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A Gallery of Knitted Hats (plus a new free pattern!)

Mar 26, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with hats. I love to make them and hate to wear them. I don't look good in hats, and that's always made me sad because they're such nice little projects to knit—they're fast, portable, and inexpensive. Luckily for me, they also make perfect gifts.

Since my hats are almost always gifts, I try to choose styles that will look good on the wearer. To do this, I have to decide what face shape the person has—usually round, heart, or oval—and choose a design that will flatter that face shape. Round is the hardest, and it's my face shape, because close-fitting hats tend to make us look like we have either little heads or great big heads. For me, it's the great big head! (My mannequin has a small head, probably the size of a grade-schooler, so the Faux Isle and the Feather Cap are a bit big, but you get the picture.)

I was talking about this hat problem with friends from my knitting group and we decided to do a little fashion show to see which hats looked best on our face shapes. I thought you Knitting Daily folks would enjoy being a part of this, so I took pictures and put them in a gallery.

Spectrum Tam Kathleen's Faux Isle Hat

Not a Feather Cap Side Slip Cloche

There are four hats: my Faux Isle Hat, the Spectrum Tam, the Not a Feather Cap (a new free pattern!), and the Side Slip Cloche. These are four differently shaped hats and, not surprisingly, they all looked good on the oval and heart shaped faces, and only two (the tam and the cloche) looked good on the roundies.

To determine your face shape, take the following measurements: Across the top of your cheekbones, across your jawline from widest point to widest point, across your forehead at the widest point, and from the bottom of your chin to where your hairline begins. You have an oval face if the length of your face is about 1.5 times its width. You have a round face if your face is pretty much equally long and wide. If your face is narrow at the jawline and wider at the cheekbones and forehead, you have a heart-shaped face. There are other face shapes such as squarish or oblong, too, but these are the basics.

Click here to see the gallery, and if you don't see a hat you like, check out our pattern store for a multitude of choices that are sure to flatter your face shape! And leave me a comment to let me know which hat is your favorite.


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Spectrum Tam and Scarf

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If you love showing your personal style with the "it" handbag, funky scarf, or the hat that makes heads turn, then this book is for you.


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+ Add a comment


Techreef wrote
on Dec 17, 2010 1:45 PM


I'm new to knitting and a dad that wants to make a "Where's Waldo" ski hat for my 14 yrs son for x-mas. Can someone please point me to a good getting started video and pattern?

Thank you so much!


helenpat wrote
on Apr 5, 2010 9:05 PM

I agree with Lara.  Please get a new hat model.  A real person would be the best.

jules@11 wrote
on Apr 2, 2010 11:14 AM

Gosh Laura take your meds and you will see the Mannequin is simply ugly. The hats however are all terrific!!

LaraM@3 wrote
on Apr 2, 2010 10:02 AM

i am sorry, i am the "say something positive or say nothing " person , but i ve found  this mannequin really scary.

it reminds of a time when  primitive scientists/doctors did all kinds of atrocities to people ( especially women) to prove some of their absurd theories - also, the figure itself is bizarre.

besides the fact that the "shape of head/ study of features" and such, can be used to justify a lot of prejudice, racism, segregation

anyways... i don't think i am ever clicking on a "hat" link in this site again

chynasparks wrote
on Mar 27, 2010 10:49 PM

I don't know if I look good in hats or not, I just love hats and I wear them. I also need hats because I swell up something awful if I get a sun burn, guess thats why I started liking hats as a kid.

crazed2knit wrote
on Mar 27, 2010 2:09 PM

2 years ago I made hats for everyone for Xmas.  I found the book Hip Knit Hats to be a wonderful resource.  It give different styles with different shapes of faces as well as how to customize your hat.  These hats were worked from bottom up and top down.

Laurie@25 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:22 PM

I found knit hats to be the most useful when I lost all my hair to chemo.  They're so much more comfortable than wigs and with the right hat, people barely notice that you've lost all your hair (really--I had to take my hat off more than once to convince people I really was bald underneath).

Now that I'm well, I'd like to be able to knit for others not so fortunate.  It would be great if you could highlight hats that work well with little or no hair.  I'm a big fan of cloches for this, but it really helps to actually see the hat in person to tell if it would work.

on Mar 26, 2010 11:06 AM

What yarn did you use to knit the side slip cloche? I love the skewed stripping. Thanks!