How to knit a chunky hat

Updated March 23, 2017

Knitting is popular again --- with good reason. It's creative, relaxing and portable; anyone can learn to do it with a little patience. While most beginners start with a basic scarf, it's not too hard to graduate up to knitting hats. Big needles and fat yarn make this chunky hat a quick and satisfying project.

Knit a test swatch to check your gauge and adjust your needle size up or down as required. The gauge for this project is: 11 stitches + 12 rows = 4 inches.

The first number of stitches in this pattern is for a chunky hat sized for a teen or a small woman. The second set of numbers is for a medium-sized hat that will fit an average-sized woman's head or a small man. The last set of numbers if for a large woman or average man's head.

Begin your chunky hat by casting on 56 (60, 64) stitches. Work 15 rows in knit 2 purl 2 ribbing, then work 6 (6 1/2, 7) inches in stockinet stitch (knit on right side, purl on wrong side).

Begin to shape the crown of your chunky hat --- decrease on the next right side row by knitting together every other stitch (k1, k2tog) until end of row.

Purl the next row.

Next row, decrease again by knitting together every stitch (k2tog) until end of row.

Leaving a 12-inch-length tail, clip yarn. Thread this yarn tail through the darning needle and catch the remaining stitches on needle. Draw tightly.

Seam your chunky hat using a mattress stitch. Weave in ends. Block lightly if necessary.


This basic pattern can be customised in multiple ways --- alternate colours of yarn for stripes, insert a lace pattern, corset-lace up the back seam with ribbon instead of a mattress stitch. The possibilities are endless.

Things You'll Need

  • Approximately 200 yards of chunky weight yarn
  • Size 13 (9mm) straight knitting needles (or a size that gives you the correct gauge)
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors
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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,", Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.