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Free Knitting Pattern: McLean Hat

Discover the joy of knitting with the easy, quick-to-knit beanie style McLean Hat. The simple stockinette stitch design is offset by a contrasting color slip stitch that is easy enough for beginning knitters and adds a touch of interest for more experienced knitters.

The bulky yarn means that you can probably whip up a hat in an evening. Doesn’t that sound perfect for stitching up a stack of hats to give away?

Woman wearing teal knit hat with white slip stitch pattern - McLean Hat - teal

This project was part of Marly Bird’s 24 Days of Quickies! You can get an ad-free premium version of this pattern through my website or Ravelry, or use the free version shown below.

Purchase on Ravelry Purchase on Edie’s Website

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teal poncho with white slip stitch detail

Match the McLean Hat with my McLean Poncho for a coordinated look!

The Yarn

CYC yarn weight symbol 5-bulky

I used Universal Yarn Deluxe Bulky Superwash, which is 100% superwash wool. It comes in 3.5 ounce (100 g) balls of 106 yards (97 meters) each. It took one ball of #915 Teal Viper for the main color and 1 ball #928 Pulp for the contrasting color.

And then I had enough yarn left to make the smaller version, using Pulp for the main color and Teal Viper for the contrasting color!

ball of Deluxe Bulky Superwash

You’ll need about 70 yards (65 meters) of the main color and about 13 yards (12 meters) of the contrasting color to make the adult size described below.

Teal beanie-style hat with white accents and white hat with teal accents, lying flat

McLean Hat Free Knitting Pattern

The pattern below is designed to fit medium-sized adult heads, with a circumference of 22-23″ (56-58.5 cm).

The premium paid version includes instructions for an additional, smaller size, meant for big kids/teens/small adults. It also includes a stitch chart for the stitch pattern.

Knitting Needles

Clover 16-inch size 13 circular knitting needle, bamboo, in package

I used size 13 (9 mm) 16″ (40 cm) circular knitting needles, and a set of 4 double-pointed needles in the same size.

Use whatever size needle you need to get gauge, or your hat won’t fit.
You will also need a stitch marker.


CC: contrasting color
k: knit
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
m1 (make 1): insert left needle from front to back under strand that runs between the two needles and lift it onto the left needle; knit into the back of this strand.
MC: main color
p: purl
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
RS: right side
sl: slip
stockinette stitch: knit all rounds
st(s): stitch(es)
yo: yarn over

Pattern Notes

Slip all stitches purlwise with yarn in back.


11 sts and 15 rounds = 4″ (10 cm) in stockinette stitch

Hat Instructions

Slip Stitch Pattern

(multiple of 4)
Rnd 1 (RS): With CC, *k3, sl 1; rep from * around.
Rnd 2: With CC, *p3, sl 1; rep from * around.
Rnds 3 and 4: With MC, k1, *sl 1, k3; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl 1, k2.
Rnds 5 and 6: With MC, knit.
Rnd 7: With CC, k1, *sl 1, k3; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl 1, k2.
Rnd 8: With CC, p1, *sl 1, k3; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl 1, p2.
Rnds 9 and 10: With MC, *k3, sl 1; rep from * around.
Rnds 11 and 12: With MC, knit.
Rnds 13-16: Rep Rnds 1-4.


With MC, long tail cast on 52 sts. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist cast-on stitches.
Rnd 1: Purl.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: Purl.
Rnd 4: K13, m1; rep from * around — 56 sts.
Rnd 5: Knit.
Work 16 rounds of Slip Stitch Pattern. Cut CC, and work even in stockinette stitch until hat measures 6½” (16.5 cm) from beginning.


Change to double-point needles when necessary.
Rnd 1: *K2, k2tog; rep from * around — 42 sts.
Rnds 2 and 3: Knit.
Rnd 4: *K1, k2tog; rep from * around — 28 sts.
Rnd 5: Knit.
Rnd 6: *K2tog; rep from * around — 14 sts.
Rnd 7: *K2tog; rep from * around — 7 sts.
Cut yarn, leaving a 8″ (20 cm) tail. Thread tail through remaining sts and pull tight to close. Weave in ends.

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