how to knit a tiny gnome hat

23 November, 2011 · ,

This is actually take-two of a tutorial I put up last year. I wanted to re-do it because such a lot of people seem to look at it and I don’t think my first try at pictures and instructions really did justice to how quick, easy and satisfying (or how squeal-inducingly sweet) these tiny gnome accessories are.To knit a gnome hat like this…

…all you need to do is cast on twelve stitches. Then do four rows of stockinette stitch (stockinette stitch is where you knit a row, then purl a row, and the nice thing about it is that it tends to curl up at the bottom).

After the four complete rows are finished, keep going with the stockinette stitch but begin the next row by knitting two stitches together (that is, you know how with normal knitting you put the needle through just one stitch? Put it through two instead.) End the row in the same way.

Keep going, knitting two stitches together at the beginning and end of each knitted row (and do the the purl rows all the way through without reducing) until there is only one stitch left on your needle. Make sure you cut a nice long tail and thread it through the final stitch.

Then you can tuck in the loose end, fold your triangle of knitting in half and sew the two edges together using the tail you left nice and long…

and you’re done! Here’s how it fits on a peg…

Here it is on one of the little wooden doll bases of the sort you find in Steiner/Waldorf shops…

The hats are also a perfect fit for these Steiner-inspired pocket dolls.

If you would like to see some dolls I have made wearing these hats you can look here and here. If you would like to see a slightly bigger version, made exactly the same way but beginning with eighteen stitches instead of twelve you can look here, here and here.

And of course if you make a gnome hat and send me a picture or a link to a post about it, you will absolutely make my day!


  1. Lois Wadelton-Blackie Anna you are a legend yet again. Love it. My Gran was also a legend with all things clever and crafty. She was awesome at crochet. All three sisters had barbie dolls in the 60's and she made them bags, hats ,coats all crochet. She used the very very finest size needle and it was close to lace in result. Amazing stuff. If only I could find them. I have however still got her crochet bells in gold thread with a single red bead inside. They come out every Xmas and hang on our tree. Can you see this hat doing the same thing??? I can.xxxx
    December 8, 2010 at 11:03 am ·
  2. Emily So cute! Also, you give directions very clearly, I'm awed - and inspired. Haven't knitted for years, but I'm tempted by this. I'm sure I still have needles and wool somewhere ...
    December 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm ·
  3. anna Heehee Lois, thank you! I love your gran's work and I'm not always a fan of crochet. I think it had a lot to do with her colours - those beautiful mossy autumny tones in the blanket you have. I look forward to my annual viewing of your tree and shall pay special attention to your crochet bells this year! And Emily, thank you too :). It would be lovely to think you were encouraged to take up your needles again! Its such a lovely way to take time out at a crazily busy time of year.
    December 10, 2010 at 5:49 am ·
  4. Sharon Love it.
    December 12, 2010 at 11:35 am · Reply
  5. Sara Thanks for this sweet pattern. I have the little wooden peg dolls and this will be perfect for them. I am a fan of Steiner Aesthetics as well.
    December 13, 2010 at 6:23 am · Reply
  6. Honey AHHH!!! Finally someone understands my what? to the K5,P3 and gives me a knitted hat! It's adorable! Retweeting and following you! Honey When Mon(tessori) (Wal)dorf (and Attach)ment Parenting meet in our home
    December 13, 2010 at 8:07 am ·
  7. Honey's your follow or RSS feed signup? Honey
    December 13, 2010 at 8:08 am ·
  8. anna I've posted about this and sent you an email. Thank you so much for the idea Honey!
    December 16, 2010 at 11:19 am ·
  9. Jackie Allen Where do you buy the little doll bodies that the knitted cap is on?
    December 27, 2010 at 8:32 am ·
  10. anna Hi Jackie - I buy mine from a shop that is local to me, the friendship tree, but you should be able to find them in any steiner/waldorf supplies shop.
    December 27, 2010 at 8:44 am ·
  11. April What a great tutorial, I will have to show this to my daughter who loves knitting and is just starting to learn to knit very tiny items with double point needles. I think she would love this, and they would be perfect for our little gnomes and fairies! Thanks!!
    November 24, 2011 at 6:57 am ·
  12. brigit omigosh so cute
    November 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm ·
  13. Angela Beck I'm all ready to cast on, but was wondering what size needles and yarn you used? They are darling, and I'm sure I'll find something to fit just about any size I make. Hats for dolls...kittens, zombies?
    September 11, 2012 at 8:51 am ·
  14. anna Oh dear Angela, I'm afraid I don't know what size the yarn is as I almost always buy mine from secondhand shops where people leave their left overs, since I only need quite small bits. But the needles I used for these were 3.0. Sorry not to be more help! And oh I would love to see your hat on a kitten or a zombie...or perhaps a kitten-zombie...
    September 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm ·
  15. Emily Anna, Thanks so much for this! We made them today. I modified the hat pattern for the head size we used (1"). I also did mine on DPNs so I wouldn't have the seam. I wrote what I did on my blog. Let me know if that's not ok with you - I just want to have the pattern saved for next time as I definitely want to make some of these for gifts!
    January 2, 2013 at 8:20 am ·
  16. anna It's a big pleasure Emily, especially now that I've hopped over to your site and seen your beautiful pocket doll creations! Thank you very much for the link back, it's very much appreciated. I look forward to seeing what else you and your ducklings create! x
    January 2, 2013 at 8:28 am ·
  17. ariane Hello! My daughter (whos on the last book) wanted to learn more about you, so I told her to look you up on the internet. She did, read this post, and said "oh my gosh, she's (you) are the mother from the story....the mother knits too". So neat to see her make that connection! Thought i'd share.
    October 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm ·
  18. cathy Hi Anna. These hats are adorable. Just inquiring the size needles you used? Thanks
    November 25, 2013 at 7:03 am ·
  19. anna Thanks Cathy! The needles are 3.0mm.
    November 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm ·
  20. Ann Hi, I'm so glad I found your post on the little hats. I can't wait to try to make one. But I'm wondering, if I wanted to make the hat a little bit taller and be able to curl it, would you know how I could do that? I'm not the best knitter, just really learning for the past 2 years, and I'm really very ready to move on from dishcloths. Thank you so much for the pattern you provide and giving me the inspiration to move on to other knitting. Ann
    November 29, 2013 at 2:43 am ·
  21. anna Hi Ann, I'm so glad you've found the pattern useful! I think it will take a bit of experimenting to get the hat the length you want, but it should be very easy to make it longer just by adding rows. Instead of reducing every knit row, you could try reducing every second knit row. (Or if that makes the hat too long, you could just do that for a middle section and then start reducing every knit row as you get closer to the point.) Good luck with your knitting and thanks for being in touch! Anna
    November 29, 2013 at 8:47 am ·
  22. Ann Dear Anna, Thank you so much for writing me back. I will definitely try to do what you suggest. Either way, I'm just so glad I found your pattern. Thank you for being so kind! Ann
    December 1, 2013 at 1:16 am ·
  23. Virginia Hi Anna, Do you have a pattern for a corresponding sized outfit for a peg doll gnome (the same size to match the hat, and how to put it on a peg doll gnome? THANKYOU! Virginia
    March 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm ·
  24. anna I've never created a proper pattern, no. But it's a wonderful idea! I hope to get onto it soon. Thank you for such a good suggestion :).
    March 2, 2014 at 7:41 am ·
  25. Yomara What size needles did you use?
    September 2, 2016 at 11:07 am ·