And Kelly Is Right

Somewhere, as I show you the pictures of today’s baby item, and say "Hey, what do you think this makes?"

Somewhere, my sister-in-law Kelly spotted that, knew instantly what it was, and just fist-pumped into the sky and yelled "YES!"

See, what that weird little zig-zag bit of knitting makes what Kelly believes to be the world’s best baby bonnet, and I know that she will admit to having a bit of a fetish for it. It’s the hat from the Bouncing Baby Set in Homespun Handknit, and Kelly has knit a lot of them.  A whole lot of them.
It’s the simplest little pattern, I’ve knit it here in BMFA Marine Silk (fingering weight) in a colour called "Buttah" and even though I hadn’t knit one in years and years, It took me exactly 32 seconds to memorize the pattern.  It’s genius, and creates – with a few tiny seams, a a bonnet that looks extremely odd and ill fitting.  It can even feel a little disappointing when you finish.

Somewhere now, Kelly is yelling "No, put it on a baby! You have to put it on a baby!" and Kelly is now making another excellent point, which is that even though this bonnet looks odd as fish before you put it on the littlest of heads, once you affix it to one, it’s compellingly beautiful. 

It is a simple thing, and Kelly, would have you know that it fits like no other bonnet you will ever put on a baby, and holds their wee heads just so, covering just right, and doesn’t come off and is warm and lovely and just what you want.  Exactly what you want.  That’s what Kelly is saying right now.  I knit this little one at a slightly looser gauge (intentionally – for once) and then fulled it ever so slightly.  The yarn is 51% silk, 20% sea cell rayon, and 29% merino, so the merino pulled in and fuzzed ever so slightly, but it didn’t loose the shine and softness of the silk and sea cell.

Kelly would tell you, if you could hear her right now, that it is exactly the way that she thinks things should be for new humans. Simple garter stitch, with no bells, no whistles – just a perfectly fitting cap to keep a newborn warm. I can hear her, sighing, imagining, remembering…and looking at that bonnet and thinking "Oh look, it’s just right." 

In fact, somewhere -after looking at these pictures, Kelly probably just cast one on. 

125 thoughts on “And Kelly Is Right

  1. Do you think the baby knows about your knitting scheme and is holding out for as long as possible to get as many handknits as he may?

  2. Oh yes, Kelly is definitely right! I have never made that bonnet from the same pattern as yours, but the pattern I have makes it just the same shape and it never fails to look charming on a baby!

  3. How sweet! Going to go look up the pattern now and cast on for a friend in Chicago who is expecting in December. Thank you!

  4. I’m telling you the baby is holding out for more stuff and why not if you keep making things like this.
    Can’t wait till your a grandma to see what you will produce

  5. Yet another fun and interesting baby knit! May have to add this to my queue for coworker babies (way quicker than a blanket).

  6. Hope this baby come soon, I’m queing (sp)everything you’ve made and my ovaries are seriously cramped, and the size of peas which means at 53 no babies any time soon for me. But my womb still aches, maybe the universe will send me grandbabies who are not grandpuppies.

  7. Well look! I just read your chapter about trying to reverse-engineer this bonnet, and had wondered what the pattern was. Thanks for answering my unasked question!
    And all the little baby items are lovely.

  8. If I was pregnant and you were knitting me and my bump the cutest little baby things, I would definitely cross my legs and hold that baby in as long as possible! I’m really loving seeing all your knitted baby items.

  9. Where can I find this pattern? I feel kind of silly because some other posters seem to know where to find it…hints please?

  10. I do charity knitting for a county hospitals Nursery department and I think I’m going to have to go out an queue this one. This is adorable. And whats wrong with grandpups? Its all my mom gets out of me.

  11. Just lovely. I agree with DeeW, though…this baby is holding out for an entire wardrobe. Not that that is wrong…but Jen may start protesting soon!

  12. Love all the baby things and I think everyone is right…the baby’s holding out for all the handknit things it can get (smart baby) but my question is…where do I get this pattern? It’s so cute and adorable.

  13. OK, you got me … I checked out the patterns from that book on Rav & then ordered a used copy! Worth the investment for that adorable hat alone. You are such an enabler, ahem, trendsetter.

  14. I’m with Rita (ritan7471). I would love this pattern but have no idea where to find it. Any information would be so appreciated.

  15. Hi Deborah,
    Just click the link “Homespun Handknit” in the post and it will take you to the Amazon page, though I’m sure you can find the book anywhere.
    I’m ordering a copy. Though I don’t spin my own yarn, that bonnet is sweet!

  16. These kinds of hats for infants are very popular in the Nordic countries, and they are called (interestingly) ‘Devil hat’ 🙂 Don’t believe me? Look up ‘djevlehue’ 🙂

  17. What a lucky baby. Hmmm, that bonnet would go wonderfully with the Baby Surprise I’ve already knit for the little one I’m expecting. (And I think EZ would approve of the garter stitch and one-piece construction.) I’ve still got 10+ weeks to go… thanks for sharing lots ideas of what to knit while I wait! 🙂

  18. Ooh, it looks lovely, and I have had such bad luck with baby hats and bonnets. I am going to have to try this one. It looks lovely. Thank you!

  19. Is this the bonnet you mention in your first book of essays? The one that gave you fits trying to reproduce for a friend until you discovered the pattern was actually modern and located in a book you actually owned? I’ve been wondering and wondering about that bonnet.

  20. That is my number one go to pattern. I made scores of them for my patients (NICU RN) AND it can be made smaller by using fewer stitches and repeats for very small babes. Think I’ll go whip one out right now.

  21. I was just sure, when you started talking about how it looked just right on a baby, that well, there would be a picture of it on a baby. Specifically, Jen’s baby. I was wrong.

  22. I think the entire blog world wants this baby to make its appearance, so we can see all of the baby and all of the handknits in their cuteness and glory.

  23. I just interlibrary loaned the book and will copy what I want/need and return the book when I’m through with it. It’s a good idea to check with your local public library – lots of knitting pattern books/magazines there and all of Stephanie’s books too! Not to mention lots of savvy Reference Librarians who can always locate what you’re looking for if you’re stymied.
    Repeat after me – “I will not start this bonnet until I finish the half finished baby blanket that’s on my needles.” Thanks for sharing.

  24. Very sweet. It’s very similar to the “Heartbreakingly Cute Pilot Cap” from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. That one is done in seed stitch instead of garter but the construction is the same.

  25. I was sure it was going to be part of a wee Charlie Brown sweater! I was also sure there was going to be a picture of it on a baby… alas. Poor Jen.

  26. Hard to believe that young adults start out that tiny. Poor Jen is probably beginning to feel like she is going to skip right over that infancy part…

  27. My sister says my nephew was so cute in his hat that people stopped them on the street in Brooklyn to ask where it was from. The over-the-knee socks in the same Bouncing Baby set are pretty awesome, too.

  28. So cute, of course. Enabler, you. I found a great used copy of the book for six bucks ppd! Baby caps on the way…….. – 🙂

  29. I’m also on baby watch for my own baby. I hope mine isn’t holding out for a hat like this, because by the time I get the pattern and make it, I’ll be way overdue.

  30. Oh. My. I MUST, MUST, MUST make one of these. Or a dozen…
    You are a terror to my WIP list, woman!!! I’ve gotta go look up the book now. And by the way, I went to my local bookstore to pick up YOUR latest – and they didn’t have any…. 🙁

  31. that is like origami, and if I had any wee ones in my life, I’d be casting on like a maniac! The kimono and the flower hat are just the best as well. Just as well that everything is taped up in boxes waiting for the mover, and – oops – I’m lacking anyone that size in my life right now!
    I do look forward to going back thru your older posts for great ideas some time in the next decade or two, when my son gets to that stage in his life. For now, I’ll pat the cat and enjoy the quiet.

  32. STOP! The cuteness is killing me. You are making my ovaries throb!
    At least I have nieces that are pregnant.

  33. This is a GOOD day! I HAVE that book and your post reminded me that I’d knit a cushy little surprise jacket in sherbet-colored merino before I had a grandchild to think about and IT has a full ball of leftover yarn and I can start imMEdiately! Whoot! (Because Grandma is cold today and needs to make sure Lily’s covered in softwarm.)

  34. Dangit! Reading the post I could gave sworn it was going to end with a picture of a newborn in the hat. No such luck. Sorry Jen

  35. I haven’t seen that book in a long time! It makes me want to run to the library and pick it up, and knit this little hat. Although I don’t know a baby-to-be at this moment. But it is fall and startitis is strong here in the knitree household… and that hat says ‘love.’

  36. I must say that this has been one of my favorite weeks of the Yarn Harlot. Each day I anticipate at post, but this week I have the additional anticipation of whether Jen has given birth and what wee little jewel of knitting you’ve made for Jen’s wee one. Must buy the book now so I can knit that adorable hat. No babies from friends or family in the foreseeable horizon, but maybe if I start knitting baby things . . .

  37. Take a look at the Drops Designs baby section and you’ll find several versions of that hat and many darling patterns.

  38. OK, now I am sad. I THOUGHT i bought the book online, & I had an order confirmation, but now it turns out that someone else nabbed it ahead of me. And NOW the cheapest used copy is $43. Sigh… Stephanie, you are just too powerful.

  39. There is not enough fun in the world.
    Knitting baby things is good fun…start your needles ladies !
    Thank you Steph for all the inspiration this week, there are always little ones needing cosy warm, even if it is the local hospital.

  40. ok, I just had to go to Rav and see it so I could find a pic of it on a baby. Kelly is RIGHT!! Adorable on a baby!!

  41. Dear Harlot,
    Please stop blogging about your womb-achingly adorable baby knits. They are soft, dainty perfection and have a powerful effect on me. I’m not sure my partner wants to encourage any broodiness yet, but that’s just because he hasn’t seen the tiny Upside-Down Daisy Hat or the miniature Seamless Kimono. He hasn’t had a moment with a picture of a bonnet so soft it soothes your eyes to look at it, or the multi-coloured Tulip coat with i-cord so squishy you want to reach into the computer and touch it. I feel certain that if he had, he would be brooding too. He would probably sit me down with a basket full of fingering weight yarn, a pair sharp little needles and a stack of knitting patterns.
    So just to summarise, dear Harlot, please don’t stop blogging about baby knits. Ever.
    Kind regards,

  42. Book is out of print, last person to get it from the library has kept it, now what are we to do with out this baby hat pattern.

  43. Thank you for your continuing fashion show of baby knits. We have a new wee neighbor in desperate need of handknits, so I am amassing a catalog of items to whip up. Except for the massive baby blanket. I’m going for a quick but adorable crochet version.

  44. It’s lovely and that’s the perfect yellow for a baby of unknown gender. I love it. I would also dearly love to see how the seams fit together. It’s darling.

  45. Funny thing, I just made two of these within the last week! The pattern is an old classic and quite popular where I come from (Finland) -every baby has at least one! And it works well for toddlers too under another hat in the parts of the world where kids have to wear more than one layer of wool to keep warm in the winter.

  46. That is so darned cute that I want to make one right now! In fact, I just told my girls to pick out their favorite cereal for dinner and not interrupt me (just kidding, nobody needs to call CPS). If that baby doesn’t arrive soon then he/she will run out time to wear all of the stuff knitted for him/her before it’s outgrown.

  47. I really think you now need to knit something lovely for the poor mama who’s been carrying that baby for what seems (to me, and probably to her) WAAAAYY more than nine or even 10 months. How about it, Stephanie? 🙂

  48. I ran across this pattern in a library book and have made 2 for baby shower gifts this summer, and am finishing one for my nephew. It’s so very easy to knit up and really cute when finished!

  49. I can just imagine a baby in that hat, and that dear little blue sweater…. 🙂 I love when a baby hat makes that little peak over their forehead! 🙂

  50. When I saw the picture of it laying flat, it reminded me of the stripe on Charlie Brown’s shirt. 🙂
    It’s adorable, and I bet it looks wonderful on a baby’s head. So tell that baby to get a move-on! (Good luck, Jen!)

  51. I wish the hat pattern was available as a single-pattern purchase so I didn’t have buy the entire book. These days, with my babies in elementary school, I’m only knitting hats and crocheting blankets for babies.

  52. Ack, book is out of print and $40+ on Amazon. Local library to the rescue!!! Just called and put a hold on one of their two copies. =)
    And I think your first commenter (DeeW) nailed it–that baby knows somehow, and is just holding out to collect all the goodies from you. 😉

  53. This makes me want to be pregnant so I can knit one to keep (boyfriend lives seven time zones away… not happening any time soon). This makes me wish that the 10-month-old I’m babysitting isn’t probably already too big for something like this. And it makes me want to cast it on tonight to make it for him tomorrow, which is ridiculous because there’s no way I’d make it in one night… all in all, the most perfect little baby bonnet ever.

  54. I like the engineering in this little bonnet, but when I checked Amazon, the pattern book is 69 dollars (yes, sixty-nine, not 6.90). It looks like it’s not in the budget as I could buy lots of yarn or books or even other patterns for that much. And I don’t think it’s at the local library. So sad.

  55. On Ravelry, Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap is pretty close to this, and it has the advantage of being free. The baby in the picture is also adorable!

  56. I am getting worried about Jen. Hope she delivers baby soon.
    Oh, cute hat. I will be making those.

  57. Hmmm… Yarn Harlot tweeted (at approx 8 pm EST Sept 8) recommending that new mamas not count how many times baby nurses. Could she be giving Jen some words of wisdom for her just-born baby? (Although newborns dont usually nurse much in the first 20 hours or so)

  58. I thought we would get to see a picture of it on a wee little head at the end … hope we will, soon.

  59. This is one of my favorite patterns – cutest thing ever on a baby’s little noggin! I haven’t made one if far too long…what’s in the stash?

  60. OK, I can tell when I’m being baited! I think you enjoy this little game! I have a grandchild due in November: don’t know the gender yet: and this set goes on my queue.

  61. Just tried to book the “book” at local library…2 people ahead of me…Wonder when last they had a run on a knitting pattern book

  62. I went to go look for the book too……I’d love the pattern but the book is rare it seems on Amazon and at a high price! I’m going to check the library next, but really, with all of these adorable baby patters it is hard that no one around me is having babies! We are at the teenager stage…..

  63. That adorable hat is known in the Netherlands too. It was not only knit as a babyhat, but adult Reinier Paping wore a hat like that (with cords to tie under the chin, because skating fast in extreme windy weather, 1963, the skatetour of all tours, awful nasty weather) in the Elfstedentocht 1963, skating 200 km. connecting 11 towns in Friesland and winning that tour. A sausagefactory, smoked thick sausage to go with wintery meals or eat cooked as is, published the pattern a few years ago, adult size. There is even a video of it being knit on the net. It was a wellknown pattern in our country too some 60 years ago.

  64. If the baby is watching over your shoulder as you blog, he/she probably is holding off to see what delicious tidbit you’ll next knit! You might want to keep the pictures on the down-low to get him/her to appear.

  65. I want that pattern for adults! I bet it could keep the craziest hair from becoming knotted up. Plus it kind of looks like a coif. Very, very nifty.
    And that colour is like buttah.

  66. May i ask you to help promote the Period of Purple crying program — an initiative to inform and educate new parents and caregivers about babies and “normal” crying
    In Novemeber, nursuries around the country US and Canada, will be trying to send home every newborn with a little purple knitted cap. This is to remind parents that babies cry – it’s okay , It will get better. Dont shake the child
    Please contact your local hospital to see if they are part of this program and could use donations of simple kniotted purple caps.
    A simple design is available at – cute cap incorporating tear drop shaped increases – easy as can be and cute as a bugs ear.

  67. May I ask you to help promote the Period of Purple crying program — an initiative to inform and educate new parents and caregivers about babies and “normal” crying
    In Novemeber, nursuries around the country US and Canada, will be trying to send home every newborn with a little purple knitted cap. This is to remind parents that babies cry – it’s okay , It will get better. Dont shake the child
    Please contact your local hospital to see if they are part of this program and could use donations of simple kniotted purple caps.
    A simple design is available at – cute cap incorporating tear drop shaped increases – easy as can be and cute as a bugs ear.

  68. I am not a huge fan of baby knits, but the utter perfection in that wee zig-zag of knitting is truly a masterwork of design. Simply genius! I may have to try my hand at one of these.

  69. Utter simplicity and perfection! As much as I am enjoying all these lovely things, I can’t wait to see the recipient.

  70. I wonder if I can make one of these for an adult head. It’s so sweet! 😀
    And I’ve been loving the parade of baby knits. I know Jen is probably beyond done with being pregnant, but I love all the dear little knits.

  71. Buttah! I love it. It is so soft and gentle and I can’t wait to see it on a baby. You’re the best!

  72. I one made this and made a little mistake…it turned out like a baby conehead hat…..the recipient was thrilled. I only hope the baby who wore it was not emotionally scarred.

  73. This string of baby knits is cracking me up. First it was the blanket: “See baby? You can come out now! The blanket is done.”
    Then you did Catkin and no baby.
    Then you finished the Tulip sweater: “Hey baby! See what I made you! Come out and look!” No baby.
    Then you made booties. “C’mon baby! You’ll have warm feeties!” Nope. No baby.
    Then you made a cunning little cap. “Awww baby, you should see this!” Nope. No baby.
    Then this fancy little puzzle cap. “Hey baby! This is really cool how you take this weird looking piece of knitting and make it into a cap JUST FOR YOU!”
    Kid’s going to have the fanciest wardrobe this side of Barbie. 😉

  74. I forgot the kimono sweater! “Hey, look at this fabulous sweater! You’ll look so wonderful in it!” Uh huh. No baby.

  75. Oh my gosh, you are driving the economy down here in the US! I bought the book and can’t wait to make this. Love all the baby knits–inspiring! Your catkin looks beautiful,too. Would love to see you modeling it.
    lol to Caty @ 10:40–conehead! That’s probably okay for some newborns–especially firstborns!
    Also, thank you to Elyse at 9:31 for info on the Period of Purple Crying Program.

  76. WOW!! This book is 175.00 new and 70.00 used on Amazon. As cute as the bonnet happens to be, I’m not going to making them anytime soon unless I find a copy at the library. Sounds like Kelly has gotten her money’s worth though if she’s made a lot of these sweet little hats. I’m guessing this one is for Jen’s wee one? Hope she is well.

  77. I’m with Eleanor. My DH is not quite on the baby train yet, and I wasn’t either… but I’ve been reading your blog and looking at the itty-bitty wonderful knitting and waiting for Jen’s little one, and the ovaries are cramping. I’m not sure if I can stand much more. But, they are so wonderful, don’t stop.

  78. LOVE LOVE LOVE the bonnet! i’ve been fixated on it since I read your post. I just went to amazon and the only ones they have are used and start at $70. Anyone have suggestions for finding a lower-priced copy? (i’m off to check my library now…)
    ps- best wishes for a safe and speedy delivery to jen. healthy baby, healthy mom!

  79. Yes! your Library! I am always amazed at how the harlot drives prices on materials and patterns. i wanted to do the mittens with the silk hankies, and, lo, they were sold out – because i’m always behind the trend, even with bell-bottoms. i tried to find this book b/c my niece, who is the most perfect neice in the world, sorry; is expecting and needs hand knits (you’re my hero aunt skubitwo, she said – melt) and lo, yes, the book is all sold out, or way more than an adjunct community college intructor can afford – but! our tiny little public library has a copy!!
    so! if you clear out your basement, donate the knitting books to your local library, for poor schmucks still wearing bell-bottoms, and!
    support your local library!
    i teach algebra, so i love trying to analyze action/response stuff like this, and i love “bellweather” by Connie Willis if you want to play with the idea of how pop trends evolve – fiction, but just the right amount of science and girl meets boy to be so charming.
    so, shutting up, going to order yarn now!

  80. For those who do not have eyesight good enough to count the stitches in YH’s pictured baby hat, and for those knitters who are not yet ravelry members, here is a non-ravelry link to the Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap which looks like the one shown by Stephanie:
    (The pattern is also available in Norwegian at this site as well.)
    A DROPS baby cap pattern, which also looks similar – although not knit in garter stitch by the looks – is found here:
    (I stopped after I came across this pattern – so there may be more DROPS patterns to be found.)

  81. Not only is this hat familiar in the Scandinavian countries, it was something of a favorite in German-American communities in Pennsylvania up through the 1960s. It was also knitted for children up to 8 or 9 years old.
    It’s also the knitting pattern that my Grandmother used to teach me how to knit and nearly ruined my career as a knitter before it got started.
    Yes, it’s cute, but if you’re a new knitter, remembering when when to zig and when to zag can be a bit of a challenge if you barely know how to make a knit stitch.
    Fortunately, my stubbornness kicked in, and 50 knit-full years later, I remember this hat pattern rather fondly as the shove I needed to make me into a Knitter!
    sweetcaroline on Ravelry

  82. You realize, don’t you, Steph, that you have listed a book that is for sale on Amazon for nearly $100?
    How could you do that to me?

  83. This is the go-to pattern for many Nordic knitters, I think I made my first in 1980 for my youngest brother. And wasn’t the pattern in Homespun, handknit from a finnish immigrant? Nowadays I knit this starting with Judy Becker’s CO and using short rows on top, and then I graft the stitches together at the back. And the ties can be made as a crochet chain/slip sts add-on as you reach the zig zag points on the chin… So only two yarn ends to waeve in and no seam to bother the baby. And it really is the best for babies, and even bigger kids, until they start having opinions of their own…

  84. OK, I love the baby hat and I followed the link yo posted for the book. Amazon offers 2 used ones for $98. Are you serious? Its hard to tell from just seeing a picture of the cover, but is it really a $98 book? I guess I won’t be knitting that hat 🙁

  85. Janey at 10:30 pm, thanks so much for the Drops link, gonna try that one. Library came up dry, and Gros is done in the round. The part I like best is the flat puzzle of it all.

  86. So I looked again, because I couldn’t resist making this hat, and guess what the cost of the only two copies of this book I can find on the internet are… $500.00 and $999.00!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely insane! Thanks to those who left links of similar hats.

  87. Love love love the tiny knits! Quick question: You said you knitted the hat at a looser gauge, and then fulled it ever so slightly. What is fulling? How do I do it, and when would I want to? Thanks so much!

  88. Thanks for the links to Rav! No way could I afford the book! But I did get on the list for it at Paperback Swap!

  89. Many thanks Stephanie for bringing this lovely pattern to our attention and thanks to those of you who shared the links to the online versions of the patterns … I can’t find this book at a library in the UK and the copies on Amazon have indeed shot up in price 😉 Surely even I can get one of these finished for my due date next February!

  90. Rats…I ordered a book through interlibrary loan which I thought was the one that had this pattern, but mine is ALL NEW Homespun Handknit, and it has different patterns. 🙁 I don’t have a baby, or any friends or relatives expecting a baby, but the idea of that pattern has captured my imagination!

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