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How to Knit an Easy Beanie Hat With Straight Needles

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I am a mother, knitter, realtor, and used-to-be writer from the South Central United States.

How to knit an easy hat with straight needles.

How to knit an easy hat with straight needles.

Why I Love This Easy Knit Hat Pattern

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 few variations on my favorite knitted hat



  • 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

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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.

A variation with stripes and some braids instead of a pom.

A variation with stripes and some braids instead of a pom.

First Things First: Cast Your Stitches

"k2tog" Means "Knit Two Together"


RH Guderjahn on August 18, 2020:


Emily on August 19, 2019:

Hi! I have so far knit four hats like this and I absolutely love the pattern! Using Red Heart yarn works perfect and I don't even have to adjust the size of my needles because it is very stretchy because of the ribbing. The hats will fit on my daughter, myself, and my husband. I only adjust length for adults and do shorter ones for kids. I may try doing designs in it as I go along, but I'm making lots of hats for Christmas gifts this year so I may just stick with simple for now. Thanks so much for the pattern! It's an awesome, quick working hat!

Mo on April 08, 2019:

Needle size is very misleading.Just finished it and could see as I was making it that it was too small.Lucky if it will fit a baby.

Alice Kelley on February 21, 2019:

On row two of the pattern after the first lot of decreasing do I purl the whole row ?

Eileen Sheehan on February 06, 2019:

I have just completed my first beanie hat!! Great pattern .... thank you so much. Must try to reduce the size now as I want to make one for a child.

Annemarie Bryant on February 02, 2019:

Knitting Tammy chunky wool wooden straight knitting needles many stitches cast on thank you Annemarie Bryant

Lily on December 14, 2018:

This is an amazing article and works really well!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 04, 2018:

Thank you for these very easy to follow instructions. My grandson is visiting for a week and he asked if I could knit him a beanie while he was here. I was so happy to find your instructions. You are an excellent tutor.

Ang on October 26, 2018:

So i couldn't continue decreasing or i would have ended up with like 2 stiches, as someone else mentioned they had.. can you add a video or pictures to make it easier to understand? on June 13, 2018:

Love this pattern,I made the hat for my one month old grandnephew. I am a 72 years old grandmother and just like you, I knit because I find it relaxing. I knit while I play the SIMS game in the computer, I don't do patterns that require too many color changes or stitch count . This pattern is perfect for me. I will be knitting lots of hats using it

OragamiSauce on April 15, 2018:

I used this pattern to make a hat my size (but with what I think is the tubular cast on since I wanted to see if it works) and needed to add more cast in stitches so it would be big enough around.

But how do I add a decrease row when I get to that part?

Margaret Roberts on December 22, 2017:

Love this pattern, get it done in a night. Looks great in seed stitch

Runo on December 09, 2017:

Exacty what I was thinking all the way through my knitting - that I had misunderstood the needle size. Indeed it should be 9mm needles. I had size 8mm and it turned out exactly my size. Otherwise, well written and I needed just a couple of hours to complete it. Thanks a lot for the pattern.

Jayne on November 19, 2017:

I think the needle size should have read 9mm needles, as using UK 9 needles would not give the size of the stitches shown in the picture of the striped hat!

CATHERINE on November 07, 2017:

I finished knitting a baby's beret when I finished it and sewed it up and end of pattern it tells you to cast on 8 stitches and work 2 rows and then cast off where does that go on beret

Kathryn on November 05, 2017:

I made this exactly and it will fit a 7 year old at best haha

Patti on October 29, 2017:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the easiest and quickest hat EVER!

susie on September 20, 2017:

it would be helpful if you edited and tell us lets say how many stiches for women or men or children...i have spent nitting this for a day already and im praying that it fits me..

mary on August 27, 2017:

very nice thanks

Margaret on July 26, 2017:

Thank you for the pattern

Patience on April 24, 2017:

Very nice

and easy to understand. Thank you.

Barbara Miller on March 02, 2017:

Hi thanks for the beanie pattern but, I didn't end up with 12 stiches only 2 so now I don't know how to finish it, the top is a little long. Thank you

Crystal on January 24, 2017:

I am using yarn that is significantly smaller then the last yarn I used for a hat. I have seen that to get an accurate number of cast on stitches you need to multiply the number of stitches per inch by the circumference of your head. Have you ever used this way? And if so did it work for you?

Kaerla Fellows on January 17, 2017:

Just finished my first one of these and I gotta say, I love how easy and fast it is! Thank you for sharing it! I must have a really huge head though, because the completed hat fits me like a yarmulke. Also, I must have done something really wrong when doing the decreases because I wasn't able to do all the decrease rows - contributing, I'd bet, to the yarmulke effect. I will happily try this again, though!