How to Knit a Toboggan Hat

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Double-pointed needles
  • Darning needle

In addition to being practical and warm, toboggan hats are relatively easy to knit, even for someone new to knitting with double-pointed needles. Toboggan hats are also a quick knitting project and, because of their relative small size, are easy to carry around. You can work on a toboggan hat on the subway, during your lunch hour or while waiting at the doctor's office.

Here are the instructions for a basic toboggan hat. Once you get the hang of it, you can embellish the pattern for family and friends.

Determine needle size. What size knitting needles you use depends upon two things: how big the head of the person who will be wearing the hat is and how thick your yarn is. Thicker yarn requires bigger needles and, of course, a larger head will also require bigger needles. In general, size 7 or 8 (American) knitting needles works with most wool yarns for adult hats, and size 5 (American) needles work for kids' hats.

Choose your yarn. In general, you want a warm, natural fiber-like wool in a color that is pleasing to you or to the eventual wearer of the hat. However, if you or the wearer are allergic to wool, consider other natural fibers like silk, which also retains body heat quite well.

Cast on. Cast on 48 stitches for a kid's hat and 60 stitches for an adult hat on one of the double-pointed needles, then divide the stitches up between three of the four needles. Make sure all the loops are on top; if there is a twist at this point, there will be a twist in your knitting and you will have to pull out and redo the whole thing.

Knit. The first three inches of the hat (for a kid) or four inches (for an adult) should be ribbed. Knit three stitches and purl three stitches until you have the right amount of ribbing. After that, knit until the total length is six inches for a kids' hat and nine inches for an adult's hat.

Add a row marker, and knit the next row as follows: Knit two, then knit two together. Knit the next row. Repeat until you have eight to 10 stitches left. Cut a 10-inch length of yarn and thread it with your needle through the remaining stitches twice, and tie off.

Finishing touches. Weave in the yarn ends at the top and bottom of the hat. Add a pom-pom at the top if you want. Your hat is ready to wear.


  • When you reach the end of the stitches on your double-pointed needle, knit one or two more before starting to knit onto the new empty needle. This will make your knitting much more even.