The stripey stocking cap from Itty-Bitty may be my all-time favorite hat. As you can see I have been busy knitting this pattern for Christmas for my nieces and nephews. Their ages are 3, 7, 9 and almost 13 years-old. I made the same size for all four of these kids. It is the largest size in the pattern, where you cast on 72 stitches to begin. Let me tell you why this works and it may be surprising.
I measured my 3 year-old nephew's head, and it is 21 inches around. I then measured my 13 year-old niece's head, and it is 21 1/2 inches around! They basically have the same size head. This same size hat also fits my head, which is 22 inches around. The fact is that head size stays relatively the same from the time you are 2-3 years-old all the way through adulthood for most people. It may get a half inch to an inch bigger, but that isn't much.
Many of the toddler or largest size hats in Itty-Bitty will fit an older child. Remember the knitted fabric is very stretchy and you want that snug fit. What you need to do is add a bit of length before the decrease rounds to better fit a larger child's head, and to cover their ears. Most older children to adult size hats are knit to 7-8 inches in length from the cast on row before the decrease is started.
I made these hats with Manos on a size 9 needle. The points won't stand straight up while they are wearing the hats because they will soften up quite a bit, but I couldn't resist the hats standing at attention like that. It is so colorful, they almost look like little trees. I lined all of the hats with fleece. I hand-stitched the linings in with matching thread. This removes any chance of itching and keeps those ears warm in our cold Wisconsin climate.
This hat makes a great gift for any age child or teenager or even adult! Three of my kids wear this same hat all winter long and have had their hats for several years.
I've got some gloves going this morning, a few scarves in queue, and a few more ornaments to go....and it makes me so happy.