Basic Knit Hat in Stockinette Stitch

Top detail of a stockinette stitch hat

 Mamichan/Flickr

Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

The basic stockinette stitch hat is a no-frills classic in the knitting world. The pattern is simple to grasp and it's a perfect project for beginner knitters. Right after you make the traditional beginner's scarf, the next thing to make is this basic hat. And you'll add another essential tool to your knitting toolbox: how to knit in the round on circular needles. It's also a pattern that you can come back to time and again whenever you need a quick hat.

The stockinette stitch body results in a hat that has lots of stretch for different sizes of head. It also traps enough air between the rows of stitches to provide insulation in cold weather. The turn-up bottom flap allows the wearer to pull it down or push it up, so it will fit a broader range of people.

Gauge

14 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Sizing / Finished Measurements

Will stretch to fit most adult heads.

Circumference: 20 inches

Abbreviations

  • k = knit
  • k2tog = knit 2 sts together as one
  • p = purl
  • rnd(s) = round(s)
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • [ ] = repeat instructions within brackets as directed

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Equipment / Tools

  • US 10 [6.0 mm] 16-inch circular needle
  • 1 set US 10 [6.0 mm] double-pointed needles
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors

Materials

Materials

  • 110 bulky weight yarn

Instructions

  1. Cast On

    Using 16-inch circular needle, cast on 72 sts. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

  2. Brim

    Work in 3x3 rib pattern until brim measures 3 inches.

    All rounds: [k3, p3] 12 times.

  3. Body

    Work in stockinette stitch for 5 inches.

    All rounds: knit.

  4. Shape Crown

    The top of the hat is now shaped by removing stitches over several rounds using the knit-two-together (k2tog) decrease. Every other round will have 12 fewer stitches. Change to double-pointed needles when you no longer have sufficient stitches to fit around the circular needle.

    Rnd 1: [k4, k2tog] 12 times—60 sts.

    Rnd 2: knit.

    Rnd 3: [k3, k2tog] 12 times—48 sts.

    Rnd 4: knit.

    Rnd 5: [k2, k2tog] 12 times—36 sts.

    Rnd 6: [k1, k2tog] 12 times—24 sts

    Rnd 7: [k2tog] 12 times—12 sts.

    1:05

    Watch Now: How to Knit Two Together

  5. Finishing

    Leaving a 6 inch tail, cut yarn. Thread yarn through a yarn or tapestry needle. Take the needle through the center of the remaining 12 stitches. Pull tight to close the top of the crown, taking the tail to the inside. Weave in all loose ends.

Variations

There are many things that you can do to customize this hat pattern, which is why it will be useful for years to come. For instance, when you make it again, try switching yarn colors to create stripes or knit it with a self-striping yarn. You can add a pom pom to the crown of the hat if the wearer likes that look. It can be made from the same yarn as the hat, or you can use a contrasting color or a different weight of yarn. Alternatively, a tassel is another fun addition to the crown.

It's also possible to turn this hat into a simple beanie by shortening the band. To do this, you will need to decrease the number of stockinette rows from 5 inches to about 3 inches, or a little less, depending on the person's head.