Craft Fix

Free Easy Knit Beanie Hat Pattern for Straight Needles

Craft Fix is reader-supported. If you choose to buy via certain links I could earn a small commission at no cost to you more
Easy Knit Beanie pattern for straight needles with lilac hat

This free unisex hat knitting pattern is quick and easy. It’s knit as a flat piece with straight knitting needles, and then seamed down the back to make a hat.

It’s a nice practical project for beginner knitters who have got the hang of knit and purl stitches. Most of this hat pattern is just basic stockinette stitch. There’s some rib stitch at the start for a good fit & simple k2tog decreases to shape the crown.

Want to knit a hat in the round that you can try on as you knit it with no fiddly seaming at the end? Try the circular needle version of this easy beanie pattern. Scared of circulars? See how easy it is with my circular knitting video tutorials.

What You Need

  • 5mm (us size 8) knitting needles. If your yarn recommends a different size knitting needle, you can use that instead.
  • 2 small 50g balls or 1 larger ball of worsted or aran weight yarn.
    I used about 55g of Rico Design essentials soft merino yarn (shade 71 Violet)
  • Tapestry needle for seaming

Sizing & Notes

  • This hat pattern is one size to fit most adult heads.
  • The sample hat pictured fits both my small woman’s head & a 6ft man’s head.
  • Standard aran gauge of 18 stitches and 24 rounds to 4 inches (10 cm) is suggested. But exact gauge is not important (especially vertical row gauge) as the hat is quite stretchy. The hat is your swatch, there’s no need for test squares!
  • The pattern has options for a fitted or slouchy beanie.


  • k2tog: knit 2 stitches together (decrease 1 stitch)
  • kx: knit next x stitches
  • px: purl next x stitches

Basic Beanie Hat Knitting Pattern for Straight Needles

Lilac beanie hat knit on straight needles with Rico essentials soft merino aran wool in shade 71 violet

Knit a beanie hat with straight needles using this easy free pattern

Cast on 90 stitches

I used the long tail cast on (tutorial here), which is quite stretchy and works well for rib, but you can use any cast on you like.

Knit brim of hat in rib stitch

Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch and repeat this pattern to the end of the row to do k1p1 ribbing.
Knit 8-9 rows in rib stitch (1.25-1.5 inches approx), or a few more rows if you want a deeper brim.

Note: Finish your ribbing after a wrong side row. Depending on the cast on you used, you will knit either an even or odd number of rows:

If you used the long tail cast on, your first row is the wrong side of your knitting, so knit 9 rows of rib (or any odd number of rows) so that you end after a wrong side row.
If you used a different cast on where row 1 is the right side of your knitting, e.g. the knit cast on, knit 8 rows of rib (or any even number) so that you knit your last rib row on the wrong side.

Knit stockinette until desired length

Slouch and fitted easy knit beanie side by side with measurements

Once you are happy with the height of your ribbing, switch to knitting stockinette stitch as follows:
Next row and every right side row: knit every stitch
Wrong side rows: purl every stitch

For a fitted beanie: knit until your piece is 5.5-6 inches tall (including rib).
For a slouchy beanie: knit until your piece measures around 7.5 inches, or your desired height.
End with a wrong side row.

Initial decreases

K2, (K2tog, K20) x 4 to decrease 4 stitches evenly around [86 stitches]
Do 3 rows of stockinette as follows: Purl 1 row, knit 1 row, purl 1 row

K2, (K2tog, K19) x 4 to decrease another 4 stitches [82 stitches]
Do another 3 rows of stockinette as above.

Main crown decreases

Crown of lilac beanie hat knit with straight needles

K2, (K2tog, K6) x 10 to decrease 10 stitches evenly around [72 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2, (K2tog, K5) x 10 [62 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2, (K2tog, K4) x 10 [52 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2, (K2tog, K3) x 10 [42 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2, (K2tog, K2) x 10 [32 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2, (K2tog, K1) x 10 [22 stitches]
Purl 1 row
K2tog x 11 [11 stitches]

Seam the back of your hat

Leaving a long tail for seaming, cut the yarn. Thread it through the 11 remaining stitches twice & gather to form the top point of the hat. See video tutorial here.

Next, working from the top point down, you need to join the left and right edges of your flat knitted piece together to turn it into a hat with a seam down the back. We will use mattress stitch which makes a nearly invisible seam for a neat finish. Watch the video below to see how to do this step by step:

Hat Seaming Video Tutorial

How to Invisible Seam a Knit Hat with Mattress Stitch

This 15 minute video explains exactly how to seam the hat in detail, but here’s a brief summary if you prefer:

To do mattress stitch, you work a stitch in from each side. It can be tricky to work out exactly where to put your needle with standard stockinette stitch.

Starting from the top point of your hat, stretch the left edge of your knitting and you will see a ladder of horizontal bars between your edge stitch column and your first stockinette stitch column.

Put your needle under the first 2 of these bars between the edge stitch and the next stitch column.

Now repeat on the right side. Stretch the right edge to see the horizontal bars between the edge stitch and stockinette stitch, put your needle under the first 2 bars, and loosely pull through.

Don’t tighten up the seam yet. Now go back to the left side, and put your needle through the next 2 horizontal bars. Pull through loosely and repeat on the right side.

Keep going and after a few more stitches, pull your seam tight. It should disappear like magic!

Continue mattress stitching, pulling your seam tight after every 4-5 stitches. Take a moment to check your seam at these points, stretching it to adjust if needed. Also make sure that you have an even amount left on both sides.

Mattress stitching rib is a bit different, so watch the video from the rib seaming timestamp (10:49 onwards) to see how to do that.

Once you reach the bottom of your hat, weave in the cast on and cast off tails into the rib stitches (video tutorial available) at the bottom to finish.

Back of lilac beanie knit with straight needles showing mattress stitch seam down the middle.
Seaming with mattress stitch gives a very neat seam down the middle of the back of the hat, and looks invisible for the ribbing at the bottom.

I hope you enjoy making this easy knit beanie hat. It’s a nice beginner friendly knitting project to make something practical you can wear everyday or give as a special gift. Got any questions or feedback on this pattern? Just leave a comment below.

This free pattern is for personal, non-commercial use only. It may not be copied, sold, translated or distributed in any way, nor any finished items made using it sold, without permission.

2 thoughts on “Free Easy Knit Beanie Hat Pattern for Straight Needles”

  1. After the first decrease row, shouldn’t the 3 stockinette rows be Purl, Knit Purl? Because the decrease row is a knit row? Thanks!

    • Yes! So sorry for this mistake Susan. I updated the pattern recently (for a simpler, softer seam) and I think this error crept in then. Thanks so much for spotting this, Janine.


Leave a comment