Thinking Cap

  You will need:

5mm circular needles (16inches)

5mm dpn

1 skein of Bernat Giggles Tickled Pink

Tapestry needle


24 rows x 20st = 4 inches


Cast on 76 stitches

Join in round being careful not to twist

Row 1:  *K1 P1 repeat from * until end of row

Row 2 – 8: Repeat Row 1

Row 9 – 28: Knit

Row 29: Starting decreases. *K1, SSK, K14, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (68 st)

Row 30: Knit

Row 31: *K1, SSK, K12, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (60 st)

Row 32: Repeat row 30

Row 33: *K1, SSK, K10, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (52 st)

Row 34: Repeat row 30

Row 35: *K1, SSK, K8, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (44 st)

Row 36: Repeat row 30

Row 37: *K1, SSK, K6, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (36 st)

Row 38: Repeat row 30

Row 39: *K1, SSK,K4 , K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (28 st)

Row 40: Repeat row 30

Row 41: *K1, SSK, K2, K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (20 st) switch to dpn if needed.

Row 42: Repeat row 30

Row 43: * K2tog, repeat from star to end of row (10 st)

Row 44: K1, K2 tog to last stitch, K1 (6 st)

Row 45: K2tog (3st)

Thread yarn through remaining stitches, pull tight and sew in loose ends.

(Note: This pattern creates a cap that sits above the ears to represent the brain. If you would prefer a larger hat that would be suitable for a winter hat that covers the ears, simple add more rows before decreasing until you reach your desired length.)


Cast on 5 stitches with dpn

Knit I-cord. You will need approx 10-12 feet of I-cord per side of the cap. I recommend knitting approx 6 feet then starting to attach it to the hat without casting off from the needle. This will make the I-cord more manageable but still in one long piece.

Attach the I-cord using whip stitch in a squiggly brain like pattern. To attach fold cap in half, this will help you create the hemispheres of the brain and not cross over onto the other side. Just be careful not to sew your cap together! This is where you can get as creative as you like making big and small swirls, squiggles and loops. Do what you feel and get creative. Use your brain power.


Sew in all loose ends.

Wear with pride.

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 17:27:25

    Are the one that made a brain hat for HKpril? O:


    • Kim
      Nov 06, 2011 @ 17:28:05

      *Are you


    • Knittin Kitten
      Nov 06, 2011 @ 18:23:16

      No. I just made this for me for my classroom so I could say “Put on your Thinking Caps” and have a prop. Thought others might like it too.


      • Emma
        Sep 19, 2012 @ 19:57:54

        OMG!!! I am also a teacher and I am always saying that! I saw this last night and I rushed out after school to get the right colour yarn! I am so excited and am just about to start knitting. I can’t wait for the moment that I whip my thinking cap out and plonk it on my head. This is amazing! What a super idea. Thank you!

  2. SusieQ100
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 09:59:26

    Wonderful!! Well thought out, well done! (Saw it on Ravelry, had to come and have a proper look!)


  3. rachel
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 14:26:16

    This looks fabulous, perhaps I should make one and wear it round the house to remind my husband and children of how brainy I am!


  4. sorani
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 18:25:24



  5. Andrea
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:42:06

    This is soooo cool….

    but looks like a lot of work…

    Regards from Germany



  6. Tracey Rediker (@TraceyKnits)
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 22:48:00

    It is good to know if I lose my mind I can knit another. This is definitely going on the short list of future projects 🙂


  7. Katherine
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 23:13:31

    Downloaded this pattern to make in a grey yarn… “grey matter” the hat is for my nephew Kyle, he is going through chemo once again and is looking for a cool hat.


  8. random Cindy
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 00:16:39

    Love it! Would look good in gray too, gray matter you know.


  9. Jessica-Jean
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 04:40:58

    Your pattern has surfaced on Knitting Paradise:


  10. carol
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 22:10:09

    Wow how gifted u r. Thank u!


  11. sondra russell
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 18:25:21

    Would there be a way for me to purchase one of these caps from you? My daughter needs a hat for her school’s “knowledge a thon” and I thought this would be perfect.



  12. Candi
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 05:15:35

    I need a crochet pattern for this. I don’t knit. Please and thank you


  13. Robbin
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 23:33:28

    I’m just finishing up a fleshy-colored hat. Is the brain gray on the outside or on the inside?


  14. Trackback: More Knerdy Knits for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year « Raven Lunatick
  15. Barb
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 23:23:03

    Love this! If you fear sewing your cap together while adding the brain parts, cut a piece of cardboard to fit and put it inside.


  16. Kay Paton
    Sep 29, 2012 @ 02:04:33

    Calling from Australia. I have been asked to knit a brain cap for a friend about to undergo surgery for a tumour. Thanks for your pattern. Just trying to sort out the yarn you’ve used. I’ve looked on the Bernat site to find out about ‘Giggles’, and there it comes in a ball, whereas you have said skeins. In Oz, a skein is much bigger than a ball. I have four 50gm balls of 8ply baby wool (pretty pink with a silver fleck), which recommends knitting needles US6 or 4mm. Have you any suggestion as to how many of these might be needed for lots of squiggly brain? I’m thinking I could use something else, even stripes, for the basic hat underneath. Then I could start straight away, without having to go shopping. Thanks.


    • Knittin Kitten
      Sep 29, 2012 @ 21:37:26

      IF you aren’t going to use the same ball for the hat, one is probably fine. If you want to use the same ball for the hat, I would recommend having two if you want lots of I-cord.


  17. Robin
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 12:32:27

    I wish I had a hat like this when I had my brain tumor removed! Cute hat looks much better than all the white gauze that they wrap around your head..


  18. Lyn
    Sep 28, 2013 @ 07:36:27

    Thank you for the pattern, I love it.
    I will be making one for our ‘adopted’ daughter who is a new teacher.


  19. Kim (@NoodleOnIt)
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 03:24:12

    Oh- I really need one of these noodly things! Does anyone know where I could get one?


  20. theyoushow2000
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 16:46:44

    Love this cap. I do not knit or crochet, however seeing this cap really makes one want to get creative with acrylic or cashmere. 🙂 Thanks for the pictures of the cap there. THINKING CAP 🙂


  21. ray Roslewicz
    Jul 15, 2014 @ 00:44:38

    Where do I purchase one.


  22. Trackback: 21 Warm Winter Hats That Are Fun to Wear - Winkgo

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