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How To Knit A Hat With Circular Needles (Step-By-Step)

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT SUPPORT HANDY LITTLE ME CONTENT AND FREE PATTERNS.

This hat pattern will show you how to knit a hat with circular needles for beginners (step-by-step).

With this cozy knit hat, you won’t be scared to enter the bitterly cold weather in winter.

Knit with Lion Brand wool ease thick and quick yarn in fig; this beanie is so soft and cozy it will be sure to protect you in the coldest climate!

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly ad-free PDF here.

woman wearing a beanie hat

Beginner Hat Pattern – Knitting In The Round

Grab your printable ad-free PDF version from my shop here.

The Pattern PDF has the pattern with and without the photographs.

Notes

Skill Level – Easy

The hat knits up quickly in super bulky yarn, and the simple design makes for a relaxing and enjoyable simple knit.

The hat is knit in the round – if you have a longer cable, you may wish to use the magic loop technique. (View Tutorial – Magic loop knitting | step by step)

This pattern is good for advanced new knitters.

You will see the in-depth tutorial below.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell finished items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.
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Video Tutorial

You can see a video tutorial showing you how to knit this hat on my YouTube channel here.

Size Information

  • Adult Medium
  • Hat length lying flat w/o pom = 9.5 inches
  • Width lying flat = 9.5 inches
  • To fit a head with a circumference head size – around 22-26 inches.

Gauge – 10 sts and 15 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in Stockinette stitch

how to knit hat

The Supplies You Need…

To get started, you need the following materials;

Yarn

Needle Size

  • Set of 10.00 mm (US 15) 16″ circulars
  • Or a set of 10 mm (US 15) 20″ circulars.
  • You may have to use double-pointed needles (dpns) or the magic loop method for the decreases.

Notions

Other Tools

beginner hat knit in the round with circular needles

Abbreviations 

Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK)

  • Approx – Approximately
  • Beg – Begin(ning)
  • Cont – Continue(ing)
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together
  • P – Purl
  • PM – Place marker
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

Below, you will see the step-by-step instructions for how to knit a hat in the round on circular needles.

Time needed: 1 day, 2 hours and 30 minutes

How To Knit A Hat With Circular Needles

  1. Casting On

    Begin by casting on 38 stitches onto your circular needles using the thumb or long-tail cast-on method.
    Both of those cast-on methods will give you a nice stretchy cast-on suitable for a hat.
    How to cast on knitting.
    Once you have cast on 38 stitches, count and check that you have the right amount of stitches.
    Here is what your cast on should look like below ->
    stitches cast on to circular needles

  2. Joining In The Round

    In the next step, you need to join your knitting in the round.
    Place a marker at the join, and be careful not to twist the stitches.
    This is important as you need to join to be able to knit the hat on circular needles with no seaming involved.
    How to join knitting in the round with circular knitting needlesjoining knitting in the round

  3. Knitting The Ribbing

    Once you have cast on your 38 stitches and joined in the round, you will need to start the ribbing section of the hat.
    This is the stretchy section of that hat, which is there to make it easier to get on and off and to fit onto your head.
    Firstly, you will knit the brim of the hat.
    This pattern has a brim with simple 1 x 1 ribbing, which is knit one stitch, purl one stitch.
    How to Knit 1 x 1 Ribbing ->
    1st round: Knit
    2nd round: K1, P1 (1 x 1 Ribbing)
    Rep round 2 only and complete another 5 rounds of K1, P1 ribbing.
    The ribbing section is like this – Knit one stitch / Purl one stitch.
    How to knit rib stitch patterns (1×1 and 2×2 ribbing)ribbing on circular needles

  4. Knitting The Main Body Of The Hat

    Once you have completed the ribbing, the rest of the pattern is really easy!
    Every round after this is now knitted with the knit stitch.
    When you knit every round on circular needles, it gives you stockinette stitch.
    Knitting in the round has no wrong side rows, so there is no purling (purl stitches) involved.
    This part of the hat is the easy bit – take a look at the pattern below;
    Round 7: Knit
    Repeat round 7 (knit every round) until the work measures 8′′ from the cast on edge.
    The longer you make the hat, the more slouch it will have.
    I knit 8 inches of this hat, but you can knit more or less depending on how fitted or slouchy you want it to be.
    You can see the inside of the hat being measured in the photo below.
    main body of the knitted hat

  5. Finishing The Hat

    To finish the hat, you need to decrease it with a really easy decrease method – K2tog.
    K2tog means that you knit two stitches together; this is a commonly used way to decrease stitches.
    This video tutorial will help you – How to knit two stitches together (K2tog)
    Then, there is no cast-off, you simply take a long tail of yarn, and thread it through the remaining stitches, pull it together, and fasten it off securely.
    Here is the decrease section of the pattern;
    Crown decreases as follows >
    1. K1, K2tog – rep to the end of the round – to last 2 sts, K2
    2. Knit to the end of the round.
    3. K2tog, K1 – rep to the end of the round.
    4. Break yarn.
    5. Draw the end through rem sts and fasten it securely.
    6. Sew in any loose ends.
    The photo below shows the hat inside out.
    decreasing the knitted hat

  6. Stitching on The Pom Pom

    Once you have closed the top of the hat and secured it, pull the long tail of yarn through the top of the hat.
    Make a pom pom either from cardboard or with a pom pom maker.
    I used a Clover 2 – 1/2 inch Large.
    Here is how to stitch the pom pom onto the top of the hat;
    1. Push the needle with the yarn through it coming out of the top of the hat through the pom-poms centre.
    2. Push it back through the pom and through the center of the top of the hat.
    3. Do this a couple more times, hiding the stitches that thread through the pom pom as you do it.
    4. Once it feels secure, secure with a knot on the inside of the top of the hat.
    5. Weave in any loose ends and cut the yarn.
    The photo below shows the hat on the right side out, ready for the pom pom to be attached.
    stitching a pom pom onto a hat

  7. Weaving In The Ends

    There will be a few loose ends that need to be weaved in – from the cast on of the hat and from stitching the pom pom into place.
    To do this, weave them along the edge of the stitches so they are hidden and will not come out.
    That’s it!
    You can remove the stitch marker now and try on your basic beanie.
    weaving in the ends of the hat

Grab The Ad-Free Printable PDF Pattern Here

Inside Out?

You may see that the purl side of your work is on the outside.

Don’t worry; this is perfectly okay because of how you position your hands while you work; the knitting just flipped to the inside of the needle.

It’s fine to continue with it inside out, but if it bothers you, poke it back through the center of the needle, and it will be fixed.

If you’re still close to the cast on, it may flip back on you.

Once it’s a little longer, it should stay where it is.

Knitting with the tube inside out is not a problem at all; it’s just a matter of personal preference.

decreasing the knitted hat

Knitting A Hat With Circular Needles

This pattern is great for beginners, as it is an easy-level pattern.

The techniques you will need to know are how to knit, the purl stitch, and K2tog decreases, as well as knitting in the round on circular needles.

This easy hat has some texture, created by the stitch pattern with a ribbed brim.

Slouchy beanies are great to wear and gift, especially during the fall and winter seasons.

You may also like these free knit hat patterns…

Womens hat purple

Knitting A Hat For Beginners

Many beginner knitters start making scarves and then move on to making hats, but sometimes, using those circular needles to knit in the round puts people off.

Using circular knitting needles is not as scary as you may think.

In this simple pattern, you will create ribbing (using the rib stitch) for the brim and then knit every stitch in the round to create the stockinette stitch for the main body of the hat.

The hat is quick to knit up, as it is made with super bulky yarn.

You may also like this beginner pattern – How To Knit A Hat For Complete Beginners (+ Video Tutorial) – which is knit flat and worked back and forth on straight needles.

woman wearing a hat that has been knit in the round with circular needles

How To Knit In The Round

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know to knit your very first hat in the round.

There is a video tutorial and step-by-step photographs, so you know you are doing the right thing!

If you have never worked in the round before, here is a video tutorial to help you get started – How to join knitting in the round with circular knitting needles

beginner hat knit in the round with circular needles

Share Your Work With Us…

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making the easy knit hat, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the handylittleme Facebook group and share a photo.

I’d love to see your work.

You can also find me on Ravelry, Etsy (for purchases) and Pinterest.

Happy Knitting!

More Patterns You May Be Interested In…

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20 Comments

  1. I love your hat and I’m making it for a friend for Christmas but I did it with straight needles. How would I decrease with straight needles? Thanks!

    1. Hello Emily, to decrease with straight needles and knit flat you would do this:

      Decrease:
      K1, K2tog to the last 2 sts, K2.
      Purl to the end of the row.
      *K2tog, K1 rep from * to the end of the row.
      Break yarn.
      Draw end through rem sts and fasten securely.
      Sew in any loose ends.

      I hope that helps! Thanks for visiting,
      Louise 🙂

  2. I have a 6 weight bulky yarn and want to make this hat for a 5 year old, how many stitches would you start with (cast on)?

    1. Hello Denise, for a child of 5yrs with super bulky yarn – weight 6 – you would cast on around 36 stitches. I hope that helps!

    1. Hello Mariel,
      You could knit this hat with worsted weight yarn – but you would have to change the needle size and the number of stitches you cast on.
      You could use 4mm (US 6) 16″ circulars for the brim and then change to 5.5 (US 9) 16″ circulars for the rest of the hat.
      You would need to cast on around 80 sts and check that the ribbing works out evenly for the brim.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise 🙂

    1. Hello Connie,
      You could cast on 44 sts for an adult male hat.
      I have men’s hat patterns in the men’s section – you can see those if you search or use the main menu.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  3. Hello,

    Would you recommend blocking this hat? If so, what is your recommended technique? I used the wool ease thick n quick.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hello Emily,
      I didn’t find that the hat needed blocking, as the yarn is very chunky (the wool ease thick and quick is super bulky) and it was ok to wear right away!
      It’s normally the finer knits that need blocking like lacy shawls and garments.
      However if you want to learn more about blocking, you can do so here – https://www.handylittleme.com/blocking-knits/
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  4. Made this hat for my sister. I’m a novice knitter and was really pleased with the finished product. Thanks for sharing the pattern. I’m going to make one for myself now.

  5. I am knitting on a 16inch needle. How do you keep decreasing when the stitches wont fit around the needle anymore?

    1. Hello Maurine, it is advised that you may wish to change to DPNs (double pointed needles) when the decreases become too difficult on the circulars.
      If you do not have any DPNs then you could try using the magic loop to finish off those decreases.
      You can see a magic loop tutorial here – https://www.handylittleme.com/magic-loop-technique/
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  6. I’m so happy that I found your website!
    I have some leftover yarn from your “how to knit a hat with straight needle” and would love to make this with 6mm circular needles.
    How many stitches would you cast on and how can I decrease rows?

    1. Hello Kat,
      This hat is knit in the round on 6mm needles and in the same yarn as the ‘how to knit a hat’ – https://www.handylittleme.com/easy-beginner-hat-knitting-pattern/
      You could alter it slightly by working in stocking stitch (every round knit) instead of the ribbing if you wanted it to look more like the hat in this blog post.
      The decreases will stay the same as the instructions in this blog post.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  7. Love this pattern. I’ve never done in the round so I’m going to try this one.
    How many stitches do I cast on to make an female adult small?
    Thank you!

  8. This hat looks darling. I am wanting to make it with yarn that has a thickness gauge of 5 and with 13 US needles. Would that be possible? Beginner knitter here 🙂