How to Knit a Hat
Brightly colored beanies or slouchy knit hats are so quick and easy to knit that you'll want to make several. This won't take long because you can knit a hat in an evening with just one skein of yarn.
Making a hat allows you to practice casting on, knitting and purling, and decreasing stitches. If you'd like to try knitting on circular or double pointed needles for the first time, you can do that too.
Let's get started!
Choosing a Knitting Pattern for a Hat1. Choose a pattern suited to your skill level. If you're a new knitter, a "beginner's" or "easy" pattern is ideal. If you've been knitting for a while and would like to challenge yourself, find a pattern with a stitch you haven't tried before, such as cable, herringbone or lace.
2. Select a pattern that uses the correct weight of yarn. Knit a cozy winter hat by following a chunky yarn pattern. For a hat for the fall, choose a pattern using a medium weight yarn.
3. Make sure that the hat's circumference is the correct size for your head by measuring around the widest part of your head with a tape measure. Starting in the middle of your forehead, go over the top of one of your ears, around the back of your head, and back to the starting point on your forehead. If possible, have someone else measure your head.
4. Check your gauge or tension by knitting one or more swatches. When knitting the hat, use the size of needle that allowed you to knit the exact size of swatch given in the pattern.
Should You Use Two Needles, a Circular Needle or Double Pointed Needles?
If you're used to knitting with two needles, you can choose a hat that is knitted in this way. You'll need to sew up the back seam once you've finished knitting the hat.
If you haven't used circular or double pointed needles before, knitting a hat is a good first project because it's more straightforward than knitting socks, for example. You'll knit the hat in rounds and you won't need to sew it up.
How to Knit a Hat Step-by-Step
1. Cast on the number of stitches given on the pattern. If you're using double pointed needles, divide the stitches evenly between the needles and join without twisting to work in rounds. Place a marker at the beginning of the round.
2. The first part of the hat is usually worked straight, without any shaping. Many hat patterns begin with a rib pattern, which will stop the hat from curling up at the edges. After a few inches of rib, you may change to another pattern. For easy knit hats, this will be stockinette stitch or seed stitch.
3. Follow the pattern until your knitting is the length stated in the pattern.
4. Start shaping the crown of the hat. This usually consists of decreasing stitches on each right-side row for several rows. The most common way of decreasing stitches is by knitting or purling two stitches together (K2 tog or P2 tog) but there are also other ways of doing this, including slip, slip, knit (ssk).
6. Thread the end of this yarn onto a yarn needle and bring the yarn through all the remaining stitches. Pull tight and fasten securely. For a hat knitted on circular or double pointed needles, simply close the gap at the top of the hat with a few neat stitches. If you've knitted the hat on two needles, sew the back seam up from the top to the bottom using the long tail of yarn. Weave in the ends of the yarn on the wrong side.
Knit hats add a fun finishing touch to an outfit on colder days. They are warm, comfortable and easy to wear. Choose a yarn that's machine washable for easy care. Knit matching hats for the whole family or individual hats to suit the personality of each family member.