You’ll love this pattern collection of 28+ easy knit hat patterns. From beanies to slouch hats, these stylish patterns are the perfect way to keep warm this winter. We’ve searched everywhere for modern knit hats that anyone would love to wear.
However, before we get to the list, we want to outline some basic principles of hat knitting for those that may be closer to the beginner skill level.
Beginner Knit Stitches & Methods
Hats or beanies are perfect projects for beginner knitters to take on. Knitted hat patterns usually take only a couple of hours, and only a skein or two of yarn (sometimes even less!). If you’ve ever wondered how to knit a beanie for beginners, you’ve come to the right place.
To get you started, we go over some of the more common techniques used when knitting a hat.
All knitting starts with casting on. Doing so creates loops of yarn on the knitting needle, which will become the first row of stitches for your hat.
While there are a few casting methods, the single cast on and longtail cast on methods are the first ones I’d recommend learning, but we will only focus on the single cast on method here:
- First, we need to make a slip knot. Start by making a loop with the yarn.
- Bring the yarn through the loop, creating another loop with a knot at the end.
- Next, we cast on. Slide the slip knot onto the needle, and pull the yarn to tighten the knot.
- Wrap the working yarn (the end connected to the ball of yarn) around your thumb, so you have a loop around your thumb.
- Bring the needle under and up through the loop around your thumb.
- Remove your thumb from the loop and pull the yarn.
- Continue from step 4 until you have the desired number of stitches casted on your needle.
Once you’ve learned how to cast on, the next step is to learn your first knit stitch.
The knit stitch is another basic knitting technique that you’ll need to know to make many of the knit patterns found on this page. In fact, this basic stitch is the foundation of knitting.
I found that it is easiest to learn the knit stitch with circular needles, so you don’t end up losing one. A knit stitch worked back and forth is called a garter stitch, which is what I used to create this beginner knit blanket pattern.
To provide a visual, we’ve found this wonderful Knit Stitch video tutorial by Sheep & Stitch.
Knit Hat Sizes
About half of the free knit hat patterns we listed below come with multiple sizes. These are most commonly listed as small, medium or large sizes. However, with some ingenuity and a little measuring, it is actually pretty easy to resize a hat.
Hat sizes based on the circumference of the wearer’s head. To get this measurement, take the tape measure and wrap it around the person’s head at the forehead level. This measurement is called the “head circumference”, and will correspond to one of the 11 hat sizes in our resizing chart.
Tools & Supplies for Knit Hats
Obviously, you will need yarn to create a knit hat. The most common yarn weights using in knitted hats are medium/aran/worsted and bulky/chunky. The lighter the yarn weight, the tighter the knit stitching will be, which is usually what a knit hat is known for.
Natural yarn such as wool or alpaca is most commonly used in knitted hats. By using natural yarn, you end up with a much more refined drape and the extra warmth needed to deal with cold winters.
Most knitted hat patterns will also call for either straight or circular needles (unless you are doing hand-knitting). Some may even require both! This will most often occur when a pattern has multiple parts, such as a main hat section plus ribbing.
I would recommend using wooden needles when starting out. They are easier to handle and are fairly inexpensive.
Free Hat Knitting Patterns
We’ve scoured the web and found some of our most favorite free knitted hat patterns. Scroll through them below and find your next knit project!
The Knit Seed Stitch Chic hat uses one ball of Chic Sheep by Marly Bird yarn, works up in a few hours. This is a great beginner pattern.
Designer: Marley Bird
This lacy knit hat pattern from Marley Bird uses DK or Light weight yarn and comes in three different sizes: small, medium and large.
Designer: Marley Bird
This classic hat is a basic piece suitable for anyone and is lovely in any color. The pattern is simple and quick and is perfect for beginners. This pattern suggests 100% wool Aran (medium weight) yarn.
Designer: Little Grey Heart
This knit hat was designed for men who want just a simple beanie. Using medium weight yarn and a US 5 needle, this knit hat should come together very quickly. it comes in three different size options.
Designer: Joji Knits
This hat features interspersed small cables throughout the pattern to create a wonderful texture. It uses any 8 ply/DK weight yarn with 4mm double pointed needles or circulars.
Designer: Knitting Box
Available in five sizes, this knit hat uses Aran weight 100% Merino yarn and two different knitting needles. This hat has a ribbed bottom and a slouchy cap.
Designer: Les Tricots de Dilia
This hat is knitted with bulky yarn, and is warm and comfortable to wear. The body of the hat is knitted sideways and can be adjusted to be any size.
Designer: ABC Knitting
This knit slouchy hat free pattern is made entirely of knits and purls, making it perfect for beginners and a quick knit for old hands. Written specifically for beginners, this pattern is for people looking to make their first knit hat.
Designer: Sheep & Stitch
This free hat knitting pattern uses simple seed stitch knitting to create the interesting texture and simple 2×2 knit and purl ribbing for the cuff.
Designer: Cathy Payson for Red Heart
This eye-catching cable design and gradient color of this knitted hat make it stand out from all the others. It uses US4 and US7 size circular knitting needles and Alize Baby Wool #4 weight yarn.
Designer: Crazy Hands
This knit hat uses a 16″ circular needle in US 11 (8.0mm). It was thrown together quickly, but looks great!
Designer: Lazy Daisy Knits by Amanda
This hat has a unique swirl pattern that is created by working it in the flat in stripes, which is then decreased at opposite sides to create a parallelogram. Once stitched together, the swirls pop out.
Designer: Craft Yarn Council via Caps for Kids
The Mossing Around knit hat uses both the double moss stitch and garter stitch to create this beautiful hat. It is knitted with Aran yarn and straight 4.5mm needles.
Designer: Drops Design
Knit with worsted weight yarn, this knit hat comes with a detailed pattern and chart to get any beginner started perfectly.
Designer: Earth Morning Knits