Basic Knit Hat in Stockinette Stitch

Top detail of a stockinette stitch hat
 Mamichan/Flickr CC 2.0 

Sometimes a simple, unfussy staple is what is called for. As the old saying goes, sometimes less is more. This basic stockinette stitch hat is a no-frills classic. The pattern is simple to grasp and you will often find it as a project for beginner knitters. Right after you make the traditional beginner's scarf, the next thing to make is this basic hat.

The stockinette stitch results in a hat that has stretch and 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 wider range of people. The gauge for this pattern should be 3.5 stitches and four rows to one inch in the stockinette stitch in the round. Ths finished hat circumference is 20 inches, which will fit most adults.

Materials for the Basic Hat Pattern

You won't need very much in the way of supplies for this project. Bulky yarn is preferred so your hat has some heft to it.

  • Two balls of yarn or about 110 yards of bulky yarn of your choice
  • 16-inch size 10 US (six mm) circular needle
  • One set size 10 US (six mm) double-pointed needles, or long circular for magic loop
  • Scissors, tape measure, yarn needle

Basic Hat Knitting Pattern

  1. Cast on 72 stitches, and join in the round, being careful not to twist.
  2. Work in K3, P3 rib for 3 inches
  3. Work in Stockinette Stitch (every row knit) for 5 inches

Shape the Crown of the Basic Hat

Change to double-pointed needles when there are not sufficient stitches to continue work on the circular needle.

  1. Round 1: K4, K2tog around (60 stitches).
  2. Round 2: Knit.
  3. Round 3: K3, K2tog around (48 stitches).
  4. Round 4: Knit.
  5. Round 5: K2, K2tog around (36 stitches).
  6. Round 6: K1, K2tog around (24 stitches).
  7. Round 7: K2tog around (12 stitches).
  8. Thread yarn through remaining 12 stitches and pull tight to close the top of the crown. Weave in all loose ends.

    Variations of the Basic Hat

    You can add a pom pom to the crown of the hat if the wearer likes that look. The pom pom can be made from the same yarn as the hat, or you can use a contrasting color or even a different weight of yarn. Check out these instructions on how to make a pom pom.

    A tassel is another simple decoration to add to the crown of the hat.

    This simple beanie hat is very similar, but with a narrower band that you may not wear turned up as you do with the basic stockinette stitch hat.

    Once you've mastered the basic hat and you are looking for more of a challenge, try the reversible lace hat pattern. This is two hats in one. On one side it looks just like the basic hat. Reverse it and you have a lovely contrasting lace pattern against the solid background.