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The Hat Gallery

Mar 24, 2010
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Welcome to the hat gallery!


This is the Spectrum Tam by Beverly Roberts. I knit this out of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Lion Brand Silk Mohair (the orange is the Silk Mohair). I wanted a striped hat, so I didn't follow the pattern exactly, but I think this is my favorite hat I've ever knitted. And it looks good on everyone—even me!
Bonnie (oval) Audrey (round)

Mimi (heart) Kathleen (round) Ingrid (heart)



This is the Faux Isle Hat by me. It's a free pattern, so click on the link if you haven't gotten it yet. This close-fitting beanie looks best on the heart-shaped gals, and I think it looks cute on Audrey, too, but not on me—it's a bit too tall, as you can see! (But in the winter when you need a hat, who cares?). Mimi knit this hat from Noro Silk Garden and Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran.
Audrey (round) Ingrid (heart)


Mimi (heart) Kathleen (round)



This is the Not a Feather Cap by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, and it's a new FREE PATTERN! Cecily knit this from Classic Elite Princess. This is another close-fitting hat that looks best on the heart-shaped or oval-shaped folks. If you're a roundy and you have a shock of curly hair like Audrey does, though, I think you could pull it off (or on, if you will!).
Audrey (round)
Ingrid (heart)

This cute cap can be done either in the round or flat. The hat was a Christmas present designed by Cecily Glowik MacDonald for her co-author and friend, Melissa LaBarre, and the pattern is being made available here as a free gift to Knitting Daily readers. Cecily and Melissa's forthcoming book, New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist  will be released from Interweave in July 2010.

Mimi (heart) Kathleen (round)




This is the Side Slip Cloche by Laura Irwin, available in the book Boutique Knits. There are two versions of this hat, one in blue Austermann Natura and one in green and light blue Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter. This popular pattern is wonderful—the design is so cute and it looks great on round, oval, and heart-shaped faces. This one was a favorite for all of us.

Audrey (round) and Mimi (heart)

Kathleen (round) Ingrid (heart) Bonnie (oval)

+ Add a comment


on Apr 15, 2010 10:04 AM

I agree with an earlier comment. We need a hat with a brim...maybe a newsboy style, without too much fullness in the crown!

Knit Peep wrote
on Mar 28, 2010 6:08 PM


I too have a roundish face & while I've favored tighter hats to keep my head & ears warm in our cold winters, they really don't make me look the best. My hair is real short & I wear bangs so I really don't have much hair showing in that kind of hat. I didn't really like any ot the other styles, except maybe the tam. So I decided to look through all the great free patterns. I found a couple of possibilities - an earflap hat & Folksy Headbands - that I'll try. Thanks for the gallery, I'd never thought of hats in this way before. Good job!


Rhonda wrote
on Mar 27, 2010 9:35 PM

I get where you're coming from with this gallery, and I think many people will find it helpful.  I think, however, that how you wear the hat determines how it looks -- if you wear it with confidence and feel good in it, then you can rock any look, whatever the shape of your face.

on Mar 27, 2010 9:17 AM

I think part of why these are so unflattering is the yarn- they're very pricey yarns, and the colors won't go with anything! From my experience, hats look best made in solid, or at least semi-solid, deep colors, like navy blue, chocolate brown, wine, or a rich teal. If not a dark color, then a neutral color, like stone or beige. If you're going to splurge and buy a luxe yarn, you should be able to wear it with everything.

on Mar 26, 2010 9:35 PM

Kathleen, I think you are selling yourself short I think the cloche looks adorable on you. It is not just the hat, but how you are wearing your hair with the hat, too. Sometimes you need to pull hair forward so you see some of it under the hat. Some needs to be covered, just depends on the hat and....the face shape, and of course color. speaking of which that blue looks stunning on you! Great fashion show!!

MaryF@2 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 6:19 PM

Really I don't think these hats are flattering to any of the models, but I don't like close-fitting hats.  I don't like what my hair looks like after I wear one either.

yraddict wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 4:56 PM

I have big hair : )   ...any suggestions on a hat for me???           ---

JanG@15 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 2:28 PM

All the hats look great on Ingrid.  Would love to see something with a brim, have been looking for a beanie pattern with a peak for years!

BarbaraF@3 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 1:35 PM

Thanks so much for doing the galleries with real people.  It helps so much to see you the different designs look on  different shapes.  You've encouraged me to maybe knit a tam.

on Mar 26, 2010 12:51 PM

I'm with LeslieF regarding sqaure shaped faces.  I've tried several shapes, and they all look awful.  I need something to wear on winter walks.  There must be a flattering style; does anyone share my dilemma?

KnitNoir wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 11:52 AM

Great idea, thanks! 


looeez wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 11:41 AM

This was really informative!  I like hats but have alot of trouble finding "The One."   Luckily I have two daughters who are terrific models for my hats and look good in everything so I use them for my Ravelry models.  This is a topic I've explored alot in my own knitting for the same reasons and, you gotta admit, hats are really fun.

As far as my two cents:  "rounds:  and others that are less hat friendly do best with alot of interest on the crown (as the tam does).  For myself, while the hat will cover the ears usually, I don't wear anything that hugs or is close to the crown.  And, indeed, keep the focal point and stitch nterest around the top 1/3 of the hat.  So, I've been very interested in variations of the pillbox style (Jackie Kennedy--YES!)  Retro, but either squared off or cylindrical at the top with the portion around the face very plain.

The second style that works for me and for really cold weather, is any type of ear flap ski style as it covers some of the rounder parts of my face and creates a frame on only the most flattering features.  Plus, you can go nuts with  fair Isle or whatever and there will be your main focal point.   And don't be afraid to look over the baby hat patterns since they can be alot more diverse and always can be modified for grown ups.   My fav:  The Ripely Hat by  Knitwhits.  Looks good on everybody and you are only limited by your imagination.  I used hand-spun and dyed bumpy yarn for the ripples on my last hat and it is too gorgeous for words and flatters everyone.  Well worth purchasing the pattern...I've made several of these.



on Mar 26, 2010 11:36 AM

Kathleen, you're too hard on yourself.  I think they all look good!     Sandy

Julia@9 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 11:08 AM

What a wonderfully informative topic to share with us!  I too share the wearability factor of hats...but now I know why and how to remedy my problem as I Love the look of hats.  There is a Must See  hat pattern that I knit many times for presents.  This hat looks good on Everyone!!! are knitting for a good cause.  The hat is named Maggie's Hat.  It was designed by a talented "knittress" that owns a fabulous knit shop in Kalamazoo, MI. in support of the Relationship Violence Foundation set up for Maggie.  It is a free pattern from the shop, Handweavers Inspiring Yarn Shop.  It is worth going to the website to read Maggie's bio.  Maggie's Hat is made up of many meaningful stitches.  The finished product is beautiful!   Just thought I would share in the passion for hats!

MarenM@2 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 10:51 AM

I agree with others that this is a great idea and very helpful!  In answer to someone's question, I think square faces would look good in hats that look good on round faces.  I also like the mention of brims (which I think would look good on you, Kathleen) b/c I think it helps when people don't have much hair to come out the bottom of the other hat types -- though as was already said, they also tend to look good on anyone, even if you do have lots of hair!  I'm trying to find a pattern for a hat that I can knit or crochet with fingering yarn (don't ask....) and then trim with crochet lace -- I've been thinking about a kind of cloche....  No felting b/c I don't have enough yarn.  Anybody have any ideas or patterns?

DeborahS@2 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 9:47 AM

How you wear you hair makes a difference too.

I like brims on hats, so make felted, brimmed hats.  You can adjust the brim width as well as the crown height, round the crown or have a sharp fold at the top, and so, individualized, they look good on most people.  I have a thin face with a wide-ish jaw, so the brim balances things, and the brim also looks really good on round faces.

LeslieF@13 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 9:07 AM

You don't have a hat style for a square shape!  What hat should I wear?  More important, what hat style should Demi Moore, Kim Catrell and Julia Roberts wear?

Judy Malone wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 9:06 AM

What a great help, Kathleen.  I, too, knit a lot of hats as gifts, and have yet to find a design that fits me (in fact, the hat I wear is a "trophy" my daughter's dog brought home from a walk one day, torn and worn, it stills looks better than anything I have made!)  Now where is my tape measure?  Judy Malone

nancykb wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:48 AM

When measuring--do you measure all the way to your hairline/ears for cheeks or just across the front surface of your face? Same with jaws and forehead? Thanks

on Mar 26, 2010 8:42 AM

I have a round head, but I love to wear hats to keep the heat in.  I've found that knitting tighter fitting hats to be slightly larger than the pattern specifies makes them fit down on my head which looks better.  It takes away that "this hat is about to pop right off" look.  You just have to be careful not to go too large of course!

KimW@22 wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:38 AM

I only like the cloche on you and on Ingrid, but maybe it is the angle of the pictures or how the hats were positioned at the time of the photos for the other gals.  I like Not  a Feather better on the rounds than the heart shaped faces.  I'm right there with you on the other 2 hat styles however.  I have a hard time wearing hats - maybe it is time to make myself a tam?

Thank you for the gallery - great idea and very helpful!

valeryalta wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:33 AM

Tams look good on everyone and they are so versatile!  They are my very favorite go-to hat pattern!  You ladies are very brave models.^_^

mbcorso wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:19 AM

Oh, Kathleen, I have a "roundie" and just can't get a hat pattern that flatters.  I do like the cloche on you, however, and I do think it's good for roundies because it is asymetrical.  Also, the tam works well.  I have done one of Annna Zilboorg's onion domes, shortened at the top, and cocked it to the side and it looks OK, though not great.  I have knit a gazillion hats for charity but only use them for myself when it is snowing and you know a wool hat will keep the snow from soaking your hair.  What a fun post!!!!  So enjoy your daily musings. Marie

janetma wrote
on Mar 26, 2010 8:17 AM

Great gallery. Thank you.