How to Knit an Easy Beanie Hat with Straight Needles
Why Easy Hat Knitting?
I knit because I find it relaxing. For that reason, I tend to stay away from the more complicated patterns that might require too much concentration and focus. I like simple items that knit up quickly and that I can easily give away as soon as they are completed. That is the reason I learned to knit an easy hat. The pattern in this article is my favorite because:
- It's simple
- It's versatile (I use various types of yarns and stitches from hat to hat)
- I can make one in about two hours
For the same reasons, this is also a wonderful project for beginning knitters and those new to hat knitting patterns. It uses simple stitches and requires some basic skills like decreasing and sewing seams, and it can be completed in a short enough time that a new knitter doesn't get bored or discouraged.
Hat knitting is also an excellent way to get rid of all of those yarn scraps left over from other projects. I always have a bucket of yarn odds and ends laying around, so I make tons of these hats throughout the year and give them away as "just because" gifts.
A Few Variations on My Favorite Knitted Hat
A Knitting Newbie?
If you have never knitted before, some of these instructions will sound like gibberish. Watch the videos below the directions to learn how to cast, knit, and purl.
What You Need
- 1 ball of yarn (worsted weight or larger)
- Size 9 straight needles, crochet hook, or tapestry needle
Cast on 60 stitches.
Work in k1p1 rib for 4 rows (I sometimes do k2p2 rib instead)
Switch to a stockinette stitch (or any stitch you like) and work back and forth until the hat measures 5 inches long.
Begin to decrease rows as follows:
Row 1) k8, k2tog across
Row 2) purl
Row 3) k7, k2tog across
Row 4) purl
Row 5) k6, k2tog across
Row 6) purl
Row 7) k5, k2tog across
Row 8) purl
Row 9) k4, k2tog across
Row 10) purl
Row 11) k3, k2tog across
Row 12) purl
Row 13) k2, k2tog across
Row 14) purl
Row 15) k1 k2tog across
There should be 12 stitches left on your needle. Do not bind off, but close the top instead, then sew up the back seam. Attach a pom if you like.
I've had several people ask in the comments section what I mean by "close up the top" rather than bind off. I think my response is often overlooked so I'll add it here.
After I've completed the last decrease row, I cut my yarn, leaving about a 10-inch tail. I then thread the tail with a large tapestry needle and go back to the beginning of the row. Beginning with the stitch farthest from the tip of the knitting needle, I thread the tail back through the remaining stitches, creating a loop. I then pull the work off of the knitting needle and pull the tail tight. This creates a circular closure that is easy to attach poms or other ornaments to.
Additional Sizes for Infants and Large Heads
I normally adjust the size of this had simply by changing needle size or yarn weight—smaller needles and yarn for children or infant hats, bigger for people with large heads—and it works very well. However, should you need to adjust your hat by a number of stitches, you can do so in increments of ten. Just remember that for every ten stitches you add, you'll have to add one decrease row and for every ten you subtract, you'll have to subtract a decrease row.
I also sometimes add some height to the pattern so that the hat breaks over and hangs a little down the back like the one in the photo below. This is done by inserting an additional k row and an additional p row after decrease rows 5, 9, and 13.