This Ombré Hat Has a Secret (a Slip-Stitch Secret!)

We’re calling this ombré technique ‘faux Fair Isle’: by cleverly slipping stitches (also sometimes called mosaic knitting), you can get two colors in the same row, but only have to carry one color. Sneaky!

Easy Ombré Hat

Level: Beginner-friendly

What You Need

  • Color A: 1 hank Cloudborn Superwash Merino Wool Bulky (shown in Teal)
  • Color B: 1 hank Cloudborn Superwash Merino Wool Bulky (shown in Ocean)
  • Color C: 1 hank Cloudborn Superwash Merino Wool Bulky (shown in Sky Blue)
  • Color D: 1 hank Cloudborn Superwash Merino Wool Bulky (shown in Ecru)
  • US 10-1/2 (6.5 mm) 16″ (40 cm) circular knitting needle OR size needed to get the correct gauge
  • Detachable stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pompom maker (optional)
  • Pro Tip: You can definitely knit more than one hat with all this yarn. Try reversing your ombre and knit another version fading from light to dark.

    Gauge

    3.5 sts = 1″ in stockinette (row gauge is not critical here)

    Finished Size

    17″ circumference; fits large-sized child to medium-sized woman

    Pattern Notes

  • All slipped stitches are slipped purlwise (slip the right needle in as if to purl — front to back through the stitch — and slip the stitch onto the right needle without knitting it).
  • You’ll be changing colors a lot in this hat: don’t cut your yarn until the pattern tells you to.
  • Abbreviations

  • CO – cast on
  • K – knit
  • K2tog – knit two together
  • P – purl
  • Rnd – round
  • St(s) – stitch(es)
  • Instructions

    With color A, CO 60 sts. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your round, and join to work in the round.

    Rnds 1-6: *K2, p2; repeat from * to end of round.

    Rnds 7-10: Knit.

    Colorwork Section 1

    Rnd 8: *With color B, k1, then slip the next 3 color A sts onto your right needle. Repeat from * to end of round.

    Pro Tip: Take it easy: don’t pull the yarn tight when you’re knitting your color B stitches. You want to leave the yarn a little loose in the back so your hat doesn’t pucker.

    Rnd 9: With color A, knit every stitch.

    Rnd 10: Slip the first 2 color A sts. *With color B, knit 1, slip next 3 sts; repeat from * until 1 st remains. Slip last st.

    Rnd 11: With color A, knit every stitch.

    Rnd 12: *Slip 1 st, k1 st with color B; repeat from * to end of round.

    Rnd 13: With color B, knit every stitch.

    Rnd 14: *With color A, k1, then slip the next 3 color B sts. Repeat from * to end of round. Cut color A, leaving a 6-inch tail.

    Pro Tip: Sometimes charts make it easier to see what you’re doing. This chart, read right to left, bottom to top, uses a V to indicate which stitches are slipped. Stitches without a V are knit in the colors shown.

    Rnds 15-18: With color B, knit.

    Colorwork Section 2 (worked with colors B and C)

    Rnds 19-25: Repeat rnds 8-14 working with colors B and C. The sts worked originally worked in color A are worked in color B this time, and the color B sts are now worked in color C. Cut color B after rnd 25.

    Rnds 26-29: With color C, knit.

    Colorwork Section 3 (worked with colors C and D)

    Rnds 30-36: Repeat rnds 8-14, working with colors C and D. The sts worked originally worked in color A are worked in color C this time, and the color B sts are now worked in color D. Cut color C after rnd 36.

    Rnd 37: With color D, knit every stitch.

    Rnd 38: *K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end of round. (40 sts remain)

    Rnd 39: Knit.

    Rnd 40: *K2tog; repeat from * to end of round. (20 sts remain)

    Pro Tip: Things might get a little tight here as you decrease. If you want to switch to double-pointed needles, you totally can. Or you can experiment with the magic loop method. OR, it’s only one round…make it work!

    Finishing

    Cut the yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail. Thread the yarn onto your tapestry needle, and pull the the needle through the stitches in the order they’re on the needle. As you pass the tapestry needle through, slip each stitch off the knitting needle. Gently pull on the yarn to tighten the stitches, and thread your tapestry needle through a second time. Pull tightly to close up the hole, and thread the tail to the inside of the hat.

    Weave in your ends to the inside of your hat, and trim them. Block your hat for the smoothest stitches.

    Now, it’s time to pompom. Use a pompom maker if you have one, or make your own pompom with cardboard. Use the long ends of the pompom to tie the pom to the top of your hat. Pompoms don’t wash well, so tie the strings in a bow — that way you can take it off when it’s laundry time.

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