Learn How to Knit a Beanie with Circular Needles

Learn How to Knit a Beanie with Circular Needles

Knitting a beanie can be a fun and rewarding project, and using circular needles makes the process even easier. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of knitting a cozy beanie using circular needles.

Step 1: Gather your materials

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You will need a set of circular needles, a skein of yarn in your desired color, a stitch marker, a tape measure, and a yarn needle. Make sure your circular needles are the right size for your chosen yarn weight.

Step 2: Cast on stitches

To start, cast on the desired number of stitches onto your circular needles. The number of stitches will depend on your gauge and the size of the beanie you want to make. If you’re unsure how many stitches to cast on, a general guideline for an average size adult beanie is around 80 stitches.

Step 3: Join in the round

Once you have cast on your stitches, place a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round. This will help you keep track of your progress. Then, carefully join your cast-on stitches in the round, making sure they are not twisted. This will create the seamless bottom of the beanie.

Step 4: Knit in the round

Now that your stitches are joined, you can begin knitting in the round. Use the knit stitch for the entire project, working each round until the beanie reaches the desired length. You can choose to knit the entire beanie in a basic knit stitch or add pattern variations, such as ribbing or a textured stitch pattern.

Step 5: Decrease stitches

When the beanie is nearing the desired length, it’s time to start decreasing stitches to shape the crown. Follow a pattern or decrease evenly across the round by knitting two stitches together. Continue decreasing until you have a few stitches left, then cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches, pulling tight to secure.

Step 6: Finishing touches

To finish off your beanie, weave in any loose ends using a yarn needle. If desired, you can also add a pom-pom or other decorative elements to personalize your creation. Give the beanie a gentle block to shape it, if necessary, and it’s ready to be worn or gifted!

Now that you know the step-by-step process, you can confidently start your knitting journey and create beautiful beanies using circular needles. Happy knitting!

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needle Size

When it comes to knitting a beanie, choosing the right yarn and needle size is crucial. The yarn you choose will determine the overall texture, warmth, and look of your beanie. Similarly, the needle size will affect the gauge or the tightness of your stitches. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choices:


1. Consider the season: If you’re knitting a beanie for winter, you’ll want to choose a yarn that is warm and insulating, such as wool or alpaca. For a beanie to be worn in the spring or fall, you can opt for a lighter yarn like cotton or acrylic.

2. Gauge: The suggested gauge for the beanie pattern will usually be given on the yarn label or in the pattern instructions. Make sure to choose a yarn that can easily meet this gauge, especially if you’re a beginner.

3. Thickness: The thickness or weight of the yarn is also important. Thicker yarns will create a bulkier beanie, while thinner yarns will result in a more delicate and lightweight beanie. Consider the look you want to achieve when selecting your yarn.

Needle Size

1. Gauge: The suggested gauge for the pattern will also indicate the appropriate needle size. Use this information as a starting point and make sure your stitches match the gauge requirements. If your stitches are too tight, switch to a larger needle size. If they are too loose, switch to a smaller size.

2. Material: Circular needles come in a variety of materials like metal, bamboo, or plastic. Each material has a different texture and feel, so choose the one that feels most comfortable for you. Metal needles may be slippery, while bamboo offers more grip.

3. Length: Circular needles come in different lengths, typically ranging from 16 inches to 40 inches. For knitting a beanie, a 16-inch circular needle is usually sufficient. However, if you prefer, you can also use double-pointed needles (DPNs) or magic loop technique with longer circular needles.

Remember, the yarn and needle size you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preference and the desired outcome of your beanie. Experiment, have fun, and don’t be afraid to try different combinations until you find the perfect match!

Casting On Stitches

One of the first steps in knitting a beanie with circular needles is to cast on the required number of stitches. This creates the foundation for your project and determines the circumference of the beanie.

There are several methods for casting on stitches, but for this tutorial, we will use the long-tail cast on method, which is a versatile and commonly used technique.

  1. Hold the circular needles and wrap the yarn around your left thumb and index finger to create a slip knot. Leave a long tail end for casting on.
  2. Place the slip knot onto the right needle and hold the needles in your right hand.
  3. With your left hand, hold the long tail of yarn behind the needle, making sure it is not tangled.
  4. Insert the right needle into the slip knot from left to right, creating a loop around the needle.
  5. Bring the needle behind the long tail of yarn and use it to scoop up the yarn from underneath.
  6. Pull the yarn through the slip knot loop, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches for your beanie. Keep the stitches snug but not too tight.

Once you have cast on all the stitches, you can join the round by carefully sliding the stitches from the right needle onto the left needle, making sure they are not twisted.

Now that you have successfully cast on the stitches, you are ready to start knitting the body of your beanie using circular needles.

Joining the Stitches in a Circle

Once you have cast on all of your stitches onto the circular needles, it’s time to join the stitches in a circle.

Here are the steps to join the stitches:

  1. Hold the needles parallel to each other: Hold the two ends of the circular needles together, making sure that the stitches are not twisted around the needles.
  2. Insert the right needle: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, knitting from left to right.
  3. Knit the stitch: Wrap the yarn around the right needle, then pull the right needle through the stitch, bringing the stitch onto the right needle.
  4. Slide the stitch: Slide the stitch from the left needle onto the right needle, so that the stitch is now on the right needle.
  5. Repeat: Continue this process for all of the stitches, knitting each stitch onto the right needle and sliding it from the left needle.

Once all of the stitches have been joined in a circle, you can continue knitting in the round to create the body of the beanie.

Knitting in the Round

Knitting in the round is a technique used to create seamless tubes of fabric, such as hats, socks, and sleeves. Instead of working back and forth in rows, you will work in a continuous spiral, without turning your work.

To knit in the round, you will need a set of circular knitting needles. These needles have a flexible cable connecting two needle tips. The cable length should be shorter than the circumference of the project you are working on. For a beanie, a 16-inch circular needle is commonly used.

Here are the steps to knit in the round:

  1. Cast on: Begin by casting on the desired number of stitches onto one of the circular needles.
  2. Join the round: Move the first stitch from the right-hand needle to the left-hand needle, being careful not to twist the stitches. This joins the round.
  3. Knit in a spiral: Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand. Insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle and knit it. Continue knitting each stitch in order until you reach the end of the round.
  4. Repeat: Once you reach the end of the round, move the stitches from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle. The last stitch you knit will become the first stitch of the next round. Continue knitting in this spiral fashion until your project reaches the desired length.
  5. Bind off: When you are ready to finish your project, bind off using your preferred method. Make sure to leave a long tail for weaving in any loose ends.

When knitting in the round, it is important to keep your tension consistent and avoid laddering or gaps between the stitches. You can use stitch markers to mark the beginning of each round and ensure you are always working in the right direction.

Knitting in the round can be a fun and efficient way to create seamless projects. With practice, you’ll be able to knit hats, socks, and other items with ease!

Creating Ribbing for the Brim

Before starting the main body of the beanie, you’ll need to create a ribbed brim for added stretch and elasticity. Ribbing is a common technique used in knitting to create a stretchy and fitted edge on hats, cuffs, and other garments.

To create the ribbing for the brim, you’ll be using a combination of knit and purl stitches. This creates a textured pattern that not only looks great but also helps the brim retain its shape.

Here’s how to create the ribbing:

  1. Cast on the desired number of stitches using the long tail cast on method.
  2. For a basic 1×1 ribbing, alternate knitting one stitch and purling one stitch across the entire row. Repeat this pattern for every row until the ribbing is the desired length for the brim.
  3. If you want a different ribbing pattern, such as 2×2 or 2×1, adjust the stitch pattern accordingly. For example, for a 2×2 ribbing, knit two stitches and purl two stitches across the row, repeating this pattern for every row.
  4. Continue the ribbing pattern until the brim is the desired length, generally around 1-2 inches.

Remember to use stitch markers to help keep track of your stitches, especially if you are using a larger number of stitches or a more complex ribbing pattern.

Once you’ve completed the ribbing, you’ll be ready to move on to knitting the main body of the beanie.

Knitting the Body of the Beanie

Now that you have completed the ribbing for your beanie, it’s time to start knitting the body. The body of the beanie will be worked in the main stitch pattern of your choice, such as stockinette stitch or a simple knit/purl pattern.

Follow these steps to knit the body of the beanie:

  1. Continue working in the round using your circular needles.
  2. Start the first round of the body by knitting every stitch.
  3. For the following rounds, you can either continue knitting every stitch for a stockinette stitch pattern or follow a stitch pattern of your choice.
  4. If you are using a stitch pattern, make sure to follow the instructions or chart provided.
  5. Continue knitting in the body stitch pattern until the beanie reaches your desired length. Keep in mind that the beanie will stretch when worn, so it’s a good idea to make it slightly shorter than the desired finished length.
  6. Optional: If you want to add stripes or color changes to your beanie, you can do so by switching to a different color yarn at the beginning of a round. Make sure to carry the yarn not in use up the inside of the beanie to avoid loose floats.

Once you have reached the desired length for the body of the beanie, you are ready to move on to shaping the crown.

Decreasing Stitches for the Crown

Once you’ve reached the desired length for your beanie, it’s time to start decreasing stitches to shape the crown.

Here’s how to decrease stitches using circular needles:

  1. Round 1: Knit the first 2 stitches together. Repeat this pattern until the end of the round.
  2. Round 2: Knit all stitches.
  3. Round 3: Knit the first stitch. Knit the next 2 stitches together. Repeat this pattern until the end of the round.
  4. Round 4: Knit all stitches.
  5. Round 5: Knit the first stitch. Knit the next 2 stitches together. Repeat this pattern until the end of the round.
  6. Round 6: Knit all stitches.
  7. Round 7: Knit the first stitch. Knit the next 2 stitches together. Repeat this pattern until the end of the round.
  8. Round 8: Knit all stitches.

Continue this decreasing pattern, alternating between decreasing rounds and knit rounds, until there are only a few stitches remaining. At this point, you can switch to double-pointed needles to finish off the crown.

Once you have decreased the stitches to a small number, you can use a tapestry needle to thread the remaining stitches through the loops and secure them tightly.

Now your beanie is complete! You can weave in any loose ends and add any finishing touches, such as a pom-pom or ribbed brim, if desired.

Finishing the Beanie

After completing the knitting portion of your beanie, there are a few final steps to take in order to finish it off.

  1. Weave in the ends: Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle and weave it through the remaining stitches on the needles, removing them as you go. This will secure the stitches and prevent them from unraveling.
  2. Blocking: Gently shape your beanie by wetting it and laying it flat to dry. This will help even out the stitches and give your beanie a more polished look. You can use blocking mats or any flat surface that you can pin your beanie to.
  3. Attach a pom-pom (optional): If desired, you can attach a pom-pom to the top of your beanie. You can either make your own pom-pom using yarn or purchase a pre-made one. Using a yarn needle, thread the tail of the pom-pom through the top of the beanie, securing it tightly.

Once you have completed these finishing touches, your beanie is ready to wear or give as a gift! Enjoy the warmth and style of your hand-knitted creation.


Can I use double-pointed needles instead of circular needles?

Yes, you can use double-pointed needles instead of circular needles to knit a beanie. However, circular needles are generally easier to work with, especially for beginners, as they distribute the weight of the project more evenly and prevent the stitches from slipping off. If you prefer using double-pointed needles, make sure to adjust the pattern accordingly.

What size should I knit the beanie to fit an average adult head?

To fit an average adult head, you should knit the beanie with a circumference of approximately 21-23 inches. However, head sizes can vary, so it’s a good idea to measure the recipient’s head or refer to a standard sizing chart to ensure the proper fit.

How long does it usually take to knit a beanie using circular needles?

The time it takes to knit a beanie using circular needles can vary depending on the knitter’s skill level, the complexity of the pattern, and the desired size of the beanie. On average, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to complete a beanie project.

Can I customize the beanie pattern to add a brim or a pom-pom?

Yes, you can definitely customize the beanie pattern to add a brim or a pom-pom. To add a brim, you can simply knit a few extra rows before starting the main body of the beanie. To add a pom-pom, you will need to make one separately using yarn and attach it to the top of the beanie once it’s finished. There are many tutorials available online that can guide you through these customization options.


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