12 Fabulous, Fun, Free Knitting Patterns for Ponytail Hats

Now you can knit a ponytail hat for everyone in your life — and yourself

Do you remember a few years ago when ponytail hats were all the rage?

I remember when photos of ponytail hats were all over the Internet — I could barely make a move on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook without seeing them.

At the time, I found it a little inexplicable. While I understood the appeal, I never quite understood why it became trendy then. I suppose I’ll never really understand how trends work! 😂

The funny thing is that ponytail hats have been around for a very long time. I’ve often seen them when hunting for hat knitting patterns. Knitty, one of my favorite online knitting magazines, published one of the cutest of the ponytail hats, Piggle, over 10 years ago!

Now that I sport long hair, I understand the appeal of the ponytail hat even more. Even in cold weather, most of us long-haired folks put our hair up from time to time.

And it’s hard to say which is worse: forgoing a hat because you don’t want to destroy your hair, or wearing a hat and knowing your ponytail, braid, or bun will be a wreck when you remove it.

Maybe you don’t have long hair, but you know someone who does. If so, trust me: a ponytail hat will make a great gift!

Two Categories for Ponytail Hat Patterns

Ponytail hat patterns tend to fall into one of two categories.

One is the simple method. You may know that it’s quite easy to turn nearly any brim-up beanie pattern into a ponytail hat by simply not closing the very top.

Most brim-up beanie patterns tell you to reduce down to a single digit of stitches, draw the stitches together, and fasten off.

But you can, instead, stop reducing when you have about 10 stitches or so on the needles. Then just cast off instead of reducing and fastening off. Voila: instant ponytail hat!

The second category is a little more complex. This kind of ponytail hat works a hole into the back of the hat, rather than leaving the top open.

The ponytail hat patterns below are divided into these two categories. This will make it easier to find just the right pattern.

Ponytail Hat Patterns: the Simple Method

Holey Hat: This is definitely one of the easiest and quickest. You’ll use bulky weight yarn, ribbing at the brim, and simple stockinette throughout the body of the hat.

ponytail hat
Ponytail Beanie
Photo: Adriana Hernandez-Bergstrom

Ponytail Beanie: This beanie looks almost like a very wide headband. It’s fully ribbed, so it will conform snugly to the wearer’s head. As an added bonus, this style is great for folks with very long and/or thick hair because the hole is so large.

Goodie Bag Hat: This is a clever spin on a ponytail hat. The top is gathered with a drawstring, and the ruffles really do create a “goodie bag” resemblance.

Rowan Ponytail Hat

Rowan Ponytail Hat: For proof of the longevity of the ponytail hat, check out this vintage pattern! It’s so old that it’s now in the public domain. It offers a fascinating slip stitch pattern, as well as garter stitch at the top and bottom.

Tea Cozy Hat
Tea-Cozy Hat
Photo: YJonesy on Ravelry

Tea-Cozy Hat: This hat resembles the Goodie Bag Hat with its drawstring-gathered top, but the brim is ribbed for a more snug fit. I think this hat would really shine with a lovely handpainted yarn. Scroll down till you see the photo labeled “Tea-Cozy Hat,” then click the photo to download.

Stroll in the Park ponytail hat
A Stroll in the Park
Photo: Mrs. Luedeke

Messy Bun Hat: This heavily textured, chunky hat is so cute! It’s called “Messy Bun Hat,” but of course you can wear it with a high ponytail instead.

A Stroll in the Park: If you’re itching for something a little more challenging in your ponytail hat creation, the beautiful houndstooth colorwork in this pattern should fit the bill nicely!

Piggle - ponytail hat pattern

Ponytail Hat Patterns: Getting Tricky

Piggle: I still think this is the cutest ponytail hat ever. It holds not one, but two ponytails, aka pigtails, thus the name. Not only is it adorable, but it’s also a great way to practice lace.

Pony Tail Hat: What makes this hat special is the fact that it’s loom-knit. I don’t loom knit, but I know a lot of charity knitters do. So here’s your ponytail hat!

Ponytail hat
Ponytail Hat
Photo: Claudia Olson

Ponytail Hat: This funky hat uses 2 skeins of yarn to create a fun striping and textured effect.

Bucaneve Hat: Until now, all these patterns have been for snug-fitting beanies. But if you or your “please make me a ponytail hat” person longs for a slouchy hat, no worries. The Bucaneve Hat has you covered!

Hannah ponytail hat
Photo: Blake Ehrlich

Hannah: The beauty of this pattern lies in the buttons. No need to worry about messing up your hair when putting this hat on or taking it off, because the hat buttons gently around the head. Brilliant!

Bonus: Softyarn Designs Ponytail Hats These ponytail hat patterns aren’t free, but they’re inexpensive — and you’ll find a tremendous variety of patterns here!

Now you’re ready to create that ponytail hat of your friend or relative’s dreams. Which one is your favorite?

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        1. By the way, the reason that I was on your website is that I plan to add a weekly or biweekly feature to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/softyarndesigns/) which will highlight organizations that collect yarn or finished knitted items for charity. I think there is a lot of underutilized knitting energy out there! Thanks for helping to harness it.