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Recreate Oprah's Favorite Knit Hat for Less

Oprah recently released her annual list of Favorite Things, and on it you'll find a thick, wool knit hat. It looks so cozy and warm, right? It seems great, until you notice the $60 price tag.

While there's nothing wrong with paying an independent crafter handsomely for their work, this is an extremely simple piece that almost anyone with basic knitting skills could recreate for far, far less money.

Oprah hat for less Two improvised versions of the knit hat from Oprah's Favorite Things 2016.

If you look at the hat in question, you'll see its simplicity. It's worked in a super bulky yarn, starting with a one-by-one rib, then knit in stockinette and quickly decreased. Then it's topped of with a pompom. This could easily be made with a single skein of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® or Hometown USA®, depending on your fiber preference, and worked in a single evening. It would also look stunning in Gold Leaf, though you might need two skeins of that since they're a bit smaller. So, instead of spending $60 on a hat, you can spend between $6 and $13 on yarn for a piece that takes almost no time to make.

The Patterns

If you want to recreate the Oprah hat, you could go the route I did and improvise, or you could follow one of these patterns, which look very similar to the original (though you may want to change the ribbing to one-by-one to more closely match).

Follow My Lead

I improvised a hat using one skein of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® and a size US 13 (9 mm) 16-inch circular needle. I also already had a simple pompom maker. You could buy a faux-fur pom instead, if you prefer.

My instructions are below:

Cast on 42 stitches using long tail method
Join to work in the round K1, P1 around Repeat for six rows of ribbing
Switch to stockinette stitch (K all stitches) Work until piece is 7 inches from cast-on edge
Decrease rows: 1: *K5, K2tog* around 2: *K4, K2tog* around 3: *K3, K2tog* around 4: *K2, K2tog* around 5: *K1, K2tog* around 6: K2tog around Break yarn, thread through remaining stitches, and pull tight. Weave in ends.
Make pompom and attach tightly to top of hat
The pompom can be as large or small as you want

That's all there is to it! It's an extremely simple hat that won't take long to make. I did the whole thing in about two and a half hours -- which is more like two when you consider that I stopped to eat dinner in the middle of it! I'm a pretty fast and experienced knitter, but even for someone who is newer at it, it would not take long. If you are a bit slower, then it might take three hours. But it's still a one-evening project. Plus, since it's so quick, you can make several different colors! Keep them for yourself or give them away as gifts.

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  • Mary Kay Wooten

    I think there might be a misprint in the instructions for Oprah's favorite hat. After the 6 rows of ribbing, the instructions state to begin stockinette stitch, "knit all rows." Isn't the stockinette stitch, knit right side & purl wrong side. Knitting all rows is the garter stitch. The picture of the finished hat looks to be the stockinette stitch & not the garter stitch.

  • pearlstcats

    This is a great pattern for a quick warm hat. I plan to use it for some charity knitting with my library's Crafting for a Cause program. One question though. When you are decreasing, do you have to change to dpns?

  • http://lizaeckert.wordpress.com Liza

    Not specifically, but it would be easy to adjust. I was getting ~2 stitches per inch and cast on 42 stitches for an adult-sized head, around 21". So for every inch smaller you want to make it, cast on two fewer stitches. Meaning, if you want an 18" circumference, cast on 36 stitches, if you want 16", cast on 34, and so on. Make sure it's always even so the ribbing comes out.

    For the decreases, you just need to figure out a number that divides evenly into your total, and decrease that many times per round. If you were doing 36 stitches, you would decrease every 6 stitches (K5, k2tog around, then K4, k2tog around, and so on). As a rule of thumb for this had, decreasing every 4-7 stitches (depending on your total number) creates the best shape at the top.

    I hope that makes sense.

  • http://lizaeckert.wordpress.com Liza

    I didn't create an exact crochet version (I'm less skilled at crochet than knitting), but I'm sure it would be possible to make something similar! The Perfectly Simple Crochet Hat (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/crochet-pattern-perfectly-simple-hat-6.html) would probably work, with an added pompom, as would the Natural Comfort Hat (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/crochet-pattern-natural-comfort-hat-1.html) or the Ridge Pattern Hat (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/crochet-pattern-ridge-hat-1.html).

  • Ellie

    Is this a fitted hat or more a slouchy one? I struggle to find patterns for simple fitted beanies, slouched don't suit me :/ thanks :D