Does knitting a hat sound daunting?  Normally it would have to us too… but not anymore!  I don’t really know how to knit, but I have tried to teach myself at times and to teach my children.  We have never gotten too far and have a number of half-knit projects in our knitting supply bin.

I was so delighted, though, this past month when my 7 year old daughter picked up a round knitting loom that we had in our bin and said she wanted to knit something.  I happened to have the time to sit down with her and start knitting.  She caught on really fast!  It is so much easier than a pair of knitting needles!   

The knitting looms (24 peg or 12 peg) we used came with directions.  However, we found this tutorial from The Sweetest Journey to be very helpful to get started.  We found chunky yarn worked well for this project and makes a nice cozy hat.

american girl doll knit hat

In this post we have measurement suggestions for you to make a baby doll hat and a hat for an American Girl size doll (or a larger baby doll).  We have found that for younger children, or children with limited patience, starting with the smaller 12 peg loom project is better (it takes quite a bit less time, and children can quickly have the joy of completing a project!).  We used a 12 peg loom for the hat that this sweet little baby doll is wearing.

baby doll with knit hat

To determine which loom size to use, you can measure the circumference of your doll’s head.

measurement for american girl doll hat

For an American Girl doll size (13 inch head circumference), we found a 24 peg round loom works well.

baby doll head measurement

For a baby doll with a small head (10 inch circumference), we found a 12 peg loom works well.

24 peg loom 12 peg loom doll hat

This photo shows a 24 peg loom for American Girl doll size hat, and a 12 peg loom for small baby doll size hat.

hat finish measure

After knitting a number of rows, you can periodically check the length of your knitting. Before taking the knitting off the loom, it should be 5 to 6 inches in length for American Girl doll size (or about 4 to 5 inches in length for small baby doll size). If you want to be able to roll the hat up at the bottom, choose the longer measurements (we chose the shorter measurements for the hats pictured here). Be sure to follow the directions in the tutorial suggested above on how to remove the knitting from the loom and secure the top of the hat.

We suggest the following loom options (these also come with a knitting tool for taking the yarn over the pegs and a large yarn needle for finishing the hat):

We think chunky yarn is nice for these hats.  We used Bernat Softee Chunky for the hats pictured here.  It comes in a nice variety of colors.

We found the tutorial at The Sweetest Journey to clearly show how to make a hat.  You can find that tutorial by clicking here.

You will also need a pair of scissors to complete this project.

We’ve become big fans of Lita Judge books ever since taking a writers workshop class she led through Read Aloud Revival.  We love how she described that writing and reading did not come easily to her as a child, but that did not stop her from becoming a great author and illustrator!  When we read Red Hat the other day, we could not resist adding it to our doll hat knitting post.  

Red Hat is probably even more meaningful and fun to read if read after reading Red Sled.  It seems to take place in the spring, following the winter of Red Sled.
Both of these books are great for young children and/or children who may struggle to read.  There are very few words, and a lot of room for imagination!  Our 7 year old daughter even found a sweet lesson in the book:  Don’t get discouraged if something upsetting happens, you can probably fix the problem and make things better.

Wishing you and your children a peaceful knitting time together!  Enjoy!

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