How to Knit a Hat With Straight Needles

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Kate Bruscke

    About the Author

    A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times," KGB.com, Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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    Most beginning knitters start by knitting scarves, and a basic hat, knit on two straight needles, is the perfect project to try once you've mastered the scarf. Even experienced knitters like to fall back on a simple pattern that begs for customization. Try stripes, using novelty yarns, or adding a knitted flower or brooch to this pattern, once you feel comfortable with the fundamentals.

    Things You'll Need

    • Approximately 100 yards of chunky weight yarn
    • Size 13 (9mm) straight knitting needles (or a size that gives you the correct gauge)
    • Darning needle
    • Tape measure
    • Scissors

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    Knit a 5X5 inch square (called a swatch) to see if you have the right gauge. 12 stitches/12 rows should give you approximately 4 inches in stockinette stitch. If your gauge isn't quite right, try going up or down a needle size.

    Begin your hat by casting on 60 stitches. Work 10 rows in knit 2 purl 2 ribbing, then work in stockinette stitch until the hat measures 5 inches from the cast-on edge.

    Start shaping the hat's crown by doing decreases on the knit rows only. On the next knit row, knit 8, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 54 stitches on your needle. Then work 3 rows even in stockinette stitch.

    Decrease again on knit row: knit 7, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row-- there should be 48 stitches on your needle. Work 3 rows even in stockinette stitch.

    Decrease again on knit row: knit 6, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 42 stitches on your needle. Work 3 rows even in stockinette stitch.

    Decrease again on knit row: knit 5, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 36 stitches on your needle. Purl 1 row. Your hat should be beginning to take shape.

    Decrease again on knit row: knit 4, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 30 stitches on your needle. Purl 1 row.

    Decrease again on knit row: knit 3, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 24 stitches on your needle. Purl 1 row.

    Finally, decrease one last time on knit row: knit 1, then decrease by knitting 2 stitches together. Repeat until end of row; there should be 18 stitches on your needle.

    Leaving a 24-inch tail, cut yarn. Thread the darning needle, then insert the tail through the remaining stitches on needle and draw tightly. Seam up the side of your hat using a mattress stitch. Weave in ends.

    • Use a counter to keep track of your stitches.
    • Knit a longer hat if you wish to turn the brim up in a cuff.
    • Weave in your ends tightly, so your hat seam does not come loose after a few wearings.

    Photo Credits

    • Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images