Learn to Knit a Beanie with Straight Needles

Learn to Knit a Beanie with Straight Needles

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit a beanie but are intimidated by circular needles or double-pointed needles, don’t worry! You can still create a cozy and stylish beanie using just a pair of straight needles. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of knitting a beanie with straight needles, from casting on to finishing touches.

Before we get started, gather your materials: a pair of straight knitting needles (size will depend on the thickness of yarn you choose), a skein of yarn in your favorite color, a tapestry needle for seaming, and a pair of scissors. Once you have everything you need, find a comfortable place to sit and let’s begin!

The first step is to cast on stitches. This will determine the size of your beanie. You can choose any number of stitches depending on how slouchy or tight you want your beanie to be. We recommend casting on about 80 stitches for an average adult size. Use the long-tail cast-on method, which provides a neat and stretchy edge.

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles

When knitting a beanie with straight needles, it is important to choose the right yarn and needles to ensure the best results. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Yarn Weight: The weight of the yarn will determine the thickness of the beanie. For a warm and cozy beanie, choose a bulky or chunky weight yarn. For a lighter and more delicate beanie, opt for a fingering or sport weight yarn.
  2. Fiber Content: Consider the fiber content of the yarn. Wool yarns are great for warmth and durability, while cotton or acrylic yarns may be better for those with sensitivities or allergies.
  3. Needle Size: The size of the needles will affect the gauge of your beanie. For a tighter gauge and a denser fabric, choose smaller needles. For a looser, more drapey fabric, choose larger needles. The specific needle size will depend on the yarn weight and your personal tension.
  4. Straight Needles: When knitting a beanie with straight needles, you will need two needles of the same size. It is recommended to use long needles, around 14 inches, to accommodate the width of the beanie.

Ultimately, the choice of yarn and needles is a matter of personal preference and the desired outcome. Experimenting with different combinations can lead to unique and satisfying results. Remember to always gauge swatch before starting your project to ensure the correct fit and tension.

Casting On and Making the Ribbed Brim

Before you begin knitting the beanie, you’ll need to cast on your stitches. This is the process of creating the first row of loops on your knitting needle. For this project, you’ll need to cast on 88 stitches.

To cast on, start by making a slipknot and placing it on one of your needles. Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand. With your left hand, hold the other knitting needle.

  1. Insert your left needle into the slipknot from front to back, then wrap the working yarn under and over the left needle.
  2. Using your right needle, pull the loop on the left needle through the slipknot, creating a new loop on the right needle.
  3. Continue this process, alternating between the left and right needle, until you have 88 stitches on your right needle.

Once you have cast on your stitches, it’s time to create the ribbed brim. The ribbed brim adds stretch and shape to the beanie. For this project, you’ll be using the 2×2 rib stitch pattern.

The 2×2 rib stitch is created by alternating between knitting two stitches and purling two stitches. To begin, knit the first two stitches on your right needle. Then, purl the next two stitches.

Continue alternating between knitting and purling stitches until you reach the end of the row. Repeat this pattern for the next several rows to create the ribbed brim. Aim to create a brim that is about 2-3 inches long.

Once you’ve completed the ribbed brim, you’re ready to move on to the next step: knitting the body of the beanie.

Knitting the Body of the Beanie

Now that you have completed the ribbing, it is time to start knitting the body of the beanie. This section will guide you through the steps to create the main part of the beanie using straight needles.

  1. Begin by knitting all stitches in the first row. This will create a smooth and even base for the body of the beanie.
  2. Continue knitting each row until the beanie reaches your desired length. Keep in mind that the length will depend on personal preference and the intended fit of the beanie. It’s a good idea to measure the circumference of your head and reference a sizing chart to determine the appropriate length.
  3. If you would like to add a pattern or design to the body of the beanie, you can do so by following the desired pattern instructions. This could involve knitting different stitches or incorporating color changes. Be sure to consult the pattern and follow the instructions carefully.
  4. Once you have reached the desired length, it is time to prepare for shaping the crown of the beanie. This typically involves decreasing the number of stitches to create a tapered top. Refer to the beanie pattern or follow the basic instructions below.

Basic crown shaping:

  1. Decide on the frequency of decrease rows. This will depend on the desired shape of the crown, but a common strategy is to decrease every other row.
  2. To decrease, knit two stitches together at regular intervals across the row. This will reduce the overall number of stitches.
  3. Continue decreasing in this manner for the specified number of rows or until only a few stitches remain.
  4. Finally, cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a tapestry needle and carefully remove the remaining stitches from the knitting needle, pulling the tail tightly to close the top of the beanie.

Now you have completed knitting the body of the beanie and shaping the crown. The final step will be to finish the beanie by weaving in any loose ends and blocking the beanie to shape it properly.

Decreasing Stitches to Shape the Crown

Once you have reached the desired length of your beanie, it’s time to start decreasing stitches to shape the crown. Decreasing stitches at regular intervals will give your beanie a tapered shape.

Follow these steps to decrease stitches:

  1. Row 1: Knit the first 2 stitches together. This will decrease the stitch count by 1.
  2. Row 2: Purl all stitches.
  3. Row 3: Knit the next 2 stitches together. Decrease the stitch count by 1.
  4. Row 4: Purl all stitches.
  5. Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have a small number of stitches left on your needle, usually around 6-8 stitches.

At this point, you can cut your yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a yarn needle and slide the needle through the remaining stitches. Pull tight to close the top of the beanie.

Congratulations! You have successfully shaped the crown of your beanie by decreasing stitches. Now you can finish off the hat by weaving in any loose ends and blocking it to give it a nice shape.

Switching to Double-Pointed Needles

If you prefer to use double-pointed needles instead of straight needles for knitting a beanie, you can easily switch to them. Double-pointed needles are especially useful when you reach the decrease rounds of the beanie pattern.

Here’s how you can switch to double-pointed needles:

  1. Divide your stitches evenly onto three or four double-pointed needles, depending on the number of stitches and your personal preference. Make sure to distribute the stitches evenly to avoid laddering or loose stitches.
  2. Hold your work with the right side facing and position the first needle with the first stitch in your right hand. Insert the empty needle into the first stitch as if to knit.
  3. Continue working the first round of stitches onto the double-pointed needles, working each stitch as you normally would with straight needles. As you complete each needle, hold the remaining needles out of the way.
  4. Once you have completed the first round on the double-pointed needles, you can continue working the pattern in the round. Remember to always keep the right side facing you.

When using double-pointed needles, it’s important to take care and maintain an even tension throughout your work. Avoid pulling the yarn too tightly, as it can create tight stitches and make your beanie uncomfortable to wear.

Switching to double-pointed needles can be a bit challenging at first, but with practice and patience, you’ll soon become comfortable with this technique. Enjoy the flexibility and control that double-pointed needles offer in shaping your beanie!

Finishing the Top of the Beanie

Finishing the Top of the Beanie

Once you have reached the desired length of the beanie, it’s time to finish off the top. This involves decreasing the number of stitches in each row to create a tapered shape.

To begin the decreasing process, follow these steps:

  1. Start by knitting two stitches together. This is called a knit two stitches together (k2tog) decrease. Insert your right needle into the next two stitches on your left needle as if to knit and knit them together as one stitch. This will decrease your stitch count by one.
  2. Knit the next stitch.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you reach the end of the row.

After completing the first decreased row, you will have fewer stitches on your needles. Continue to decrease in every row until you only have a few stitches left.

Once you have a small number of stitches remaining, cut your yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a yarn needle and slide the needle through the remaining stitches. Pull tight to close up the top of the beanie.

Finally, weave in any loose ends of yarn and trim off any excess. Your beanie is now complete!

Remember to always consult your pattern for specific instructions and stitch counts, as they may vary depending on the size and style of the beanie you are knitting.

Adding Embellishments and Personal Touches

Once you have finished knitting the basic beanie, you can add extra embellishments and personal touches to make it unique. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pom-pom: Attach a pom-pom to the top of the beanie. You can either buy pre-made pom-poms or make your own using yarn and a pom-pom maker.
  • Embroidery: Add embroidered designs or initials to the beanie using a yarn needle and contrasting yarn. This could be a simple monogram or a more intricate pattern.
  • Buttons: Sew on buttons in a pattern or design of your choice. This can give the beanie a unique and personalized look.
  • Appliques: Attach fabric or crocheted appliques to the beanie. This could be a flower, heart, star, or any other shape you desire.
  • Ribbons: Tie a ribbon around the base of the beanie or create a bow at the side. This adds a feminine touch and can complement the colors of the yarn.
  • Patches: Sew on patches or badges to showcase your interests or hobbies. For example, you could add a patch with your favorite sports team or a symbol of a cause you support.

Remember to consider the thickness and weight of the embellishments, as they may affect the fit and shape of the beanie. Additionally, make sure any sewing or attaching is secure and doesn’t interfere with the comfort or wearability of the beanie.

Have fun experimenting with different embellishments and personal touches to create a beanie that truly reflects your style and personality!

Blocking and Caring for Your Knitted Beanie

After completing your knitted beanie, it is important to block it to give it a neat and finished look. Blocking helps to even out the stitches, relax the fibers, and shape the beanie to its intended size and form. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a mild wool wash or a few drops of gentle shampoo to the water and mix it gently.
  3. Submerge your knitted beanie in the water, making sure it’s fully saturated.
  4. Let the beanie soak in the water for about 15 minutes.
  5. Gently squeeze out excess water from the beanie.
  6. Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place the beanie on top.
  7. Roll up the towel with the beanie inside, gently pressing to remove more water.
  8. Unroll the towel and remove the beanie.
  9. Place the beanie on a blocking mat or any other non-absorbent surface.
  10. Shape the beanie by gently stretching it to the desired size and form.
  11. Use rust-proof pins to secure the beanie in place.

Allow the beanie to dry completely in the blocked shape. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two, depending on the thickness of the yarn and the humidity of your environment.

Once your beanie is blocked and dry, it’s ready to be worn! To care for your knitted beanie:

  • Hand wash it with a gentle detergent or wool wash in lukewarm water.
  • Avoid twisting or wringing the beanie, as this can cause it to lose its shape.
  • Lay it flat to dry, preferably on a clean towel or blocking mat.
  • Store your beanie in a cool, dry place to prevent any moth or mildew damage.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your knitted beanie remains in good condition and continues to provide warmth and style for many winters to come!


What materials do I need to knit a beanie with straight needles?

To knit a beanie with straight needles, you will need yarn, straight knitting needles, a tapestry needle, a pair of scissors, and a measuring tape.

What are the basic knitting stitches required for knitting a beanie?

The basic knitting stitches required for knitting a beanie include the knit stitch, purl stitch, and rib stitch.

Can I use any type of yarn to knit a beanie with straight needles?

Yes, you can use any type of yarn to knit a beanie with straight needles. However, it is recommended to use a medium-weight yarn for best results.

How do I measure my head to determine the size of the beanie?

To measure your head for the size of the beanie, use a measuring tape and wrap it around your head just above your eyebrows. Make sure the tape is snug but not too tight. Record the measurement in inches or centimeters.

What are the steps to cast on stitches for the beanie?

To cast on stitches for the beanie, start by making a slipknot and placing it on one of the knitting needles. Then, insert the other knitting needle through the slipknot and wrap the working yarn around the needle. Pull the yarn through the slipknot to create a new stitch. Repeat this process until you have the desired number of stitches.

How do I shape the crown of the beanie?

To shape the crown of the beanie, you will need to decrease stitches gradually. This can be done by knitting two stitches together or by slipping one stitch knitwise, knitting the next stitch, and then passing the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch. Repeat these decrease stitches until there are only a few stitches left. Then, cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, and thread it through the remaining stitches, pulling tight to close the crown.


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