Downton Hat

Inspired by a vintage baby hat (c.1915), and designed while watching Downton Abbey on television, this 'knitsofacto' free knitting pattern was inevitably named Downton. But when I first posted the PDF on Ravelry I had no idea how popular my tribute to the programme would become ... up to 1000 downloads a day popular it turns out! Which is humbling and overall happy-making. So many people keeping warm wearing a hat I designed, it's mindblowing.

You can read more about the design below, and in the original Downton Hat blog post. And on Ravelry, if you're a Ravelry member.

If you scroll down the page you'll find a Downton Hat video tutorial.

Please read the rest of this page for FAQs/further information before seeking pattern support.

For pattern support please post a query in the Downton Hat discussion thread on Ravelry (you will need to complete a simple sign up process if you don't already have a Ravelry account). Alternatively you may email me.

• You'll find the free pattern in English here and in French here

Please note that due to persistent copyright theft the English language version of the pattern is currently only available as a web page and not as a downloadable PDF.

For a printer friendly pattern in English follow the link above and then paste the pattern URL into

Please respect my COPYRIGHT and remember that these knitsofacto patterns are
freely shared for your personal use only.

And although they really are free you'd make me a very happy bunny indeed if you'd
of just a pound/dollar or two, to

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders

I don't need your money but they do!
You can also donate via p/hop.

Downton Hat free knitting pattern

Worked in cosy double moss stitch the hat has an invisible rib band inside the reverse stocking stitch brim which will hold it snugly on the head. And the sizing - from baby to adult - makes it perfect winter wear for mother and child. The crown is knitted flat and then the work is transferred to a circular needle and continued in the round. If you are purl averse, as I know many are, it's quite possible to reverse direction and knit the brim. Staci of VeryPink has now published a Downton Hat video tutorial that, among other things, illustrates just that. The video is embedded beneath the answers to FAQs which will be found lower down the page.

I've not charged you for my knitting patterns, but I have suggested that as you're not paying me you might be able to afford to make a small charitable donation to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. I ask that you don't seek to profit personally from my altruism by knitting Downton hats to sell, but knitting a Downton or a Demne etc. for charity sales is of course permitted*. The patterns are clearly marked as being for your personal use only and it saddens me to see items knitted from them on sale without any mention of the possibility of charitable giving.

* It's worth noting here, given the often heated debates about issues of copyright that take place on Ravelry and elsewhere, that although copyright applies to the written pattern only, here in the UK designers also have internationally enforceable design rights that extend to items knitted from those patterms. I will not hesitate to defend those rights.

Downton Hat FAQ answers:

If you knit to gauge you will require 100g to 150g of the recommended yarn to complete your hat. If substituting yarn you may need more or less than is given in the pattern. Please always knit a gauge swatch if substituting yarn (in fact, please always knit a gauge swatch, period!).

The instruction to knit or purl zero stitches (K0 and P0) indicates that for the size you are knitting there are no stitches to work at that point, a larger or smaller size may be different.

The number of stitches on the needle for each size (baby to adult)
96/104/112/120/128/136 translates to a hat circumference of
16/17.3/18.6/20/21.3/22.6 inches if knitted to gauge.

A number of yarn shops and knitting teachers have run Downton Hat classes in the past, if you are organising such a class and would like me to add a link to it here please do get in touch.



Recommended yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK

You will need 1 (1, 1, 2, 2, 2) 50g balls of colour A, and 1 x 50g ball of colour B (brim).

Needles: 3.25 mm (US 3) 40cm circular needle (children's sizes)/3.25 mm (US 3) 60cm circular needle (adult sizes), or needle size to achieve gauge.

Also (optional) 3.25 mm (US 3) straight needles, or needle size to achieve gauge.

Notions: Stitch markers. A tapestry needle

Gauge: Approximately 24 stitches and 40 rows to a 4 inch/10cm square in double moss stitch.

Skills required: knitted cast on; knitting in the round, purling, picking up stitches, blocking.

K Knit
P Purl
(K2, P2) Repeat these four stitches
RS Right side of work facing
SM Slip marker
WS Wrong side of work facing

Crown, knitted flat.

Using 3.25 mm needle/s and colour A cast on 24 (26, 28, 30, 32. 34) stitches.
A cast on method that will facilitate the later picking up of stitches along this edge is recommended, e.g. knitted cast on.

Row 1: (RS)(K2, P2) repeat to last 0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2) stitches, K0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2)
Row 2: (WS) P0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), (K2 P2) to end.
Row 3: (P2 K2) repeat to last 0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2) stitches, P0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2)
Row 4: K0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), (P2, K2) to end

Repeat rows 1-4, 9 (10, 11, 12, 13, 14) times more, working last row using the circular needle if straight needles have been used for the crown. 40 (44, 48, 52, 56, 60) rows.

Do not turn work.

Sides, knitted in the round.

Continuing with WS of the work facing and using circular needles pick up at even intervals and purl 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34) stitches from the left side of the crown, 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34) stitches from the cast on edge, and 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34) stitches from the right hand side of the crown. 96 (104, 112,120, 128, 136) stitches. Place marker.

Rounds 1 and 2: P0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), (K2, P2) to last 0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2) stitches, K0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), SM.
Rounds 3 and 4: K0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), (P2, K2) to last 0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2) stitches, P0 (2, 0, 2, 0, 2), SM.
Repeat rounds 1 to 4, 3 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6) times more, and then rounds 1 and 2, 1 (0, 1, 0, 1, 0) times more.
18 (20, 22, 24, 26, 28) rows.

Next round if knitting Baby, Child, or Adult1: (P2, K2) to end
Next round if knitting Toddler, Teen, or Adult2 (K2, P2) to end.
Repeat last round 9 (9, 11, 11, 13, 13) times more to create 2x2 rib band.

Brim, knitted in the round

Work 2 rounds in reverse stocking stitch (purl every stitch).
Change to contrast colour (B) and, still with WS facing, work 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40) more rounds in reverse stocking stitch (purl every stitch).
Cast off and sew in ends. Turn hat to RS and fold brim to shape (see pictures)
Lightly block, and admire!

Note: Brim may roll down when not in use but test knitters report this is not the case when hat is worn.

Clickable RSS feed subscription icon. Clickable Flickr icon. Clickable Instagram icon. Clickable Pinterest icon. Clickable Bloglovin icon.
about contact home