Skill level: advanced

Sizes: baby/1-2 year-old/3-5-year-old/6-10-year-old

To fit head 17” (43 cm)/19(48)/20(51)/22(56)


DK (11 wpi; 8 ply; no 3: Light) yarn such as Drops Lima about 100-150g or 218-327 yards total (1.5 balls of MC and CC1 and 0.5 balls of CC2 and CC3) 

Double pointed knitting needles US 4 (3.5 mm) or to obtain gauge 4” x 4” (10 x 10 cm) = 20 sts x 30 rows (in stockinette stitch)

Optional: 12” or 16” (30 or 40 cm) long circular knitting needles in the same size as your double pointed needles  

2 stitch holders or 1 extra needle 

Tapestry needle and a removable marker 

Yarn colors

You need 3 colors of yarn for the fox hat (MC, CC1, CC3) and all 4 for the cat striped balaclava 

CC1 – contrast color 1, white yarn 

CC2 - light grey 

CC3 - brown 

MC – main color yarn: for the fox it is orange and for the cat dark grey 


St(s) – stitches 

RS and WS – right and wrong side  

MC and CC – main and contrast color yarns 

K – knit 

P –purl 

Kfb – knit in front and back of stitch 

K2tog – knit two stitches together  

Ssk – slip slip knit 

Pattern notes

The negative ease of the hat is about 2” (5 cm) 

Before you start check your gauge 

The hat is worked in the round, you can use circular needles and change to double pointed when you need to 

You start the hat from top edge of the outer cowl working top down  

If you wish to make the balaclava without the cowl, move straight to # and cast on the shown amount of sts instead picking up  

Pattern is given for fox and cat version of the balaclava  

The outer cowl of the fox balaclava on the picture is in double cuff, instructions for that is given 

It is easier to pick up stitches with smaller size needle 


Stripe pattern for the cat balaclava

3 rounds with MC 

2 rounds with CC3 brown 

2 rounds with MC 

4 rounds with CC2 light grey 

2 rounds with CC1 white 


The cowl

Cast on with CC1 76/86/90/96 sts (baby/1-2 year-old/3-5-year-old/6-10-year-old), join working in the round. 

Cowl Round 1: *k1, p1*, repeat from *-* all around 

Repeat Cowl Round 1 until the cowl measures 2.5/3/4.5/4.5” (6/8/11/11 cm) from the cast on row.  

Note! If you want the the cowl to be in double cuff, work twice the length.  

Continue with the bottom part of the cowl.  

Change to MC, for cat hat continue with the Stripe pattern. 

Mark the next round with a removable marker and keep it in – you will measure the length of the cowl from here. 

Round 1: knit all sts 

Round 2: *k4, kfb*, repeat from *-* all around, knit the last 1/1/0/1 st 

Rounds 3, 4 and 5: knit all sts 

Round 6: *k5, kfb*, repeat from *-* all around, knit the last 1/1/0/1 st 

Round 7, 8 and 9: knit all sts 

Round 10: *k6, kfb*, repeat from *-* all around, knit the last 1/1/0/1 st 

Keep working in the same manner knitting 3 plain rounds after an increase round and each increase round working 1 st more before kfb. 

Work until the cowl measures 1/1.5/3/3” (3/4/8/8 cm) from the marker (do not remove the marker!). 

For a cat hat choose one of the colors for making the bottom boarder (I used CC1) of the cowl, for fox hat continue with MC. 

Continue increasing in the same manner like before but work in garter stitch next 6 rows knitting the next round and purling the round after that.  

After the 6 rows bind off all sts knitwise.  


Hat part

Turn the cowl WS facing and find the round you marked with the removable marker.  

# Now pick up each stitch from that round that is 76/86/90/96 sts.  

Picture 1: picking up sts for the hat 

Continue with MC yarn.   

Place the piece so that it is RS facing and the last row of the cowl is pointing to your lap so you’d be knitting out from the cowl like on the picture above.  

Continue in the round. 

Hat Round 1: *k1, p1*, repeat from *-* all around 

Repeat Hat Round 1 until the piece measures 2.5/3/4.5/4.5” (6/8/11/11 cm) from the cast on or pick up row.  

Next row turn and purl 47/53/56/59 st, replace the removable marker, you will measure the hat from here.  

Slip the remaining 29/33/34/37 sts on a spare needle or stitch holder for the face ribbing. 

Continue working the hat flat in stockinette stitch for 5 rows more (6 rows total) on the 29/33/34/37 sts.  

After finishing the last row, you will continue again in the round and casting on new sts over the opening.  

Picture 2: slip sts on a sts holder or spare needle 

If you are advanced knitter, you can use scrap length of waste yarn and do a provisional cast on. 

You can use any cast on method you prefer (I used long tail) and later pick up sts for the face ribbing. 

Cast on 29/33/34/37 sts over the opening and knit the remaining sts of this round.  

For cat hat continue in the Stripe pattern, for fox hat continue with MC.  

Knit in the round in stockinette stitch over all 76/86/90/96 sts until the hat measures from the marker 3.2/3.5/3.4/3.7” (8/9/9/10 cm).  

Decrease Round 1: *k10/12/13/14, k2tog*, repeat from *-* all around, knit last 4/2/0/0 sts (70/80/84/90 sts) 

Next and Every Alternate Round: knit all sts 

Decrease Round 3: *k9/11/12/13, k2tog*, repeat from *-* all around, knit last 4/2/0/0 sts  

Decrease Round 5: *k 8/10/11/12, k2tog*, repeat from *-* all around, knit last 4/2/0/0 sts  

Continue decreasing in the same manner working one plain round between the decrease rounds until you get to the following: 

Decrease Round: *k3, k2tog*, repeat from *-* all around 

Next Round: *k2tog*, repeat from *-* all around 

Repeat the last round once again, cut the yarn, pull it through the remaining sts and fasten. 


Ribbing around the face

Slip the bottom 29/33/34/37 sts on a needle and pick up 3 sts on both sides (6 sts total) and 29/33/34/37 sts from the top edge of the opening. You will have 64/72/74/80 sts total on your needles. 

Continue in the round with CC3 for the fox balaclava and one of the stripe colors for the cat hat. 

Round 1: *k1, p1*, repeat from *-* all around 

Repeat Round 1, 5 times more. 

Bind off all sts.  

Picture 3: slip all sts on the needle for the face ribbing  


Pointed ears (make 4)

Make 2 ears with CC1 and 2 ears with MC.  

The ears are knitted flat. 

Cast on 12 sts, work stockinette st for 6 rows 

Row 7 (RS): k1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1 (10 sts left) 

Row 8: purl all sts 

Row 9: k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1 (8 sts left) 

Row 10: purl all sts 

Row 11: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1 (6 sts left) 

Row 12: purl all sts 

Row 11: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 sts left) 

Row 13: purl all sts 

Row 11: ssk, k2tog (2 sts left) Bind off the remaining sts. 

When you’ve finished knitting the ears, sew the longer edges of CC1 and CC2 together with WS facing leaving the bottom open.  

Turn RS facing and with running stitches sew the bottom together, pull slightly so the ear would curve. Attach the ear with this side to the hat about 1-1.5” (2-3 cm) from the middle point.  

Repeat all for the other ear. Weave in all ends.

Embroider small triangle as a nose and whiskers on the cowl. I used scrap pink yarn for the cat nose. 

Press/steam the balaclava hat (follow your yarn instructions!).