The Love Leopard Beanie: A Free Crochet Pattern

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! I’m a big fan of Valentines day, personally. So I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I designed a beanie just for this occasion. Actually I designed a modification of a beanie. I took my Luxe Leopard Beanie and created a brand new chart. So with this pattern, you’ll be getting just a little bit of love with your leopard print.

Love Leopard Inspiration

So as much as I love this collection, I hadn’t planned on doing another beanie graph. I had another Valentines beanie design in my head and was all ready to get to work. I swatched it and it was a hot mess. So in my head, I was scrambling for a new idea.

I played with a few other heart designs: some with tapestry and some with textured stitches. And then it hit me, that I could incorporate hearts into one of my most popular beanies! I thought it would be pretty easy to tweek my existing chart, but it turns out that I basically had to start from scratch. Figures, right?! But after playing with it for awhile, I feel like I got just the right mixture of hearts and leopard.

About the Collection

The Luxe Leopard Collection was something that I started working on when I first decided to design. It took me well over a year to develop the skills to actually create what I wanted to make though. So last September, I released the first beanie, The Luxe Leopard Beanie in bulky weight yarn. You can find the free adult size right here!

From there, I had people regularly asking me if it could be made in worsted. With a little chart adjusting, and some new stitch counts, I added a worsted weight beanie, as well. Naturally a giant cozy cowl and a trendy twisted earwarmer weren’t far behind. If you want to read more about this collection and find the links to the patterns, check out this post!

About the Pattern

Since I had already posted a bulky version of this beanie on my blog, I decided to do worsted this time around. While the full pattern has 8 sizes and 4 charts included, I have only included 4 of those sizes and the Love Leopard chart in this post. If you would like to purchase the full, printable Luxe Leopard pattern, check out my Ravelry or Etsy shops.

This post will include a Baby, Toddler, Child, and Adult size. As I mentioned before, it is written for worsted weight yarn.

About the Stitch

This pattern uses the waistcoat stitch. The waistcoat stitch is just a variation of the single crochet stitch. The only difference between the two is where you insert your hook while you’re working. A regular single crochet stitch works under the bars of the stitch below. In contract, when you are using waistcoat stitch, you will work between the two posts. This gives your work a knit sort of look.

Waistcoat stitch can be a little bit tricky to learn. The most important thing to remember is to keep your tension loose as you go. If your tension gets tight, you’re going to have a hard time getting your hook between the posts of the stitch below. If you’re having trouble with this, you can try changing your hook size. Most people will go up a hook size to make the stitches larger. Occasionally, and especially on a tight row, I will go down a hook size (as its easier to get a smaller hook into a tight stitch) and work extra loose. As with any new stitch, it takes some practice. But it’s a great stitch to have in your repertoire.

If you’d like to watch this stitch in action, check out this video from Make & Do Crew.

Special Techniques

For this beanie, you will need to know how to change color, how to carry yarn, and how to read a graph. I’ll give you a brief overview here, but I think that this video from Bethany at Whistle & Ivy is really comprehensive on all three of these items.

Changing Color

So to change colors, you will complete a single crochet as follows: With your first color, insert the hook into the stitch, yarn over, and pull up a loop. Then with your second color, yarn over and pull through both loops on hook. Continue working with second color.

Basically you’re starting your single crochet just as you normally would. But as you finish, before you pull through the two loops on your hook, you’re going to switch to the new color and pull that one through instead. This gives you a nice seamless color change.

Carrying Yarn

There are a few different ways to carry yarn while you’re crocheting. When I make this hat, I use tapestry crochet and carries both colors of yarn along with me. I carry the yarn behind the stitches and wrap the color I’m using around the carried yarn.

To do this, you will loosely hold the unused yarn behind the stitches. Insert your hook into the stitch making sure it goes under the yarn you’re carrying as well as the stitch itself. Complete your stitch. This will wrap your working stitches around the carried yarn. You can carry the yarn the unused yarn until you need to change colors.

One thing that I do want to note is that carrying yarn this way, especially with more that two strands, can effect the stiffness of your fabric. So be aware that your finished hat may have little to no stretch if you choose to work with three colors on this beanie.

Reading a Graph

This pattern uses a chart to direct color changes. To read the chart, you will begin in Row 1, Column 1 in the bottom, right corner. White boxes will represent your main color and black boxes will represent your contrasting color. The gray are optional but would represent your second contrasting color.

You will complete one stitch in the corresponding color per box. In the stitch before a color change, you will need to follow the instructions for ‘Changing Colors’. When you reach the end of your row, you will return to Column 1 and begin working the next row. (Note: If you are left-handed and working counter-clockwise, make note of the Column corresponding to number of stitches across on the chart for the size you are working. Start on the bottom left corner of the chart at the marked Column and work across, returning to the left side at the end of each row.)

Materials Needed

  • 2 Skeins of  Lion Brand Basic Stitch (or comparable worsted weight yarn)
    • 50-175 yds of main color
    • 20-85 yds of contrasting color
  • Size H (5.0mm) hook
  • Size J (6.0mm) hook
  • Optional: Size K (6.5mm) hook
  • Tapestry needle 
  • Pom Maker or Faux fur pom (optional)

Stitches Used

  • Sl St – Slip Stitch
  • Ch – Chain 
  • SC – Single Crochet
  • SC2Tog – Single Crochet two together


With J Hook, working in the round using waistcoat stitch.

12 SC stitches x 16 rows = 4” square

Finished Measurements

  • Baby: Width 8”, Height 6.5”
  • Toddler: Width 9”,  Height 7.5”
  • Child: Width 9.5”, Height 8.5”
  • Teen/Adult: Width 11”, Height 10”


  • This hat is worked in a continuous round. You may want to mark the first stitch of each round with a stitch marker.
  • The Decreasing Rounds vary by size. Be sure to pay attention to which row you should begin the decreasing rounds with.
  • Sizes are written (Baby, Toddler, Child, Teen/Adult)


(Baby, Toddler, Child, Teen/Adult)


Using H hook & Main Color.

Row 1: Ch (9,11,11,13). Sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across. (8,10,10,12)

Row 2: Ch 1 and turn. Sc in BLO of first stitch and each stitch across. (8,10,10,12)

Repeat Row 2 until band has a total of (50,58,62,70) rows.

Holding ends together, sl st in each stitch across both pieces to close band. Do not break yarn. Turn band so slip stitches are facing inward and working yarn is on top.


Using J hook.

Foundation Round: Ch 1. Using loose tension, Sc 1 in each brim row around the top edge of the brim. (50, 58, 62,70)

Round 1: Using Waistcoat stitch, SC in each st around following color changes according to corresponding graph.

Repeat Round 1 until hat measures (5.5”, 6”, 7”, 8”), including brim. Move on to Decreasing Rows.

Decreasing Rounds

Using Main color and continuing in Waistcoat stitch.

Teen/Adult Size start decreasing with Round 1

Round 1: *Sc 4, Sc2Tog*. Repeat from * around. Sc in any remaining stitches.

Round 2: Sc in each stitch around. Move on to Round 3.

Toddler & Child Size start decreasing with Round 3

Round 3: *Sc 3, Sc2Tog*. Repeat from * around. Sc in any remaining stitches.

Round 4: Sc in each stitch around. Move on to Round 5.

Baby Size start decreasing with Round 5

Round 5: *Sc 2, Sc2Tog*. Repeat from * around. Sc in any remaining stitches. 

Round 6: Sc in each stitch around.

Round 7: *Sc, Sc2Tog*. Repeat from * around. Sc in any remaining stitches. 

Round 8: Sc in each stitch around.

Round 9: Sc2Tog around. Tie off leaving long tail.


  1. Using a tapestry needle, weave the long tail in and out of the top row of stitches approx. every 2-3 stitches. 
  2. When you have gone all the way around the top of the hat, pull the tail tight, cinching the top of the hat closed.
  3. Turn hat inside out, then tie off and weave the ends.
  4. Optional: Attach Faux fur or yarn pom to top of hat.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy this pattern! The Luxe Leopard Collection is one of my favorites and I’m excited to be able to share a bit more of it with you today. Be sure to share your work with the hashtag #loveleopardbeanie and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @craftingforweeks so I can see.

PS, if you have purchased either of the Luxe Leopard Beanie patterns prior to Feb 2020, let me get the new chart to you! If you’re on Ravelry, check for a pattern update. If you’re on Etsy, send me a message on Etsy or email me at craftingforweeks@gmail.com. Happy Crafting!


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