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My girls are total opposites. One’s serious, the other silly. One colors in the lines, the other colors on her belly.

The one thing they agree on is how to wear their hair. And with the five and under crowd, pigtails are in.

To keep their hair looking neat in the winter I designed this lace hat with openings for the pigtails.

The lace is a simple 5-stitch pattern with a four row repeat. It is super stretchy and fits all sizes from a toddler to an adult. It makes a good first lace pattern, and can be knit up in a few evenings as a last minute gift.

model: Mattie and Lilah photos: Chris Dovi

One size will fit just about anyone, from toddler to adult.

Circumference: 15 inches; will stretch to 22 inches
Length: 7.5 inches


Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK [100% Superwash Merino Wool; 130 yd/119m per 50g ball]; Color: #747 Bloom; 1 ball

1 set US #2/2.75mm double-point needles
Split ring marker or safety pin
5 stitch markers
Smooth waste yarn in a contrasting color

30 stitches/40 rows = 4 inches in Lace Rib pattern

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

1x1 Rib (Worked in the round over an even number of sts):
Round 1: [K1, p1] to end.
Repeat this round for 1x1 Rib.

Lace Rib (Work in the round over a multiple of 5 sts):
Round 1: [P2, k2tog, yo, k1] to end.
Rounds 2 & 4: [P2, k3] to end.
Round 3: [P2, k1, yo, ssk] to end.
Repeat Rounds 1-4 for Lace Rib.

Place Hole: Work in patt to desired location of hole, k next 10 sts using waste yarn, turn work, [sl 1, p8, sl 1] using waste yarn, break waste yarn, turn work; work 10 sts in pattern using working yarn, proceed as directed.


CO 120 sts. Distribute sts evenly between needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist. After a few rounds have been worked, place split ring marker or safey pin in work to indicate beginning of round.

Work 6 rounds in 1x1 Rib.

Work Rounds 1-4 of Lace Rib 6 times.

Place Holes:
Next Round (Round 1 of Lace Rib): Work 25 sts in patt, place hole, work 50 sts in patt, place hole, work remaining 25 sts in patt.

Note: If you wish to work only one hole, work 55 sts in patt before placing hole.

Work 3 rounds in patt.

Shape Crown
Set-up Round (Round 1 of Lace Rib): [Work 20 sts in patt, place st marker] 5 times, work remaining 20 sts in patt.

Decrease Round: [P2tog, work to marker in patt as set] 6 times. 6 sts decreased.
Next Round
: Work all sts in patt as set. If there are not enough sts in a rib to work the lace pattern, work these sts in stockinette st instead.
Repeat these 2 rounds 18 times more. 6 sts remain.

Break yarn, draw through remaining sts and pull tight. Weave in yarn end securely.

Pigtail Holes
Pick up all sts around pigtail holes (see photo at right). 20 sts. Carefully remove waste yarn.

Distribute sts between needles and join working yarn.

Work 2 rounds in 1x1 Rib. BO all sts.

Repeat for other hole.


Weave in ends.


Becca was seven when her family moved to Heidelberg, Germany for a year. It was cold. There was no yard. Thankfully her Grandmother figured a second grader stuck inside a lot could use something to do. So when her Grandmother came to visit she brought yarn, a how-to book and needles. Becca’s hands have been busy ever since.
Now she teaches computer science in a public high school, and when she’s not typing code, she’s knitting. She blogs here.