In this Instructable, I'm going to show you how to make a beanie out of almost any size yarn using any size crochet hook for any size head.
Crocheting is a relatively new hobby of mine. I picked up crocheting because my boyfriend (now husband) loves beanies. He wears a beanie almost everyday so I wanted to make him a beanie for a Christmas gift. Since it was my first crochet project, I had a lot to learn and there were a few tips and tricks that I learned while making several different beanies that I will share with you here.
Step 1: Choosing Your Yarn and Hook
If you've ever been into the yarn section of your craft store, you will find that there is an overwhelming amount of yarn to choose from and every brand and style is a little bit different. There are several important things that the yarn label will tell you about the yarn and every label layout is a little bit different. To provide some more information, see the photo of the crochet label as well as the corresponding numbered description below.
- Fiber content - wool, cotton, acrylic, a blend, etc.
- Recommended size of crochet (or knitting) needle - the crochet hook size listed is a recommendation, the dimensions listed in the icon just to the left of the arrow with the "2" shows about how many stitches are in a 4×4″ swatch. Since the needle/hook sizes are suggestions, your results will vary depending on your gauge. If you are looking to create a pattern that requires close dimensions, I recommend that you create a 4 x 4 swatch to verify your gage.
- Yarn weight - The number inside the ball of yarn represents the weight of the yarn. A "0" represent the finest size yarn and a "7" represents super bulky yarn.
- Total length of the yarn - Depending on your project and the stitches and hook that you will be using, you may require more length of yarn than what the one skein contains, it's best to buy it all together at once if you know the total length required.
- Laundry care - The text and icons show if the yarn is machine washable or if other laundry care instructions are required.
- Color and dye lot number - If you are planning to use more than one skein of yarn, be sure to match the lot numbers. The yarn skeins may look the same when holding them next to each other. If different lots are used, you may end up with slightly mismatching color which will be noticeable when crocheted together.
Selecting your hook: As mentioned above, the yarn label will provide you a recommended hook size. You can use this size. If you choose to use a size hook other than what is on the back, you should note that a smaller hook will result in the stitches being tighter or closer together and larger size hook will result in looser stitches.
For the beanie I created, I used the yarn and hook shown in the photos- Super Bulky Sweet Grass Yarn with a P16/10mm hook. This hook and yarn combination will leave some larger gaps between the stitches. The next step will show you how to get the right size hat regardless of what yarn or hook you use.
Step 2: Before Getting Started - Hat Sizing
The way I look at a beanie is in three steps, regardless of what stitch you choose to use:
- Starting your beanie either by chains stitches or a magic circle
- Increasing your beanie
- Lengthening your beanie
- Finishing your beanie
Before you get started on your beanie, you'll need to know who will be wearing the beanie. Since everybody's head size is a little bit different, you'll need to know when to stop increasing the size of the beanie. I determine when to stop increasing by figuring out the diameter of the crown of the persons head.
In this instance, I will be making the beanie for my husband, so I form a circle with my hands around the crown of his head, as shown in the photos. For a gauge, my husbands head is a L/XL size on most patterns. When the beanie reaches about this size, I will stop increasing the beanie. You will probably notice that you may not be able to get the diameter of the increased yarn to be exactly the same size as the crown of the head, however, I would recommend going a little larger than the crown of the head to make sure the beanie is not too tight.
Once you know about how big to make the beanie, you are ready to get started!
Step 3: Getting Started: Magic Circle
I like to start my beanies using a magic circle as opposed to starting with a chain loop. The advantage of the magic circle is that you can close the loop so there is no small opened circle where the chains were connected. The easiest way I have found to make the magic circle is as follows:
- Hold your yarn holding hand out with your palm facing you.
- Take the loose piece of yarn with the tail draped over your hand and the end of the yarn at about your pinky.
- Wrap the yarn around your hand once in a clockwise direction and hold onto the yarn where the loop comes together
- Insert the crochet hook behind your fingers and hook the yarn.
- Pull the yarn through your circle
- Pull the yarn over your hook and pull through the loop that currently on your hook - This creates a slip stitch so you can now release your hands from holding the circle opened.
- You now have a wide circle that you use as the foundation for your next few stitches. For this beanie, I used a double crochet to create my magic circle, but you can use any stitch in its place. To start the stitches, I chain 2 by yarning over and pulling through the current yarn on the hook.
- Create your first double crochet stitch. To do this, yarn over once and the insert your hook through the circle then wrapping your yarn over your hook and pulling through the circle. You will now have three loops on the hook. Wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through two of the loops. Again, wrap the yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops. That completes your first double crochet.
- Repeat Step 8 seven more time to create eight double crochets. (you may choose to do several fewer or more double crochets - either way you are creating your base for your increases)
- Slip stitch to your first stitch.
- Now, grab the tail of the yarn and pull it tight - this will cinch the circle shut and creating a tight circle.
- You magic circle is now complete
- You can place a marker (I just used a bobby pin, but you can buy stitch markers at your craft store) in the last stitch of the round, or the first stitch of your next round or both if you want. Whatever helps you to identify when you reach the end of the round.
Step 4: Increasing Your Beanie
The next step is to increase the size of the beanie until you reach the diameter of the crown of your head. This is a done by a pattern as follows:
- Round 1: Place two stitches in each stitch around (so if you had 8 double crochets, you would create 16 double crochets in this round total). Slip stitch to join the round and mark your round.
- Round 2: Place one stitch in the first stitch, then two stitches in the second stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around the circle. Slip stitch to join the round and mark your round.
- Round 3: Place one stitch in each of the next two stitches, then two stitches in the third stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around the circle. Slip stitch to join the round and mark your round.
- Round 4: Place one stitch in each of the next three stitches, then two stitches in the fourth stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around the circle. Slip stitch to join the round and mark your round.
- Round 4: Place one stitch in each of the next four stitches, then two stitches in the fifth stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around the circle. Slip stitch to join the round and mark your round
- etc. You can continue this pattern, each round increasing the bold number by one, as many times as it takes until you reach the diameter of the crown.
For the beanie, this is the pattern I followed
- Round 1: Chain 2 then place two double crochets in each stitch of the magic circle all the way around. Slip stitch to join (16 total stitches)
- Round 2: Chain 2 then place one double crochet in the first stitch and two double crochets in the second stitch and repeat pattern all the way around. Slip Stitch to join. (24 total stitches)
- Round 3: Chain 2 then place one stitch in each of the next two stitches, then two stitches in the third stitch. Repeat this pattern all the way around the circle. Slip stitch to join. (32 total stitches)
At this point, you can see that the beanie is roughly the same diameter as the crown of my husbands head, so at this point I will stop increasing the rounds.
Step 5: Lengthening Your Beanie
After you have completed your increase and have the base of the beanie completed, its now time to lengthen the beanie. To do this, you use the same stitch you were making your beanie to start and place one crochet in each stich all the way around. Repeat this until the beanie is to length.
Note: My husband prefers his to go all the way below his ear lobes, but this may be a little to long or you may want it longer - just stop lengthening when the beanie reaches your desired length. As a reference, the total length of the finished beanie shown in the photo from the center of magic circle to last row when folded in half is about 8.5".
For this beanie, the pattern I followed is:
- Round 4: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 5: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 6: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 7: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 8: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 9: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
- Round 10: Chain 2 and double crochet in each stitch around. Slip stitch to join. (32 stitches total)
At this point, the beanie is at the length where is reaches the bottom of m husbands ear lobes, so I am going to stop here.
Step 6: Finishing You Beanie
The last step is to finish the beanie. To do this, cut the end of the yarn, leaving some tail. Pull the yarn all the way through and give it a tug to tighten. This will lock the yarn into place.
I left about 6 inches in the end to weave in but you probably don't need quite this much.I weave all the loose end in an out of the beanie, each time pulling the yarn all the way through before waving into the next stitch. You can use a yarn needle if you prefer but I just use my crochet hook to pull the yarn through, alternating pulling into the back of the beanie to pulling the yarn out to the front of the beanie. After waving the yarn in the beanie through a few stitches, you can chose to go back through the same stitches you just wove through which will keep it form unraveling. I actually ended up tying a small knot once I reached the other side of the beanie from where I fastened off. The reason I did this was some feedback from my husband saying that if he wore the beanie all day, he noticed it would loosen a little. By tying this little knot, it will keep the beanie from loosening too much that its uncomfortable from him to continue wearing.
You can now weave in the small tail the is still hanging out from the start of the magic circle.
You now have a completed beanie that is ready to wear and keep your ears and head warm for the upcoming winter season!
Step 7: Full Pattern
This final step is to give you the full pattern the way it would read if you download a pattern.
To create an XL Double Crochet Beanie, you will need:
Yarn: 1 skein of Loops and Thread Cozy Wool 90yard,/82m, 4.5 oz/127g yarn
sl st= slip stitch
sts = stitches
[_]*= repeat what is inside the brackets
Create a magic ring with 8 double crochets and slip stitch to join.
Ch 2 and DC2 into all stitches around. sl st in top of ch2 to end of the round (16 sts)
Ch 2. [DC into the next st. then DC 2 into the next st]* sl st in top of ch2 to end of the round (24 sts)
Ch 2. [DC into the next 2 sts. then DC 2 into the next st]* sl st in top of ch2 to end of the round (32 sts)
Ch 2. DC in all stitches. sl st in top of ch2 to end of the round. (32 sts)
Round 5 - 9:
Repeat Round 4. (32 sts each round)
Repeat Round 4. Cut yarn and weave in all ends.
Step 8: Closing Remarks
With this instructable, you should be able to make a beanie from any size yarn or hook for any size head. The general pattern remains the same whether you choose to make your beanie using single crochets, half-double crochets, double crochets, or half-double crochets through the front or back posts.
Remember to continue increasing the size of that initial circle until it reaches close to the diameter of the crown of the head. Once it does, switch to lengthening you beanie.
I have added a few photos here to show you what it will look like if you use smaller and thicker yarn and different stitches.
Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy :)