How to Knit a Hat

How To Knit A Hat? Feeling like grabbing your hook to learn how to knit a hat after interacting with fancy beanie patterns? Most knitters feel the same when they see great patterns online. What better way can you go about this if not trying?

In this post, we walk you through the process of knitting a hat, the different patterns and needles you can use to knit a hat for yourself, a loved one, or for business. 

Read on to get pro tips on how to make hats and keep yourself warm in the winter, or just be trendy! 

Different Approaches On How To Knit a Hat For Beginners Step By Step

Knit a classic hat with bulky yarn
Image Source: Spruce

While making a hat is perceived as hard by most knitting beginners, it does not have to be for you. If you know how to knit a scarf, you already have a basic understanding of what knitting is all about. 

So, how do you knit a hat?

The type of hat you craft depends on the pattern you choose, the yarn used, and the type of needles you use. 

You can either use straight needles or circular needles for your hats. The results will be different in the pattern but will give you the same comfort and warmth. 

The most common hat knitting design is knitting in the round. If you have never used circular needles to knit, the following breakdown will introduce you to how to knit in the round. 

How To Knit In The Round

Join to knit in the round
Image source: Pinterest

Knitting in the round is the one thing standing between you and making a nice hat for yourself. 

Using circular or double-pointed needles might seem like an impossible task, yet, with practice, it can be the easiest way to knit

When knitting in the round, you can either use circular needles, double-pointed needles (DPNs), or the loop method. Whichever method you use, you first need to understand the ground rules of knitting in the round.

Knitting in the round methods

Size of needle

Circular knitting

12 inches circular needle for baby hats and  16 inches circular needles for adult hats. 

Double pointed knitting

8 inches double pointed needle

Magic loop knitting

Magic loop needles depending on the hat’s size.

    1. You are not knitting in circles

Knitting in the round does not literally mean that. Instead, you will be spiraling your way to a beautiful hat. Once you start knitting, every new stitch will be laying on top of an older stitch in a spiral manner. 

This design is more visible if you are using multiple colors for your hat. 

    1. The twisted blunder

Twisted stitches will mess up the aesthetic value of your hat. As a beginner, you might be tempted to twist the stitches from your cast-on row. Ignore the temptation!

Make sure that your cast-on stitches face the same direction. You do not want to be going in circles (literally this time) and unraveling your work. 

    1. You can’t exhaust the joining variety

The beautiful thing about knitting in the round is the many options you can choose from when joining. As a beginner, you can choose the less complicated options, but you can also challenge yourself with the more complicated ones. 

As long as you are knitting in a spiral, you will always get a notch where you are supposed to make joins. This is only different if you are working with invisible joins.

      4. No wrong sides

You must be wondering, how is that possible?

When knitting in the round, you will never turn your needle to the other side. For instance, when you are knitting a stockinette, you will knit every row, unlike when knitting it in the stitch flat method. 

Do not worry; this will make more sense when you start knitting. 

How To Start Knitting Your Hat With Double Needles 

The double needles method is assumed to be a reserve for knitting pros, but that does not mean you cannot hack it to knit your hats. 

The tools you will need for this method are:

    • Five DPNs
    • Yarn
    • Scissors
    • Tapestry needle

Here is a step by step guide to using double-pointed needles:

Step 1 

Depending on your pattern, cast on in the round. Look out for twists on the cast-on row and join the ends.

Pro tip: Mark the beginning of your round with a marker pen. 

Step 2

Place your needles in a tic tac toe shape. Use only four of the five DPNs,  working each side from needle to needle flat. 

Step 3

Take your working yarn and use the fifth DPN to start stitching from the stitch attached to the yarn. 

Step 4

Work through the stitches till you have worked all of them to the fifth DPN. 

By the time you are done with the first round, you’ll java another free DPN with which you‘ll start working on the DPN with live stitches. 

Step 5

Repeat the steps from 3 to the last stitch. Ensure that you do not leave bundles of yarn in between your DPNs to help you tighten the stitches to your preferences. 

How Do I Knit a Hat With A Circular Needle?

Bind off knitting circular needle
Image Source: Knitting&Crotcheting

Using circular needles might be difficult as a beginner, but it gets easier with practice. Here are some of the tools you will need:

    • One circular needle
    • A set of double-pointed needles
    • Yarn
    • Tape measure 
    • Scissors

Step 1

Using your circular needle, cast on around 72 stitches for a grown-up’s hat. Join the ends to work in the round, and be careful not to twist the stitches.

Step 2

Start working on the brim with a rib pattern. Do this until the brim gets to 3 inches. You can achieve this with 12 rounds. 

Step 3

You are now working on the body. Use the stockinette stitch until you get 5 inches on the body. 

Step 4

Shape the crown of the hat by removing stitches as you work upwards; sounds complicated?

Use the knit two-together formula to decrease the stitches. As you go up, every round will be less than twelve stitches. 

Your double-pointed needles will come in handy here, especially when you no longer have enough stitches to work with the circular needle. 

Step 5

Leave a 6-inch tail and cut the yarn to finish the hat. Thread the yarn through a yarn needle or a tapestry needle and work it through the center of the 12 remaining stitches. 

Pull the yarn tightly to close the top of the hat. 

Make sure to leave the yarn on the inside and then weave it in. 

How to Make a Knitted Hat With the Magic Loop Method

With the magic loop, you can use cables between 16 and 32 inches or more, depending on the size of your hat. 

The magic loop method makes your knitting easy and enjoyable because it is easier to follow the round. You can use this method for even the smallest hats. You will need:

    • Magic loop needles
    • Yarn
    • Knotting notions
    • Scissors 

Step 1

Cast on your desired number of stitches. 

Step 2

Divide the stitches on the two needles, then pull your cable to the center of the needles. 

Step 3

Pull your stitches from the cable to the needles. 

Step 4

Adjust the needles to make the first stitch you cast to be on the needle closest to you. Next, move the tail of your yarn to one side and hang your working yarn at the back of your needle. 

If you are going to purl your first stitch, let the working yarn hang between the needles. 

Step 5

Remove the stitches from the needle and back to the cable, and keep your working yarn toward the back. Make the first stitch and work your way up. 

Step 6

Continue knitting on the old stitches with your left-hand needle. 

Step 7

Turn your work so that the worked stitches face you. Then, pull the needle so that the stitches rest on the cable. 

Slide the unworked stitches on the front needle and ensure that your yarn always faces the back as you knit. 

Step 8

Bringing the back needle around, knit on the first stitch on the front needle. Then, continue knitting on the front needle stitches. 

When you are done, you’ll have completed one round. 

Step 9

Repeat step 8 until you achieve the desired size of your hat. 

Different Patterns For Knitting in The Round In Hats

You can use the knitting in the round hat technique to make some of the coziest and trendy hats. Whether you use the double needles, circular needles, or the magic loop, there is an endless pattern list to what you can create. Here are a few examples in this cluster:

    1. Pike Street Hat

How knit a beanie
Image source: Lion Brand Yarn

If you are looking for a quick knitting project, this is the hat to go for. You must know how to knit in the round, understand the stockinette stitch, and use K2TOGs. 

Some of the tools you will need are double-pointed needles, a stitch marker, and a tapestry needle to weave in the ends. 

      2. Guernsey Tam

How to knit a hat for beginners
Image source: Pinterest

You’ll need a circular needle and prowess in the garter stitch for this simple yet fun project. You also need to use K2TOGs and use a German twisted cast on. 

The trick with this hat is that you must knit a swatch first to take actual measurements. 

      3. Yawl Hat

How to make a knitted hat
Image source: Pinterest

With a circular needle or DPNs, you can create a masterpiece with this design. You must make the cast on with DPNs or two circular needles and knit in the round all through the project. 

You will also have to incorporate purls, K2TOGs, and SSKs for best results. 

      4. Basic Beanies

How to knit a hat easy
Image source: Pixabay

Once you learn how to knit a beanie for beginners, you can try making a traditional beanie or a slouchy hat.  

You should know how to knit a beanie in the round and use the purl stitch to create a beautiful piece that you can gift to someone or sell. 

You will also need to be conversant with knitting decreases to achieve a perfect top for your hat. 

Learn how to cast off perfectly for a nice finish on this hat.  

      5. Simple Texture Slouch Hat

Simple texture slouch hat
Image source: Pinterest

If you are beginning your hat knitting journey, this is one of the designs you need to try out. All you need to know is the stockinette stitch and how to knit in the round. 

You also need to know how to knot front and back to hack this design. 

How to Knit A Hat With Straight Needles

If you cannot wrap your head around how to knit in the round, do not worry. You can still learn how to knit a hat with straight needles for beginners and make an amazing craft. The good news is that it is so easy to hack!

Knitting on straight needles works relatively the same as knitting in the round, only with less hassle. 

The tools you will need are in the table below:




A pair

Knitting notions (tapestry, stitch marker)

1 each


Depends on the size of your hat and the bulkiness of the yarn


A pair

Step 1

Cast on your hat and make the brim. You can use up to 72 stitches for the cast on and make a brim up to 3 inches from the cast edge.  Ensure you end this stage with a wrong side row. 

Step 2

Make the body of the hat up to 10 inches from the cast edge, or as far as you want your hat to go depending on the pattern. Again, end this stage with a row on the wrong side. 

Step 3

Start decreasing the size of your hat to make the top. You can use the two-together formula to decrease as you go up. 

When you reach your last row, cut the yarn off, leaving a 15-inch tail. Thread the tail through the remaining stitches and pull it to seal. 

Step 4

Seam the hat with a mattress stitch. Bring the two sides together and match the rows. 

Make a mattress stitch by matching the topmost row on the left with the one on the right. Do this to the last row on the cast.

You can learn how to make woven labels and attach them to your hats for identification.

Different Patterns for Knit On Straight Needles Hats

Just because you are knitting your hats on straight needles does not mean that you do not have many patterns to choose from. Be it grown-ups hats or baby hats; you cannot possibly exhaust the list. 

Here are some of the most common patterns:

    1. Flat Knit Beginner Hat

Flat knit beginner knit hat
Image source: Pinterest

If you are learning how to start knitting hats on straight needles, this is the most convenient choice. 

You will need large needles and bulky yarn to make the process easier for you. The result will be a warm, funky, and stylish hat. 

The hat comes with rolled-over brim doubles, which translate to more warmth fr your ears on those chilly mornings or in the winter. 

      2. The Easy Chunky Pom Pom Hat

Easy chunky pompom hat
Image source: Pinterest

This is another one of the easiest straight needle hats you can make. It also uses bulky yarn and is knitted flat. If you know how to use your needles well, you should be done in less than an hour with this hat. 

Even as a beginner, you will find this one easy to make as long as you know how to knit a scarf

      3. The True Blue Men’s Beanie 

How to knit a cap
Image source: Pinterest

If you want to knit a beanie hat for a special man in your life and are looking for something that he’ll approve of, this is the design to adopt. 

The True Blue Men’s Beanie hat is the most approved among men, and it is very stylish. 

You can make it with a simple K2, P2 ribbing around it to give it simplicity and glamour. Once you understand how to knit a beanie with straight needles, work the hat on a flat surface and seam it together in the end. 

      4. The Fast & Furious Ear Flap Hat

Men's ear knit flap hat
Image source: Pinterest

Nobody ever outgrows the ear flaps! 

This is one of those designs you can complete in the shortest time possible (depending on your knitting speed) and still get a nice and cozy touch on it. 

You can work on this design as a beginner or a veteran. 

      5. The Winter’s First Snow Beanie

First snow beanie
Image source: Pinterest

If you are preparing for winter or knitting for someone living in a cold area, this is the ultimate design. 

The hat is warm, cozy, and ideal for winter. With this design, you create beauty and simplicity that will have your loved ones warmed up or your clients smiling through the winter. 

It is a unisex design, and you can glam it by adding a pom-pom for detail. 

How to Knit a Basic Hat with No Pattern

If you do not have a pattern to work with for your hat or just want to break away from the normal patterns, you can still make a beautiful hat. You just need to have your measurements right and know how to cast-on and other important knitting details. You should also know how to attach care labels on your hat to refer to when cleaning it. 

Here are the tools you will need:

    • Tape measure or ruler
    • Sewing pins
    • Pen, paper, and calculator
    • Yarn
    • Needles (circular or  DPNs)
    • Knitting notions such as tapestry and stitch markers

Step 1

Understand the gauge you will be using depending on the yarn and needles you have. 

Make a 3 inches wide swatch to make sure your measurements are correct. Use the stitch you will be using in your hat.

Bind off the swatch but do not cut off the yarn. You might use the swatch later in your hat. 

Make a nice square with the swatch, and secure it with pins. Do not overstretch it, so you do not mess up the measurements. 

Count the stitches you need on each row so that you can determine the width of your hat up. 

Step 2

Crunch your numbers here to determine the exact size of your hat. Then, take the head circumference and multiply it by the number of stitches you got per inch in the previous step.

Multiply your total with 85% (because of the snug aspect). Round off the total to the closest multiple, which will match the ribbing you intend to use in your hat. 

Before you cast on, think about the decrease of the crown. Ensure the number is a multiple of 7,8,9 or 10 (this is where your maths lessons come in handy). 

The length of your hat depends on the design you want to adopt. Will it be a beanie or a slouchy? 

Step 3

Follow the steps discussed in the methods above to knit your hat. Remember to weave in the ends for a neat look at your new design. 


Knitting a hat should not be a hard process especially if you know how to knit a blanket or a sweater. 

Your hat knitting venture will introduce you to the knit in the round process of knitting. You will need to learn how to use circular, double-pointed, and magic loop needles. 

This will be an interesting journey as you try out the many hat patterns and perfect your art.