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Aran Weight Bumble Beanie – a pattern hack

May 26, 2016

I recently suffered an obsession with the Bumble Beanie, a pattern from our second baby book, Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe.  The original design was worked in DK weight yarn, but I was experimenting with colour and yarn combinations from my stash, and wanted to knit the pattern even more quickly, in worsted & aran weight yarns. I mean, Neve was on her way, I had to knit fast right?!

Neve is wearing a teeny tiny Bumble hat knit up in

Neve is wearing a teeny tiny Bumble hat (this one is knit to pattern) in Noro Kibou and The Border Mill Alpaca Tweed, atop her Vivid blanket knit up in Rainbow Heirloom, and in her Flax hack. Looking good Neve!

ARAN weight Bumble Beanie – pattern adjustment details

Cast on 56 (64, 72, 80, 88, 96) sts for newborn (baby, toddler, child, adult SM, adult L) sizes.  I worked on 4.0mm needles for the brim, and 6.5mm at the slip-stitch pattern, for a finished gauge of 17.5 sts & 24 rounds / 4”.  With this chunkier gauge and fabric, I’d suggest knitting 1/2” to 1” longer than called for in the pattern before decreasing.  With the adjusted cast-on numbers, you’ll setup to decrease by working [[k1, p1] 7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) times, PM] around in order to divide the work into 4 sections.

Bumble beanies from above

Bumble beanies from above

While knitting many and various aran-weight bumble hats, I also tried a few other modifications, in each case these work for single-round stripes (and would work in a single colour too but it may be less striking).  To create a slipped-stitch cross detail at the crown (as shown on the left above) is quite simple – just slip the CC decrease stitches from the previous round.


To insert a panel of garter stitch, which is quite beautiful in single-round stripes, adjust the pattern as follows:

Round 1, in CC: k1, p11 (13, 15, 17, 19, 21), k1, sl1, PM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie Round 1) to end
Round 2, in MC: sl1, k11 (13, 15, 17, 19, 21), sl1, p1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie Round 1) to end

And then, when you decrease, in this first quarter section of the hat, you’ll work:

on CC rounds: ssk, purl to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, sl1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie decrease Rounds 1 or 3) to end
on MC rounds: sl1, knit to 2 sts before marker, sl1, p1, SM, then work in pattern (per bumble beanie decrease Rounds 2 or 4) to end

experimenting with yarn combinations

Bumble a great pattern for self-striping yarns, like Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden.  When you use the self-striping yarn as the MC, the colour changes are broken up and made more subtle by the single-colour CC dots.  When you use the self-striping yarn as the CC, the rainbow of dots stands out against a solid-colour background.


I also love the effect of using tweeds and heathers together, for a softer and more rustic effect.  I bet it would also work nicely to use a variegated hand-paint for the MC and a solid for the CC ‘dots’, to break up any colour pooling and make the hand-paint more subtle.

To make things even more interesting, in some of my hats I held a strand of a lace-weight silk/mohair alongside either the MC or the CC.  This created a fabulous halo and sparkle in the finished fabric, and could be used to unify the colour across a high-contrast self-striping colourway.

do you find it hard to match your stash yarn with patterns?

We also have a tutorial on how to adjust patterns to work at a different gauge than called for – this can help when you have yarn that you love, and a pattern you love, but they don’t match up perfectly in terms of gauge.  Here at Tin Can Knits we’re making 2016 The Year to Learn Something New, and bringing you excellent new tutorials that we hope will inspire you to learn new skills!  Get our excellent email updates, and share in the chat on your favourite social spot:

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Other simple patterns just begging to be ‘hacked’

Playdate Cardigan by Tin Can KnitsI Heart Rainbows Pullover by Tin Can KnitsHarvest Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2017 5:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this posting! The Bumble Beanie is MY late summer obsession, and I can’t wait to spend the autumn using a ton of worsted weight yarn to knit a batch of Bumbles for a local charity! I ❤️ Tin Can Knits…you are my knitting rock stars…

  2. pr46ct permalink
    June 2, 2016 5:31 pm

    I love everything about your site.Patterns are great,free and paid,and the way the learning side is set up for every question one would have in knitting. Thank You ! Pat

  3. May 28, 2016 2:43 am

    The Vivid Rainbow blanket is just STUNNINGLY beautiful!Little baby Neve is lucky- this is an heirloom she will treasure forever!

  4. Merrilyn (Merri) McElderry permalink
    May 26, 2016 8:22 pm

    Such beautiful knitting and patterns and chidlren…and fun life!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Merri

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