Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The word ombré means "having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark" It is derived from the French verb ombrer (to shade). I think that this aptly describes the following hat, where a simple colorwork pattern causes one color to shade into the next.


  • Up to 9 colors of worsted weight wool (between 1-11 g of each color; 67 g total). I used KnitPicks Wool of the Andes scraps in Evergreen (A - 11 g), Avocado (B - 7 g), Grass (C - 8 g), Spruce (D - 9 g), Wonderland Heather (E - 8g), Cloud (F - 8 g), Lake Ice Heather (G - 6 g), Blue Ink (H - 3 g), and Cobblestone Heather (I - 1 g). For the 2 color version you will need 34 g of one color, 33 g of the second color.
  • Size 6 (4.0 mm) circular or double pointed needles.
  • Gauge: 11 sts/2 inches and 11 rows/2 inches over colorwork pattern;
  • Notions: yarn needle to weave in loose ends.
  • Finished size: 18.25" circumference, 8.5" long.   

The Ombré Hat Knitting Pattern

  • Cast on 100 stitches on size 6 needles with color A.
  • Join to knit in the round and knit 6 rows of 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2 across the whole row)
  • Begin knitting the chart, starting at the bottom and following it from right to left. Note: The main body of the hat is a repeat of 4 stitches, but the charts for the crown decreases are in increments of 20. I have provided charts for both the 4 stitch repeat for the main body of the hat and for the 20 stitch repeat including the crown decreases.
    Color Key:
    4 stitch knitting chart key for the main body of the Ombré Hat knitting pattern. (See Below for a chart for the hat including the decreases for the crown.)

    Knitting Chart for the entire Ombré Hat pattern, including the decreases.

  • The crown decreases are illustrated in the chart above, but I have included general written instructions for the crown shaping as well. Note: these written instructions do not indicate where the color changes occur. The color changes for crown decreases start with a 20 st repeat. So while there are 10 decreases per decrease round, there are 5 repeats of the colorwork pattern. Please refer to the above chart for the color changes during the crown decreases.
    • *K8, K2tog* across (90 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K7, K2tog* across (80 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K6, K2tog* across (70 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K5, K2tog* across (60 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K4, K2tog* across (50 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K3, K2tog* across (40 sts)
    • K 1 round
    • *K2 k2tog* across (30 sts)
    • K1 round
    • *K1, k2tog* across (20 sts)
    • K2tog across (10 sts)
    • K2tog across (5 sts)
  • Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches. Weave in all loose ends.

The inside of the hat looks pretty cool, too!

Two Color Version of the Ombré HatThe hat in the pattern instructions was knit with 9 different colors. I also made a chart for a two color version so you can get a simpler idea of how the pattern works:

I designed this hat for a close friend of the family (I cannot name her in case she ever checks my blog!) I hope that she likes it!

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.
K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.

These knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to sell, distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2011 ChemKnits


  1. Thanks so much for the pattern! I've been knitting up my stash and debating what to do with my bits of kw yarn as stripes aren't what I want. This is just perfect!

  2. You are very welcome, Heather!


  3. I love the pattern, but I really wish that the needle sizes would include the metric size as well, since many of us looking at these patterns live outside the USA, and go by different sets of needle sizes. I'm in Canada, and have had to use all three versions at various times: English, US, and metric, but the metric is the most definitive I believe...the numbers used by both English and American are NOT compatible, while millimeters is absolutely clear! Thanks,

    1. Hi Bob,

      Sorry about that! Size 6 US is 4.0 mm knitting needles. I've updated the materials on the pattern to reflect this. I try to include the metric sizes when I have that information available, but my circular needles only have US sizes on them. (My small dpn's have both, so I try to include the mm size on many patterns.) I can certainly understand the frustration. Thank you again for bringing this to my attention.


  4. Inches would be different, too, from the English system.

    USA went separate ways - probably because we couldn't figure out the metric system. ;-)

    Marny (not Anonymous)

    1. Laughing at cute comment that Americans could not figure out metric. It's nice when patterns list both measurements. When there is only metric, I do a search to convert it to American terminology. There are even charts you can download and print. Thanks for the great stash buster pattern. My problem was trying to copy the colored (coloured for Europeans lol) charts. My program makes me copy them individually.

  5. Ha! I will continue to give my dimensions in inches because that is what I think in. Inches are less ambiguous than needle sizes. (Especially if I don't specify what country needle size I'm talking about!)

  6. I love this pattern, and would like to make it for my grandchild. Is there any chance you could provide additional adjusted numbers in the pattern for children? Thanks.


    1. Hi Tena,

      I am not very familiar with children's head sizes so I will not be updating the pattern, but here are some suggestions on how I would modify the design to fit a child.

      1) Gauge. By using smaller needles and/or thinner yarn you can knit the pattern as written but with an increased # of stitches/inch to make a smaller hat.

      The 11 sts/2" that I knit the hat on provide a hat with an 18.25" circumference. My head is 21" around and the hat fits me very comfortably. I am about to release a pattern for matching mittens that is knit at 7 sts/1" on size 3 knitting needles. This gauge would give you a 14.25" hat.

      When I knit this hat for my husband, I used a slightly larger gauge since his head is bigger than mine.

      2) Reduce stitches. The stitch pattern is a 4 stitch repeat throughout the body of the hat. The crown decreases occur on a 20 stitch repeat, but since all decreases happen IN pattern, this is something that could be adjusted as you go. If you only cast on 80 sts, you could get a 14.6" hat. (You would also need to account for the hat length. Removing one of the colors stripes (9 rows) would decrease the length ~1.5")

      I hope this helps!

  7. I love the ombre hat; the colors used are so vibrant and when I made one everyone wants one know. Thanks alot for taking the time to give everyone a chance to make your cute hat... By any chance do you have an easy pattern on how to knit a kingsize blanket with a very simple desighn on it? I really appreaciate it if you put one on your site. GOD bless you.

    1. The only blanket that I have designed is the 10 hour knit afghan, which as written fits a full sized bed. I don't think this really fits what you are looking for, however. Good luck!

  8. Thank you for this wonderful pattern.. I'm going to try it out tonight.

  9. Is this with straight needles?

    1. No, the pattern calls for US size 6 circular or double pointed knitting needles and is knit in the round.

  10. PEOPLE!!!! These are FREE patterns that designers are kindly giving you! Read them in full before posting questions that are already answered in the pattern instructions! And for heaven's sake if you don't know how to convert a measurement, size, etc. LOOK IT UP!!! Obviously you know how to use a computer and the internet, and there are literally countless sites that provide ALL such information. And how about saying THANK YOU for the FREE pattern???

    1. Thanks, Jane. :)

      (I will say that in general I do like people posting questions because sometimes I leave an important detail out of a pattern... but sometimes people ask me to rewrite a pattern that isn't even my own design!)

    2. Now that's just rude. Don't they know there's a thing called copyright?

      That's a great pattern, by the way. I've been busting my stash of tiny balls lately making striped hats and colorblock scarves. It's working out really well. Though right now I'm crocheting, not knitting.

  11. Thank you for this lovely design! I notice that there is a detailed list of "abbreviations used in this pattern" but I see very few of them actually used in this pattern. I assume that after the ribbing is completed, the rest of the hat is knitted in stockinette stitch, knitting in rounds. When you say that the pattern is a repeat of four stitches it seems that the repeat refers only to the color changes, not different stitches. Could you clarify this, please?

    1. I sometimes copy and paste the abbreviations from previous designs, so you're correct that not all of them are used. Sorry for the confusion! The hat is stockinette knit in rounds with stranded colorwork after the ribbing. The repeat is only color changes, not stitches. The only stitches are Knit, Purl, and K2tog.

      Sorry for the late response, I just had a baby and am finally catching up with blog comments. Sorry again for the confusion! Let me know if you have any other questions.

    2. My very best wishes! Best advice from first pediatrician who had 7 children: There is nothing that you have to do when your baby is sleeping. When s/he is sleeping, YOU sleep!

      Absolutely made a huge difference in how I felt - as other new mothers were always exhausted 'cause they had to iron and wash and clean during baby sleep time.


    3. Thanks! Now at 4 months we've got a pretty good rhythm going on. "Rowdy" is my second so I was prepared for the newborn phase... just not chasing the toddler while caring for the newborn. Rowdy likes to listen to me chat with him while I knit or sew so I'm taking advantage of this period before he starts crawling! I'm pretty lucky. :)

  12. This pattern is awesome! I've been looking for one that uses a lot of different colors. Do you have any ideas for how to alter this so it is a little bit slouchy?

  13. Wow. I don't know how I've never seen this hat before. Just beautiful! And yes, your inside looks fabulous. Thanks for the very nice pattern.

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