I’m a Craft Junkie: Knitting the Baa-ble hat

I have always been a crafter, and I attribute that back to my grandmother, Ola Askew McKinley. Her passions were sewing, quilting and crocheting; I wonder why she never knitted? My mom tells me that although my grandmother couldn’t follow a written pattern,  she only needed to see the item and she could duplicate it. I have many of her artistic accomplishments which I will be featuring in my Heirloom posts – so stay tuned for them.

I don’t remember when I first began knitting, but my mom says she taught me; I have no memory of it though. I might have had lessons early on, but I believe I probably picked it up more from my mother-in-law as she was an accomplished knitter. I recently fell in love with the Baa-ble sheep hat that has been in popular demand on the Internet since last August when it previewed. The free pattern, crafted by Donna Smith, can be found on the website of Shetland Wools. While their original pattern calls for Aran weight yarn, I used worsted weight; many have said their hat comes large with the original pattern and Aran yarn.

The best model you could ask for – she stays still and always willing to model a hat! This is my baby doll by Madame Alexander. She’s been with me for a long time and is coming in quite useful now in modeling my hats.

From the first moment I saw the Baa-ble hat on my knitting Facebook group, I knew I wanted to make it. I had much hesitation at first, as I had never knitted from a graph and carried more than one yarn at a time, but I kept reading the directions and finally decided I would try and just take one row at a time. Before I knew it, I had made one hat and have almost finished my eighth one. I’m sure I drove everyone crazy on Facebook posting all my hats! I have been bombarded with requests to make hats, but sorry to say I’m not taking any orders, but I will teach you how to knit! I have lots of projects on my list that have been waiting for me to stop making Baa-ble hats!

Work in progress – it was exciting to first see the sheep’s feet come into view and then came the sheep. It’s such a cute and addicting pattern!

The original pattern was written only for an adult, but after reading through the many posts and websites, I soon discovered another blog post by Susan B. Anderson, who adapted the Baa-ble hat to better fit an adult. I changed it somewhat with needle sizes to fit my granddaughters from ages two through five.

My needles were off and running…

A few of my hats!

I followed the page directions of Susan but made changes of using circular needles 5 and 6 on the hats for the young girls and only size 6 for the older girl. Susan had suggested to cast on 90 stitches, which I did and worked the brim of knit 2, purl 2 for 23-24 rows; judge the child as to size of brim. After brim made, I followed the graph pattern all the way to after decrease 8 row. After that row…. Knit all around next row, then next row was knit 1, Knit 2 tog; next row Knit all around; next row Knit 2 together all around. You can add one more knit row or bind off at this point by cutting your yarn, leaving a long tail, and binding off by threading the yarn through a tapestry needle and pulling yarn through. Secure the top and bury all stitches. Make a pom-pom and your finished! For an adult hat, I used a size 7 needle for complete hat and worked all the rows in the graph – it seemed to be perfect for an adult – fitting me and my daughter perfect! If you feel you need a larger hat, then you might want to follow the original pattern as you’ll end up with 120 stitches instead of the 90 I used. (FYI – Read through Susan’s directions  good as she tells you to cast on 88 stitches for the brim, then add 2 more to make 90 when starting graph.

Susan suggested casting on 60 stitches for a baby, which sounds good, not sure what needles I’d use; I just might have to make another one to make a cute baby hat.

Actually my first hat I knitted, using the graph, was made by using two patterns; the second one was to add the ear flap. After a quick practice on making the ear flap, I managed to understand the pattern and knitted the hat, but it turned out too small for my almost two-year old granddaughter. It was awfully cute with the fuzzy sheep I added using Bernat’s brand of Pipsqueak yarn. Although I did like it, I didn’t feel the sheep had enough definition and it was tricky to knit – very slow going. But feel free to make one – a little one would probably love the fuzzy feel of the sheep on their hat. Looking at it again, makes me want to make a bigger ear flap hat, and with the fuzzy sheep. I can feel my needles clicking already!!!


My first “fuzzy sheep” hat using two patterns, the ear flap hat I used in combination with the Baa-ble hat was the “Garter Ear Flap Hat” and is a free pattern on Ravelry.

I had never carried yarn before working in more than one color and watched a few video’s on You Tube and found them very helpful. I also suggest watching a video on maintaining tensions on the “floats” behind your work. Floats are the long strands of yarn you carry as your colors change around the rows. You must keep them loose or your work will pucker, be too tight, and have no stretch. I only had to watch one video to understand, so I strongly suggest to do so and work loosely.

Here is my Baa-ble hat in all grey’s for my daughter – and awaiting a Pom-Pom. I turned it inside out so you could see the floats carried in the back. Remember, keep a loose tension as you work!

And my final hat No. 8, goes to my daughter-in-law in shades of purple…


I hope, if you’ve taken the time to read my post, that I have encouraged you to make a Ba-ble hat! Feel free to message me with any questions. I would love to see your creation when finished!!!

Special thanks to my grandmother Ola Askew McKinley and my mom Helen for passing their crafty genes down to me!!!


Like to read more… click… I’m a Craft Junkie!

© 2016@copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved



About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Craft Junkie. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to I’m a Craft Junkie: Knitting the Baa-ble hat

  1. Evelyn Smallwood Smith says:

    I have to admit that you are very crafty, Cousin. Your hats look really nice and I’m sure all the recipients will enjoy them.
    Although my grandmother, Grace McKinley and my mother, Margret McKinley crocheted, I never picked that up. I did learn my sewing skills from them both, as well as my cooking but nothing outside what is needed. I can and have crocheted but just never took to it.
    I don’t remember my grandmother ever doing crafts. She crocheted the dresser scarves and pillow covers and such but nothing on a large scale.
    Mother did the same but she also was pretty crafty with her sewing. She made stuffed cats, sock worms, baby doll clothes, among so many other things. I must see if I can find some pictures of her things. Mother really was very talented. She made things for all our children.
    I picked up the love of reading and found the genealogy itch within myself but not the desire to craft. Mother’s craftiness did not stop with the sewing machine or crochet needles. Funny thing is some of her talents were organizational but she wasn’t too organized in later years. Mother would fold extension cords and put them in a paper towel tube, clean baby jars, so she could use them for storage by attaching the lids under a shelf.
    Yes, Mother was very talented, crafty and clever. Not me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love crafts and creating things. I got a maternal and paternal dose of the crafty gene. These are beautiful. I don’t knit, but any homemade gift shows effort, love and time. I love the sheep.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Natalie says:

    I’m right there with you. I’ve made it 4 times and am on my fifth now. I have orders for 5 more, a family. Can’t wait to see how they all turn out. I’ll use smaller needles and yarn for the children’s sizes. Love your use of a dark and light shade of the same color.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bobbie Squires says:

    I can’t find pattern for knitted sheep hat can you tell me where it is

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol says:

    Did you have a special worsted weight yarn that you liked to work with best? Your hats are beautiful!


  6. Carol jeffries says:

    Love your hats! What worsted weight yarn did you use?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carol says:

    Jeanne thank you! Love all of your hats! I made a baa ble hat from the wool ease yarn but I wanted to try it made of worsted weight! I’m excited to try another one! I need to work on the tension when knitting mine is just a little tight tension in color change! Thank you so much for your time and help!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These are beautiful! You did such a great job. I LOVE the fuzzy sheep with the earflaps *gush* Thanks for the link. I’ve been trying to figure out the earflaps (and i mean JUST the earlaps) and my brain is starting to hurt. Kudos for understanding that crazy pattern and making something beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank You for finding my blog post. I’m sure it made my brain hurt. Sometimes putting it down for a day… or two helps the brain to clear. I’m sure I watched a video too. Funny thing, after I made it, it didn’t fit granddaughter – too small – so it still sits on my doll! She wears it well. I should have given it to a cousins baby recently but it was packed away! Just found it tonight in looking for my directions for the sheep hat I made 9 of!!! I recently saw another hat like it with panda faces but I want to adapt it to another graph with elephants. I’m sure my brain will hurt on this! I hope you keep trying and make the ear flap hat or the other sheep hat. It was my first time knitting fairaisle knitting! Lmk how it goes for you!


  9. BookerTalk says:

    I love your hats! Am deeply impressed by how neatly you have carried the yarn over when switching colours. Makes my attempts look very very amateurish!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. FranKitto says:

    Jeanne, Thanks for visiting my TravelGenee blog. I have to admit I have not written much since full-time work and Caloundra Family History volunteering takes up most of my time. Anyway, it is this old craft post that attracted my attention. Nothing like making something. It is so sad that many crafting skills are not being passed on. It’s too hot for a woolly hat, though the sheep make a kiwi smile.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.