Knitting Pattern for IDF Hats

Simple Soldier’s Hat, Two Versions

There are two patterns here, one for a hat that can be knit flat on two straight needles and one for a hat that can be knit in the round on a circular needle and/or double pointed needles. The latter method is recommended because it requires less sewing up at the end and tends to look neater.

Yarn: You must use machine washable plain black worsted weight yarn – this is in order to comply with both the soldiers’ requests and army regulations. Look for a yarn that is soft, warm and non-felting. Superwash wool is best, acrylic or a wool/acrylic mix is okay. You’ll probably need about 220 yds. / 200 m.

Gauge: 24 or 28 stitches = 4 inches/10 cm. in K2P2 rib stitch

Needles: Use whatever size needle you need to get correct gauge. The 4 mm – 5.5 mm range is a good place to start. For circulars, use a small circumference, 12″ to 16″


Pattern A:

Knit on Two Straight Needles

Loosely cast on 98 stitches and work back and forth in K2 P2 rib as follows:

Round 1 (right side): K1, [K2, P2] until one stitch remains, K1 Round 2 (wrong side): P1, [K2, P2] until one stitch remains, P1

Repeat these 2 rounds until work measures 9.5 inches / 24 cm., ending with a wrong side row.

Shape crown

Row 1: On right side, K1, [K2, P2tog], K1. 74 stitches remain. Row 2: P1, [K1, P2], P1

Row 3: On right side, K1, [K2tog, P1], K1. 50 stitches remain. Row 4: P1, [K1, P1], P1

Row 5: K1 [K2tog], K1. 26 stitches remain. Row 6: Purl

Row 7: K1, [K2tog], K1. 14 stitches remain. Row 8: Purl

Row 9: K1, [K2tog], K1. 8 stitches remain

Break yarn, leaving a 20-inch / 51 cm. length. With a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the remaining 8 stitches (pull tight) and then sew up the back seam using mattress stitch, being careful to match up the rows. For help with mattress stitch, see here: Knitty Spring ’04 issue or here: Knitting Help basics (scroll down to “Finishing” and then select “mattress stitch” for a short video demo)


Pattern B:

Start on a Circular Needle, finish on Double Pointeds

You can work this entire hat on double pointed needles, if you prefer.

Loosely cast on 96 stitches. Join work, place marker, and work in K2 P2 rib until work measures 9.5 inches / 24 cm.

Shape crown

(Here you begin a series of decrease rounds. When you find the hat getting too small to work on the circular needle, switch to double pointed needles.)

Round 1: K2, P2tog to end of round. 72 stitches remain.

Round 2: K2 P1

Round 3: K2tog, P1 to end of round. 48 stitches remain.

Round 4: K1, P1

Round 5: K2tog to end of round. 24 stitches remain.

Round 6: Knit

Round 7: K2tog to end of round. 12 stitches remain.

Round 8: Knit

Round 9: K2tog to end of round. 6 stitches remain.

Break yarn, leaving a 6-inch / 15 cm. length. With a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the remaining 6 stitches (pull tight).


Weave in the ends and admire your work! Please wash & dry your hat before mailing.