I learned how to knit a hat last year - I can't believe I'm just now documenting it. I'm not a huge fan of hats but this slouchy hat style is super comfortable and warm!
Knitting on a loom is easy even if you've never done it before. This is a fantastic beginner's project - it will help you understand what your stitches should look like and how the process works. I think once you complete this slouchy hat you'll be hooked on loom knitting - I know I am. :D
Looking for another loom project? I've got one up for knitting an infinity scarf as well!
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- large round knitting loom (40-45 pegs)
- knitting hook
- yarn needle
- 1 skein chunky yarn OR 2 skeins regular yarn
Head to the next step to learn more about what yarn works best. :)
Step 2: Choosing Your Yarn
The only downside to knitting looms is that there can be quite a bit of space between the knitting because there are large spaces between the pegs! If you use a thin yarn, it can end up very open and airy. Thicker yarns make your items look fuller and more traditional.
Above is a photo of three hats made from different types of yarn:
- blue hat - knitted with one strand of standard acrylic/wool blend yarn. One strand makes it a really open knit, very floppy, not very warm.
- red hat - knitted with two strands of standard acrylic yarn. (Just pulled from two skeins at once, used the two pieces of yarn as one.) Stiffer and fuller.
- green hat - knitted with chunky 50/50 acrylic/wool blend yarn. Soft and full. (This is the yarn I used.)
I recommend using either one strand of chunky thread, or two strands of standard size yarn. That will give you the fullest and warmest hat. :D
Step 3: Attach a Slip Knot to the Horizontal Peg
Pull the yarn end out of your skein and make a slipknot near the end. (You don't need much of a tail at all!)
Loop this onto the horizontal loom peg and pull tight.
Step 4: Begin Wrapping the Pegs
You can go to the left or right - it all depends on what's comfortable you for. I'm left handed, so I'm going to the left.
Bring the yarn behind the first vertical peg and then around the front. Continue this all the way around - start on one side of the horizontal peg and end on the other side.
Don't wrap too hard - I try not to pull at all. :)
Once you have all the pegs wrapped once, wrap them one more time. Now you'll have two loops on each peg.
Step 5: Knit Your First Row
Take your knitting hook and go to the last peg you wrapped. (For me, that's the first peg to the right of the horizontal one.)
Push the hook under the bottom loop and pull it over the top of the peg. That's your first stitch!! SO FANCY.
Now loop the bottom yarn over all around the loom.
To continue your knitting, you'll want to wrap all the pegs again (just once! so you have two loops of yarn on each) and then bring the bottom yarn loop over the top of the peg. Wrapping and looping the yarn over the tops of the peg is really all we'll be doing. Nice and easy!
You might think it doesn't look like much right now, but it's going to look great soon! The side you see when knitting is the wrong side - check the underside of your work to see the pretty stitches.
Step 6: Knitting the Brim
First we're going to focus on making the brim of the hat. We're going to be knitting a few rows and then folding them over so we can get a thick, doubled over bit of knitting. This makes the hat look more finished and also helps keep the hat in place on your head.
Decide how wide you want your brim to be (I always do between 2-3 inches) and keep knitting until the length of your work is double the width you want the brim to be. For me, this was about 15 rows of knitting.
P.S. After you have a few rows of stitches, pull the slipknot off the horizontal peg and let the yarn end hang free. Keeping it there can lead to pulling, which will make your stitches a little wonky. (See the second photo to see when to remove it!)
Step 7: Folding Over the Brim
Once your brim piece is long enough, set the loom down on a flat surface peg side up. Make sure your working yarn comes through where it needs to be to keep knitting without any big gaps.
Feel along the very beginning of the knitting - you'll notice that at the edge there are large open loops. We're going to take these loops and put them back over the pegs. :)
Step 8: Finish the Brim
Once it's folded over, tuck in the yarn end that you had slip knotted on the horizontal peg between the two pieces of the brim.
Then pull the bottom yarn loops over the top loops. Now the brim is secure.
Now you can wrap the pegs and start knitting as normal again!
Step 9: Keep Knitting!
Keep knitting until you've done at least 20 more rows.
The sweet spot for a slouchy fitting hat is 25-30 rows. I think this particular hat ended up at 28 rows, and that's mostly just because I got to the end of my skein of yarn! You'll get a more basic hat by sticking closer to 20 rows.
(P.S. Don't worry about counting as you go. I never do. :P It's easy to count them after you've done them!)
Step 10: Remove the Hat From the Loom
Now we'll finally use that yarn needle!
Make sure you have enough rows and there's only one loop of yarn on each peg.
Cut the your working yarn so it's between 12-20 inches long - this'll make the next part easier. Thread the working yarn through the needle.
Push the needle up into the loop on the peg to the right of where your working yarn is laying. Carefully pull the loop off the peg and onto the yarn. Keep doing this all the way around.
Step 11: Knot the Hat End Closed
With the hat still right side out, begin to pull the yarn end nice and tight.
This will gather the top of the hat.
Once it's gathered as far as it will go (you will have a tiny hole left open) push the needle into some of the stitches at the very top of the hole and knot a couple times.
Step 12: Turn It Right Side Out and Enjoy!
Now you can make ALL THE HATS.