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Rainbow Square Hat

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Free Knitting Pattern

I love square hats. They are easy to knit up (no decreasing) and the square shape gives a fun floppy ear detail that you can weigh down with pompoms or tassels. I use this shape for my fox and owl (pattern coming soon) hats as well.

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For the rainbow version I used Cascade 220 worsted weight wool. This yarn knits up great, it is a soft and sturdy highland wool with nice stitch definition that softens up even more after washing, also, there are so many awesome colours. I chose colours that I had in my stash when designing this hat but I think if I had some regal purple on hand I would have replaced the eggplant to make the purple stripe a little more bold. All of the colours I used are listed below. This pattern is written up in 6 sizes ranging from 0-6 months to Adult XL so you can make one for everyone in the family.

Not a knitter and just want the hat? You can find it in my Etsy Shop for a limited time

Variations Ideas

3 Colour Variation
Pastel Rainbow

These hats can be made in any colour combination you like. Knit them up in the rainbow version or pick 6 different colours in any order to make it an awesome stash busting beanie. You can make a two colour hat in your favourite team colours, just alternate the stripes. Or knit it up in red, green and white for the holidays. Make one for everyone in the family and use them for your Christmas photos. Instead of yarn pompoms, try some fun faux fur poms or handmade tassels.

For the pastel rainbow hat I used a mix of Cascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool that I had in my stash. For the 3 colour variation I made the rim and pompoms in one colour then alternated the strips with the other 2 colours.

Rainbow Square Hat Pattern


Cascade 220 solids highland wool (worsted weight 4-medium). Small amount of each colour. You can find this yarn at Love Crafts (see affiliate statement above)

  • C1: Eggplant
  • C2: Stratosphere Blue
  • C3: Chartreuse
  • C4: Golden Rod
  • C5: Burnt Orange
  • C6: Ruby

Needles and Tools

  • US8 (5.0 mm) 16″ Circular Needle
  • Stitch Marker
  • Darning Needle
  • Pompom maker (I use clover medium for the smallest size and large for all other sizes)


4″ = 18 stitches in stocking stitch using US8 (5 mm) needles


XXS (XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL)
Approximate circumference measurement:

  • XXS – Newborn 0-6 months: 14″ (36 cm)
  • XS – Baby 6-12 months: 16″ (41 cm)
  • Small – Toddler: 18″ (46.5 cm)
  • Medium – Kids Small/Medium: 20″ (51.5 cm)
  • Large – Kids Large, Adult Small/Medium: 22″ (56.5 cm)
  • XL – Adult Large/XL: 24″ (61.5cm)


Using C1 Cast On 52(60, 68, 76, 84, 92) with US 8 (5.0mm) circular needle

[K2, P2] repeat to end, place marker

Work in K2, P2 ribbing for a total of 7(8, 9, 10, 11, 12) rounds from cast on

Switch to C2 – knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds

Switch to C3 – knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds

Switch to C4 – knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds

Switch to C5 – knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds

Switch to C6 – knit 6 (7, 7, 8, 8, 9) rounds

Next Round: Knit 26 (30, 34, 38, 42, 46)

Turn and bind off these stitches, cut the yarn leaving a long tail for sewing the seam across the top later

Rejoin the yarn and knit the remaining 26 (30, 34, 38, 42, 46) stitches

Turn, bind off these stitches


Pompoms – make 2 in C6

Sew a seam across the top using the tail from your bind off.

Attach the pompoms at the top corners. When attaching close-up the small gap in the corners below the top seam. 

Wash and Block.

Wear and Enjoy.   

© 2021 Heather Pelletier – Handknit Hugs
Do not copy, re-distribute or sell this pattern either in whole or in part
You may sell products made from this pattern, credit would be appreciated

Celtic Braid Square Hat

If you like the look of the square hat but want something a little more challenging with a lot more texture try the Celtic Braid Square Hat by Handknit Hugs. You can find the pattern on Etsy or Ravelry.

Thanks so much for checking out this pattern, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I would love to see your yarn picks and finished hat. Share your project on Ravelry or post pics on Instagram and tag @handknithugs #rainbowsquarehat

Happy Knitting!