How to knit men's beanie hats

Updated April 17, 2017

A beanie hat is a small, close-fitting cap that may or may not cover the ears. Beanies tend to be unisex, but to customise one for a man, you can use dark colours like navy blue, hunter green and brown. A beanie hat knits up quickly in any worsted-weight yarn, keeping your favourite guy's head cosy even in the coldest weather. 100-percent wool superwash yarn is warm and toasty, but can also survive a trip through the washing machine without felting.

Cast on 64 stitches using circular needles. Be sure to cast your stitches on loosely, as you are making a hat with a roll brim and want it to fit comfortably around the recipient's head.

Place a marker just before the first stitch. Make sure your stitches aren't twisted. Join your knitting by pulling the working yarn around to the first stitch and knitting the stitch off your left needle and onto your right. Begin working in stockinet, in which you knit every stitch. You are creating the tube that will eventually be the bottom of the hat.

Knit until your tube measures the length you want. For a hat that covers the ears, you should knit at least 5 inches before you begin decreasing stitches, but for a beanie you may wish to make the hat shorter. Work until the tube reaches the hairline, keeping in mind that the bottom inch will roll up because you are working in stockinet.

Place one stitch marker every eight stitches. On the next round, knit two stitches together (abbreviated K2tog) before each marker.

Alternate decrease rows with rows in which you knit every stitch. In a decrease row, K2tog before each marker. On the following row, knit all stitches normally. Continue decreasing until your circular needles become too large for the number of stitches you have. This usually happens when you get down to 30- or 40-something stitches, depending on how loosely you knit.

Use one double-pointed needle to knit the next three sections of stitches, up to the third marker, off the left-hand needle of your circulars. Push the stitches toward the left needle and pull out the right needle as you go. Use another double-pointed needle to knit the next three sections, and a third to knit the last two. Remove the circulars from your knitting. You should now have a triangle, or a small tube distributed across three double-pointed needles.

Continue working your decreases before each marker on every other row until you get down to 12 stitches, then K2tog all the way around for a total of six stitches.

Cut or break your yarn so you have approximately 5 inches left. Thread this yarn through a darning needle and use the needle to sew the stitches together. Pull it tight and weave the end into the stitches on the inside of the hat.


If the recipient is bald, worsted-weight kitchen cotton will keep his head toasty warm and become softer with every trip through the washer and dryer.

Things You'll Need

  • 7 gauge, 16 inch circular needle
  • 7 gauge double-pointed needles
  • Worsted-weight superwash wool yarn
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors
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Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.