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How to knit a beret with straight needles

Updated February 21, 2017

While the most common way to knit a beret involves circular or double pointed needles, you can knit a beret flat, using straight needles if you prefer. You will need to sew a seam when you knit a beret with straight needles; however, the actual knitting process is not difficult. In order to knit this pattern, you should know how to cast on, knit, purl, increase and decrease.

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  1. Knit a gauge swatch using the larger needles. You should have a gauge of 20 stitches and 24 rows over 10 cm (4 inches) for this project in stockinet stitch. Adjust your needle size if needed to achieve gauge.

  2. Using the larger needles, cast on 8 stitches for this flat knit beret. Increase in every stitch on row 1 using a knit front and back increase for a total of 16 stitches. Row 2 and all further even rows will be purled even.

  3. Knit front and back, knit one across the row for row 3. You will have 8 increases across the row. Continue increasing 8 stitches on each knit row, adding a knit stitch between increases each time until you have 120 stitches on the needle. Thus, row 5 will be a kfb, k2 across pattern, row 7 a kfb, k3 across pattern and row 9 a kfb, k4 across pattern. All even rows should be purled. Finish with a purl row as you knit a beret with straight needles.

  4. Work stockinet stitch for 10 rows, ending with a purl row before beginning the decreases on your flat knit beret.

  5. Begin decreasing on the odd rows. Continue purling all even rows. On the first decrease row, knit two together, knit 13. Decrease 8 stitches across odd rows with one less stitch between decreases on each row until you have 72 stitches on the needle.

  6. Switch to smaller needles and work 1 inch in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing. Bind off in ribbing pattern, working loosely.

  7. Sew the back seam, threading the end of your working yarn through the cast on stitches. Pull snugly and secure.

  8. Tip

    More complex berets can be knit flat by using short row shaping.


    Don't be afraid to try circulars and double pointed needles to expand your knitting range.

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Things You'll Need

  • Straight knitting needles,size 7 and 9 or size needed for desired gauge
  • DK to worsted weight yarn, approximately 180 metres (180 yards)
  • Stitch markers
  • Ruler to check gauge
  • Yarn needle

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

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