Cascade Hat Free Knitting Pattern

cascade-3Ruffle stitch adapted from 450 Knitting Stitches РVolume 2 (Harmony Guides),Copyright © Collins and Brown, 1998, Lacy Bubbles stitch. This book is out of print, but there are other books in the series, including 440 More Knitting Stitches: Volume 3 (The Harmony Guides)

This is one of my favorite stitches because it is has such a fun, lighthearted pattern. It was a challenge, however, to adapt the look to a circular hat pattern from a straight needle pattern. I discovered the trick was to work from the wrong side for the ruffle and then turn the work over to complete the hat from the right side.


Yarn: 3 oz, 150 yards worsted weight. The example was done with Bernat Cottontots yarn. This is a soft cotton yarn that is perfect for a summer sun hat.

Circular Needles, Size 9 US (5.5 mm), 16″ long. I recommend 16″ Addi Turbo Circular Knitting Needles (the best!) or TAKUMI VELVET CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLES 16-SIZE 9 (bamboo works well with cotton yarn)

Double pointed needles, size 9 US, 5.5 mm. I recommend 7 Inch Clover Takumi Bamboo Premium Double Point Knitting Needles

Stitch markers. I prefer flat, soft stitch markers like Soft Stitch Ring Markers – 30/Pkg because they don’t break or get tangled up in the yarn.

Gauge: 4 st per in (stockinette)

For different gauges, increase or decrease in multiples of six for ruffle pattern. You will need to adjust the hat decrease for your total number of stitches.



  • Ruffle is worked from the wrong side. When ruffle is complete, turn work and knit from right side.
  • Keep the tension LOOSE but consistent because you are going to have to purl 5 stitches together.

Cast on 163 stitches. I recommend putting stitch markers every 18 stitches to help keep track of the pattern.

Round 1: Slip first stitch. Knit to last stitch. Knit last stitch with slipped first stitch, being careful not to twist the row. This will close the round and decrease one stitch. 162 st. Place marker.

Rounds 2-3: Knit.

Round 4: *p5tog, (k1 p1 k1 p1 k1) into next st, rep from *

Round 5: Knit.

Round 6: * (k1 p1 k1 p1 k1) into next st , p5tog, rep from *

Rounds 7-11: Knit.

Round 12: *p5tog, (k1 p1 k1 p1 k1) into next st, rep from *

Round 13 (decrease to end ruffle): k2tog to last st, sl last st. 81 st.

Hat body:

cascade-1Turn piece to right side. (You can also continue to work wrong side with purl stitches but it is not as fast.)

Round 1: Slip stitch you just slipped at end of ruffle. Knit back over round just completed until last stitch. Knit last stitch with slipped stitch to close up hole caused by the switch in sides.

Knit until hat measures 6-7″ from the cast on edge.

I suggest moving the stitch markers to every 10 stitches. This will help you track the decreases later.


Switch to double pointed needles. I just knit off an equal number of stitches on to the double pointed neeedles on the first decrease round.

Round 1: (k8, k2tog) around. 72 st.
Round 2 and all even rows: Knit.
Round 3: (k7, k2tog) around. 64 st.
Round 5: (k6, k2tog) around. 56 st.
Round 7: (k5, k2tog) around. 48 st.
Round 9: (k4, k2tog) around. 40 st.
Round 11: (k3, k2tog) around. 32 st.
Round 13: (k2, k2tog) around. 24 st.
Round 15: (k1, k2tog) around. 16 st.
Round 17: k2 tog around. 8 st.


Cut the yarn leaving about 6″ tail. Using a tapestry needle, thread the tail through the remaining stitches. Pull stitches together tightly. Thread tail through hole in crown. Draw crown closed securely by pulling tail. Weave the tail and all other ends through stitches on wrong side.

Finished measurements: Hat body about 20″ in circumference. 8-9″ from ruffle to crown.

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