3in1 Beanie-Balaclava-Snood




Introduction: 3in1 Beanie-Balaclava-Snood

About: Knitter, Textile creator, Designer, Teacher. Passionate about recycling and upcycling.

This knitted accessory can be worn as a Beanie Hat, a Balaclava or as a Snood!

For this project, you will need to know some basic knitting stitches, like creating a knit or a purl stitch and also casting on and casting off.

However, at the bottom in Step 12, I’ve posted some ideas in how you can create this accessory with simple sewing skills too!


When I volunteered in Peru, I spent a lot of time with artisans who made their own knitted designs and accessories using the alpaca fibre they also farmed.

They inspired me to create my own knitted design! I noticed that many people needed scarves and hats as it can get very cold! It always seemed as though there was too many accessories to carry.

Also only snowboarders had the balaclava style masks and I wanted to create something less scary... So I decided to create an accessory which would combine my ideas and using sweetie colours and soft alpaca yarn.

Here are the steps, tips and even some ideas and variations for ideas which could make the project both simpler... or more complex!

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Step 1: ​Select Your Yarn

You will need:

  • 3 x 100g balls of yarn of the same weight & thickness to make this comfortably (with leftover yarn depending on your measurements)

NB: I chose 3 different colours of the same yarn thickness/weight, but this warm accessory could be made all in the same colour if you prefer.

Step 2: ​Tools and Equipment

  • Circular knitting needles size/gauge 4.5 mm
  • Scissors
  • Crochet hook for tying in ends
  • Pencil for making notes
  • Measuring tape (not in this photo)

NB: I prefer to use circular knitting needles, but if you prefer to use double pointed needles as they are great to use too. Mine are made of bamboo and joined with a plastic wire.

Tip >

  • Alternatively you could knit the pattern flat as a rectangle by using regular straight needles.
  • Then join it up at the “back” by sewing both sides together, as you would do for a fabric-sewn style (see Step 12).

Step 3: ​Measurements

You can change the pattern and measurements to your own style.

Above is a diagram of the rough measurements and number of stitches I used.

Here are the dimensions and measurements for my 3in1

  • No. of sts: 108 stitches or approx 48 cm circumference
  • No. of start brim rows: 6 rows approx 2cm
  • No. of rows until eye area slit : 48 rows or approx 18cm
  • No. of rows cast off/ on for eye area: 34 sts or approx 12cm
  • No. of rows till end of knitting (minus brim): 34 rows or 14cm
  • No. of finishing brim rows: 6 rows approx 2cm
  • Total length: 36cm
  • Total width: 24cm (hat in half and laid flat)

Tips > Make your own little diagram of measurements so you can follow it wherever you go.

Step 4: ​Cast on Your Knitting > Rib and Stitches

  1. Cast on (CO) 108 stitches
  2. Close the circle.
    • When you get to the end of the needle, arrange the needles in a circular shape and to start row 2
    • Knit into the very first stitch you created. This will close the circle.
  3. Continue until you have completed 6 rows (or however wide you would like your brim to be).
  4. Continue to knit “in-the-round”.

NB: I chose to cast on 108 stitches as this seemed the right number for my thickness of yarn and size of my needles.

Tips >

  • When doing a rib on circular needles, make sure the number of stitches is even in sets of two.
    • 2x2 rib, e.g. *knit, knit, purl purl*.
    • This allows you to end on a purl and start on knit.
    • The same goes for a 1x1 rib, e.g.: *knit, purl, knit purl*.
    • It can help even to draw or write it out (kk, pp, kk, pp… and so on).
  • If you prefer, it is also wise to knit a swatch of what you want your pattern to look like.
    • This can be as small, around 10x10 cm.
    • It may help to know how the accessory will stretch.
    • It can also be a useful references in the future for any other accessories you might make.

Step 5: ​Continue Knitting (… and Maybe Trying on Too!)

The only step really needed here is to continue knitting!

Essentially it is knitting a tube that is in a 2x2 pattern.


  • After 6 rows for my brim, I chose to change the colours of the yarns.
  • I continued to use the 2x2 rib of *knit, knit, purl purl*
  • My main yarn stayed as purple and my purl change to pink.
  • This given you a two colour knitted rib pattern, or intarsia rib.
  • My final pattern It switches between 3 colours: lilac-purple, pink and pale lavender
  • The 2x2 rib continue throughout the pattern
  • >> But what about that diagonal pattern??
    • All I did here was instead of leaving all the colour-changing “weft” strands at the back, I decided to bring them forward in a gradually shifting way, which makes the pattern look as if it is revolving around the hat.
    • Combined with the gradient, it has this effect.

Tips >

Again, my colour changing and pattern is optional, so here are some ideas you could try:

  • Begin to change the pattern to ALL knit stitches.
  • Completely change the colour If you are feeling adventurous, try a pattern like a lace or even a texture like bobbles!

Step 6: ​Casting Off Section for Eye Area

Tips > When it comes to the eye area, the best thing to do is measure your own width on your face, or for whoever it is. See Step 3.

Once you have the desired length of the area from your eyes down

  1. Begin to cast off the number of stitches you require.
    • Even numbers are always easier, especially as it is a 2x2 rib
    • E.g. 34 stitches
  2. When you have done this, continue to knit into the rest of the stitches on the needle.
  3. Complete the row and continue round until you have reached the cast-off set of stitches.


  • I cast off 34 stitches which was around 12cm for me.
  • My eye area turn out slightly small and if I was doing it again, I would cast off at least 2-4 extra stitches.

Step 7: ​Cast on Again!

  1. Using the same yarn(s), cast on the same number of stitches that you cast off.
  2. Continue knitting as normal, going round and round.

NB :

I always see this technique like the creation of a spiral or a spring which is continuous. It is like making a coil pot in ceramics, building layer upon layer.

Tips >

For those knitting the accessory as a rectangle, I would make the eye area slit in the centre of the knitting, so an even number of stitches would be kept either side of the ones that are to be cast off.

Step 8: ​Continue Knitting Until Complete

  1. Continue the pattern till the end is complete
  2. Include any rib design as you did at the start
  3. Cast off the knitting


  • I chose to finish mine as I started it, ending with a 2x2 rib in the lilac-purple colour.

Tips >

  • Check back to those handy measurements and maybe sketch you did at the start from step 3
  • Casting off your knitting can be tricky.
    • Try not to do it too tightly , or you won’t be able to get it on!
    • This can take practice and sometimes it’s better to try and have to undo it BEFORE you can the yarn end off.
    • Saves you have to tie it back on if it needs to be a bit more loose.

Step 9: ​You Now Have a Snood! Time to Make It Into a Hat/balaclava

To make your snood into a hat/balaclava:

  • You need to create a string or rope to thread through the top of the hat, so that when you pull it tight, the edges gather and close, creating the top of the hat.

You can make your string/ rope in a few ways.

  1. Make a plait or braid with 3 lengths of yarn.
  2. Use a wire-knitter or knitting nancy toy, which creates a knitted rope/tube. This is a little spongier than the plait/braid option.
  3. Use another material like a thick yarn, ribbon or even a shoelace

Once you have your string/ rope, thread it in and out of the top section edge of the snood.

  • I chose to put it about 3 rows in which was around 1 cm from the very edge so it wasn’t too tight.
  • Make sure to have both the rope ends on the same side of the knitting.

Tip >

  • Make sure it is at least 15-20 cm longer than the circumference of the snood.
  • This will help to tie it later eg. with a 48cm hat circumference, make the string a minimum of 15 cm longer, so 53cm in total.

Step 10: ​To Pompom or Not to Pompom

I chose to finish my knitted string/rope with a pompom on either end.

Not only does this look cute, it also acts as a stopper for the rope from pulling through. I chose 2 of my 3 colours. See my tutorial here

Alternatively, you could add buttons or even make big knots. The point is not to connect them! As they need to be adjustable.

Step 11: ​Et Voila! Now to Wear!

Now you have your 3-in-1 knitted accessory!

  1. As a Snood: keep the string at the top edge loose or open and use that excess at either and to loosely tie the ends in a bow, or if you have pompoms, they should tie loosely.
  2. As a Balaclava: pull the strings to close and tie the long ends into a loopy bow. Wear and scare! A or maybe not so much…
  3. As a Beanie Hat: close it up the same as the balaclava, then roll or fold the edge up. You can scrunch it, but the idea with the rolling is that it will help cover the eye area hole and not let the wind into that gap on your head! I later thought this could be useful to those who sport a ponytail or the occasional man-bun.

Step 12: ​Variations and Simple Ideas

I realised after making this, that not everyone can knit, so I have some suggestions for you non-knitters.

  • Using the measurements in step 3, you could make the accessory in fabric
  • Most likely a stretchy jersey/circular knit fabric
  • Or even a polyester fleece as it will not fray
  • The steps would be similar to those knitting on straight needles, so the seam would be at the back too.
    • ^^ I’m hoping to do some extra examples of the above ideas ^^
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    That looks really nice. Perfect for a cold winter like this.