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Pumpkin Hats

Pumpkin hatsPumpkin hats. Orange, of course. Two green leaves around a brown I-cord stem. Knit in red, it’s an apple. Stitched with a scattering of black seeds, a strawberry.

A few summers ago, after the Preemie Project put out a call for pumpkin hats, I wrote a pattern for one with matching booties. Fast and fun, I knit a bundle of them. Most went to the Project's drive. One set was put aside. Next door, in late September, a grandchild was due.

"I can't wait for Halloween," Amanda told me when she unwrapped the gift. "I can't wait for Will to wear his pumpkin hat." That Halloween, baby Will in his orange hat and booties was my treat.

This July, Will got a new cousin, Ruby. I had forgotten about the pumpkin hat and right before her baby shower, wondering what to knit her, I asked my neighbor, the grandmother, if Ruby’s mom Emily might like a sweater, or a blanket. No, I was told. All Emily wanted was a pumpkin hat just like Wills.

Pumpkin hats and matching booties. Knit at 4 stitches to an inch. Size 8 needles. A welcomed gift. Make extras in different sizes to donate to The Preemie Project, Care Wear, or your local neonatal center or use the Lion Brand Charity Connection to find another local charity.

Related links:

Pumpkin hats are great in Vanna's Choice as called for in the original pattern. For summer and fall babies, I knit mine in 0-6 months. Below are other medium weight yarns that you might like to try; be sure to check your gauge:

Helpful hints from Pumpkin Hat knitters' reviews on

"Slight addition to pattern directions: make 6 leaves, not just 2. Thereby you have 2 leaves for hat, and 2 leaves each for the booties. Used my imagination to attach leaves to booties with help from brown yarn!" - Judy Y.

"Just love this pattern. Made many hats and the local hospital is getting them for the babies. I just love babies. I also took the pattern and change it a little. The bottom ribbed section I made white, the center section all knit rows, I made red. Did not put on a stem but added a white pom-pom. JUST LIKE SANTA. how good is that!!" - Marilyn K.

"I just made two pumpkin hats. One size 0-6 mos. and the other size 12-18 mos. They turned out great and looked like the photo. Cast on a single knitting needle and then transferred stitches to a circular needle. Used the Clover bamboo circular needles. On the 11th round, transferred all my stitches onto double pointed needles to finish the hat." - Carol K. 

Authored by

Michelle Edwards is the author/illustrator of A KNITTER'S HOME COMPANION and many award-winning children's books including CHICKEN MAN and STINKY STERN FOREVER. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys talking about books in schools throughout the US and beyond. Her newest book, Room for the Baby, will be available from Random House in Fall 2012. Visit Michelle Edwards at her website or on Facebook.
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