Hey friends! So, it’s winter here. Michigan winter, in fact. And as a work-from home mom, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that the messy bun is pretty much my go-to hairstyle most days. Sigh. But that’s ok! Because trending now is the messy bun hat! If you don’t knit or crochet: NOT TO WORRY. I’m sharing a pattern and free beginners tutorial today for a DIY messy bun hat using the loom knitter.
If you’ve used the loom knitter, then most likely to are familiar with the basic knitting stitches – and if you are then you will find this to be a very simple and easy pattern. It took me about 2 hours to make, and I use my loom knitter just a couple times a year.
I tested out two weights of yarn for this project, and I’ll give you my thoughts on both. I found that it takes 55-60 yards of yarn (depending on how tightly you make your stitches). Here are a few affiliate links to find the supplies used if you need to do a little shopping!
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn (Oatmeal pictured) – This is a super bulky yarn, and this particular brand and color will make two hats from one skein.
Yarn: Lion Brand Unique Yarn (Jewel color pictured) – this is a category 5 weight, and to get enough bulk I found that I wanted two strands. You can get two skeins and work from both simultaneously or if you’re used to working with yarn and know how to keep it from getting tangled, you can actually work from both ends of the same skein. This is what I did, and I used the entire 109-yard skein.
To begin: Make a slipknot at the end of your yarn. Loop it around your first peg, the one next to the starter peg identifier (on some looms it may be a different color, or most commonly, there’s a small peg on the front.
I knit from left to right, basically counterclockwise. If it’s more comfortable for you to go in the other direction, feel free! That feels awkward to me so all instructions will be presented left to right.
Now, cast on your first row by wrapping the yarn around each peg. The loops should face outward, and the yarn between pegs should be toward the inside. Go all the way around the loom.
Knitting uses 2 rows at a time, so to get started you will have to wrap a second row around the loom.
To begin knitting, use the hook to pull the lower stitch up and over the upper stitch, leaving one loop on each peg. Then, wrap a new row of yarn around the loom like you did to begin, and knit a second row.
Once you’ve reached 4 rows, I’m introducing a purl stitch that will add a textural stripe to your hat. (If you find that the purl stitch is too difficult for you as a beginner, it’s not essential to the construction of the hat. You’ll just end up with a smooth hat instead of enjoying those little ridges.
For the purl stitch, you’ll be pulling the upper stitch through the lower stitch. First, pass the working yarn below the stitch on the peg (left), then reach downward through the upper stitch with the hook to grab the yarn. Pull it upward, creating a new stitch (center). Pull the stitch off the peg, taking care not to lose the new stitch you created, and then replace the new stitch onto the peg (right).
If you would like to see the knit and purl stitches in action, I use them both in this YouTube Video tutorial for a lush infinity scarf. (And oh hey, just a thought, that would also make for a fabulous accessory!)
- Row 1-4: Knit
- Row 5: Purl
- Row 6: Knit
- Row 7: Purl
- Row 8-9: Knit
- Row 10: Purl
- Row 11: Knit
- Row 12: Purl
- Row 13-14: Knit
- Row 15: Purl
- Row 16-17: Knit
- Row 18: Purl
- Row 19-30: Knit
Note: Depending on the size of your head (or whether you run low on yarn!) You may want to finish the hat with between 28-32 rows. You’ll find what works best for you! My 6 yo daughter’s messy bun hat required 26 rows for her child-sized head.
Now, once you’ve knitted enough rows, measure 12-24 inches of yarn from the end of your knitting, and cut the yarn. (24 inches of yarn will be easier to work with, but you’ll be removing most of it when you’re finished so it will be wasted. You can decide based on whether you have a lot of yarn left or you’re running low.)
Thread a large-eye blunt needle onto the end of the yarn, and pass it through each loop on the loom, removing the loops as you go.
Now, for an average hat, you would cinch this yarn up tightly, closing the top of the hat. But to allow room for a ponytail or messy bun, close up the hole until it’s approximately 2 inches in diameter. Tie off the yarn to the starting point of where you began to cinch. To blend the end in, weave it down into the stitches below for 2-3 inches before trimming it off. Then, go back to the first row you started with the slipknot, thread the needle onto the loose yarn, and weave that into the stitches above it.
***UPDATE: I DON’T KNOW WHY I DIDN’T THINK OF THIS BEFORE. So when you go to cinch up the top of the hat, tie the finishing yarn off *before* you pass it through each of the loops and remove each loop from the pegs. Continue the steps, closing up the top of the hat just as above. Then, cut a 6-8 inch length of braided elastic cord (I used 1/4 inch braided elastic like this), and pass that through each loop at the top. Leave the yarn in place to hold the stitches up, while you work, until you have elastic cord threaded all the way through the top. Tie the two ends of the elastic together as securely as possible to close up the top of the hat (I used an overhand knot). Trim away the excess yarn, and leave short tails on the elastic.
This will allow the hole in the hat to stretch when you pass your hair through it, just like a hair tie. I cinched up the hole a little smaller, to about 1 inch in diameter. I am SO HAPPY with this result. Feel free to give it a try!***
Of the two hats, the acrylic jewel tone yarn did use twice as much length, but it’s softer and more stretchy. The wool-blend oatmeal color is rugged and organic and uses less yarn. Depending on the look you’re going for, choose the yarn that’s best for you! Just remember – 55-60 yards of super bulky yarn, or 110-120 yards of bulky yarn.
I hope you enjoyed this project! I had a lot of fun making it, and you can work on it during the game, your kids cartoons, or in the car! Show off those new loom knitting skills with your own DIY messy bun hat!