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.
*In July 2021 I found brightly colored orange yarn at Hedgehog Fibres and knit a cabled hat in aran worsted yarn.
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)
- ***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 using this and it’s not really bright enough for walking in the woods. (Photo below)
- 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 & Amazon – a search on the Etsy site could be successful. I purchased a second order of orange yarn by Cascade 220, called “blaze orange” at the Amazon site – I’ll update once it arrives.
- HedgeHog Fibres – “Kid You Not”, in aran worsted is the PERFECT color…. but it is expensive, $30-$32 skein (166m / 180yds – approx).
I quickly knit up a hat which I am wearing in my photo above, but it is not bright enough to be “hunter” orange. The Plymouth yarn is very nice but not suitable for walking in the woods during hunting season.
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.
My orange hat pictured at the beginning of this page was knit using one skein of the Encore Mega yarn. I only had a short strand leftover.
Hat Pattern Ideas For Hunter Orange
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, 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 plan to use the second skein of orange Encore to knit this one again.
With bulky yarn, hats can be whipped up in a day’s time. Do simple knits around for the one I made below using Malabrigio Rasta yarn. It takes less than a skein to complete.
Hats That Keep Ears Warm
This is my favorite type of hat to wear. It’s simple and has a double ear covering because the brim rolls up. The star-top hat is one I made up myself to use some yarn I had leftover. I made it a while ago, so I really forget what yarn I used but it looks like Mad Tosh in “Antique Moonstone” and possibly “Rootbeer” by Anzula.
The hat below is one I love. I have made two Triple-patterned Watchcaps, and the style is perfect for keeping ears warm. The thick brim folds up double, and it could be knit in all one color. I used leftover Brooklyn Tweed “Arbor” yarn for the one pictured here. A worsted weight yarn is suggested for these hats.