Itty-Bitty Little Bit Hat
By Carri Hammett
I don’t know about you but the thought of being without something to knit leaves me in a cold sweat, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, where I live it gets really hot and humid so big projects like shawls are out. The solution? Hats! Itty-bitty hats. In the summer, I make dozens of darling baby hats that end up as gifts or donations.

What’s the “Little Bit” part you might ask? Well, I have a business of selling kits to make striped baby sweaters (the famous Tulip Cardigan) and I end up with piles of tiny balls of yarn. I can’t tolerate the thought of throwing away such lovely hand-dyed merino so I try to use up every bit in making tiny hats with random stripes. Hence, the title: Itty-Bitty Little Bit Hat.
Itty Bitty Little Bit HatItty
Bitty Little Bit Hat
Random Stripes the Black Bag Way

A friend once made a quilt and she let her 8-year-old kid pick out all the fabric with no input from mom. She then put the fabrics into a black bag so she couldn’t see them and pulled them out at random when she was cutting the pieces. The finished quilt was adorable—very whimsical and colorful. I want the stripes in my hats to look whimsical so I use a modified black bag technique. Since I’m a control freak and there’s no little kid in my house I put together a pile of colors I like but then I close my eyes when I’m picking the ball for the next stripe. I also try to let the stripe height be determined by the size of the ball.

If you don’t have a supply of Little Bits you can have plenty of fun playing around with just a few colors using the Itty-Bitty hat format. Try changing the order of the colors or the height of the stripes. I purchased three hanks of Berroco Weekend, which you can purchase at Annie’s, and that should be enough to make about eight little hats.
Itty Bitty Little Bit Hat
Itty Bitty Little Bit Hat
End Game

I bet you already figured out the problem with my hats. ENDS! My hats have as many as 15 stripes and that makes 30 ends to weave in. Yuck! Who has time for that? I’ve learned a quick and efficient method for knitting in, or weaving, the ends as I work and it leaves me just a few to deal with when I finish the hat. When starting a new stripe, knit the first stitch with the new color leaving the ends of the old and new color at least 6 inches long.

1. Tension the ends of the old color and the new color around your left finger and lay them over the right needle. Maintain tension on the ends as you work through the steps.
2. Using your right hand, wrap the working yarn around the right needle, and then shift your left finger back so you can make a stitch with the working yarn and not pull the ends through the loop.

3. Continuing to hold the ends back and out of the way, make a stitch with the new color. This is the stitch that actually locks the ends into place. On the first round with the new color, just lock the ends in once. The stitches get bumped out by the ends so it’s less noticeable if you finish knitting in the ends on the second round; work four or more repeats of steps 1 to 3.
It seems like a lot of fuss at first but once you get used to the process you can knit in the ends in a fraction of the time it takes to weave them with a tapestry needle. For the next few months you can find a free Itty-Bitty hat pattern and more details on my website, Coldwateryarn.com or just shoot me an email at carri@coldwateryarn.com.
Itty Bitty Little Bit Hat
Itty Bitty Little Bit Hat

Carri Hammett is an author and former yarn shop owner. Since “retiring” from retail, she works full-time as a designer and writer. Her books are available on Amazon.com and at your local yarn shop. For more information about Carri, visit her website: Coldwateryarn.com.

18 Responses to Itty-Bitty Little Bit Hat

  1. Mary says:

    I think this is a great way to use up all of the scrap yarn. This is something that looks easy enough for me to do.

  2. vera says:

    I Love your hats is there a pattern for them?

  3. Deborah says:

    What a great idea for using up all those little bits and do something for charity. Thank you for the idea. I wanted to do something like this for a while, but hated the thought of weaving in all the ends. Thank you again.

  4. Helen says:

    I do charity knitting for the Christmas Child shoeboxes and the hats are for small children to teenagers. I’m always looking for different patterns and designs, thanks for the tip for ends as I do lots of stripes with all the ends I have left over.

  5. Terry says:

    What a cute idea! Perfect timing. I was just looking for a fun project for the summer. I’m going to use the idea to make baby hats for our local hospital. Thanks!

  6. Jane Valery says:

    I love the idea of the Itty-Bitty Little Bit Hat and the beautiful illustrated clear instructions. It is truly a gift when you make people feel -“I can do that”

  7. babuche39 says:

    Thanks SO much for the pattern & great tips! We can always use more
    patt’s for useful things to do with left-over lovely yarn. Perfect for donating & quick gifts, and good vacation projects on-the-go.

  8. Caro says:

    Where is the pattern? Some might be savvy enough to figure out the # of stitches needed & the decreases but there are beginners out here reading your blog. Help.

  9. Doris says:

    This sounds like a good idea and will try it.
    I have also crocketed blankets/afghans using up the balls of colors left from other projects into something like “Bands of Colors” and they have turned out very colorful and beautiful with lots of bright colors.

  10. Alicia says:

    I knit hundreds of hats for charities–African deaf kids, victims of domestic violence, African babies, special needs US kids, etc. I LOVE color and texture so usually combine yarns. As much as I love color, I HATE to deal with the ends of all the colors. Your technique has made my life easier and will add more pleasure to my joy of knitting for all of these folks. Many thanks!

  11. anne donohoe says:

    Loving this pattern and use of odd bits of wool, but I especially love knitting in the ends. I absolutely hate weaving! Thank you so much.

  12. Jodi Fry says:

    Thank god, an answer to my scraps. Can’t bare to part with them – I have a sentimental attachment to all the projects that have gone before. Now I can rest with a project to celebrate all that have gone before! Nice work! Thanks Heaps and look forward to giving them. Jodi

  13. Diane says:

    I once crocheted an afghan with left over yarns from my kids socks, slippers, sweaters etc., and I still have it. When I look at it I remember all the different things I knit and crocheted for them.

  14. Susan says:

    I love your idea for itty bitty knit hats. I have been crocheting little hats for my new granddaughter, Natasha. But I also know how to knit and have made an afgan on circular needles. But the thought of knitting the end of the hat on double pointed needles scares me. I am afraid it will get all tangled up, Any suggestions?
    Thanks!!

  15. Frances says:

    Have you ever considered putting your “tails” to the front and tying them into bows?? This works for hats, scarves, blankets, vests, sweaters … the only thing it doesn’t work for is men’s hats. Don’t forget to tie the bow loops together to lock them in place …. I use a crochet hook to do this since I like to make the bows rather small.

  16. Dorothy Bell says:

    Thank you the patterns look great i will try them Dorothy

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