Arts & Culture, Open Mic, Spotlight

How to Knit a “Messy Bun Hat!”

With this written tutorial, I am going to tell you how to knit your very own “Messy Bun Hat!” Accompanying this written tutorial, I have linked a video that better illustrates the steps described below–for those visual learners. I hope that this article is helpful for those learning to knit and even those experienced knitters!

To knit this hat, you will need:

*Yarn in a bulky weight, such as a grade 5 or 6. I am using Lion Brand Homespun Yarn.

*Straight knitting needles size 13 U.S (9.0 mm)


*Yarn/Tapestry needle

*Tape Measure

For this hat, you can use any stitch you would like. However, for this hat, I prefer the “2×2 Rib Stitch” and “Stockinette Stitch.” But if you are new to knitting, the garter stitch looks good too!



CO = Cast On

K = Knit stitch

P = Purl stitch

K2Tog = Knit two stitches together (to decrease)

BO = Bind Off

** = Repeat pattern between asterisks


Now we can finally begin our pattern!

STEP ONE – Casting on!

To start our hat, we cast on 52 stitches. Before you begin to cast-off though, you do a slipknot to attach your yarn to the needle.

To do a slipknot, make a loop in your yarn, then pick up your loop with your fingers and place it over the end of the yarn still attached to your yarn package. Pull up that bar of yarn that is in the middle of your loop, then just place it on your needle and pull the working end of your yarn to tighten it. After you’ve made your slip-knot, you can begin with the basic knitted cast-on, which is what I prefer. But, if you know how to do the Cable Cast-On Method or the Long Tail Cast-On Method, go ahead and use whichever you’d prefer!

STEP TWO – Knitting our hat brim!

Next, we are going to knit a “2×2 Rib Stitch” pattern for the brim of our hat.*

Rows 1-4: *K2, P2* Repeat pattern between the asterisks on all 4 rows.

*If you do not know how to knit the “2×2 Rib Stitch,” it is just knitting two stitches, then bringing our yarn to the front of the needle to purl two stitches, and you do that all the way down the row.

STEP THREE – Knitting the length of your hat!

Knit your hat the length you want! An adult’s hat fits best at 8.5 inches long. You can also knit this hat for a child, but I would recommend measuring their head to find the appropriate length.

STEP FOUR – Decrease the top of the hat!

We have almost completed our hat! But first, we have to decrease–but the best part is, there is only one decrease row! That’s one cool thing about this hat.

All you do to decrease is K2Tog all the way down the row. Since we cast-on 52 stitches, we now have 26.

STEP FIVE – Binding off!

Finally, we have completed the body of our hat. Now, all we have left to do is bind-off and sew it together!

You can use the typical bind-off, but for this hat, I prefer the “Stretchy Bind-Off,” because it has a bit more give when pulling my hair through the top. My video better defines the “Stretchy Bind-Off.”

STEP SIX – Sew edges together!

Now, we only one more step until we can wear our messy bun hats, and that one more step is to sew our edges together! Now, you can use any stitch, like the Mattress Stitch. However, I prefer to sew mine up with my needle and remaining yarn.

And you are DONE! I hope you enjoy your custom, beautifully hand-knit “Messy Bun Hat.”

And get creative with yarns and patterns! You can do stripes or anything you wish. Just have fun with it!



*For the hat shown above, I used Buttercream Brand Unicorn Boucle Yarn, with straight knitting needles size U.S 13.







About the Knitter:

Name: Emma Schilling

Age: 12, almost 13


How many years have you been apart of TPS?

This is my first year on TPS. I am loving it so far!


What classes are you taking with TPS this year?

I am taking one class, MA6 #1 with Mrs. Hudson.


What are a few of your hobbies?

I love baking, knitting, reading, playing with my cat, Tasha, and writing.


How did you hear about Clay Magazine?

I first found Clay Magazine when I was searching the website while waiting for class.


  1. Wow! looks amazing! I would try, but I’m hopeless at anything crafty. XD looks super fun though!

    • Thanks for such a nice comment, Katie!
      You should totally try this pattern. I made it so it would be easy for everyone (even people who are new to knitting) to make their very own hat! I think it would turn out beautifully for you 🙂

  2. I’ve tried to knit before… too hard for me lol.

  3. Wow, it looks great! Like a shortened scarf or a wide headband. Also, it would be pretty cool for Halloween, as part of a bunny costume, perhaps.
    I used to knit a lot too and always found knitting in a round more challenging, so I love that this hat is knitted flat.

    • Thank you for your comment, Rachel! I totally agree-it would be cool for a costume!
      I’m so glad you love that this hat is knitted flat, too-that’s one of the reasons why I chose to write about this hat! I wanted to write a pattern that would be easy for all knitters:)