Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crochet Chemo Sleep Cap

Crochet Chemo Sleep Cap Pattern

This pattern is by no means an original.  Many different parts were pulled from other hats.  I wanted to create a sleep hat that had no seams and no knots to irritate the skin while lying down.  I needed a hat that fit snug, and kept the head warm all night.  I found a few knit patterns that filled all the requirements, I did not find a crochet pattern that met all these needs. So I wrote this basic outline.  This pattern was created on Ravelry just so that I could duplicate it easily in my projects.  I had to have a place to host my pattern, so this blog it is!  This pattern was written as a reference to myself, so if you happen to stumble across it and have questions, don’t hesitate to email me:  skattersATgmail or you can leave a comment here too.

Yarns I have used:  I Love This Cotton, Caron Simply Soft  (remember to use VERY soft yarn for chemo caps and most people don't like wool.)
Hook:  5.0 mm  “H” hook

Pattern Notes:  Hat is worked in a spiral.  Do not join rounds. You can work in all dcs (as written) or hdcs (just substitute hdc for all dcs in pattern) for a tighter stitch. Just use one stitch consistently. This pattern was originally created for an adult female.  I prefer to keep my hats just a bit on the small size, since you have to account for the lack of hair. I will eventually use this pattern to create sleep caps for men too, making them a bit larger and leaving off the shell border.

Rnd 1:  magic circle, 11 dcs in circle, pull circle tight. Do not join here, or any rnd following  (11 dcs)
Rnd 2:    2 dcs in each st around.  Use stitch marker in first stitch, move up to first stitch at the beginning of each rnd to keep track of where to begin/end each rnd (22 dcs)
Rnd 3:  *2 dcs in first st, 1dc in next st* repeat * around to end of rnd (33 dcs)
Rnd 4:  *2 dcs in first st, dc in next 2 sts* repeat * around to end of row  (44 dcs)
Rnd 5:    *2 dcs in first st,  dc in next 3 sts* repeat * around to end of rnd (55 dcs)
Rnd 6:    *2 dcs in first st, dc in next 4 sts*  repeat * around to end of rnd  (66 dcs)

Continue rounds in this way, adding one more stitch in each of the “dc in the next  __ sts” until the hat has a diameter of approximately 6 - 6.5” for adult female hat or 7 - 7.5" for an adult male hat. (See HERE for more information about sizing hats.)  I measure diameter from edge to edge of the circle, going across the middle hole.  Feel free to change this diameter, based on whose hat you are making.

Rnd 1:  dc in ea st around
Repeat Rnd 1 until hat measures approximately 7“.  (lay the hat flat, and measure from the tippy top of the crown (where the magic circle hole is) down the front of the cap, to the bottom of your last rnd.)  Once again, these measurements are a starting point, adjust as you need. You may want to try on the hat at this time to determine whether you want more rows or not.

For a male hat, I just work 2 -4 rows of single crochet. A reverse single crochet looks nice, but I have heard from multiple chemo patients that it pulls and binds.

For the female hats, I use a simple shell border. If you want a subtle shell, like the one pictured on the two purple hats, use hdcs in your shells.  If you want a more pronounced shell, like on the turquoise hat, use dcs.  (Directions given using hdcs.)

Rnd 1:  *sl st in next st. sk next st. 5 hdcs in next st. skip next st* repeat around. 

Depending on how many stitches you ended up with in the crown, the shells may not work out evenly.  I just try to position my last 2 shells the best I can.  That is considered the back of the hat, so I am not too worried about it.

That’s it!  Just weave in the ends and you’re done!


  1. Thank you for this pattern. This is my first time crocheting and it is coming along fine! I am due for brain surgery in 2 weeks

  2. Searching for a cap to make for my friend who wears her hair extremely short and the air conditioner blows on her head at night. This looks perfect. Thanks, I will try it!

    I hope Anonymous from Jan 2013 completed her cap and has recovered well.

    a friend

  3. Thank you for sharing your pattern. I'll be making a few of them for a friend.
    ~Terri from Red Deer, AB, Canada

  4. Losing my hair to chemo. Luv this pattern, it's attractive. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing the pattern I have family that has been diagnosed with cancer and I know shell just love this hat. Thank you again for the pattern.

  6. I dont see how many to chain to start; help please. Love the looks of this hat. Thanks for sharing and look forward to your reply.

    1. If you are not familiar with magic circles, I would ch 4, then join the ch. Crochet the first 11 dcs into the center of the joined chain. But magic circles really are fantastic to learn - there are youtube videos if you want to learn! Good luck!

  7. This hat is gorgeous I am trying to make it for my mother in law who will be going through chemo shortly. UUnfortunately I've tore it out 3 times the first time I did it in DC and that hat came out as it should it just seemed too big for someone that won't have hair. Second and third time I never made past the crown. Despite having the correct amount of stitches and using a H hook and simply soft it will not lay flat and waves. Should I start over with a smaller hook? I don't know what else to do? I've made hats in the past where the crown domes nicely? Not sure what I'm missing here please please help!

    1. Did you figure out how to stop this from happening?

    2. Mine went in waves too, and the hat came out way too big. I ripped it waaay back till there were only 62 stitches in the round (about 5-5.5 inches diameter). It lay flat there, and I started the body of the hat from there. For some reason, it turned out sized just right for me, an average sized woman. It has a kind of cylindrical shape, but goes on nicely. I used hdc throughout. I am wondering: for each round of the crown, I started the counting afresh, so that when I ended a round, if I hadn't completed the cycle (of 2 hdc, 1 dc, etc.), I started from the beginning in the next round. Maybe I should have finished the count for that round in the next one before starting the new count? Anyway, it's a lovely hat, and I'm pleased with it. I'm making it for a woman friend, but she doesn't like frills, so I tried two rows of sc at the end for a border, as suggested. It came out looking good.

  8. Thanks so much for the pattern! I have stage four uterine cancer and will be starting nine months of chemo after Thanksgiving, and trying to crochet a large number of caps. I have a hard time following patterns, but this one is easy to follow, so I really appreciate it!

  9. Thank you for this! My daughter works in patient registration and registers chemo patients. They recently ran out of free hats to give their patients and she asked me if I could make some. I have never made hats before but look forward to making these as a pay it forward fulfillment. I'm losing my vision from macular degeneration but have had tremendous support and to repay that debt I promised to pay it forward. You're a doll to post this, thanks again!

  10. Very nice and simple hat! I followed the directions exactly as they are written, using Caron simply soft, and the hat is beautiful! My one alteration and only suggestion would be when you are almost done working rounds, about 5 stitches before your stitch marker where the shells will begin do a hdc,then 2 sc and then 2 slip stitches. This brings the spiral work to an even ending point, and your shells will work out in one round row, nice and even at the end! Thanks a bunch for the pattern!

  11. Thanks for the suggestion about evening the row out. I tried it, and it worked nicely.

  12. Is dcs and dc the same thing? Is there any decreasing ?

  13. Thank you for your generous pattern and I appreciate that we may use double crochets (dcs) and half-double crochets (hdcs) for this hat.