Updated: Mar 14
My Favorite Simple Knit Hat is exactly what it sounds like -- an extremely simple knit hat! This pattern creates a formula for knitting a super bulky weight hat in baby to men's sizes. This pattern is very easy to customize -- in circumference, height, or even adding some stitch patterns of your own! This pattern is available as a download on Ravelry, PatternVine, and LoveCrafts, or it is available for free on my blog.
This is a fun, quick knit creating a plain knit hat that is cozy and warm for the cold winter weather. This pattern includes written English instructions. I recommend knitting the size that provides 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of negative ease in the circumference. If you wish for a beanie style hat, I recommend knitting a height very similar to the recipient’s measurement; for a slouchy style hat, add additional length prior to decreasing. This pattern is easily adaptable for a different sizing of your choice.
Note: This pattern is also available for download on Ravelry, PatternVine, and LoveCrafts for $1.50 - $2.00 (USD). The download version also includes definitions for each of the abbreviations, and the pattern is laid out more in a list form than a paragraph form.
My Favorite Simple Knit Hat - Free Pattern
This pattern is designed as a easy/beginner pattern, and it is available in a range of sizes from preemie up to men's. When you are reading instruction with parentheses, these are the respective sizes that are being referred to: Preemie (Baby, Toddler, Child, Tween, Women's, Men's). The finished dimensions of these sizes are as follows:
Finished Circumference: 10” (14, 16”, 18”, 19”, 21”, 22”) / 15 (35.5, 40.5, 46, 48, 53, 56) cm
Finished Height: 4.5” (5.5”, 6.5”, 7.5”, 8”, 8.5”, 9.5”) / 11.5 (14, 16.5, 19, 20, 21.5, 24) cm
To knit this pattern, you will need: super bulky weight yarn, 8.0 mm (US 11) circular (at least as long as the circumference of your hat size) or double-pointed needles, stitch marker, and darning needle. If you are not familiar with knitting in the round, I recommend that you watch a YouTube video to become familiar with the technique.
To learn more about the yarn that I used, and for recommendations on other yarns you may wish to use, please visit my "My Favorite Simple Knit Hat: Design Inspiration & Yarn/Color Recommendations" blog post.
The amount of yarn that I recommend for knitting this pattern is: 20 (30, 40, 50, 55, 65, 75) yards / 35 (50, 65, 80, 90, 105, 120) grams of super bulky weight yarn. If you are substituting the yarn with a different on than I use, here is an important note on the yarn that I use: I use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn for this pattern design. This yarn is a very thick yarn that creates a stiff fabric, which may not be preferable for the smaller (preemie, baby) hat sizes. If you would like a looser fabric, I suggest using a softer yarn or using a bulky weight yarn (rather than super bulky yarn).
To start your hat, you will cast on 24 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56) stitches. You may use your preferred cast on method; I tend to use a long tail cast on. Now, place your stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round. Then, join in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Now that your hat is joined in the round, you will start the ribbing for the hat. The ribbing is worked the same regardless of size; it is just longer for larger sizes.
Rounds 1 - 4 (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9): *K2, P2; repeat from * to the end of the round
Similar to the ribbing, the body of the hat is made exactly the same regardless of size; it is simply the number of rounds that changes according to the size.
Rounds 1 – 4 (6, 9, 11, 10, 11, 11): K entire round
The last part of the hat is the decreasing section. This is the part of the hat that differs most between sizes. Note: For baby, child, and women’s sizes, decrease rounds end with K, not K2tog. Rounds 1-5 are worked for all sizes.
Round 1: *K6, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Round 2 & 4: K entire round
Round 3: *K5, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Round 5: *K4, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Note: If you are working with circular needles, you may wish to switch to double pointed needles to complete the hat. It is, however, completely doable to complete the hat using the magic loop method on circular needles.
It is at this point that the instructions vary between sizes. Now, you will work rounds 6 & 8 only for the teen, women's, and men's sizes. This means DO NOT knit rounds 6 & 8 if you are knitting a preemie, baby, toddler, or child size. Rounds 7 & 9 are to be worked for all sizes.
Round 6 & 8: K entire round
Round 7: *K3, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Round 9: *K2, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Again, we have similar instructions as above. You will work rounds 10 & 12 only for the men's size. This means DO NOT knit rounds 10 & 12 if you are knitting a preemie, baby, toddler, child, tween, or women's size. Rounds 11 & 13 are to be worked for all sizes.
Round 10 & 12: K entire round
Round 11: *K1, K2tog; repeat from * to the end of the round
Round 13: K2tog entire round
To complete your project, cut your yarn, leaving a tail about 6” long. Thread this tail through the remaining stitches, closing the top of the hat. Weave in your ends, block if desired, and add a pom pom if desired.
I hope you have enjoyed this free pattern and use it to keep your head warm! This pattern also makes a great, simple gift knit. If you are interested in downloading and printing a PDF version of this pattern, you can find the pattern available for $1.50 - $2.00 (USD) on Ravelry, PatternVine, and LoveCrafts.