My six year old was diagnosed with Stage II non-Hodgkins lymphoma last month. So far he's doing great with the chemo, including he hasn't missed a day of 1st grade. What can you tell me about an interesting hat that I can make for him now that we cut off all his hair. (We had to cut it all off. He was walking around school, pulling it out and giving it to people. Some thought that was funny, others thought it gross, many found it distracting.) Any way, who can make a recommendation for a type of yarn that would be comfortable but warm and a pattern that's more interesting than ribbing. I've checked Ravelry, but nothing stands out. What can you guys recommend?



AKQGuy's picture

Jared Floods Koolhaas with a nice soft alpaca. Easy on even bare scalp and warmer than wool. Or a good high percentage silk blend. Againg its soft on the skin and warmer than wool.

Kerry's picture

Dear Peter,

I'm so sorry to hear about your sons's lymphona, I pray that his treatment will be successful.

As for yarn, a soft merino would be my first choice, or a soft merino/cotton mixture, or cashmere. I'd go to a yarn store to feel the yarns.

Stephen West (Westknits) Windschief or Botanic or Honegart, Jared Flood (Brooklyntweed) Fortnight, Lacunae by Anne Hanson, My so called life really simple two needle hat by Deborah Anne, Fishtrap Aran Hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann, or if you like to look at my (Kerry1) favourites on Ravelry I have 62 hats listed.

scottly's picture

My heart goes out to you. I've been through it too. The One Day At A Time method got us all through.

This is where I go for free hat patterns The knitting dirctory.

You could look through it together and pick something out. I vote for soft cotton - kids usually don't like wool.

akkamaddi's picture

I'm very sorry to hear that.

For the hat, I'd offer a suggestion for Berroco Vintage.


I knit a hat with Vintage for a friend getting chemo for ovarian cancer. Her cloth hat was too uncomfortable, but she loves the one I made. It is very soft, with enough wool to be springy, but enough synthetic to be machine washable.

Bill's picture

I'm so sorry for the bad news about your son! My 5 year old grandson had to have all his hair cut off a year ago because of head lice...and was mortified.
We stenciled or painted designs on his bald head with waterbase makeup....which made it fun....and kept doing that while his hair grew back...
This time of year you can find the makeup easily because of Halloween.
Skull & crossbones, ladybugs, stars are all easy to paint and fun.

Tom Hart's picture

Peter, I'm so sorry to hear that. I can't imagine what that must be like for you as his father. I can't imagine what it must be like for your boy either.

As it happens I just now got back from the library with "Folk Hats: 32 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World" by Vicki Square. There are lots of fun and colorful hats in there that a small boy might really go for. There's a Samurai Kabuto hat with a dragon on top. And lots of kids hats from around the world with great color photos. I just checked the Walla Walla library on line as well as the WALNET library consortium and they don't have it. But they do have an inter-library loan program whereby you can borrow books from other US libraries (it costs $3.00 per book). So you might ask about that. I can't see buying the book in case your son doesn't care for any of the hats. But if you could get it from the library he could look at the various hats for a lot less than the cost of the book.

I'll keep you and your boy and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

All the best, Tom

Bill's picture

that book is available from Amazon for about $4.00 used...I just got a copy!
...my copy looks brand new and was $4.50.

Tom Hart's picture

Wow! If it's really that cheap from Amazon I'd recommend picking it up.

teejtc's picture

So sorry about your Son's diagnosis.... I can't even begin to imagine. We went through months of testing to find out our daughter has HPP, and even that was overwhelming.

My daugther is 5 (6 in January). I know there can be a huge difference in likes and dislikes between kindergartners and 1st graders, but she loves Ann Norling's "Fruit Caps" (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kids-fruit-cap)

Tychus is fun too (and easy to make for kids) (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/tychus

As already mentioned, I like Jared Flood's hats too - especially the Koolhaas ( http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/koolhaas) and Habitat (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/habitat) - they're really too big for a 6 year old, but if you used smaller needles (2 and 4? or 4 and 6?) and dk yarn they might work. Some of the people on the BrooklynTweed Fan Club (on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/brooklyntweed-fan-club) have revised some of his patterns for children, you might find what you need there!

As for what yarns to use... I'd ask the doctor how his hair might come back. Sometimes it comes back as a stubble (which wool, alpaca, etc. can get caught on and leave linty) in which case, I might recommend cotton, even though it isn't a popular fiber for hats. Other times it comes back really fine (in which case anything works well).

Blessings and good luck!

Grace and peace,

Just read your posting. Prayers to the little guy and you and the others in your family. Cancer is so insidious but for someone so young, words fail me.

bobinthebul's picture


You have my prayers too for a speedy recovery for your son. I'm glad to hear he's doing well and in such good spirits!

As for hats I'm a bit useless as I've never made one, but Crafty Andy is a hatmaster, you should definitely check his stuff out.

JDM511's picture

This depends on his personality, this is a fish with a big mouth that goes over your head!.


Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.


JDM511's picture


potterdc's picture


I'm moved by your post and also by the responses. I don't have any recommendations for hats, but I wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and...I'd love to see a picture of whatever it is you come up with! I'm thinking of knitting up one of the fish hats that Jim suggested and wearing it on the DC metro at rush hour.

Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

vsidart's picture

Major prayers coming from California!

davidUK's picture

Sorry to hear your news. I knitted with Rowan's "Tapestry" wool which uses soya bean protein and wool and is lovely and soft and non scratchy.

I always think the long elf hats look pretty cool - there are some made with superthick yarn in Last Minute knitted Gifts by Joelee Hoverson (there's a pink one on the cover)

I also made the Little Devil hat by Maya B on Ravelry
In a bigger size and a boys colour, it could really cool. It's a great shape.

Sending you all all the best from the UK


rc_in_sd's picture

Peter, I'm adding my best wishes for a full speedy recovery for your son, and for strength for your family as you face this. My first thought for something a youngster might enjoy was a mohawk hat, and if you do a ravelry search, you'll see many patterns.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

My heart goes out to you and your family - especially your son. May he recover fast and do well. The Tychus is a fun hat to knit and I made one in alternating wedges of Noro and Cascade 220 for a friend, deciding I wasn't interested in the stripes. Soft and very warm, and the color shifts of the Noro makes it very interesting. Just be aware that you may have to adjust the width of the wedges...I ended up having to snip, unravel each section to size, then Garter Kitchener all the segments back together. [More Kitchener than I ever care to do, thank you.] My own fault for not checking on the way it was knitting up, compared to the size of my friend's noggin. Best wishes.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

ronhuber's picture

My prayers and thoughts are with the whole family as you go through this difficult time. Positive vibes are being sent to you right now. I would get patterns that called for sock yarn because it is usually soft and washable. As well it is not a heavy yarn and would make an attractive hat.

mr.cullen's picture

Hope your kid recovers fast and remains as healthy as possible. I hope you do everything your doctor recommends. That is amazing he hasn't missed a day of school yet....Happy hat knitting. Cullen

PhilNmtl's picture

Count on this Canadian Praying as well

Some great hat patterns suggested here Peter. I haven't a pattern to suggest but have knit a lot of "bald guy" hats with baby alpaca and have really appreciated its warmth and softness myself. No lint left on my bald head - at least not that anyone has pointed out :-). Know that my prayers are with you, your family and your six year old who sounds like he is doing seriously six year old things with this. Hope that he sees a hat pattern in the suggestions that he likes. - Phil

Every stitch that I knit will be a prayer sent for the well-being of your son.

smalltownknitguy's picture

First let me say that prayers are going out for your son and family. Being an elementary school teacher (2nd grade, formerly 1st grade) I know how hard it is for kids to keep up these days, let alone when they are not feeling their best. As for the hat, Knitty Gritty archives has a pattern for a great hat that uses long loops twisted at certain areas to make a great Rasta style hat (the twisted loops look like multicolored dreds coming out of the top of the hat.

rc_in_sd's picture

Yes, great suggestion! I remember that episode of Knitty Gritty. The pattern was also published in "Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them" by Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky.