, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (24 sts)
Round 8: Knit all.
Round 9: *K2tog, k2, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (16 sts)
Round 10: Knit all.
Round 11: *K2tog, ssk* Repeat from * to * around. (8 sts)
Cut yarn and thread through these 8 sts, fasten off, weave in.


I always block my pieces as a part of the finishing. This is how I wash and block all of my knits:
– Prepare a clean basin (or sink) with tepid water and a small squirt of wool friendly soap.
– Let your knit soak for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out water (no wringing).  I do not rinse because I use “Soak Wash” by Soak Wash Inc. and rinsing is not required. If your using something other than this, give a quick rinse and squeeze out water again.
– Place in a towel, roll it up and squeeze it to remove the excess water.
– Shape your piece by using pins or I like to place my bonnets/hats on a ball to shape. Let dry 24 hours.

I would LOVE to see all of the beautiful babies wearing this hat. If you happen to make one and share it on instagram, tag it #mjshospitalhat or #rdpknits so I can see them all 🙂

Here’s a cell phone shot of my beautiful niece wearing her hat!


I hope you enjoy this little pattern. If you prefer a downloadable pattern to print, please visit this link: MJs Hospital Hat
If you are on ravelry, create a project and link to my pattern so I can see all your beautiful hats. You can find me as RDPKnits.

© Caryn Prouty, RDP Knits. You may sell items made from this pattern but please do not sell or reproduce any written or photographic content of this pattern.


MJ’s Hospital Hat

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