As a twist on the classic ribbed hat, this free knit messy bun beanie pattern can be made with or without a hole in the top for a bun or ponytail. The brim features a vertical cable pattern, adding extra structure to this snug-fitting beanie.
With sizing from newborn through adult large, this is the perfect hat for anyone on your gift list. Keep reading for the complete free hat knitting pattern.
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Don’t let your hairstyle dictate the warmth of your head
I love a nice full-coverage hat. I’m eternally cold, so I need every inch of warmth I can get. Unfortunately, my ponytails and messy buns get in the way of hat-wearing most days. That’s why I created this messy bun beanie knitting pattern. I can pull my hair right through the hole and be on my way without any fuss.
With the perfect fit and beautiful cable pattern, I loved this hat so much that I wanted one for my hair-down days too! So I created a second version without the hole. Now I can wear it no matter the day’s hairstyle!
Before You Start your Messy Bun Beanie
- 8 mm/ US 11 knitting needles. I used circular needles and the magic loop method.
- Wool and The Gang Alpachino (60% Merino, 40% Baby Alpaca, 100g, 100m/ 110 yds): 1 skein Cameo Rose.
- Tapestry needle to weave in the ends – I love this set as it has different eye sizes for different yarn thicknesses and it comes in a small tube which is very convenient so I don’t lose them.
- Cable needle
This messy bun beanie knitting pattern is available in the following sizes: newborn, baby, toddler, child, tween, adult small, adult medium, adult large.
Finished hat circumference:
- Newborn / Preemie : 21 cm / 8.25”
- Baby: 28 cm / 11”
- Toddler: 35 cm / 13.75”
- Child: 42 cm / 16.5”
- Tween: 45 cm / 17.75”
- Adult small: 52 cm / 20. 5”
- Adult medium: 56 cm / 22”
- Adult large: 59 cm / 23.5”
For a snug fit, your hat should be 2-3 cm / 1” smaller than the actual head measurement.
The gauge for this pattern, in stockinette stitch, is 11.5 st by 17 rows for a 10 cm by 10 cm square (4” by 4”).
Abbreviations & Instructions
- st = stitch
- k = knit
- p = purl
Repeat instructions between [ ] the indicated number of times or until the end of the round/row.
The final number of stitches is indicated at the end of the round/row between < >.
The hat pattern is available in 2 versions: messy bun and full hat version. Refer to bolded instructions at the end for the version you want.
Special Stitches and Techniques
- For videos and a detailed explanation on how to knit cables refer to this tutorial.
- For a detailed tutorial of the Cable Rib Stitch, refer to this tutorial.
The Actual Pattern
Multiple of 4
With your 8mm knitting needles, cast on 24 (32, 40, 48, 52, 60, 64, 68) st and join in the round.
Round 1 – 2: [k1, p1] around.
Round 3: [put 1 st on the cable needle and keep it in front of your work, p1, k1, k1 from your cable needle, p1] around.
Round 4: [p1, put 1 st on the cable needle and hold it at the back of your work, k1, p1 from the cable needle, k1] until last st, p1.
Round 5 – 6: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2.
Round 7 – 10: Repeat Rounds 3 to 6.
Round 11: Repeat Round 1.
Round 12 -26: Knit around for 15 rounds.
Round 27: [k2, k2tog] around. <18 (24, 30, 36, 39, 45, 48, 51) st>
Round 28 – 31: Knit around.
Round 32: [k1, k2tog] around. <12 (16, 20, 24, 26, 30, 32, 34) st>
Round 35: [k2tog] around. <6 (8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17) st>
For the messy bun version, stop here. Cast off and weave in the ends.
For the complete hat finish with Round 36: [k2tog] around, k 0 (0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 1). <3 (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9 st>
Thread the end through the remaining stitches and pull tightly.
Blocking and Assembly
You’re done with the knitting part. Make sure to weave in all the ends.
To make your stitch pattern even prettier and help even your stitches, block your project lightly.
Don’t skip this step as it can make a huge difference. Read my detailed tutorial on why block, how-to, and all my tips and tricks if you need help.