Free pattern: reversible biking hat

I knit as I sew – making things up as I go along. With a penchant for using what I have lying around, faithfully matching needles and yarn and gauges to patterns has never happened very often. Though, when I’m knitting these invented things, I tend to write the pattern in my head – a sort of storytelling to myself. But since these self-designed things usually start with “take some yarn, cast on an appropriate amount of stitches (which you will figure out what is after starting over five times), and knit until it’s done”, writing up patterns for others to use seems quite pointless.

I’d like to make an attempt with this one, so with trumpets and fanfare, I present to you:

the Reversible biking hat

Why reversible biking hat you ask? Because the first edition of this hat has made such a perfect underneath-the-helmet hat for winter-time biking, it covers the ears, it stays put quite nicely on differently sized heads due to the ribbing, *and* there is design interest both on the inside and the outside (which I guess makes both sides the outside?).

– Gauge: 24 sts to 4 inches in stitch pattern (6 repeats)
– Sizes: S (M)
– Circumference: 18 inches/46 cm (16 inches/ 41 cm)
– Height: 8 inches/20 cm (9 inches/ 23)

Materials needed:
– Sport weight yarn (12-14 wpi), 30 grams
– Circular knitting needles 16 inches,  and double pointed needles, both size US #2 ½/3 mm
– Tapestry needle to weave in the ends

Casting on, knit stitches (k), purl stitches (p), yarn over (yo), knit two together (k2tog),  slip one stitch, knit the next, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch (skp), slip one stitch, k2tog, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitches (sl1, k2tog, psso).


With circular needles, cast on 96 (112)  stitches and join.
Rw 1-6: *k3, p1, repeat from * until end of row
Rw 7: *k2, skp, yo,  repeat
Rw 8-11: *k3, p1, repeat
Rw 12: *k2, skp, yo, repeat
Rows 13-62: repeat rows 8-12 ten times, or until piece measures approximately 7″ (8″)

row 1: *k2tog, k1, p1, k3, p1, repeat (there will be 84 (98) stitches left)
row 2: *k2, p1, k2tog, k1, p1,  repeat (72 (84) sts)
row 3: *skp, p1, k2, p1, repeat (60 (70) sts)
row 4: *k1, p1, skp, p1, repeat (48 (56) sts)
row 5: switch to double pointed needles, *k1, p1, repeat (48 (56) sts)
row 6: *sl1, k2tog, psso, p1, repeat (24 (28) sts)
row 7 & 8: *k1, p1, repeat (24 (28) sts)
row 9: *sl1, k2tog, psso, p1, repeat (12 (14) sts)
row 10: *k1, p1, repeat (12 (14) sts)

Cut tail, pull through remaining loops, tighten, and weave in ends.

He’s not really sad, I promise.

Download the pdf: reversible_biking_hat

Ravelry link here

And now, as an added bonus for the people out there that enjoys the Zimmerman-approach, here is an alternate pattern:

Grab a yarn you like, grab some needles you like, figure out your gauge. Measure your head, cast on accordingly (I like to measure the stitches stretched out, so the hat fits slightly stretched when it on). Make sure the number of stitches cast on is divisible by 4. Knit until long enough. Decrease in your favorite way. Finish.

A note on free patterns:
This pattern is protected under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License, and is for
personal and non-profit use only. This means you are free to knit for yourself, gift, or donate items made using this pattern to non-profit events and organizations, but please do not sell items made with this pattern for profit, and you may not sell the pattern itself. Please link back and credit designer appropriately. Please email me at with any questions or comments.


15 thoughts on “Free pattern: reversible biking hat”

  1. I love this….I sew and knit the very same way. One can never rip out too many times can they. Always looking for the perfect hat to fit the perfect head! Thank you.

  2. Thanks for creating and sharing this pattern! I made it for my husband for “Christmas” (last week..) and he loves it! And now I love your blog too :)

    1. Great! I’m glad I could help! Keep in mind, the hat tends to end up on the small side for a lot of people, so check the gauge against your husband’s head measurement!

  3. I’d like to knit this for my hubby for Christmas, but I have one question. My husband shaves his head and I am wondering if the holes in the hat created by the yarn overs are so big that they will look awkward with a bald head? Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Danielle! That is a good question. I think a couple of other people have made the hat for bald heads, and they look fine. The pattern calls for a sports-weight yarn, so I think if you stay on the thinner end of the spectrum, yarn-wise, it’ll be ok.

      See if you check out the gallery over on ravelry!

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