With the many birds flying south through Wisconsin at this time of year, I was inspired to use the little bird stitch in a hat for my daughter. We’ve called her “little bird” since she was a baby, and she is tickled pink to get her own pattern! She was hamming it up even though it was misty raining outside.
This is a textured stitch, with a very simple cable. I was able to knit the entire hat without a cable needle, but you can certainly use one if you need to. I recommend a tonal yarn over variagated so that you can show off the texture of the little birds.
Sizing is based on head circumference. Children will typically fit a small (18”) , and adults will fit the medium or large (20/22”).
110 (150) yards worsted yarn (Shown in Brew City Yarns Whiskey Worsted in Emerald City)
US #6 / 4mm circular needle
18 sts and 24 rows / 4” of stockinette stitch
K2tog – knit 2 stitches together
C3R – slip next 2 stitches to cable needle, hold at back of work, knit next stitch, then cable stitches
C3L – slip next stitch to cable needle, hold at front of work, knit next 2 stitches, then cable stitch
Sl – slip next stitch on to right hand needle
Little Bird Stitch:
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: Knit all stitches
Row 3: K3, *sl 2 purlwise, K12; repeat from * to last 11 stitches, then sl 2 purlwise, K9
Row 4: K3, *sl 2 purlwise, K12; repeat from * to last 11 stitches, then sl 2 purlwise, K9
Row 5: K1, *C3R, C3L, K8; repeat from * to last 11 stitches, then C3R, C3L, K7
Row 6: Knit all stitches
Row 7: Knit all stitches
Row 8: Knit all stitches
Row 9: K10, *sl 2 purlwise, K12; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, then sl 2 purlwise, K2
Row 10: K10, *sl 2 purlwise, K12; repeat from * to last 4 stitches, then sl 2 purlwise, K2
Row 11: K8, *C3R, C3L, K8; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, then C3R, C3L
Row 12: Knit all stitches
Cast on 80 (86) stitches. Join in the round being careful not to twist stitches.
Work brim of hat in 1×1 ribbing for 1 (1.5) inches.
[Small] K17 (KFB 23 times) twice (126 sts total)
[M/L] K16 (KFB 27 times) twice (140 sts total)
Work Little Bird Stitch repeat 2 (3) times.
Decrease at Crown:
[Small] *K2tog 8 times, K2; repeat from * to end. [70 stitches]
[M/L] *K2tog; repeat from * to end. [70 stitches]
Top of Hat:
Starting on Row 2 of the Little Bird Stitch, complete one repeat once more.
Decrease at Top:
Row 1: *K2tog; repeat from * to end (35 sts)
Row 2: K across
Row 3: *K3, K2tog; repeat from * to end (28 sts)
Row 4: K across
Row 5: *K2, K2tog; repeat from * to end (21 sts)
Row 6: K1, *K2tog; repeat from * to end (10 sts)
Break yarn and pull tail through last 10 stitches twice. Weave ends into stitches on the inside of the hat. Soak your finished hat in lukewarm water for 15 minutes, pressing as much water out of it between towels when done. Then block your hat over a ball, or balloon for shaping until dry.
If you’d prefer, here’s a downloadable version of the Little Bird Hat.