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Winchester Toboggan Knitted Hat Pattern by Catherine J. Hall




This easy hat pattern is for all sizes (preemie to Husband's Big Head). Stephen and I were in college before we realized that a toboggan was a sled, not a hat. But, hey, I also grew up thinking that my dad and Johnny Cash were the same guy....You may call it a watch cap, a stocking cap, a ski hat, a skull cap, or even a beanie. But in the little town of Winchester, Indiana, it will always be a toboggan.




Your choice of yarn and needle will determine the size of your hat. I suggest that you make your first hat with worsted weight yarn (wool!) and whatever size needle (6-9US/4.25-5.25mm, usually) gives you the fabric drape you want. You should end up with a hat that will fit an average adult.



Yarn - any weight or fiber that you want. For the example adult hat, use worsted weight wool.

You will need about 100 to 150 yards (approx. 90-140 meters) of yarn for each hat, less for a baby hat. Consider striping your hat with leftover yarns....a great gift idea AND stash buster!


Needles - size needed to get gauge/drape you want (for the worsted weight hat, use 6-9US/4.25-5.25 mm). You will need a set of double points, as well as a small (8-12 inches/22-30 cm) circular needle in the size you need. You could make the hat on the dpn's exclusively, but using the circular can make the knitting go very quickly. Clover makes the tiny 8 inch/22 cm circulars in several sizes. These are really nice when you are making a small hat, and when you begin decreasing, as it postpones the use of the dreaded dpn's.


Notions - Tapestry needle

7 stitch markers (make sure that one is different to mark the beginning of each round)



To make a hat in a different size, you can always adjust the number of stitches in the pattern. Or, if you want to stay with the "Las Vegas/7-11" theme, try using different weights of yarn and the corresponding needles. Here is a chart of hats I have made with this pattern. Remember, your tension is likely to be different, so use it as a rough guide only. Dive in and make a hat; it is quick knitting and bound to fit someone!! I recommend wool for the first one, as it stretches easily or can be felted down to a smaller size if needed.


My Hats:

Needle Size

Yarn Size

Yarn Example




Koigu "KPPPM"

Baby (use even smaller needle for preemie)



Cascade "Fixation"

Toddler, small child



Rowan "rowanspun dk"




Malabrigo Uruguay worsted

Small to medium adults


heavy worsted

Mission Falls "1824"

Large adults



Rowan "Big Wool"

Huge heads, or perfect for felting down


Other hints - If you decide to use color knitting (Fair Isle or Intarsia), remember that the double layer of yarn will make the finished hat a little smaller. Go up a size to compensate, or add more stitches.







For a ribbed brim, *Knit 4, Purl 3* for 6-10 rounds.


For a rolled brim, Knit even for 6-10 extra rounds at the beginning of the hat. Do not stretch it out when measuring for height when it is time to start your decreases.



Try using different yarns (textures, weights, colors) for the brim, and use the appropriate needle for each yarn. Doing so can dress up a plain toboggan. See Baby Cali's Birthday Hat.




If you would like a little "acorn top" on your hat, don't finish it when you are down to 7 stitches. Instead, keep working on dpn's until topper is desired length (note : at this point, I sometimes decrease until only 3 stitches remain, and then work an inch or two of I-cord). Then cut 12 inches/30 cm tail and weave it through the remaining stitches, pull tight and weave in ends on the inside of the hat. The acorn top is especially fetching on a baby hat, but can be cute on a holiday hat for the grown pixie in your life as well.


You can add stripes, pon-poms, ear flaps and/or braided ties if you desire. Make the hat your own!


CO = Cast On K = Knit

BO = Bind Off P = Purl

st = stitch sts = stitches

pm = place marker sm = slip marker

K2tog = Knit two stitches together (decrease)




Determine size of needle and yarn, and CO 77sts on small circular needle. Join, being very careful not to twist.

Work brim as desired (see pattern notes).

Knit even until hat measures desired height from CO (bottom) edge.

Babies = 2-3 inches/5-8 cm.

Children = 4-5 inches/10-13 cm.

Adult = 5-7 inches/13-18 cm.


Start decreasing.

K one round even, placing marker after every 11 sts. Make sure to place distinct marker at beginning of round.

Next round - slip beginning marker, *K until 2 sts remain before next marker, K2tog, sm*. Repeat to end of round. 70 sts remain.

Continue knitting each round in that manner, decreasing 7 sts per round, until 7 sts remain (1 st between each marker). Remember, when sts get tight on circular needle, switch to dpn's.

Add acorn top now (see pattern notes) if desired. If not, cut yarn, leave 12 inches/30 cm tail and weave it through the remaining sts with the tapestry needle. Pull tight, then use tapestry needle to weave all yarn ends into the inside of the hat.


Make a toboggan stack...one in each size, or one for each mood. Cotton hats are perfect for summertime....use novelty yarns for a sparkly little girl hat....woolen tweeds are a great gift for the men in your life, and something they may actually wear. Have fun, and be sure that you make at least one for yourself.