half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

FO: Brainmonster

Aww yeah.


It should have been up earlier this week, but I have a real excuse this time, which is that I’ve been sick. Okay, we all know that I’m sick, but this time I mean in the medical sense. But hey, not even a whole week late, go me!

It’s been re-christened “brainmonster” because “monster hat” is just not a name. There is a story to this name, but it’s so dreadfully boring that I refuse to tell it.


Pattern: Brainmonster
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather, 1 skein; Patons Classic Wool in Winter White, much much less than 1 skein
Needles: US 7

Oy. The long tale of the monster hat, where do I begin? Something like a year ago, I saw this hat on a LiveJournal community. Not this hat, but a hat with teeth and eyes and earflaps. I had to have one. But there was no pattern! No problem, said I, I’ll just make one up. So I did. The one I saw had knitted eyes instead of my googlies, and the teeth were a bit different I think, but I can’t take any credit for the idea; I stuck pretty close to the one I saw.

I had no intention of writing up a pattern, since it wasn’t really my concept, but I posted my finished hat on LJ and people went nuts over it, and I started to think I may as well write it up. People wanted to make it, so I may as well save them the trouble of figuring out a pattern when I had a perfectly good one in my head.

Except I didn’t know how to write a pattern then, so I didn’t. By the time I came back to it, months later, I totally couldn’t remember what I had did. And so I made Brainmonster II and this time wrote everything the fuck down. Hooray! We have pattern!


I actually figured out how to make stockinette teeth that don’t curl. (Answer: slip stitch edging and centered double decreases.) And the earflaps are muuuuch nicer than they were on the first version. I think this is a pretty solid monstery hatty pattern.

When I took the googly eyes out of their package, I saw this:


Okay, I understand why there are warning labels on everything. I do. But you’re really supposed to keep giant googly eyes out of the reach of children? Who is going to use giant googly eyes besides children and moderately insane adults who make monster hats? Giant googly eyes are for children! They belong in the reach of children! Perhaps the warning is there because they’re coated with lead paint, like all children’s toys (apparently).

Now here’s the other reason I put off posting the pattern. Yeah, I was sick, but not so sick that I couldn’t finish the hat, and photograph the hat, and write up most of the pattern. But I needed some action shots of the hat. Oh, hell.

Sweaters are easy, I just chop my head off. Hats require visible heads. I DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH WELL. And when I say that, I don’t mean “ugh, I’m not very photogenic”. What I mean is “I am so completely un-photogenic that any picture of me resembles a retarded monkey, will scare children, will also scare adults, will also scare me and prompt me to walk around with a paper bag over my head for several weeks”. Which is actually unnecessary because I look perfectly normal in person. It’s just photos. Fucking evil photos from my fucking evil camera that won’t be satisfied with simple phantom backfat but has to ruin my face too.

I’m not bitter.

I sucked it up and took two separate photoshoots, and was rewarded with a whole bunch of retarded monkey pictures, and posted a couple of the least horrifying ones with the pattern, because I’ve gotta post something. But ugh. I need to find other people to model my knits, I think.

And because I love my readers, you all deserve to see me look like a fool, so here is the obligatory “OH MY GOD IT’S EATING MY HEAD” shot. (Which is not on the pattern page, for what I hope are obvious reasons.)


Hee hee hee.

Okay, that’s quite enough of that. Go forth and make monster hats! You know you want brain-eating creatures on your head.


  1. heatherfeather says:

    I am very glad your brain didn’t get so eaten as to have ruined your brain for typing and writing patterns and posting blog pictures of your head being eaten because OH MY GOSH this is the best thing ever.

  2. Julie says:

    Looks very cute! Glad you solved the teeth problem.

  3. Alice says:

    Too stinkin’ cute! Thanks so much for sharing this pattern!

  4. Tanya says:

    Brain-munchingly AWESOME!! I have been waiting for this since, I don’t know, a long time ago. My 4-year-old nephew must have this for Christmas. I promise to send along any modifications I come up with to make it fit him. THANK YOU!!

  5. Sara Fail says:

    With this as my headgear, I’ll have knit for brains . . . .

    . . . fair exchange, methinks!

  6. Jeanne says:

    Too cute!

  7. Kelly says:

    Haha, the hate is AWESOME I saw it up on Ravelry yesterday and was all like “YES!”.

    I think that warning is on about half of things which are obviously for children. I think the label should be changed to “Attention parents: if you’re not watching your kid and they choke on our product, too bad, you should be supervising!”.

  8. Erin says:

    Hurrah! I’ve made the hat + earflaps part already and bought felt to make the teeth, but the knitted teeth are much cooler.

    Thanks so much for writing the pattern!

    Love the “oh my god, it’s eating my brain” photo. Hi-larious!

  9. Kimberly says:

    I’ve been lurking for a long time (I’ve even RSS’d you, so I never miss a post), but I have to bust out and say thanks for the pattern! I’ve ravel’d it!

    Also… nuh uh! You do take good pictures — I think you look super pretty in your Ravelry pic! :-)

  10. Jamie says:

    Wow… I *love* that hat. The pattern rocks muchly, thanks for posting it! Now I have to go knit it!

  11. Heather says:

    It is the nicest hat I have ever seen.

  12. Diana says:

    This hat makes me happy. :)

  13. Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » Hats says:

    […] Brain Eating Monster Hat combines humor that both kids and adults will appreciate, and the pattern is […]

  14. Rich Holmes says:

    Great hat!

    Only… are you sure about the gauge? A friend of mine made it, got gauge, but it came out kind of small. At 20 stitches to 4 inches, 90 stitches is 18 inches… seems kind of small for an adult hat. Of course my own head is freakishly big, but even for normal people, wouldn’t 20 inches or so be more usual?

  15. Tanya says:

    Ok, I finally posted my nephew-eating hat! Because I have a cartoon-nephew, whose head is nearly as big as his body, I didn’t actually need to resize it. As you see, it fits perfectly:
    (Also on ravelry, under merp)

    And your pattern knitted up perfectly! I love it – thank you!

    P.S. I made monster slippers, too.

  16. Phlaphappies says:

    So creative! We have a new fun site where we are collecting photos of hats with earflaps and I would love it if you would let us include this one. Very cute :-)

  17. unsusp_0 says:

    hi there,
    for everyone who’s interested, I translated the whole pattern into german (because I so so want to knit brainmonster the cutey). everyone who wants it:
    i’m available at “larapauser@hotmail.de” please put somtething like “brainmonster” in the ref or i’ll delete it as i get tons of spam (probably because i post the adress practically everywhere)

  18. Kerstyn MacQueen says:

    OMFG!! Will you make me a hat like this??? Please!! E-mail me: kerstynm@live.ca

  19. Bella says:


  20. Chris says:

    thats a sweet hat i tottaly want one

  21. Fairly Odd Tofu Mom says:

    Just found this pattern (I know it’s been here a while, don’t know if you knit any more…) after my daughter saw one in a store, sorta similar, and wanted it… but it was 45$!! So we’re enlisting the help of a neighbor who loves to knit.

    Where did you get the giant googley eyes? That’s the only thing we can’t find…

  22. Crazy kidd who wears a knitted panda hat says:

    This hat is one of the most amazing hats that I have EVER seen!
    It is pure genius!

  23. JULIA says:


  24. charity says:

    OMG!!! i cant knit….but i would LOVE to buy one!!! please! im serious!

  25. jessica says:

    that is the coolest hat ever…except for the owl hat a jean wear house

  26. Fairly Odd Tofu Mom says:

    Just letting you know we made this hat and my daughter LOVES LOVES it… picture on my blog! THANKS for the pattern!

  27. Justin says:

    Oh my goodness. This hat is terrific!

    I will totally shell out the money for one! Are you in the business of knitting for others? :D Please let me know! Great work!!!


  28. Justin says:

    Oh, and where can I get the pattern?

  29. Suzy Krabass says:

    omg like omg like i like totally like love like you freaking awesome like hat !!!!!!!!!! ;D

  30. Suzy Crabass says:



  31. Suzy Crabass says:


  32. Suzy Crabass says:


  33. Suzy Crabass says:

    xoxoxo .;)

  34. meagan johnston says:

    i loooooooove it

  35. aunt duck says:

    oh no! I foresee a whole swarm of Brainmonsters descending on every member of my family under the age of 17 this Christmas! Even the age thing and dignity may not be enough to save them!

  36. nettej says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about with this non-photogenic nonsense, you are adorable. I shouldn’t say adorable because it’s vaguely patronizing and you’re older than I am by more than 5 years.

    Anyways, I am going to have to knit up like a bajillion of this because I know my friends will go craaaazy for it

  37. Chris says:

    I love the design, but when I tried to make it the thread wouldn’t reach all the way around the needle.

    Just by looking at the directions: Gauge = 20 stiches is 4 inches. You call for a 40 inch needle. Isn’t that a bit big? My math comes to about 18″. Wouldn’t a 20ish inch needle be better?

    I couldn’t even find a 40″ needle, not sure they even sell that kind of thing. 40″ would be like a shirt?

    Please fill me in

  38. Heidi says:

    Thank you for sharing this cute pattern. I just finished knitting one for my grandson. :) I purchased the 40mm googly eyes, but can’t seem to find the right size button. Do you recall where you bought your buttons?

  39. Diane says:

    You are quite the nut….. I love your site !