Fun Fact: I’m a big fan of bonnets for little ones. Back when my daughter was due, I knit her an adorable little pink pixie bonnet to bring her home from the hospital in. I fully expected her to scream her head off wearing it, like my boys had done in their little hospital hats. But surprisingly she was very content. Ever since then, I love making little bonnets for her. Back when she was a few months old, I designed her a Buffalo plaid bonnet that I dubbed the Buffalo Bonnet. And today I’m introducing a leopard print rendition of that pattern with the Luxe Leopard Bonnet!
The following is a free pattern available for use on my website, if you would like to purchase a detailed, ad-free PDF version of this pattern, please visit my Etsy or Ravelry shop. All rights reserved.
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About the Bonnet
The Luxe Leopard Bonnet is a pixie-style bonnet. This means that instead of being rounded at the back to fit snugly to the head, it kinda points out and upward. It’s a most playful, whimsical style of bonnet. And all that whimsy translates into a super simple design because you will essentially be making a large rectangle for this project.
This bonnet has a lot in common with the Buffalo Bonnet as far as fit and sizing. It comes in Newborn to Child size and I’ve got a handy dandy chart to help you keep your measurements on track. You can finish it it up with a cute pom or just leave it as is because its fabulous either way! I even had someone add some faux fur yarn to the brim, just for fun.
About the Yarn
For this project, I used Brava Worsted weight yarn from WeCrochet. I had a bit leftover from my Luxe Leopard Pumpkins, so I wanted to make sure it got put to good use. I use this yarn quite a bit in my worsted weight projects actually. It’s a great budget-friendly option and it comes in a lot of colors.
My testers on this project used a variety of different yarn with great results. The most common substitutes were I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby and Red Heart. I think most worsted weight yarn will work for this bonnet, but if you’re not quite sure, be sure to make a gauge swatch before you get started.
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The Luxe Leopard Bonnet is a bit different from the other pieces of the Luxe Leopard Collection. Instead of single crochet or waistcoat stitch, this pattern actually uses post double crochets for the brim and half double crochet for the bonnet portion. The reason for this is that this bonnet is worked flat instead of in the round. I personally prefer to use taller stitches (when possible) for flat tapestry as it makes the carried yarn less noticeable in your finished piece. The other option for clean, flat tapestry is a tiny hook and tight stitches. I opted for the quicker method on this project.
For this project you will be working there three yarn colors and following a graph. I recommend carrying the additional yarn colors behind your work as you go. You can do this by holding the unused color along the back of the stitches you are working into and working your new stitches around it. You may see small bits of color peeking through your stitches, which is normal, but it will not diminish the overall effect. When you reach the end of your row, pull the unused yarn to the front and carry along of the work. Alternate carry colors between the back and front as you work back and forth so that you’re always carrying yarn on the same side of your piece.
For a helpful video on tapestry crochet, check out this tutorial from Whistle & Ivy.
And as an added precaution, whenever you’re crocheting with multiple strands, you should keep an eye on your tension. The strands you carry can keep your work from stretching and can actually make it pull in places.. I recommend giving your project a gentle tug to double check the stretch after completing each row.
70 – 180 yds of Worsted Weight yarn in 3+ colors (see chart on pg 2)
Size I (5.5mm) crochet hook
Size H (5mm) crochet hook
Small Pom Maker or small faux fur pom (optional)
Ch – Chain
SL ST – Slip Stitch
HDC – Half Double Crochet
FPDC – Front Post Double Crochet
BPDC – Back Post Double Crochet
SC – Single Crochet
SC2TOG – Single Crochet Two Together
(With 5.0mm hook) HDC 15 stitches x 9 rows = 4” square
|Size||Main Color||Contrast Color||Accent Color|
Front Post Double Crochet (FPDC) – Yarn over. Working from the front, insert hook behind the post of the stitch from the previous row, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops.
Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC) – Yarn over. Working from the back, insert hook in front of the post of the stitch from the previous row, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops.
- Parentheses and colors are used to differentiate between sizes throughout the pattern. Sizes are as follows Newborn (0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, 6-9 Months, 9-12 Months, 1-2 Years, 2-5 Years, 5-10 Years).
- Chains at beginning of the row count as a stitch in the brim of this pattern only. They will not count throughout the body of the bonnet.
- When using 3 colors for tapestry, it is especially important to be mindful of tension. The carried strands can cause work to be tight or bunch. I recommend giving your work a gentle tug to check stretch after each row.
(NB 0-3 Mo, 3-6 Mo, 6-9 Mo, 9-12 Mo, 1-2 Yrs, 2-5 Yrs, 5-10 Yrs)
With 5.5mm hook and MC.
Row 1: DC in 4th chain from hook (Note: Ch spaces count as first stitch throughout Brim Section). DC in next chain and each chain across. (42,45,48,51,54,57,60,63)
Row 2: Ch 3 and turn. *FPDC in next stitch, BPDC in next stitch.* Continue from * until you reach the turning chain. DC 1 in turning chain. (42,45,48,51,54,57,60,63)
(For size 1-2 Years, 2-5 Years, and 5-10 Years)
Row 3: Ch 3 and turn. Alternate FPDC in all FPDC stitches from previous row and BPDC in all BPDC in stitches from previous row. Continue across until you reach the turning chain. DC 1 in turning chain.
Switch to 5.0mm hook.
Row 1: Ch 1 and turn (Chains no longer count as a stitch). Hdc in first stitch and each stitch across following color changes from chart. (42,45,48,51,54,57,60,63)
(Note: When you run out of graph columns, repeat graph from column 1. It may be helpful to use stitch markers to note end of graph on your work.)
Repeat Row 1 until you complete a total (12,13,14,15,16,15,16,17) rows of leopard print or total piece reaches desired “Depth” measurement from chart. Leave main color yarn attached for seaming.
- Fold the finished piece in half width-wise, so that the short ends are together, wrong side facing out.
- Using the tail, slip stitch the ends opposite the brim together.
- Optional Neckline Tapering: Attach main color yarn to the bottom edge in the stitch row right behind the brim. Slip stitch in first Hdc row. *Sc 1 in next hdc row. Sc2Tog over the next two hdc rows. * Repeat from * to * until you reach last hdc row. Slip stitch in last hdc row. Weave ends.
Cut 6 or more strands of Brim color yarn 18-24”. More strands will result in thicker straps. Thread at least 3 strands through the bottom corner of the brim and fold them in half. Braid the strands and knot the ends.
Optional: Make a small pom and attach it to the top corner of your hat.
Thanks for checking out the Luxe Leopard Bonnet! I think this is such a cute accessory for littles ones. And once you get a good handle on tapestry crochet, those half double crochet rows work up quickly! If you make this bonnet, be sure to tag me in your finished photos at @craftingforweeks on Facebook or Instagram. I love to see all your finished projects! You can also use hashtag #luxeleopardbonnet when posting.
If you’re loving leopard print right now, be sure to check out:
Until next time, Happy Crafting!