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Let’s make a Beloved Bonnet

August 8, 2019

This is a step-by-step tutorial on the Beloved Bonnet pattern. You can find the pattern on our website or Ravelry. The pattern lists the supplies you need; yarn, needles, stitch markers, and what gauge to achieve, but to be honest, matching gauge precisely isn’t SUPER important in this case, because babies grow very quickly!

Knitting along? For this tutorial, I made the Beloved bonnet in Swift Yarns Cozy DK in ‘golden panda’.

beloved bonnet in progress
It all begins with an i-cord! I made this Beloved bonnet in Swift Yarns Cozy DK in ‘golden panda’.

beloved bonnet construction

The beloved bonnet is knit from side to side; beginning with one i-cord tie, and ending with another. When Neve was a baby, I found the ties were just perfect for keeping a cozy hat on a wriggly little bean who would attempt to tear off every hat and throw it under the buggy, just when I wasn’t looking.

we LOVE this knit!

We’ve knit this bonnet MANY times… in Hedgehog Fibres one, two, three, four times, in La Bien Aimee, in Cedar House Yarns, and in handspun too!

yarn substitutions

We designed this pattern in DK weight yarn, but the pattern is very flexible! Alexa made several of the samples using two strands of sock yarn held together, which make a fabric a tiny bit heavier than DK, but it still works. We explain how to knit with 2 strands held together here. You can make Beloved in worsted / aran weight on 5mm needles if you prefer, it will just come out a little larger.

how to work an i-cord

The bonnet begins with the i-cord on one side; see our tutorial on how to work an i-cord.

knitted i-cord

Once the i-cord is done, you start working back and forth in rows, working one side of the bonnet by increasing two stitches on every right-side row, along the centreline of the piece. This pattern uses both the lifted-bar m1 – make one increase, and the kfb – knit front & back increase.

the beloved bonnet in progress.
The beloved bonnet in progress. You can see there is a marker placed just before the centreline stitch; you increase either side of this marker, and the bonnet ‘grows’.

how to work an i-cord edge

Throughout the bonnet, you always slip the first two stitches of each row. For this pattern you are always going to slip your stitches as if to purl with yarn at the WS of the work. This means if you are working a WS row the yarn will at the front of your work, and if you are working a RS row the yarn will be at the back of your work.

Slipping these stitches creates an i-cord edge. It’s not a genuine i-cord, but it has a similar look. The slipped stitches mean that only half as many rows worked along the edges as are worked in the rest of the piece, which causes the edges to ‘pull in’ in a tidy way that frames the face.

Bodhi is looking rather pleased in her Beloved bonnet, knit up in Cedar House Yarns Yearling DK in ‘sunstone’

how to work short rows

Once the i-cord and initial increase section is complete, you begin a second method of shaping, which utilizes German short rows.

Does the mention of short rows make you want to throw your knitting aside in disgust?

If so, stop, breathe, and let me walk you through this simple technique! I guarantee if you follow our clear instructions you’ll be fine! Your bonnet is going to be adorable!

The steps:

Short row 1 (RS): sl2, knit to 1 st before marker, kfb, SM,
kfb, knit to last 10 sts, turn work [2 sts inc]

Short row 2 (WS): with yarn in front (on the WS of the
work), slip the first st from the LH needle to the RH
needle (the last st worked). Next, pass working yarn over
the RH needle to the back of the work, then between the
needle tips, back to the front of the work, ready to purl.
This creates an extra loop over the needle. Purl to last 10
sts, k7, p3

Row 3 (RS): sl2, knit to 1 st before marker, kfb, SM, kfb,
knit to the ‘doubled’ stitch, work k2tog to combine the
stitch with the extra loop over the needle, then k10 to
end [2 sts inc]

Row 4 (WS): sl2, p1, k7, purl to last 10 sts, k7, p3

The steps in detail:

Short row 1 (RS): sl2, knit to 1 st before marker, kfb, SM, kfb, knit to last 10 sts, turn work [2 sts inc]

To work the Short row 1, follow the instruction, working across the row to the last 10 stitches. Instead of knitting to the end of the row, as you would normally, STOP. Then turn the work, so that the WS of the bonnet is facing you, and you’re ready to work Short row 2.

Beloved Bonnet work in progress, showing Short Row 1 instruction
You knit across to 10 stitches before the end of the row, then STOP, and turn the work.
Beloved Bonnet work in progress, showing Short Row 2 instruction
You can see the WS (purl side) of the work is now facing you. The working yarn is on the front of the work (that’s the WS).
Beloved Bonnet work in progress, showing Short Row 2 instruction
You can see how it looks once you have slipped the first stitch (which is the last stitch you worked on the previous row) from the LH to the RH needle, without working it.
Beloved Bonnet work in progress, showing Short Row 2 instruction
This is how it looks once you have wrapped the working yarn OVER the RH needle, then back to the front between the needle tips, creating an extra loop over the RH needle. You are now ready to purl, and work to the end of this WS row.

Short row 2 (WS): with yarn in front (on the WS of the work), slip the first st from the LH needle to the RH needle (the last st worked). Next, pass working yarn over the RH needle to the back of the work, then between the needle tips, back to the front of the work, ready to purl. This creates an extra loop over the needle. Purl to last 10 sts, k7, p3

So you slip the first stitch without working it. Then you wrap the working yarn over the needle to the back (RS), then back to the front (WS). Then you work the wrong-side row. Now you’re ready for the next RS row!

Short Row 3 (RS): sl2, knit to 1 st before marker, kfb, SM, kfb, knit to the ‘doubled’ stitch, work k2tog to combine the stitch with the extra loop over the needle, then k10 to end [2 sts inc]

So you continue working in pattern, but when you get to the point where you turned, you’ll see you have a ‘doubled’ stitch. You simply k2tog to combine the stitch with the extra loop, then knit to end!

Short Row 4 (WS): sl2, p1, k7, purl to last 10 sts, k7, p3

Row 4 is just a regular WS row, worked all the way across.

As you continue, the roughly diamond-shaped piece gets larger and larger. Work these rows as many times as stated for your size. 

You can see along the left side, due to the short-rows, there are fewer rows worked at the edging. This creates the snug back-of-neck fit.

You have reached the centreline of the head, and will switch to decreasing along the central spine. You’re at the half way point, congratulations! Each row will get faster and faster from here to the end!

decrease section with short rows

The short-row shaping which creates a section of fabric along the back of neck which is has half as many rows than the remainder, so it pulls in to cup the back of the head. The pattern of short-rows continues, but at the centreline, either side of the marker, you will decrease instead of increasing.

In order to match the same slightly bumpy pattern created along the increase line, I worked a slip stitch on the decrease side.

… knit to 2 sts before marker, ssk, SM, sl1, k2tog, knit to …

First you work a ssk decrease, then slip the marker (SM), then slip the next stitch (sl1), then you work a k2tog decrease.

So those are all of the complicated pieces of this hat! As you continue to decrease, you eventually come to the point where the stockinette panel of the bonnet is entirely decreased to nothing. A central double decrease, sl2-k1-p2sso, is used at that point to maintain the vertical detail between garter stitch panels.

Once you get to the point where the stockinette portion of the bonnet is decreased to nothing, you’ll be working central-double-decrease, sl2-k1-p2sso, at the centreline. In order to do this, you need to remove the marker from the needles (the one that was sitting between stitches), and instead place a locking stitch marker (or bit of string, or safety pin) right in that centreline stitch, so you know where to decrease.

end with another i-cord

When there are only 4 stitches left, you finish in the same way that you began, with an i-cord! Make it the same length as you did for the other side, weave in the two ends, and voila, you’ve got the cutest little bonnet!

Now you’re ready to knit a #belovedbonnet … then another, and another? Share your cuties on Instagram using #belovedbonnet and #tincanknits so we can see what you make!

Your mileage may vary, but I found there was a period in babyhood in which my children would rip off each and every type of hat that I tried to put on them. Frustrating! For both Max and Neve, this behaviour stretched over a winter, and I desperately wanted to keep their little ears and heads warm against the bitter cold and rain on chilly Edinburgh days.

I found the i-cord ties very useful. If you’d prefer not to work ties, you could start with a stubby 3-4 rows of i-cord and then attach a cute pom pom on each side! Or add a pom pom on top, can there be too many pom poms?

Samantha’s bonnet is knit up in Hedgehog Fibers Sock in ‘beach bunny’ held doubled
35 Comments leave one →
  1. Tamara permalink
    September 2, 2021 9:45 pm

    These are all so darling. What skill level do you need for these

    • September 6, 2021 6:59 am

      You can be a confident beginner, as long as you’re willing to learn a new technique or two :)

  2. Colette permalink
    September 1, 2021 1:42 am

    I’ve just finished the increase rows and I have 67 instead of 69 stitches. Not sure what to do? Can I M1 x 2 somewhere? I’m using lockdown in Sydney to extend my skills from beginner to intermediate to knit for my new grand babies due Dec and Jan. Love the pattern and thanks in advance for your help

    • September 6, 2021 6:57 am

      Yes! Just add an extra 2 stitches in using M1 on one of the coming rows. Or skip a decrease repeat on the decreases.

  3. August 31, 2021 2:57 am

    Hi there. I purchased this pattern a few years ago and knitted up the newborn. Lovely pattern. I’ve decided to do it again for another friend in the baby or toddler sizing. Do I need to buy the pattern again for any of the other sizes? Thought I was buying all sizes at the time.

    • September 6, 2021 6:54 am

      The pattern includes 5 sizes from newborn to adult, you don’t need to buy it again.

  4. Sandra Jones permalink
    March 21, 2021 7:23 am

    I’d like to make one without the point on the top. So after working the increases should I work and few rows without increases while also working the short rows in the neck band then start the decrease side and finish?

  5. Ruth K. permalink
    November 30, 2020 12:25 pm

    Hi, I started this hat this fall but put it aside to work on several pairs of mittens. Now, in getting back to it I have a few questions. I thought I had finished all the increase rows and would have the decrease left. As you do the short row increases in groups of 4rows, do you need to keep them in groups of 4, or do you go by number of stitches?
    Where do you count the rows to know rows knitted?
    Thank you

    • November 30, 2020 1:23 pm

      Hi Ruth – I would count the number of stitches you have. You want to have the full stitch count if you have done all of the increases.

  6. Sandy R permalink
    November 22, 2020 8:00 pm

    When you s1 on the decrease after you SM, do you slip purlwise with the yarn in front?

    • November 23, 2020 1:27 am

      In the decrease section, when you’re slipping the stitch with the right side of the work facing (a knit row), you’ll slip the stitch purlwise with the yarn in BACK.

  7. Lynne moug permalink
    September 12, 2020 6:46 pm

    Hello! I am knitting the beloved hat right now. When working row 3 on the increase short row section and I knit the doubled stitch together the knitting on that side of the hat is very loose and messy looking compared to the other side. I tried giving the k2tog and extra tug to tighten up but didn’t seem to make a difference. Any suggestions? Thx

    • September 13, 2020 9:08 pm

      Hi Lynne – When you ‘turn’ the stitch you might want to try working the next couple of stitches extra tight.

  8. Gail McKeon permalink
    May 28, 2020 5:34 pm

    I just found you because there was a picture on my google feed on my phone which I look at almost every morning for new knit and crochet things. Last week I found out I have lymphoma cancer and am going through the work up to be put on chemo. I love the cute cap you are demonstrating and I think it will be something I can work on while stuck in a clinic seat getting the chemo and have such adorable hats to donate to the children in need for next winter here in the northern Colorado foothills where we get quite cold and snowy. I had ordered 10 7oz skeins of different colored yarns which make pretty patterns of tiny flowers as you work thru the yarn so I think I will put together a kit to just carry with me to make the caps and feel I am using the time of waiting for the chemo to run its’ course each visit to the clinic to be productive but on small projects I can see the results of quickly.

    • May 29, 2020 3:55 am

      Hi Gail – Rough news. I do hope some simple knits can be a small source of comfort as you go through your cancer treatments. Best luck ~ Emily

      • Stephanie Sturgis permalink
        July 20, 2020 3:51 pm

        Hi! I love this pattern and have made it before – I had to frog a couple rows to fix a mistake with the psso and once I have the stiches back on I can’t seem to get the icord edge right again! I don’t know if I got the three end stitches mixed up or what. I’ve tried a few times and keep getting it wrong and I’m so so close to finishing! Any help is much appreciated. Thanks

      • July 21, 2020 2:59 pm

        Hi Stephanie – If you send us an email ( with a pic of your work I can try to diagnose the issue!

  9. Carol Payne permalink
    November 9, 2019 6:36 pm

    I just purchased this pattern! What is the finished size please of the newborn bonnet and the baby bonnet? Thank you!

  10. Karen Crist permalink
    September 29, 2019 3:04 pm

    Hi, What size is the golden panda coloured hat and how old is the little girl?

    • September 30, 2019 1:20 pm

      Hi Karen – it’s a toddler size and Neve is 3, a little on the small side.

  11. August 15, 2019 9:33 am

    Hi Brenda – I’m not sure which example you’re referring to, sorry! We’ve got several of our knits listed on, you can find all the details of these bonnets (including yarn brand & colourways) here: — if you search for ‘beloved’ within the projects it should bring them all up. Hope this helps!

  12. Anne permalink
    August 10, 2019 6:00 pm

    I have just completed the first section with 23 sets. The next WS row says:
    sl2, p1, k7, purl to last 10 sets., k7, p3. There is no mention of the marker and the total number of sets is more than 23. Please advise how to proceed. Thank you.

    • August 15, 2019 9:49 am

      Whenever there’s no explicit mention of the marker in our patterns, you will simply slip it when you come to it, and proceed onwards. So you’ll sl2, p1, k7, then purl to the marker, slip the marker, then continue purling to the last 10 sts, k7, p3.

  13. Pat Raby permalink
    August 10, 2019 5:39 am

    Great tutorial!! I recently discovered how much fun it is to knit the the Beloved Hat!! Knit 3 Iin a row and am sure more will follow.

  14. Luciana Trombetta Otupacca permalink
    August 10, 2019 12:35 am

    Wonderful tutorial!!!!

  15. Suzanne permalink
    August 9, 2019 1:09 pm

    You ladies always come through with insightful and helpful tutorials. Cheers!

  16. Trish Palmer permalink
    August 9, 2019 8:57 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I bought the pattern a while ago but got stuck and so I abandoned it. But the hat is perfect and I just really want to make it. Now I’ll give it another go.

  17. Sherry Donohue permalink
    August 9, 2019 7:32 am

    Adorable, thanks so much for all the detailed instruction. Will be making these for Xmas gifts.

  18. Brenda permalink
    August 9, 2019 7:20 am

    What yarn and needle size did you use on the infant sized “Beloved Bonnet.”
    Thank You!
    Love this pattern and tutorial.

  19. Karen Sanders permalink
    August 8, 2019 9:40 pm

    I went to your website to buy the pattern, since I am not on ravelry. After I paid for the pattern it directed me to Ravelry. How do I get my pattern without a ravelry account?

    • August 15, 2019 9:29 am

      Hi Karen – Our patterns are delivered via, but you should be able to buy without a user id; did you get an email about your purchase, with a link to download the pattern? If you’re still having difficulties and haven’t received your pattern, send us an email at, and we’ll get you refunded, or get you the pattern! Thanks for your purchase :)

  20. August 8, 2019 1:18 pm

    Love this project, was looking for something special to make for my soon to be borne nephew.

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