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How To Knit A Hat With Straight Needles


This post will show you how to knit a hat with straight needles for complete beginners, working flat, back and forth.

This is a great project for anyone who is learning how to knit.

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

ribbed beanie

A Basic Level Knitting Pattern

This is a basic beginner-level pattern for those of you who are new to knitting and the techniques you will need to know are knit, purl, and casting on.

Using mainly knit and purl stitches will also introduce you to decreasing and shaping.

Not too bulky and not too light, this hat is comfortable to wear on any occasion and it is unisex too!

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How to knit a hat for beginners

The Yarn I Used

I made the hat using The Petite Wool in Spotted Mauve, knit on size 6 mm (US 10) knitting needles.

This yarn is from We Are Knitters and comes in a range of lovely colors.

This yarn is very warm to wear as it is 100% Peruvian wool.

Each ball is 100 GR. Per 140 M.

The yarn weight is bulky/chunky/12 ply.

ribbed beanie in spotted mauve petite wool knit with straight needles

Video Tutorial

There is a video tutorial to help you to seam up the hat.

You can view it on my YouTube channel here.

beanie hat knit with straight needles in pink yarn

How To Knit A Hat For Complete Beginners

Grab your inexpensive ad-free, PDF printable pattern in my shop here.

The PDF has the pattern with and without the step-by-step photographs.

You may also like this fall version of the hat in three colors – Candy Corn Hat Knitting Pattern.


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

If you like this pattern you may also enjoy this baby hat pattern which is the same and available to make in three sizes: 0-3 months/3-6 months/6-9 months.

  • 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 the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C please read my Terms of Use.

Grab The Ad-Free Printable PDF Pattern Here

Skill Level – Basic

Size – Women’s/ Men’s Medium.

Height of hat lying flat and unstretched – from the cast-on edge to the top of the hat – 11 inches. Width of the hat – 8 inches.

This hat is unisex and will fit a head circumference of around 22-26 inches.

Gauge – 16 sts and 20 rows in 4×4 inches/10×10 cm in main body ribbing.

The Supplies You Need…


  • 1 x The Petite Wool in Spotted Mauve from We are Knitters.
  • Each ball is 100 GR. Per 140 M.
  • 100% Peruvian wool.
  • The yarn weight is bulky/chunky/12 ply.
  • Yarn weight guide



beanie hat knit with straight needles in pink yarn

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations List

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue(ing)
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit next 2 stitches together
  • P – Purl
  • P2tog – Purl next 2 stitches together
  • Rem – Remaining
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • WS – Wrong side

How To Knit A Hat – Step By Step

  1. Cast on and knit the brim of the hat.

    Cast on 72 sts
    Row 1: (RS) – P1, K2 – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 2: (WS) – P2, K1 – rep to the end of the row.
    Rep rows 1 and 2 until the piece measures 3 inches from the cast-on edge, ending with a WS row. hat on the knitting needles

  2. Knit the main body of the hat.

    Row 1: (RS) – K1, P2 – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 2: (WS) – K2, P1 – rep to the end of the row.
    Rep rows 1 and 2 until you have worked 10 inches from the cast-on edge, ending with a WS row.

  3. Decrease the top of the hat.

    Row 1: K1, P2tog – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 2: K1, P1 – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 3: K2tog – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 4: Purl – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 5: K2tog – rep to the end of the row.
    Row 6: Purl – rep to the end of the row.
    Cut yarn leaving a tail of around 15 inches.
    Thread through the rem sts and pull up tight.

  4. Seam the beanie using the mattress stitch.

    The last step is seaming the two edges of the beanie together.
    There is a video tutorial on my YouTube channel here to show you how to do this.
    I used a seaming technique called the mattress stitch.
    This allows you to create an invisible seam in your knitting so you don’t see where the edges meet.
    To do this you:
    1. Place the edges together – line them up.
    2. Start at the top of the hat, with the right sides facing you.
    3. Thread your needle and secure the top of the hat first with a stitch.
    4. Then start to push the needle through the first stitch on one side of the fabric edge.

  5. Continue to seam using the mattress stitch.

    5. Then move over to the other side and push your needle through the first stitch.
    6. Pull them together and continue to seam picking up an edge stitch on one side and again on the other as you go.
    7. You can pick up stitches every one bar or two bars on the edges – this is up to you. I generally pick up every 2 bars.
    8. Just be careful that what you do to one side of the knitting should also be done on the other side to keep them even.

  6. Seaming the brim of the hat.

    9. When you come to the brim of the hat, you need to turn this over – so the right sides are facing you to seam.
    10. This is so you get an invisible seam on the right sides of the knitted fabric.
    11. When you have finished seaming, secure your yarn on the wrong side and weave in any loose ends.
    12. Your hat is now ready to wear.

Next, Learn To Knit A Hat In The Round

You may also be interested in learning how to knit a hat in the round.

This pattern has a step-by-step photo tutorial to show you how to knit your first hat in the round – How to knit with circular needles for beginners.

woman's beanie hat

Share your work with us…

I love seeing your finished projects!

If you enjoyed making the 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 page and share a photo!  I’d love to see your work!

Happy Knitting! xoxo

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  1. Hello! Love the pattern and the colour, the yarn is really beautiful. I have the same WAK petite wool yarn and was hoping to make a hat for my husband using this pattern, but I unfortunately only have us 11 needles instead of the 10 stated in the pattern. Would it still be possible to follow the pattern or do I need to adapt it in any way? Thank you!

    1. Hello Hailey, Yes, you can use the US 11 needles and make the hat following the same pattern, but I would suggest casting on 66 stitches because the size will be larger if you cast on the suggested 72sts for this pattern.
      The number of the cast on sts needs to be dividable by 3 – so 63 or 66 stitches.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise 🙂

      1. Hi Louise! Thanks so much for this pattern. If I use 11 needles and 150 g wool with the same pattern, will the hat knit up to fit a larger head? I keep trying to find a flat knitting pattern to make a hat for my husband – my hats come out too small for his head. I am a newbie and don’t know how to size up yet. Any help is appreciated!

    2. Hello! I love the way your hat looks! I am looking at making one for my cousin but she has an 18 inch head is that too small for this? Or would it still work? I was also curious what the point of a darning needles is?
      Thank you!

      1. Hello Jules,
        I think the hat should still fit, it has a stretch because of the ribbing so will fit up to a head size of around 22-26 inches in circumference.
        The darning needle/yarn needle is used to seam the hat closed.
        I hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for the lovely pattern. Our winter has started so I am going to knit one for my husband.

    1. Hello Susan,
      Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m so happy you like the pattern.
      I hope your husband will like the hat!
      Happy knitting,

  3. I was wondering if you can adapt other hat patterns knitted on a circular needle to this style on straight needles?

    1. Hello Dia,
      Yes, other patterns knit in the round can normally be converted to being knit flat with seaming.
      In some of my other patterns, I have instructions for both – like the kid’s beanie hat pattern.

  4. Do you have a matching pattern for a baby/toddler hat or know the possible amount of stitches needed to downsize?

  5. Lol, I haven’t knit in years but I was a little bored today so I sized it down and made it for my cat (which he obviously loved). That being said the instructions were really easy to follow and gave me something simple to do today so thank you.

  6. Hello Louise
    Thank you for your pattern, I have knitted the hat for my husband’s birthday using a West Yorkshire Spinners pure wool (Kerry Hill and Blue Leicester breed). My hubby is a Yorkshire man and Kerry is just across the border from where we live now in rural Shropshire. I am knitting at night to keep my mind off Covid and the current lockdown. It is such a relaxing thing to do. I am going to attempt your fingerless gloves pattern now.
    Best wishes

    1. Hello Leena,
      I am so happy that you are enjoying the patterns.
      Knitting is a great way to keep your mind and hands occupied while giving you a sense of calm, I too love to knit or crochet on an evening and switch off my mind to everything else!
      I hope you enjoy the fingerless mittens pattern,

  7. Hi Louise,
    Thank you for the pattern. I’m a very beginner & fell in love with this hat. Bought the 10″ needles & bulky yarn.
    I can’t wait to get started, but I’m confused about casting 72 Sts,, I’m thinking that is the width, but I know I’m wrong. Sorry I feel so dumb. Help

    1. Hello Adele,
      Yes, you cast on 72 sts – you are knitting this hat flat so you are making the full width of the hat and then will seam it when you are finished.
      The pattern is step by step, so if you follow the tutorial, you will start to see how this will work out.
      I hope that helps,

  8. Hi Louise, Love this pattern, hoping I will be able to knit it correctly . I bought the 10″ needles but they were too short to cast on 72 stitches, so I sent for 16″ length. My question is I don’t know how to figure the tail length I need to make this hat.
    Thank You,

    1. Hello Adele, the needle size you need to make the hat is 6mm (US 10) this is the size of the knitting needle, not the needle length or the cable length if you are using circulars.
      If you want to use circular needles to knit the hat then yes you would need a 16″ cable length.
      For the cast on – you will need around 35-40 inches perhaps for the yarn length.
      I hope that helps!

  9. Hi! I’m planning to make this hat with the petite wool for my next project. I’m currently working on a different pattern hat with the same wool, and I feel like it’s fuzzing (not sure if that’s the right word) a lot, so it doesn’t look nearly as clean and neat as your picture of the hat. I haven’t been undoing and redoing my work, so I don’t think I’m manipulating the yarn too much. I was wondering if you had that issue with the petite wool at all, or if you had any suggestions for remedying it. Thanks!

    1. Hello Margaret,
      I don’t have this issue when I’m knitting with it but I do if I use it for seaming – If I use it for that I have to keep twisting it so that the fibers stay together.
      When knitting though it stays together with a little fuzzing (pilling?).
      I think it’s just the way the wool is because it’s 100% Peruvian wool, so it just naturally has that texture/quality about it.
      Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

  10. Hi, thanks for this great pattern! This is only my second ever knitting project. I’m up to the end where it says to leave a long tail, but should I have cast off first? Or do I get a needle and go through the remaining stitches that are on the needle? Sorry if that’s a silly question, I’m very much still a beginner with knitting. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hello Kalysha,
      Yes – you should leave a tail of around 15 inches, thread the length of yarn into your darning needle first, then thread through the remaining sts and pull up tight.
      This is the instruction in step 3 of the step-by-step pattern.
      You can them start to sem your hat – instructions for that in step 4.
      I hope that helps and happy knitting!

  11. Thanks for the pattern! I had a great time knitting it up for my hubby. I now want to make a similar one for my father in law but he’s got a bigger head! How many cast on stitches should I add on?

  12. Thanks Louise. I’m thinking an additional 10 stitches could be a bit too many. If i go down to 78, would that work? Sorry for the many questions! Still a newbie but love your patterns! About to start on the fingerless mittens as well.

    1. Hello Eeching,
      You could try casting on 78 or 80sts because of the ribbing pattern.
      I hope that helps!

  13. I loved the result of this beanie but there is no way the measurements are for an adult head. Definitely going to be remaking this in a larger version but be warned!

    1. Hello Violet,
      The beanie fits both my own head and my husband’s head and we are both adults with pretty average adult head sizes.
      So it does fit an adult head size – with an average circumference of around 22-26 inches.
      As it says in the instructions.
      It would be easy enough to increase the size – perhaps you can cast on 80sts or more.
      Happy knitting!

  14. Hi Louise, I love this pattern. I’m really new to knitting but have managed to do it with no problems but I’ve now thread the yarn through the top stitches and pulled it tight and need some help please.
    Do I now remove the needle? Do I have to see those top stitches together or just start the seam at the first stitches excluding the ones I’ve pulled tight? Thanks so much xx

    1. Hello Rachel,
      Yes, you keep the yarn in the needle after you have pulled up the remaining stitches.
      Then you will seam the opening closed, using the mattress stitch for best results.
      This is an invisible seam.
      Start seaming next to where you have pulled the stitches tight.
      You can learn more about seaming the hat closed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqEvwXICTds&t=1s
      I hope that helps!

  15. I wanted to make a few hats for my family, but I’m having to do it on a tight budget, so I wanted to know if I could adapt this pattern to be done with worsted weight yarn as I have a lot of that so I could practice before the techniques without ruining my more expensive yarn.

  16. Hello! I have accidentally knit 5 inches of brim rather than 3 (absentmindedly carried on forgetting that it need only be 3 inches!) Should I now move to the next step of the pattern and follow it as written from there, or will I need to make some other kinds of amendments? I’m assuming if I carry on with the pattern from here I might just have a bit of a wider brim but I’m a newbie knitter so wanted to check if anyone had any advice 🙂

    1. Hello Marie,
      I would probably pull it out (frog it – rip it) back to 3 inches.
      Unless you want the brim to be 5 inches – this may be a bit long…
      You can pull it out, back to 3 inches, and continue on from there.
      I hope that helps!

  17. Hello! This is my first time knitting so I am still trying to figure things out. When you say end with a WS row for the brim, does that mean have the last row you knit is a WS row or does it mean have the next row you knit is a WS row? Thanks!

    1. Hello Abby,
      To end on a WS row – this means that the last row you knit should be a wrong side row.
      The next row as you continue will be on a right side row.
      I hope that helps!

  18. This is lovely and I wish I had found this sooner on my knitting journey! Are you able to help me with what the decrease should be if I am ribbing 2×2? Thanks in advance!