Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


I Crocodile is a slouchy hat inspired by Fred Marcellino’s “I, Crocodile”, a popular book with my children. The vibrant, scale-like watercolor image inside the back cover instantly brought to mind the colors of NORO yarn and this hat pattern was soon to follow.

The hat is worked top-down and stranded in a worsted weight, so it knits up quickly. The colorwork doesn’t follow the rules, but the wonkiness that results only adds to the character of the hat. The wearer is definitely in for a good time! The brim is unusual, with its use of seed stitch. Included in the pattern is both an adult’s size and a child’s size, each showing off the unique NORO vibrance.

This pattern makes for a wonderful introduction to self-striping yarn. Even better, it’s a great way to use up that stash of leftover NORO. 

spacer models: Helen Rose, Ava
spacer photos: Helen Rose, Bruce Rose, Jenn Stratton


Child [Adult]

Circumference: 18[20] inches
Height: 8[9.5] inches
Note: Measurements taken after blocking.



Child's Hat
spacer [MC] Ella Rae Classic Heather [100% wool; 219yd/201m per 100g skein]; color: #124 Toast Heather; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Noro Taiyo [40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool, 15% nylon; 220yd/201m per 100g skein]; color: #11; 1 skein
Note: 1 skein of CC was sufficient to do both child's and adult's hats.

Adult's Hat
spacer [MC] Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair [30% mohair, 70% wool; 140yd/128m per 57g skein]; color: Day Lily; 1 skein
spacer [CC] Noro Taiyo [40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool, 15% nylon; 220yd/201m per 100g skein]; color: #11; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set US #9/5.5 mm double-point needles
spacer 16-inch US #9/5.5 mm circular needle
spacer 16-inch US #7/4.5 mm circular needle

spacer Stitch marker
spacer Yarn needle

18 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette st using larger needles, after blocking

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Seed Stitch
(Worked in the round over an odd number of sts):
Round 1: [K1, p1] to last st, k1.
Round 2: [P1, k1] to last st, p1.
Repeat these 2 rounds for Seed Stitch.

Seed Stitch Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 10 sts):
Round 1: [P1, k1, p1, k1, k6] to end of round.
Round 2: [K1, p1, k1, p1, k6] to end of round.
Repeat these 2 rounds for Seed Stitch Rib.



Using smaller circular needle and MC, CO 72[91] sts. Position work so that beginning of CO edge is at left needle tip, and end of CO edge is at right needle tip. Ensuring that CO edge is not twisted, slip last CO st to left needle tip, and knit it together with first CO st to join round. 71[90] sts. Place marker to indicate begining of round.

Child's Hat Only:
Work 3 rounds Seed Stitch, decreasing 1 st at end of last round. 70 sts.

All Sizes:
Work in Seed Stitch Rib until work measures 1[1.5] inches.

Switching to larger circular needle, shape hat body as follows:
Next Round: *K3[4], kfb, k2[3], kfb; repeat from * nine times more. 90[110] sts.

Work all rounds of Hat Body Chart; 10 sts of chart pattern will be worked 9[11] times in each round.

Switching to double-point needles, work all rounds of Crown Shaping Chart. 9[11] sts remain.

Adult's Hat Only:
Next Round: [K2tog] five times, k1. 6 sts remain.

All Sizes:
Break both strands of yarn. Draw CC yarn tail through remaining sts and pull tight.


Weave in ends and block as desired.


designernamespacer Helen Rose is a pediatrician, wife, and mother of four who lives in New Jersey. For the past nine years, she has been knitting garments for her children. She expanded her focus to include knitted hats a few years ago. Now that every known relative owns a hand knitted hat, Helen recently decided to turn her attention to design. She has catalogued innumerable  design ideas over the years and has finally launched her own knitting brand, NEED, as a platform to develop them. NEED focuses on what Helen knows best;  children's apparel, baby garments, and hats.

When Helen is not working, caring for her children, or knitting, she is usually

Her patterns are available at NEED on Ravelry and in her Etsy store, NEEDdesign. She blogs about yarn, her kids, yarn, and life here.