I’ve wanted to knit hats using bright, hunter-orange yarn for a while now. My kids live in rural New Hampshire towns where hunting happens pretty much throughout the year. Almost all land is open to hunters unless it is posted as “No Hunting”. Hunters can be in state forests, federal land, parks and even on privately owned land, and the thing is, non-hunters can be there also! If you are out and about in New Hampshire during hunting season, it’s a good idea to have on bright orange clothing of some kind.
I had searched for the bright orange yarn, also called “hunter orange” or “neon orange” and been relatively unsuccessful at finding some. So, I lost interest and moved on to knit other things. My daughter mentioned at Christmas (after she opened my hat gift to her) that she and her fiancé would like orange hats.
Page update: *In July 2021, after I wrote this page, I found brightly colored orange yarn at Hedgehog Fibres and knit a cabled hat in worsted yarn.
Or see more ideas for hat knitting down the page.
Where to Buy Hunter Orange Yarn
Below are some yarn options I found while searching for my own knitting needs. I chose the Mega, bulky yarn to quickly whip up a couple of hats. I may buy some cotton as well to make lighter weight beanies that could work for early Fall and late Spring hiking. Once I have this yarn in hand I will note the actual color.
When searching for bright orange yarn, use these descriptions; safety, blaze, hunter, vibrant, or neon, along with orange.
- Cascade Ultra Pima Fine – link goes to Webs – the yarn is 100% cotton, comes in 136 yard skeins of DK / Sport weight and is machine washable. They offer a “vibrant orange” color. This would be good for warmer weather hats. Cost: $5.25 (at time of writing)
- Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino – Super Orange Solid looks promising (thank you to the reader who pointed it out). $23 for 87 yards.
- Maybe ***Plymouth Encore Mega – link to Wool & Company – is and acrylic and wool mix in bulky weight. It comes in 64 yard skeins and is machine washable. Knit up a hat quickly with this bulky yarn. Cost: $6.50 (at time of writing) – this seller offers free shipping for any purchase to US… ***NOTE: I knit a hat (photo below) using this and it’s not really bright enough for walking in the woods, IMO.
- Paintbox “Blood Orange” – link to Lovecrafts – is worsted weight, 100% wool yarn that comes in 219 yard skeins. It is machine washable. Cost: $10 (at time of writing)
- Fiber of Maine – Blaze Orange – Now we’re talking, except it is sold out (at time of writing). I am adding the link in case it comes back in stock because this yarn looks perfect.
- Etsy – a search on the Etsy site could be successful.
- * Found: HedgeHog Fibres – “Kid You Not“, in aran worsted is the PERFECT color…. but it is expensive, $30-$32 skein (166m / 180yds – approx).
How Much Yarn is Needed to Knit a Hat
Honestly, it is difficult to say how much yarn you will need to knit a hat, but there are general suggestions out there.
At Lion Brand they have a chart, where you will see at the top a section for hat knitting. It goes from “yarn weight 1” to “yarn weight 7” which would mean the finest yarn – lace weight, to the bulky type yarn.
Less yarn is needed as the thickness of the yarn goes up. Also, less yarn in each color is needed if a hat is knit in more than one color. A rolled brim adds to the yardage.
My orange hat, pictured below, was knit using one skein of the Encore Mega yarn. I only had a short strand leftover, but the hat is not bright enough, in my opinion.
Hats for Men (and Women) in Worsted Weight Yarn
When aran or worsted weight yarn is used, a hat can be knit up quickly. The Men’s Basic Hat pattern is free and uses this type of yarn. I have not used the pattern, but many knitters have. Unfortunately it is knit flat and not in the round. Seems weird.
Bankhead is also a free pattern that is knit in worsted weight yarn.
The Classic Ribbed Hat is a free pattern offered by Purl Soho and is probably my favorite pick. It is knit in a DK weight, so will take a bit longer to finish.
More Hat Pattern Ideas For Hunter Orange Yarn
Nearly any hat pattern would work when knitting with orange as long as the weight of yarn you find works with that pattern. A search for hat patterns will bring up many, both free and to purchase. Or, if you know how to knit a basic hat, make it up like I did.
If you are knitting for a man, make sure he approves of the look. Guys can be very particular.
A popular and simple hat to knit is all one color and done in ribbing. The watch cap may be a bit boring to knit, but it’s perfect practice for beginners and is also they type that boys and men prefer – no frills! The hat below was knit in washable DK weight yarn. The hat below is loosely based on a pattern by Churchmouse Yarn & Teas.
The Northward cable beanie, (bulky yarn) by Tin Can Knits, was knit in a day’s time. It’s a free pattern and the link goes to the TCK site.
I have made two Triple-patterned Watchcaps, (worsted yarn) and the style is perfect for keeping ears warm. The thick brim folds up double, and it could be knit in all one color. The pattern is in the “Hat’s On” book, which is full of great hat knitting patterns suitable for beginner knitters and also experienced.