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Free Men’s Hat Knitting Pattern


Make a gift for your man that he will love with this free men’s hat knitting pattern.

This ribbed beanie hat and matching cowl are great projects to knit up on circular needles.

Scroll down for the free pattern or you can purchase a printer-friendly ad-free PDF here.

Free men's hat knitting pattern

An Easy-Level Knitting Pattern

This is an easy pattern for those of you who are advanced beginner level, and the techniques you will need to know are knit, purl, k2tog, p2tog, and knitting in the round.

Using mainly knit and purl stitches, you will also decrease to shape the top of the hat.

If you have never knit in the round before you can watch my video tutorial here – How to join knitting in the round with circular knitting needles

*Please scroll down to see the free pattern*

mens knitted ribbed hat
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How To Knit The 2×2 Rib Stitch

Knitting the rib stitch creates ribbed raised vertical stripes.

The rib stitch is created by knitting columns of knit stitches alternating with columns of purl stitches.

2 x 2 ribbing is worked like this:

You can see more classic hats here that use one skein of yarn (bulky yarn/chunky yarn/12-Ply)…


The Yarn I Used For This Free Knitting Pattern…

I made the hat using Delfino (Delfino Μοντέρνο) yarn in color-way 6260.

I knit with two strands of yarn together as this made it suitable for size 8 mm (US 11) 16″ circular needles.

As a substitute, you could use two strands of any worsted weight yarn or DK (double knitting) yarn knit together.

Or any bulky weight yarn 05, knit with a single strand will be okay to use for this pattern.

ribbed mens knit hat

Men’s Ribbed Hat And Cowl Pattern

Get the printable ad-free PDF version from my shop here.


The hat knits up quickly and the simple design makes for a relaxing and enjoyable knit.

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 items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C please read my Terms of Use.

Skill Level – Easy


  • Adult medium (20-24 inches head circumference).
  • Hat lying flat and unstretched – Height = 10.5 inches / Width – 8 inches.
  • Cowl – Height = 14 inches.

Gauge – 10 x 10 cm/4 x 4 inches = 14 sts and 18 rounds in 2×2 ribbing.

free men's hat knitting pattern

The Supplies You Need


  • Bulky yarn 05 knit with a single strand or two strands of DK knit together.
  • Yarn in dark grey – I used a brand called Delfino (Delfino Μοντέρνο – 50g/133m) in color-way 6260.
  • I used around 2 x 50g/133m skeins for the hat and 4 x 50g/133m skeins for the cowl.
  • I also used 2 strands of yarn knit together so that it would have a chunkier look.
  • Any yarn suitable for 8mm (US 11) needles will be ok or if you use 2 strands of DK (for 4mm needles (US size 6) yarn knit together.
  • A good alternative for a DK (4mm / US 6) yarn would be Rowan pure wool worsted in the colorway Granite 111.
  • Yarn Weight Guide (+ Conversion Chart)



  • Tape measure
  • Darning needle/tapestry needle/yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Stitch markers

Other Tools

  • Pompom maker Clover 2 – 1/2 inch Large.
Free Men's Hat Knitting Pattern

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviation And Terms (US And UK) List

  • Cont – Continue(ing)
  • CO – Cast on
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together
  • P – Purl
  • PM – Place marker
  • P2tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)

Pattern Instructions

The Hat Pattern

  • With 8 mm (US 11) 16″ circular needles cast on 64 sts.
  • Join in the round and pm, being careful not to twist the sts.
  • Round 1: K2, P2, to the end of the round.
  • Round 2: K2, P2 – to the end of the round.
  • Rep rounds 1 and 2 – Cont to work in 2×2 Rib until the piece measures 9 inches from the CO edge.
  • Decrease >
  • Next Round: *K2tog, P2tog – *rep to the end of the round – decrease in rib.
  • Next Round: Knit to the end of the round.
  • Next Round: K2tog – rep to the end of the round.
  • Cut a long tail of yarn and thread through the remaining stitches.
  • Pull tight together and secure.
  • Make a large pom pom with the pom maker and stitch it to the top of the hat.

Cowl Pattern

  • With 8 mm (US 11) 24″ circular needles cast on 100 sts.
  • Join in the round and pm, being careful not to twist the sts.
  • Round 1 – K2, P2, to the end of the round.
  • Rep round 1 – Cont to work in 2×2 Rib until the piece measures 14 inches from the CO edge.
  • Cast off in rib.

Share your work with us…

I love seeing your finished projects! If you enjoyed making the free hat knitting pattern, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme. 

You can also find me on Ravelry, Etsy, and Pinterest.

I’d love to see your work.

Happy knitting!

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  1. Hi there, how many stitches would u cast on using 4mm/6 needles with yarn doubled for man size, please? thanks

    1. Hello, for 4mm/US 6 needles you can cast on 64 [72, 80, 88] sts for the following sizes > 18 [20, 22, 24] in/45.74 [50.75, 55.75, 61] cm.

  2. I’m knitting my brother a hat with rubbing it has 121 stitches he had a big head lol how long do I make it and when I get it the the right length how do I finish it off it’s my first hat

    1. Hello Pat!
      Can you measure the length of his head? or a hat that he has worn? So that you know how long to make it. When you have your desired length – possibly 9"? you can then decrease -> Next Row: K2TOG / P2TOG – decrease in rib / Next Row: Knit / Next Row: K2TOG / Cut a long tail of yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Pull tight together and secure.
      If you need any help with the decrease, please visit the knitting basics page, with video tutorials to help. I hope that helps! Thanks for reading 🙂

    1. hello, thank you so much for your comment and feedback, I am so happy you liked the pattern and the end result! Thanks for visiting and I hope you check back for new patterns 🙂

    1. Hello Mary, it depends on how you want the hat to look, without the pom pom it still has some slouch. I made a hat from this pattern for my father in law who is 80 and he didn’t want a pom-pom, and it looked fine. I hope that helps and thanks for visiting 🙂

  3. Hello! May i ask how big your husbands head is? My bfs measurements are 22 inches, which i think isnt very large but by those measurements i would have to cast on 88 sts with a 8mm needle. Am i correct or will it be too big? Thank you!

    1. Hello Kiamo, I measured my husbands head and it is also 22 inches, so casting on 64 sts with 8mm (US 11) needles should be fine. The hat is knit with ribbing, so has stretch but is tight enough to fit on the head comfortably. I hope that helps 🙂

    1. Hello Aleana, if you are going up a needle size (9mm/US 13) and using super bulky yarn, then I would suggest casting on around 44 stitches. I hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Okay so I might be confused but I’m stuck at casting on.. I’m using two medium weight (4) yarns at the same time on 8mm needles so it’s nice and chunky and I can’t even get the number of the stitches right.. 88 turned out to be HUGE on my husband’s 24” head so I want to start again. So how many stitches do you think I’ll need so it’s a nice snug fit? Thank you!

    1. Hello Bogi, I just had a look at the pattern and it says to cast on 64 stitches – this is using 8mm (US 11) needles. I used two DK yarns held together to knit this hat that you can see in the photographs. It is chunky (bulky) but not super chunky (super bulky). If 64 stitches still feel like too many, perhaps you can cast on fewer stitches – but remember to cast on in multiples of 4 – this is for the 2 x 2 rib stitch. I hope that helps, happy knitting! 🙂

      1. Thank you for your quick answer, I finished it today and turned out perfect!! I used two colors, I switched colors halfway. It’s his Christmas present so hopefully he’ll like it. Happy holidays!

    1. Hello Rupa, in round 5 – it says ‘Rep rounds 1 and 2 – Cont to work in 2×2 Rib until piece measures 9 inches from the CO edge’. So you will continue to knit in ribbing (2×2 ribbing which is K2, P2) until the hat is your desired length. I hope that helps 🙂

  5. Hi, I am new to knitting in the round… Please could you tell me the length of 4mm round needles needed? I have DK yarn and want to knit two strands together.

    1. Hello Fatema, the 8mm (US 11) needles you need to knit the hat in the round – are on a 16inch/40cm cable. This will allow you to knit the hat comfortably in the round. If you use a smaller needle size, this will change the pattern and the number of stitches that you need to cast on. You will also need a different weight of yarn. If you want to use a smaller needle size/medium weight yarn you can check out this pattern which is similar – https://www.handylittleme.com/mariners-hat-pattern/ I hope that helps 🙂

  6. Hi, thank you for clarifying. I bought the wrong type of circular needles! I thought for 4mm yarn 4mm needles were needed! I didn’t factor in that two strands warranted 8mm needles! I will try this new pattern. Thank you 🙂

    1. Hello Fatema, yes, if you want to knit this hat pattern you would need size 8 mm 16″ circular needles and bulky yarn for it to look like the hat in the photos.

      If you wanted to knit the hat using the 8mm needles and two strands of the DK yarn together (yarn with a wool/acrylic blend), you could try that too.

      If you have size 4mm needles and double knitting yarn, this will change the number of stitches you need to cast on – you could cast on 88sts and follow the pattern in the same way.

      But the hat will not be as chunky, as the yarn weight is different. I hope that helps! 🙂

  7. Hi I’m making this pattern for my husband who has a big head. I am using wool ease thick & quick 6 oz yarn on sIze 10mm (us15) circular needles. How many stitches should I cast on.

    Thank you I love the pattern

    1. Hello Dayle,
      The hat I made is for around a 20-24 inch circumference.
      If you using wool ease thick and quick and 10mm needles – you will need to cast on fewer stitches than given in this pattern.
      I would suggest casting on 44sts.
      You can take a look at this hat pattern, which may help you with the size/length etc – https://www.handylittleme.com/mens-hat-knitting-pattern/
      I hope that helps!

  8. Hi…this is a psrfect online resource to share and i definitely will. Thankyou
    I work in a yarn shop and we have a community of knitters who like to help others whilst enjoying their hobby. Knitting and crocheting has been a lifeline for many of them during lockdown. We are just about to launch a local effort to help the homeless by knitting and crocheting hats and scarves. Your imain image embodies that….would it be possible for me to share that plus your llink to stimulate interest? Thanks in advance of your consideration and response.

    1. Hello Jane,
      That’s marvelous your group are making hats for others to enjoy and I can imagine that they are much needed.
      You may use the image with a link to the original image/pattern page ©handylittleme.
      Thanks for visiting the site and happy knitting!