Introduction: Easy Knit Hat Pattern

Picture of Easy Knit Hat Pattern

Whether you're a beginning knitter or a pro, you're going to love how easily this stylish cap knits up in no time! 

This pattern uses only knits (and purls if you're feelin saucy!) on a pair of 16" circular needles. Combine that with some bulky weight wool, and you'll have yourself one handsome hat before you know it.

Step 1: Materials

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For an adult cap, I used 150g of bulky wool, and one pair of size 10.5 16" circular needles. 
Additional tools to make things easier might include a crochet hook, a yarn needle, and a stitch marker, but you can also get away without these!

Step 2: Swatch

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Knitting a gauge swatch is pretty optional for this casual cap, but if you're using a different weight of yarn, you'll want different sized needles, and well, it's just a good idea to know what your finished product is going to measure up to be!

So knit yourself a 4" sq swatch.  I like to start and end my swatches with a couple rows of ribbing (k2, p2) so they don't curl up when you're done.  The rest of the swatch I do in stockinette.  However, if you're a pro and want to try out a fun pattern on this hat, practice that pattern in this swatch!

Step 3: Get Your Measurements

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Once you have your completed swatch, you'll know how many stitches per inch your set of yarn and needles will create, and you can figure out how many stitches to cast on!

For this hat, I wanted it to go all the way around the hairline, as opposed to just around the middle of my head.  I ended up casting on 72 stitches to get the right size.  You may need less or more depending on the size of your head and what your swatch tells you! 

Really, figuring this part is the hardest part of your project!  Get the measurement you want for your hat, and multiply it by the number of stitches per inch in your swatch.  Now go!

Step 4: Cast On

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I used the long-tail cast on method.  Because I always use the long-tail cast on method.  It's just the one I remember the most easily.  If you want to know more about different cast-on methods, check out this page (until we have a full library of them on Instructables!)

Being careful to make sure none of your stitches are twisted (I do this by making all of the nubby bits point towards the inside and all of the loops on the needles be on the outside), join your knitting by knitting into the first stitch you made.

Step 5: Ribbing

Picture of Ribbing

This step is optional, and depends on if you want the brim of the hat to be ribbed or rolled. 

For ribbing, work the hat in a Knit 2, Purl 2 for about an inch.  I like to use a stitch marker to indicate where I started ribbing so I can stop at the same point, but it's really not necessary.

For the brim to roll up on itself, just start in continuous knitting.

Step 6: Knit That Hat!

Picture of Knit That Hat!

Now knit your heart out!  Knit continuously until the hat measures something you like.  This one was knit to 13" from the edge of the brim.  Nice and floppy.  If you want it longer, knit more; shorter, knit less!

Step 7: Finish

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When your hat is as long as you like it to be, cut the yarn leaving a 12" tail. 
Thread the yarn through all of the loops on the needle and pull tight (a yarn needle makes this step a snap!) 
Secure the end of the yarn to the inside of the hat, using a knot and weaving the end in and out of the knitting. 

You're done!

This hat makes a great gift for anyone in cold climates.  You can take the project anywhere with you and pick up knitting where you left off without having to remember where you were in the pattern!  It couldn't be easier.

Step 8: Play

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This hat is cute on anyone.  It even accommodates a head full of dreads!

One love jah.


souschefgirl (author)2010-12-02

So, I finished mine! I may of made it too long. but it was fun. thanks for the instructable.

scoochmaroo (author)souschefgirl2010-12-09

Yay!!!! How did it go? It looks great!!!

souschefgirl (author)scoochmaroo2010-12-09

really well once I learnt how to connect them. I went out and bought 6 skeins of yarn, and I'm on my fourth one as Christmas presents. I added stripes to them too.

Agfyog (author)2010-11-21

This is EXACTLY the hat I'm always trying to knit! Did you decrease at all, or did you just pull the thread tight at the top? I always get hung up on where the k2togs should go.

scoochmaroo (author)Agfyog2010-11-21

You don't have to decrease at all, or you can do one final row of K2tog every other stitch and pull the yarn tail through that!

souschefgirl (author)2010-11-20

so when you get close to the end, do you decrease? I've never made a hat before so i'm kinda confused. Thanks!

scoochmaroo (author)souschefgirl2010-11-21

You don't have to decrease with this pattern! You can if you want to though. In which case I would recommend skp or k2tog every other stitch just in the last row before tying it off.

KyleeKnits made it! (author)2016-10-04

My first hat & circular needle experience! I made it too big and long as I don't have a huge head or dreads but it's super comfy and awesome - because I made it!

clgbrooks made it! (author)2016-01-10

working on my second hat. easy, fun, fast.

Lndrsn (author)2014-01-30

I finished my first attempt at this hat yesterday! I didn't follow the pattern correctly, and the ribbing went a bit wrong in some places, but it IS my first hat. I appreciate you sharing this pattern, thank you!

scoochmaroo (author)Lndrsn2015-03-26

Wonderful for your first hat!

ShulamisKnits made it! (author)2015-02-19

Thanks for the help! You're right, super easy..

Gorgeous! I love the yarn you chose for this and the rolled brim. Well done!

flybythenight (author)2014-10-08

Thanks for the pattern. I had great fun getting to grips with my first hat. I added a little accessory pom pom on the top for a little bit of fun. I used a pom pom maker for that bit ( ) which might be cheating a bit!?

timmons.lauren (author)2014-08-08

Hello! I'm working on this hat right now (I just started) and I'm wondering about decreasing. I taught myself how to knit about a week ago and made a hat for my boyfriend (who is going through chemo and wants a beanie) but it was way too big!! So I'm trying again and wondering how I should finish it. I read other comments about knitting 2tog every other stitch in the last row, I'm just wondering if that would still make it look kinda flowered at the top. Like I said, it's for my boyfriend so I'm trying to make it as masculine as possible. I'd appreciate any help you have! Should I just knit 2tog in the last row or should I decrease more than that?

ColbyCheese13 (author)2014-08-05

I'm curious. You didn't decrease at all did you?

jrossetti (author)2011-01-15

What if I don't have circular needles, does any part of this change? (I'm learning to knit)

scoochmaroo (author)jrossetti2011-01-16

Yes. You can do this with straight needles, but several things change. Imagine that with circular needles, you're knitting a tube. With straight needles, you'll knit a sheet that needs to be sewn into a tube.
So instead of joining the stitches in the round, you'll knit a rectangle that will wrap around your head. Decide how many stitches that is. Then when you reach the end of the row, turn your work and knit back in the other direction. This will change the texture slightly, but means you don't have to learn how to purl. If you already know how to purl, then you'd want to work knits in one direction and purls in the other - this gives you a definite front and back to your work.
After you've made the appropriate size rectangle, use the yarn to seam up the edges and cinch up the top!
I hope that helps and isn't too confusing!!

mikivanmom (author)scoochmaroo2013-11-04

My circs are too long to work easily on a hat, so I use double points. I prefer these for smaller projects. Just a hint for those who don't have either. There are tricks either way. They look intimidating, but are really very easy to learn to work on.

CarlinaT (author)2013-05-29

Where does the 36 divided by 3 calculation originate and what is it used for?

emilyvanleemput (author)2012-12-24

I'm making this right now :D

dani710 (author)2012-11-09

can i use size 11 26" circular needles for this?

scoochmaroo (author)dani7102012-11-10

Absolutely. Look for yarn that is intended to be used with size 11 needles.

dani710 (author)2012-11-09

I have size 11 26" circular needles...will that work for this?

jennabee25 (author)2012-01-02

I've made this had a few times, and usually end up giving them to other people. I finally make one for myself! Thank you for you fun pattern. :)

scoochmaroo (author)jennabee252012-01-02

That's awesome! I'd love to see some pictures!

tlawler (author)2011-12-04

I use interchangable needles on my circulars...I can't tell what size needles you are using...any suggestions?

spectacular (author)2011-01-23

lol, love the last one.

PseudoJunk (author)2011-01-20

I have worsted weight yarn and 29" (US 6) circular needles.
After I casted on loop style, and got to 75 stitches, it seemed to be too small.
I don't want to cast on too many... any idea how many stitches I should use?

PseudoJunk (author)PseudoJunk2011-01-20

Nevermind! I was using needles that were too long, haha. I switched to my 16 inchers and it looks fine now.

Mumu545 (author)2010-12-19

Would 80 stitches be too small for a 21" head? Please help!

scoochmaroo (author)Mumu5452011-01-16

It depends on what size yarn you're using! I recommend the process of trial and error.

Culturespy (author)2011-01-06

I just realized I never made a public comment on this Instructable! THANKS AGAIN FOR MY AWESOME BIRTHDAY HAT!!! :)

souschefgirl (author)2010-12-06

what is the difference between 16" circular needles and 24" circular needles when you have the same number of stitches on the needles?

resqual (author)2010-12-02

thinking of making a hat just lika that, but how many cast ons did you do before starting to knit?

would appreciate answer :)

nezumish (author)2010-11-28

Wow thanks for posting this. Its so easy and it looks so cool. I started knitting one for my boyfriend now. I hope its done before x-mas. Its going fast so it should be!

mr.squeakers (author)2010-11-26

this is cool

That Smith Kid (author)2010-11-25

Question: After I cast on, do I need to tie off at the top or anything? I'm completely new to knitting, and my sister used to knit scarves, but she's never cast on like this and has no idea. Because once I start knitting, the stitches (maybe not the stitches, but the space between needles after pulling off a stitch) slowly start becoming farther and farther apart. Help!

Cast on, and then just start knitting. You don't tie anything off until you're done (or run out of yarn and have to tie on a new ball!). After you cast on, then start to knit the first row, the stitches will seem farther apart.

If you get confused while knitting, the best thing I can suggest is just keep at it the way you think is right for a little while. Then look at what you've knit. Either you'll be pleasantly surprised, or something will be obviously wrong, and you'll start again. That's how I learned how to knit!

It's so awesome you're giving this a go!  Keep with it, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.  Good luck!

yagyu (author)2010-11-23

lol! i didn't expect that :}

Anykey (author)2010-11-21

Cool , I think i'm going to make one for my future girlfriend if she becomes my girlfriend before Christmas eheh , I have already knitted a 1m70 scarf =)

scoochmaroo (author)Anykey2010-11-21

Cool. I once made a scarf for someone I wanted to be a boyfriend. It was 12 feet long!

Anykey (author)scoochmaroo2010-11-21

It has worked ?

scoochmaroo (author)Anykey2010-11-21

Um. . .that was long time ago.

Anykey (author)scoochmaroo2010-11-22

it means no ? =/

scoochmaroo (author)Anykey2010-11-22

Well, it did work! But that was a long time ago, and now I'm lucky to have found the right person to spend the rest of my life with :D

taci.odata1 (author)2010-11-20

you look like michael jackson :)) are those real ?

anniemagz (author)2010-11-19

in the intro you said you used 16" circular needles, and in the materials section you said 13". which is correct? HALP! i really want to make this! :]

scoochmaroo (author)anniemagz2010-11-19

Oops, 16". Do they make 13"? Either one would work actually!

anniemagz (author)2010-11-19

uh... *like* ahahaha

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