Using a mix of knitting in the round, i-cord and flat knitting this creates a textured hat of much festive joy that is underneath it all remarkably simple. Knitting this as an advent present for a dear friend's newly arrived bundle of joy it really made me go quite squishy and want one. But remember people, a baby is for life not just for wearing hand knitted hats.
Using brown, white/cream, red and green DK yarn and 4mm needles...
For a small head ('very-newborn' - preemi or just tiny delicate cuties) cast on 57 stitches in brown (B) and join into the round by knitting the first and last stitch together. To make bigger, go up in multiples of 8, making the necessary decreases to have 12 stitches on or around Round 10.
Knit in stockinette for 4 inches, (not stretching the cast on curl).
Join in white(W) yarn and as follows:
Round 1: K2(W), K6(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Round 2: K4(W), K4(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Round 3: K6(W), K2(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Working only in white (W)
Knit 3 stitches, place marker and as follows:
Round 4: K2TOG, K6 until marker
Round 5: K2TOG, K5 until marker
Round 6: K2TOG, K4 until marker
Round 7: K2TOG, K3 until marker
Round 8: K2TOG, K2 until marker
Round 9: K2TOG, K1 until marker
Round 10: K1, (K2TOG, K1 until marker) (10 stitches remain)
Switch to red (R) yarnK1, K2TOG, K1
Using DPN with these 3 stitches i-cord in red for 2 inches (or enough to tie a loose knot with the cord)
Switch to green (G) yarn (TIP a varigated/helix yarn works best) to complete holly leaf.
Row 1: Knit still as i-cord
Row 2: turn and knit as a flat piece going forwards
Row 3: KFB, K1, KFB (5 stitches)
Row 4: KFB, K3, KFB (7 stitches)
Row 5: K2TOGtbl, K3, K2TOG (5 stitches)
Row 6: K2TOGtbl, K1, K2TOG (3 stitches)
Row 7: KFB, K1, KFB (5 stitches)
Row 8: KFB, K3, KFB (7 stitches)
Row 9: K2TOGtbl, K3, K2TOG (5 stitches)
Row 10: K2TOGtbl, K1, K2TOG (3 stitches)
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: sl1, K2TOG, PSSO
Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitch.
Going back to the remaining white stitches, repeat red i-cord and green leaf two more times.
(TIP If necessary, use the tail of the red to join the three i-cords beneath the berry knots with a small stitch in the centre to prevent a hole) Weave in remaining ends.
Tie a loose knot in the i-cord so the red produces a 'berry' and the leaf pops out of the top.
Stand back and melt with festive adorable cheer.