Basic Ear Flap Hat - Free Knitting Pattern

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Jananas » Basic Ear Flap Hat Knitting Pattern

Basic Ear Flap Hat Knitting Pattern

Most of the hats I’ve come across are just basic hats. In Canada (or any colder climate), I’ve found that basic hats don’t always cut it. There’s something extra about a hat with ear flaps – your ears stay warm and being able to tie it under your chin keeps the wind out just that much more effectively. It can be knit up in any worsted weight yarn (Malabrigo and Blue Skies Cotton are two favorites for this pattern).

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When I started knitting, I couldn’t find a pattern for an ear flap hat that I really liked. I experimented and made a bunch for friends. This basic pattern is the result of that experimentation. Enjoy! You can either download the pattern (and save it ) or peruse the instructions below. Also, you can find more of my knitting patterns here.

To Download the Basic Ear Flap Hat Pattern you can do one of three things:

  1. Click on the button above,
  2. Click on this link,
  3. Or you can find it on Ravelry here

How many people have knit this hat as a project on Ravelry: 

Ear Flap Hat Knitting Pattern

updated January 23rd, 2010


Needles: set of 8 US (5mm) dpn, 16” 8 US circular

Other Materials: tapestry needle, stitch marker, crochet hook

Yarn: less than one skein of Malabrigo worsted weight merino or Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton (less than 150 yards needed)

Gauge: 16 sts and 24 rows = 4” (10cm) in stockinette (exact gauge isn’t vital)

I’ve used standard abbreviations. If you don’t know one, they are easy to find online (with videos and diagrams and explained much better than I’d be able to).

This pattern is written for sizes Small/Medium/Large is a worsted weight yarn. You can use a Malabrigo silky merino and go up a size or a Malabrigo bulky yarn and go down a size.

Ear Flaps: (make two)

Cast on 6 stitches using long tail cast on and dpns. Purl next row to set up.

Row 1 (RS): kfb, knit until last stitch, kfb

Row 2 (WS): k2, purl until last two stitches, k2

Repeat these two rows until you have 18 (20, 22) stitches

Row 1 (RS): knit

Row 2 (WS): k2, purl until last two stitches, k2

Repeat these two rows 8 (10, 12) times.

This will produce long ear flaps. If you’d like them shorter then repeat fewer rows.

End with Row 1

After the first ear flap is finished, cut the yarn leaving a tail about 8” long. For the second ear flap knit the last row using the circular needle, do not cut the yarn. Instead, move onto assembling the brim.

Assembling the Brim:

This hat is assembled so that the front is wider than the back, helping ensure that the ear flaps are positioned properly. Further, the cable cast on (while tight when knitting into the first row after casting on) helps keep the brims from rolling up.

With the ear flap on the circular needle, cast on 22 (24, 26) stitches using a cable cast on.

Join and knit along the remaining ear flap, making sure that the remaining ear flap is oriented so that you knit along the right side of the piece (i.e. you’re not knitting across the purled side). Use the tail of yarn from the ear flap to knit the next 4-5 stitches to help the join. Continue and cast on 18 (20, 22) stitches. Total stitches on needles before joining: 76 (84, 92).

Transfer last cast on stitch to the left hand needle and k2tog to join in the round, making sure that stitches aren’t twisted. Total stitches at end of round: 75 (83, 91).

Next Round: Knit across ear flap, k2tog at small gap that was created by the cable cast on. Repeat at the start and finish of the next ear flap, for a total of three decreases. By doing this, the join at the ear flaps and across the remainder of the brim are stronger. Total stitches at end of round: 72 (80, 88).

Place marker at end of this round.

Body of the Hat:

Knit all rounds, slipping the stitch marker. Knit until the body is 5” (6”, 7”) from the brim.

A general rule of thumb for the height of the body of the hat before beginning decreases is to place your thumb where you want the hat to sit and your fingers back over your head. It will likely be your index or middle finger that reaches your crown. The distance between your thumb and your finger is how long you want the body of the hat to be before you begin decreases.

Crown of the Hat:

Begin decrease rounds at the stitch marker. Switch to dpns when needed.

Decrease Round 1: *k6, k2tog, repeat from * until end (63, 70, 77 stitches)

Knit one round

Decrease Round 2: *k5, k2tog, repeat from * until end (54, 60, 66 stitches)

Knit one round

Decrease Round 3: *k4, k2tog, repeat from * until end (45, 50, 55 stitches)

Knit one round

Decrease Round 4: *k3, k2tog, repeat from * until end (36, 40, 44 stitches)

Knit one round

Decrease Round 5: *k2, k2tog, repeat from * until end (27, 30, 33 stitches)

Knit one round

Decrease Round 6: *k1, k2tog, repeat from * until end (18, 20, 22 stitches)

Decrease Round 7: * k2tog, repeat from * until end (9, 10, 11 stitches)

Decrease Round 8: * k2tog, repeat from * until end (5, 5, 6 stitches)

Break yarn, leaving 8” tail. Draw yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight.


Weave in ends. Block if desired.

You can add a half double crochet border for decoration or to hide the cast one edges.

You can also add braided ties by cutting 12 equal lengths of yarn. Take 6 strands, and using the tapestry needle, thread them through the bottom of an ear flap (two rows up and in the middle). Braid and tie end in a knot. Repeat on other side, keeping braids approximately the same length. Trim ends of yarn.

This pattern is intended for private use only. The pattern, photos and products made from the pattern may not be used for commercial purposes with out the written consent of Jana Falls (

27 comments Digg this

27 Comments so far

  1. carol September 16th, 2009 6:36 pm

    Ilike the way this hat looks, I was trying to make up one myself, and I did But, it was for a baby and it turned out nice, but now I am going to try your pattern out. Thanks a bunch, for saving me the time to come up with my own pattern.

  2. sheila lingwall September 17th, 2009 9:21 am

    would like a copy please of the ear flap hat, thanks

  3. Liz Rowand October 1st, 2009 2:02 pm

    I have been loking for a hat patern to make for my 10yo nephew and I think this is it. I made a hat for his sister which she wears night and day and I think this is just different enough. I will keep you posted if you would like.

  4. jana October 1st, 2009 2:07 pm

    I’d love for you to keep me posted! Let me know how it goes.

  5. Jane tea November 22nd, 2009 5:16 pm

    Absolutly the BEST ear flap hat pattern that I have ever seen or used!

  6. Florence November 28th, 2009 10:51 am

    I would like the pattern for this hat please


  7. DB December 2nd, 2009 9:34 pm

    What does kfb stand for. Is that just knit?

  8. jana December 3rd, 2009 12:10 am

    DB, kfb is short for knit into the front and back of the stitch. It is an increase and I generally like it because it doesn’t leave a little gap. If you google it you’ll get a tonne of results for knitting help-type websites that will explain it.

    This youtube video also does a good job.

    Hope that helps!

  9. ester December 8th, 2009 1:16 am

    this pattern looks perfect! i’ve promised to knit a nice warm hat for my boyf. when he comes to visit me in sweden in january.
    this one looks warm and good, thanks for sharing the pattern.

  10. D M Meuleners December 11th, 2009 3:27 pm

    Saw your pattern and I’m not sure what some of your abbreviations are. Assume dpns doubl point needles, not sure kfb, cable cast

  11. jana December 11th, 2009 5:11 pm

    D M,

    kfb is short for knit into the front and back of a stitch (so an increase). I like it because it does leave the tiny gap, but any increase will do. I used a cable cast on here because it tends to be stretchier, and thus works better in the brim of a hat.

    You can find more information about both on websites like Knitting Help, which provides brief written descriptions and good videos for a visual reference.

    If you’d like more help, let me know.

  12. Patti December 29th, 2009 10:47 pm

    PLEASE email me the instructions for your earflap hat, its awesome. My son asked me to make one for him to match his new snowboarding coat! Thanks! patti

  13. lou polley January 2nd, 2010 5:55 pm

    I would like the pattern. Thanks

  14. Molly January 3rd, 2010 4:55 pm

    I would really like a copy of this pattern. I love it, and have a friend who is looking for a great ear-flap hat…and for me to knit it for him. I think this is just what he’s thinking about! So, if you don’t mind, could you please send me a copy of the pattern…I’m so excited!! Thanks for all your hard work, too!!

  15. Joann January 4th, 2010 6:59 pm

    I too would love a copy of this pattern. It is just what I have been looking for is a great basic ear-flap hat. So, would you kindly send me a copy of the pattern. Thanking you in advance for sending it. I can’t wait to start on it.

  16. Amy January 5th, 2010 8:41 pm

    I would love a copy of this pattern please!

  17. Libby January 18th, 2010 12:13 am

    I made this for my boyfriend, and he loves it. Thanks for the pattern.

    Here’s a picture of my finished product:

  18. Caitlin January 22nd, 2010 9:02 pm

    What is the deal with all these people asking for a copy of the pattern…on the copy of the pattern? Not only did you post it in this blog entry but you also have a link to the pdf? Or did you edit this entry after all the pleading?

    I’m having a problem-this is why I just called and left a message-with the brim construction. Let me try to be clear and odds are I will figure it out on my own. Ok:

    The pattern says that the ear flaps end on a knit row, not to be obtuse but that means knit the last row and then do the cable cast on? Ok, so then I did the 24 cable cast on stitches, and it says to bring the first ear flap over and knit across it, but if I do that then (and putting the first one facing the same way as the second one) I will be knitting across purls and I really should be purling. Did I do something wrong?

    Does it get turned somewhere, maybe where the join is? Or am I purling the whole thing?

  19. Caitlin January 22nd, 2010 9:04 pm

    Oh jeez. I think I see it now.

    Ha ha ha. See how this works, Jana? When I type out my confusing knitting question it works itself out in my small brain. Got it.

  20. jana January 22nd, 2010 9:58 pm

    Caitlin, I have edited the entry to make it easier to find the pattern. Hey, I write enough about customer experience that I should be living it too!

    I understand what you’re getting at. I’ll take a look at the pattern tomorrow and see if I can explain it better – just because it makes sense to me doesn’t mean that its actually clear! I may very well be releasing an updated pattern

  21. [...] wrote the pattern and it took me about 24 hours all told to finish it. Easy. And it hurt my brain only a [...]

  22. Dorothy Giddings February 10th, 2010 12:36 pm

    I just wanted to thank you for this pattern. I have knitted 7 of these in different wools and patterns and my grandchildren love them.

  23. jana February 10th, 2010 2:46 pm

    Dorothy – that’s awesome! I’m really glad to know that they are out there being loved and appreciated.

  24. kk February 25th, 2010 3:35 pm

    I ran into the same problem as Cailin mentioned – ending on the knit row means you are knitting when you should be purling – and I can’t figure it out, nor do I see a follow-up for her question. I have tried and tried and tried but it’s not clicking for me!!!

  25. jana February 25th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Sorry about that – I saw Caitlin irl and she mentioned that she finally figured it out, so I didn’t bother replying here. But let me try and answer based on the conversation that I had with her.

    The first question is are you using double pointed or single pointed needles? If you are using double pointed needles than quite literally, just rotate the needle 180 degrees so that you are now looking at the RS and the WS is facing away from you. It may be that you end up with the yarn tail at the far end of the needle instead of at the beginning, but this isn’t a big deal. Instead you can just weave it in once you’ve started on the brim.

    If you are using single pointed needles, I’d suggest transferring the stitches to a second needle (whether single or double pointed). Now the stitches should be facing the correct way AND they’ll be on the correct side of the needle (the pointy bit) so that you’re set up to go.

    Does that help? If not, let me know and I’ll my best to explain!

  26. kk February 25th, 2010 7:07 pm


    You’re a gem! Thank you! I will try it and let you know how I do. Oh, to answer your question, I’m using dpn for the flaps, as you noted in your directions!!!!

  27. jana February 25th, 2010 8:46 pm

    Let me know how it goes. Really, the pattern is more of a suggestion than hard set rules – so try and experiment to see what works best. And let me know what did/didn’t work so that I can clarify them more!

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