When you are learning how to knit, small projects are a good way to gain experience as a knitter. One of my favorite small projects include knitting baby bonnets and hats.
Bonnets and hats usually involve some shaping, so I would not recommend either as a project for a first time knitter.
Comparatively though, the shaping is relatively easy and once you have mastered the knitting basics like casting on and off and how to do knit and purl stitches, simple bonnets and hats can be attempted.
I personally love the look of a fancy bonnet on a new born, but you don't see them all that often these days.
Baby bonnets and hats serve a practical purpose. Very small babies are not yet able to regulate their own temperature, and hats and bonnets help them to maintain their body heat.
Most young mums seem to prefer store bought hats made out of knitted fabric. But really, nothing beats a beautiful bonnet made by a loving relative!
The shaping is relatively easy and involves knitting two or three stitches together five or six times across across the work.
When the seam of the crown is stitched together, the shaping creates a circle at the back of the bonnet.
Baby hats can be made in all shapes and sizes!
Probably the easiest type of hat you can make is a beanie.
This type of hat is basically a tube of knitting that is gartered or drawn together to form the top, they are also often finished off with a bobble or a pompom.
Most patterns begin with a basic rib for the bottom of the hat, either a 1x1 or 2x2 rib around 20 to 30 rows long so that it can be folded over. The body of the hat can either be plain stocking stitch, a continuation of the rib (but on bigger needles) or a fancy pattern stitch.
In fact, your choices can be unlimited!
As with my hand knitted baby booties, I tend to use the same basic pattern for any baby bonnets or hats I make, varying the knitting stitch patterns that I use. No two hats or bonnets are ever the same, as I am not a big fan of doing the same pattern twice!
If you would like a copy of the patterns and to see some examples of what you can do to change or modify it to create unique bonnets or hats for the baby in your life, it might be worth stopping by this page.