This cute and comfy crochet plaid hat has a bit of snark, as it reads “Not Knit”. This not knit crochet hat is dedicated to anyone who has ever been working on a crochet project and been asked, “what are you knitting?” This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support!  

snarky not knit crochet hat free crochet pattern with buffalo plaid accents

During the summer I published a snarky bag, called the Not Knit Tote, and I was wondering how well it would be received. It featured the phrase “It’s not Knit.” Before I published the bag, I wondered if I was the only one constantly correcting people on what craft I was using, or what kind of designs I create on my blog.

After I published the bag, I didn’t wonder anymore… I am NOT alone on this one. So as a follow-up to the bag, I decided to create this hat and add some plaid.

This hat is CROCHET.

(You are still gonna get asked, though!)


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not knit crochet hat plaid free crochet pattern


Please remember: You are free to use this pattern to make and sell, but do not republish or distribute this pattern in any way. DO NOT use my photos in your listings. Please do share my blog links! It’s a quick and FREE way of supporting Whistle and Ivy and more free crochet patterns in the future.
PLEASE read my Disclaimer before working my free patterns! 


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What you need: (affiliate links)
I Hook
– Medium Weight Yarn (Red Heart Soft in Cherry Red, Wine, Black and Light Gray Heather)
Darning Needle
Fur Pom-Pom (optional)

Abbreviations: US Terms
Ch – chain
Sc – single crochet
Dc – Double Crochet
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Sl st – Slip Stitch
St – stitch
BLO – Back Loops Only

Gauge:  14 dc = 4″ (Gauge Pattern)

Ribbed Band
(use black)
Ch 6.
1. Hdc in 2nd ch from hook. Hdc 4. Turn. (5 sts)
2. Ch 1. Hdc in same st. Going through BLO, Hdc in next 3 sts.   Hdc in last st, going through both loops. Turn. (5 sts)

Repeat row two until your band reaches about 18″ – 19″ for adult. 

You will get this measurement by gently stretching your band and measuring the length, not the pre-stretch length. You want the hat to be snug and due to differences in yarn stretchiness, I am not providing a row count. Instead, use your measuring tape.
Don’t cut yarn.

Note: You can make the hat band longer to make the hat larger ( or shorter to make it smaller). When you begin the hat body, make sure your first round is worked in multiples of 6 minus 1.

Fold the long piece in half and sl st up the side, making a band. Turn so the seam is on the inside and your loop is at the top.

Hat Body: 
1. Continuing where you left off from the band and using the same color yarn,  Ch 1 and sc in same space. Sc all around the top of the band achieving a total of 71 sts. Join with a sl st. (It’s helpful here make sure you have about 35 sts at the halfway mark. This part takes a bit of trial and error to get the right stitches. You can also work occasional increases to get you the right count.)

2. – 8. 
Work the graph. Choose a neutral for the background ( I used light heather gray) and a dark for the letters. The graph should be in the middle of your design, so if you are working a smaller or larger hat than the adult size, be sure to add or minus the same amount of stitches on either side of the graph. You will work the graph is Back Loops Only so the design lines up and doesn’t slant to the side.

Need help reading the graph? Watch this video (if the video doesn’t load, please disable your Adblocker)

Right Hand: 

Left Hand: 

9. – 10. Join Black. (We will start working the plaid technique. This hat uses a sc 2 x 3 plaid stitch, meaning the plaid block is 3 sts wide and 2 rows tall. Work the rest of the hat in Back Loops Only, this allows the stitches to line up instead of slant to the side.)
Ch 1. Sc in same st. Sc in next st (counts as first block). Switch to Wine. Sc in next 3 sts. Continue the row alternating between Black and Wine for the rest of the row. Join with a sl st. Finish the last stitch with the color you will use first in the next row.
11. – 12. Join Wine.
Ch 1. Sc in same st. Sc in next st (counts as first block). Switch to Red. Sc in next 3 sts. Continue the row alternating between Wine and Red  for the rest of the row. Join with a sl st. (Finish the last stitch with the color you will use first in the next row.)
13. – 28. Repeat rows 9- 12 respectively.
Tie off.

To make the letters easier to read, you can close the gaps of a few of the stitches, like the K, the N and the O(the diagonal stitches that don’t touch). Using the same color yarn, embroider small stitches to close the small gaps. Weave in ends.

embroidery on crochet words

To close the top, turn the hat inside-out. Thread some yarn onto your darning needle and sew a loose running stitch around the top. Hold one end tight while pulling the other to cinch the hat shut. Tie a strong knot and weave in ends.

plaid hat cinched closed

Finish with a fur pom-pom (you can make your own!)

not knitting it's crochet free pattern for plaid hat

not knit crochet hat with plaid detail and fur pom-pom

Did you miss Day one?  Deck your tree in buffalo plaid with these adorable ornament baubles!


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  1. Hello! Im having a bit of trouble with the chart. Do we keep it in the round carrying our yarn for our letters the whole way? Or is it supposed to be back and forth?

    1. No you don’t go back and forth, you can all around and join each row. You can carry the yarn the whole way, or you can drop it and just pull it back over when you need it.

  2. I am having trouble getting the hats to fit. They are too large. I am using Red Heart yarn. I have even tried to go down hook sizes and that doesn’t work either. what brand name yarn did you use for your hats in the picture. I want to make the hats really bad but I am about to give up on them. Thank you for any help you can give me. I crochet a little loose, could that be my problem also.

    1. Size is fixed by changing your hook. Did you work a gauge swatch? How many hook sizes did you go down? You might have to get a litter more aggressive and go down several more. I crochet loose as well, so this is surprising! I used Red Heart Soft, the link is in the materials list.