How to Knit a Hat for Beginners

Method 1 – Knitting on Straight Needles – For Absolute Beginners

Though traditionally knitted beanies and slouchy hats are typically knit in the round with circular and/or double pointed knitting needles, for absolute beginners, this style of knitting technique could prove to be a tad intimidating.

The whole idea of knitting a hat as a beginner project is so that it is fast, fun and compelling enough without any aggravation or tears and frustration at complicated techniques.

Circular needles and DPNs require a little finesse and getting-used-to, so if you are super new to knitting, know that knitting hats can also be done with back and forth knitting on your straight needles. And then it is sewn into a round shape using the easy mattress stitch.

Here’s a video for how to knit a hat real simply.

Knitting Skills Needed

To knit your cozy beanie in garter stitch, you will just need to know the basic knit stitch only – and you may have already mastered that.

To knit the hat in the commonly used stockinette stitch, you will require the knitting as well as purling stitch mastery.

And to shape the top of your hat, or the crown, you can learn the knit two stitches together (K2Togh) stitch – very easy – just watch a short video and you will know how simple it is.

Loom knitting is another easy way to knit a hat for beginners, but in this post I’m going to stick to regular knitting with needles.

Knitting Supplies Required

1. Straight knitting needles – Size 7

2. Worsted weight yarn – any color you love. Choosing a shade that you like is important, so that you don’t get bored too soon and give up on such a super easy and fun project.

Cool Tip – Go for super chunky yarn and really thick needles for knitting hats in a couple of hours or less!

3. Scissors

4. Tapestry needle

The Beanie Knitting Technique

1. Cast on 80 stitches for an average sized adult hats for females and/or males. For a smaller head, cast on 74-76 stitches.

2. Row 1 – Knit across the entire length. Turn your work.

3. Row 2 – If you desire a stockinette stitch hat with a cute, curled-up brim (girls love those!), purl this row. Otherwise, for a garter stitch hat, knit across again.

4. Keep alternating between knit and purl rows (or just knit rows), till your hat measures up to inches or more.

5. End at a purl row (if doing a stockinette hat), or plain knit for garter, and start the decrease to shape the crown of your lovey, soft winter hat.

6. Knit 8 stitches, then knit two stitches together. Continue till the row ends. Turn.

7. Purl/knit as per your pattern.

8. Knit 7 stitches, then K2Togh again till the end of the row. Turn your work.

9. Again, purl or knit as per your hat’s design.

10. Continue decreasing in this manner, with one less stitch in every even row and knit/purl every odd numbered row, till 16 or less stitches are left on your knitting needles.

11. Now, cut your yarn, leaving at leats 18 inches of a tail – for sewing up your hat.

12. Thread the yarn needle with the tail end and by working from right to left, lift stitches from the needles and pull them together on the thread.

13. Pull tight to close up the hole on top and tie on the worn side of the hat.

14. Using the mattress stitch and the tail end of the yarn, sew the hat close by picking and stitching across the corner stitches. The mattress stitch is perfect for creating an invisible seam for your hat.

15. Weave in the end in the wrong side of your work and you’re done with a beautiful, soft hat to keep you warm and toasty in the winters!

Blue knitted hat

How To Do Mattress Stitch

Mattress stitch is not a knitting stitch at all. It’s a way of sewing together two knitted pieces, using a darning needle (a thick sewing needle with a large eye) and a length of the same yarn that you used to knit the garment.

Mattress stitch is likely the most popular way to assemble something that’s been knitted in more than one piece, because it keeps the seam flat. On the right side, it’s invisible.

You can imagine how clunky and chunky a seam would be on a knitted item if it was overlaid and hemmed the way that fabrics are seamed! Knitted garments being thick, it’s important that the seams stay flat.

To attach two knitted pieces using mattress stitch, you thread your darning needle with your yarn, and take it around each of the running threads on both pieces. The running threads are the horizontal yarn that goes between the Vs (if you did knit and purl stitch).

You can go right up close to the edge of the knitted piece – that’s important so it sits flat and doesn’t overlap. Take each of the horizontal strands separately, and just take your needle over to the other side and sew them together.

Here’s a video of how to do mattress stitch:

Loom Knitting For Beginners

Loom knitting is super easy, fun and fast – perfect for beginners. If you have ever been curious about knitting, then this is the perfect way to get your hands dirty, do some quick knitting and play with lusciously soft yarn, without any fears of messing up.

A knitting loom is typically a round shaped or a long board-like frame with many equally-spaced pegs on it.

Loom knitting with fingersYou can indulge in loom knitting by wrapping your favorite shade of yarn around the pegs and, then by using a hook or by your fingers, pulling one loop of yarn over another – simple, easy-to-learn and tons of fun!

In fact, round loom knitting is practically fail-proof. That is why both kids and adults alike can loom knit and create beautiful and treasured items like hats, scarves, baby suits, mittens, cowls, blankets and so much more.

When it comes to loom knitting, you’re only limited by your imagination!

Loom Knitting Versus Traditional Knitting

Knitting with two pointy needles requires technique and some skill. There is a precision to it and certain rules that must be followed to get the desired results. Take some lovely looking yarn and knitting needles and show a knitting stitch or two to a lay person and they are more likely to back away, feeling intimidated and a tad overwhelmed. On the other hand, a knitting loom makes you curious about knitting, and makes you want to experiment and play with it.

Plus, these make for a great gift for kids! Talk about hours of pleasure and no mess or fuss – a perfect holiday present for kids of all ages. Or, we have a video on how to begin regular knitting, for kids.

So, to break your way into the world of knitting in a fun and mistake-proof manner, get a round loom and soft, chunky yarn in your favorite shade and get looming!

What Type of Loom Should You Get?

Before we begin the basics of loom knitting, know what types of loom you need. There is a huge variety available in the market. From small, round looms that can make the most perfect baby hats and the cutest of socks, to huge ones that can easily churn out an adult sweater or a lap blanket. Then there are all shapes and sizes of rectangular looms available which can be used to create and knit almost anything.

Some knitters might tell you to choose a loom based on gauge size – the space between one peg and the other – but we feel there’s no need for that as most major brands tend to have similar gauge.

Knitting looms also come in many forms and material – you can buy wood, metal, or plastic looms. Plastic looms are the easiest to carry around and super light. They are also the best option for kids who may like looming. Wooden looms are slightly more costly than plastic and metal ones. Experienced loomers might want to add wood based looms to their arsenal of knitting supplies.

This is an adjustable wooden loom:

Wood knitting loom

Another point to note when buying a loom, don’t go for how long your knitting projects should be; instead, buy a loom that is wide enough for your looming needs.

Our recommendation – if you’re starting out, just get an average sized round plastic loom for now. It will be enough to make many types of knitting projects – from flowers to hats, scarves, baby bunting suits, socks, mittens, baby booties and so much more.

Pick one that fits your budget and you’re good to go and start knitting!

How To Loom Knit

In this article we assume you’ve already looked into loom knitting for beginners, you have your loom and you want to give it a try. Now we’re going to give you practical instructions for how to loom knit.

The Supplies:

Round loom
1. A round loom.

2. Yarn – as a beginner, you may want to use bulky or chunky yarn.

3. A knitting/crochet hook. (This is optional. Some people just prefer using their fingers and that works perfectly fine.)

Casting On in Loom Knitting – Step One

All the loom knitting patterns begin by a simple casting on to the loom. This just means taking the yarn and then strategically wrapping it onto the pegs on the loom. The e-wrap is one of the most basic loom knitting cast ons (there are many ways to do it).

Here’s the simplest one:

1. Start off by making two small loops at the tail end of your yarn.

2. Then, take a look at a small hook provided at the base of the loom. Pull the right loop through the left one and then place it on that hook.

3. Pull the yarn tail till it is nice and tight.

4. Wrap the long end of the yarn in a clock-wise circle on your loom’s peg, which is to the right of the peg, next to the bottom hook.

5. Then, simply start looming by wrapping around each peg once and then going clock-wise around the entire loom.

6. Continue the same way a second time, except for the peg on the side.

7. Wrap your super soft yarn around the side peg a couple times when you are done looming, so that the yarn doesn’t unwind.

8. Now for the fun part – pull each bottom loop over the top one and take it off the peg. Keep repeating with every peg, excluding the side peg.

Congratulations! You just casted on for your first loom knitting project. Bring out the bubbly!

Or, here’s a video to help you out if you had trouble there:

Knitting with a Loom – Step Two

There are many different ways to knit on a loom, but we list the easiest one for all beginner loomers.

1. This knit stitch portion is pretty easy – just wrap the yarn around each loom peg again in the same way as before, so you are left with two loops on each peg, and wrap the yarn around the side peg a few times.

2. Now, pull each bottom loop over the top one on each peg of your loom – once again.

3. Keep repeating this step over and over again till your project is as long as you want.

4. Now, you bind off.

Binding Off in Loom Knitting – Step Three

The final step in loom knitting is to remove your knitting from the loom safely, without losing any loops, and this method is called “casting off” or “binding off”.

Here’s what you need to do to bind off easily – we have listed two simple techniques:

1. Cut a long tail from your working end of the yarn. The length you require depends on the size of your completed knitting piece, but generally 1-2 feet long enough on a loom.

2. You can utilize a crochet hook and simply crochet through each loop as you remove it from each peg on the loom. Then do a chain 1 between each loop.

Or, you can use a darning or tapestry needle and sew through each loop as you remove it along the loom.

Or, here’s a longer way:

Fun fact about knitting looms – Looms used for knitting aren’t looms at all as looms are used for weaving, and not for knitting.

Well, this was our guide on how to loom knit. There’s a ton of information and tutorials online and many free loom knitting patterns which you can use to make anything from a stuffed panda to a felted throw.

Now, all you need to do is start looming!