If you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit, making a beanie with circular needles is a great project to start with. Not only are circular needles easier to manage than straight needles, but knitting in the round allows you to create seamless pieces of clothing without any unsightly seams or stitches. In this easy step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of knitting a beanie using circular needles.
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials: a set of circular knitting needles, a skein of yarn in your chosen color, a tapestry needle, and a stitch marker. You’ll also need to know how to cast on stitches, knit, purl, and decrease stitches. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with these techniques – we’ll explain them as we go along.
To start, cast on the desired number of stitches onto your circular needles. The number will depend on the size of the beanie you want to make and the gauge of your yarn. Next, join the round by bringing the last stitch cast on to meet the first stitch, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.
Now it’s time to knit in the round. You’ll want to use the knit stitch for the body of the beanie, but feel free to incorporate purl stitches if you prefer a ribbed or textured look. Repeat the knit stitch for the desired length of the beanie, making sure to periodically try it on to check the fit. Once you’re satisfied with the length, it’s time to decrease stitches to shape the crown.
Gather Materials and Choose Yarn
Before you start knitting a beanie with circular needles, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:
- Circular knitting needles, size US 7 or as desired
- Double-pointed needles, size US 7 or as desired
- Yarn needle for weaving in ends
- Stitch markers
- Measuring tape or ruler
After gathering your materials, it’s time to choose the right yarn for your beanie. Consider the following factors when selecting yarn:
- Weight: Choose a yarn weight that corresponds to the desired thickness of your beanie. Common yarn weights for beanies are DK (double knitting), worsted (medium), and bulky (chunky).
- Fiber: Consider the fiber content of the yarn. Acrylic yarns are affordable, easy to care for, and available in a wide range of colors. Wool yarns offer warmth and softness, but might require special care.
- Color: Select a color or colors that you love and that will match your personal style or the recipient’s preferences.
- Quantity: Estimate how much yarn you’ll need based on the pattern or the size of the beanie you want to make. Typically, one to two skeins should be enough for a beanie.
Take your time to choose the right materials and yarn for your beanie. Once you have everything ready, you’ll be ready to start knitting!
Correct Circular Needle Size
When knitting a beanie with circular needles, it is essential to choose the correct needle size to achieve the desired gauge and fit. The needle size you choose will depend on the weight of yarn you are using and the tension or gauge specified in the pattern.
The general rule of thumb is to use a needle size that allows you to match the tension or gauge specified in the pattern. The tension or gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch or centimeter that you need to achieve to ensure that your finished beanie has the correct measurements.
If your tension or gauge is too loose, meaning you have fewer stitches and rows per inch than specified, you will need to use a smaller needle size to achieve the desired tension. Conversely, if your tension or gauge is too tight, meaning you have more stitches and rows per inch than specified, you will need to use a larger needle size to achieve the desired tension.
It is important to note that everyone knits differently, so the needle size needed to achieve the correct tension may vary from person to person. It is a good idea to knit a gauge swatch using your chosen circular needles and yarn before starting your beanie project. The gauge swatch will help you determine if you need to adjust your needle size to achieve the specified tension in the pattern.
If you are unsure about the correct needle size to use, you can consult the yarn label or the pattern for guidance. The yarn label usually provides a suggested needle size range for the yarn weight, while the pattern may specify a specific needle size to be used.
Keep in mind that circular needles are available in a variety of lengths, so be sure to choose a length that comfortably accommodates all of the stitches required for your beanie project.
By selecting the correct circular needle size, you can ensure that your beanie will have a perfect fit and meet the desired tension or gauge specified in the pattern.
Cast On Stitches
To start knitting a beanie with circular needles, you will need to cast on stitches. Casting on is the process of creating the first row of stitches on your knitting needle. There are several methods you can use to cast on stitches, but we will cover the most common one, the long-tail cast on.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cast on stitches using the long-tail method:
- Hold the circular needle in your right hand and leave a long tail of yarn.
- Make a slipknot by creating a loop with the yarn, crossing the end behind the loop, and pulling the end through the loop.
- Slide the slipknot onto the needle and tighten it, keeping the long tail on the left side.
- Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand and the long tail hanging down.
- With your left hand, wrap the yarn around your thumb and forefinger, creating a V shape.
- Insert the needle from left to right through the V shape.
- Bring the needle up and behind the yarn from right to left, catching the yarn with the tip of the needle.
- Bring the needle down and back through the V shape, pulling the yarn loop through the V.
- Drop the stitch from your thumb and tighten it up on the needle.
- Repeat steps 5-9 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
Tips for a successful cast on:
- Ensure that your stitches are not too tight or too loose. They should be snug on the needle.
- Keep the tension consistent throughout the cast on process.
- If you need to cast on a specific number of stitches, you can estimate the length of the long tail by measuring it against the knitting needle. Make the tail about three times the width of your project.
- Practice the long-tail cast on a few times before starting your beanie to get comfortable with the technique.
Once you have cast on the desired number of stitches, you are ready to start knitting your beanie!
Join in the Round
Once you have cast on your desired number of stitches onto your circular needles, it’s time to join in the round. This will create a seamless tube, which is perfect for making a beanie or any other circular knitting project.
To join in the round, follow these steps:
- Place a stitch marker on the right-hand needle to mark the beginning of the round. This will help you keep track of your rounds as you knit.
- Make sure that your cast-on stitches are not twisted around the circular needles. The working yarn should be hanging down from the first stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Hold the needles parallel to each other with the working yarn at the back of the work. The right-hand needle should be on top.
- Insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle as if to knit.
- Wrap the working yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front, just like you would for a knit stitch.
- Using the right-hand needle, pull the loop of yarn through the stitch, bringing it to the front of the work.
- Slide the left-hand needle out of the stitch, leaving the newly knit stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Gently tug on the working yarn to tighten the stitch.
- The first round is complete, and you are now joined in the round! Continue knitting as instructed in the pattern.
Remember to always knit in a clockwise direction when working in the round to ensure that your stitches are properly oriented.
Joining in the round can take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to knit all sorts of circular projects with ease!
Knit the Hat Body
Once you have cast on your stitches and joined them in the round, it’s time to start knitting the body of the hat. Follow these steps to knit the hat body:
- Start by knitting every stitch in the round. Remember to keep your tension even throughout.
- Continue knitting every round until the hat reaches the desired length. This will vary depending on the size of the hat and how slouchy you want it to be. You can measure the length by trying the hat on occasionally during the process.
- For a basic beanie, you can knit the body until it measures approximately 7-8 inches from the cast-on edge.
- If you want to add stripes or other patterns to your hat, refer to the pattern instructions for when and how to make the changes.
While knitting the body of the hat, it’s important to maintain the correct tension and keep an eye on your stitch count. Make sure to count your stitches at the end of each round to ensure you haven’t accidentally added or dropped any stitches. If you notice any mistakes, you can use a crochet hook or a stitch marker to fix them.
Remember to take breaks and stretch your hands and fingers throughout the knitting process to prevent strain or fatigue. Knitting with circular needles can be more comfortable than using straight needles, but it’s still important to take care of your hands.
Once you’ve reached the desired length for the hat body and are satisfied with how it looks, you can move on to the next step in the pattern, which is usually shaping the crown of the hat. Follow the instructions provided in your specific pattern to shape the crown and finish your beanie.
Once you have completed the desired length of your beanie, it’s time to start decreasing stitches to shape the top of the hat.
To decrease stitches, you will be working with two stitches at a time. Here’s how:
- Insert your right-hand needle into the first stitch on your left-hand needle as if to knit.
- Knit the stitch, but instead of letting it slip off the left-hand needle, leave it on the needle.
- Now insert your right-hand needle into the second stitch on your left-hand needle as if to knit.
- Knit the second stitch and then slip both stitches off the left-hand needle.
- You have now decreased one stitch.
Repeat these steps until you have decreased the desired number of stitches. For example, if you want to decrease every other stitch, you would follow steps 1-5, then knit one stitch, followed by steps 1-5 again.
Continue these decrease rounds until you have a small number of stitches left, around 6-8 stitches.
Finally, cut your yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a darning needle and slip the needle through the remaining stitches on your needles. Remove the needles, pull the yarn tight to close the top of the hat, and secure the yarn with a knot.
Your beanie is now complete!
Finish the Crown
Once you have reached the desired length for your beanie, it is time to finish the crown. This is the top part of the beanie that will gather together to create the shape.
To finish the crown, follow these steps:
- Divide your stitches evenly onto double-pointed needles or use the magic loop method if you prefer.
- Arrange your stitches so that you have an equal number on each needle.
- Using a tapestry needle, thread your working yarn through the stitches, removing the needles as you go.
- Gently pull the yarn tight to close the top of the beanie.
- Secure the yarn by weaving it through a few stitches on the inside of the beanie.
Once you have finished the crown, you can weave in any loose ends to tidy up the inside of the beanie.
Congratulations! You have now completed your knitted beanie using circular needles. Try it on and enjoy the warmth and style of your new creation!
Bind Off and Weave in Ends
After completing all the rows of your beanie, it’s time to bind off and weave in the ends to finish it off.
To bind off, cut the yarn leaving a tail that is about 6 inches long. Thread the tail through the last stitch on your needle and pull it tight. This will secure the last stitch.
Next, insert your needle into the second stitch on the left needle and pass it over the first stitch and off the needle. You now have one stitch on your right needle.
Continue in this manner, knitting the next stitch and passing the previous stitch over it, until you reach the end of the row. Cut the yarn, leaving another 6-inch tail, and thread the tail through the last stitch to secure it.
Now it’s time to weave in the ends. Using a tapestry needle, thread one of the tail ends and weave it in and out of the stitches on the wrong side of the beanie. Make sure to weave it in securely to prevent the ends from unraveling.
Repeat the same process with the other tail end, weaving it in on the wrong side of the beanie.
Once you have woven in both ends, trim any excess yarn close to the fabric, being careful not to cut any of the stitches.
Now your beanie is complete! Put it on and enjoy your new hand-knit accessory!
What are circular needles and how are they different from straight needles?
Circular needles are knitting needles that have a flexible cord connecting the two needles. They are different from straight needles because they allow you to knit projects in the round, such as hats, without having to seam them together.
What materials do I need to knit a beanie with circular needles?
To knit a beanie with circular needles, you will need circular knitting needles, yarn, a tape measure, a stitch marker, and a yarn needle for weaving in ends.
Is knitting a beanie with circular needles difficult for beginners?
No, knitting a beanie with circular needles is not difficult for beginners. It may take some practice to get used to working with circular needles, but there are many resources available online that provide step-by-step instructions and tutorials for beginners.
Can I use circular needles for projects other than beanies?
Yes, you can use circular needles for a variety of projects, such as sweaters, scarves, and socks. They are particularly useful for knitting large projects or projects that need to be worked in the round.