I suppose the reason why I like these two so much is the fact that they match so perfectly the idea that was in my head. We didn't want to know if our baby was a boy or a girl until it actually happened, so such a simple, gender neutral design was perfect. I always thought that I would simply add a crocheted flower for a girl or some cute dinosaur button for a boy to the side of the bonnet. In the end, there was no need.
I had to learn a knitting technique that was new to me to get the exactly what I wanted. I made i-cords before, just never applied or attached them to anything. You can find a great tutorial here: https://www.purlsoho.com/create/attached-i-cord-tutorial/
On the same website, I found a baby vest pattern. I used the same yarn as for yellow-grey hat and modified it just a bit. The original pattern doesn't have the i-cord attached all the way around since it's done in a single color. Another difference between the bonnet and the vest is that I used 3.5mm instead of 3mm needles for the vest. In any case, it was a great match :)
The yarn that I used was in my stash for quite a long time and it's been discontinued, but any kind of 100% cotton yarn should work. The yellow yarn is Lana Grossa Pico, DK weight, other two are fingering weight. The grey one is Lang Yarns Baby Cotton and the orange is a vintage yarn I already wrote something about, Star Twist by Springer.
One final remark before the pattern. There is only one size, newborn, which should definitely fit until 3 months. My daughter wore the hats until about 4 months, I think. I was considering adding more sizes, the pattern is simple enough, but finally I decided no to. The thing is, as much as I loved the bonnet, I didn't knit it in a larger size for my baby either. In my opinion it is great for a newborn, as soon as they start moving more, not so much, since cotton is not stretchy enough. If someone really needs the pattern in a larger size, I will write it up, of course.
You can find the pdf version of the pattern here, or simply read on.
Yarn: 30-40g 100% cotton yarn in total (DK or fingering), Color A and B (yellow and grey) for a plain hat or Color A and C (yellow and orange) for a stripy hat
Needles and tools: 3mm straight knitting needles and a set of 3mm DPNs (or a long 3mm circular needle for magic loop), 8 stitch markers, tapestry needle
Necessary technique: knit, purl, knit 2 together, i-cord, applied i-cord
Gauge: 26-28 stitches and 40 rows for 10cm in plain stockinette stitch
Size: Newborn (0-3months)
To fit: Approx. 35-40cm head circumference
Finished size: 27cm at cast-on edge, 15cm height
Repeat between * *, st - stitch, RS – right side, WS – wrong side, k - knit, p - purl, DPN - double pointed needle, k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
Start with Color A. With 3mm straight knitting needles or a long circular one, cast on 72st. Work plain stockinette stitch as follows:
Row 1 (RS): Slip 1 st, k until the end
Row 2 (WS): Slip 1 st, p until the end
For a stripy hat, knit 3 rows in stockinette stitch and Color A, switch to Color C for 4 rows and continue switching colors like this until the work measures approx. 9cm from the cast-on edge, but ending with 3 rows in Color A. Switch to Color C before joining to work in the round.
For a plain hat, work with Color A until the work measures 9cm from the cast-on edge.
In both cases, join to work in the round using DPNs or continue with a circular needle, placing a marker at the beginning of the round. Continue with stockinette stitch in the round:
Round 1 – 4 (Plain round): K all st
During the last plain round place the rest of the markers 9 st from the beginning of the round and after every 9 st.
For a plain hat, work the rest of the body of the hat with Color A.
For a stripy hat, continue knitting and decreasing, switching colors in the same manner, after 4 rounds of Color C and 3 rounds of Color A. To maintain nice stripes, after switching colors, knit one round with the new color normally. At the beginning of the next round, pick the first stich of the old color and place it back on your left needle. Knit these two stitches together and continue. This technique will not interfere with the decreases, since they are not made at the beginning of a round until the very end. You may only notice some elongated stitches at the beginning of the round.
Decrease round: *k until 2 st before the marker, k2tog* until the end
Next round (Plain round): K all st
Knit another plain round.
Knit one more decrease round followed by 2 plain rounds and then continue repeating one decrease round, one plain round, until there are 16st left.
Next round: k2tog until the end
Cut yarn leaving a long tail, thread the yarn into a tapestry needle and pass it through the remaining stitches, then secure it firmly.
Make an i-cord, 20cm long, and then continue with applied i-cord on the cast-on edge. Match one row of i-cord to one st of the body of the bonnet. After covering the edge completely, continue with the regular i-cord for another 20cm and bind of all st. Using Color B for a plain hat or Color C for a stripy hat, apply an i-cord of 3st to the side edges of the part that was knitted flat or crochet one row of single crochets. Again, match one row of applied i-cord to one row of the body. Weave in all ends, covering the corners neatly.
And here it is finished, I hope you enjoyed the pattern!