How to make a basic beanie for any size, using any stitch WITHOUT a pattern!

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Make a Beanie in ANY size, in ANY stitch WITHOUT a pattern!

Have a pattern for a basic beanie for a toddler but it uses single crochet, only you really want to save time and use double crochet? Have one for an adult, but you want to make it in another size using the same stitch? What about patterns that run small, or it’s for an adult size and you want to edit the pattern to suit your needs? This can be done easily and without fuss or worry!

I used to worry a lot when I was faced with something like this. I would frequently use two or three patterns to suit my needs if I knew a pattern ran small or if I wanted another stitch for a beanie. Hopefully after reading this blog you will no longer have this problem and you will be able to come back to this chart at any time and create whatever it is that you are looking to create without having to piece together 2 or 3 different patterns!


Gauge:

To begin, it would be best to have a basic understanding of gauge. This basically just means use the right size hook with the right size of yarn. To delve further into gauge you can read up here. But for this, basically, if you have a worsted weight, you will want to use anywhere from a G hook to a J hook depending on how fast you want to complete the beanie and which stitch you choose. If you choose double crochet then G or H might be better, and if you choose single crochet or half double crochet, then any size really will do. Thinner yarn = thinner hook. Thicker yarn = thicker hook. That’s basically what you need to know for this purpose though. To read more on which yarn or other commonly used materials you may need to obtain and their uses, read here.


The basic composition of a beanie

Basically, every hat or beanie begins with increases that will fit over the crown of the head. The circle will start in the middle and INCREASE until it gets to a certain width, and then you will begin to crochet evenly (one stitch in each stitch) all the way around the hat or beanie until the hat or beanie is the length that you wish. It really is that simple. But when do you stop increasing? How do you know how long it needs to be? How do you change the stitch?


Which stitch do I use?

First, pick which stitch you would like to use. Some people like single crochet because it looks more uniform and more finished, but the downside is that it will take longer. Some people like double crochet because it works up quickly. I like half double crochet because it is the best of both worlds. Some people really dislike half double crochet. It really is preference and no matter which stitch you use, you can EASILY create a beanie in the size you wish without much planning!


How many stitches do I start with?

You can start your beanie with any number of stitches. Some people use the magic circle technique. If you know how to use that technique then that is the best method, as it closes completely without having to sew the hole up. If you’re like me, any chance I get to NOT have to sew something up, I take it! If you have not perfected that method, you can always chain two and crochet your stitches into the first chain.

I start my beanies with 8 or 9 stitches. Mostly because I memorized the 9 times tables better in school. 🙂 It also starts out flatter up top because there are more stitches. Some people start theirs with 4 or even 6. (I think even numbers are more frequent, but only because people are ocd. If you want to start with 5, then by all means go with an odd number!) A beanie that starts with 4 or 6 will be more pointed up top. You may need to do a few before you know how many you prefer.


Join or work in spirals?

This is also preference. I like to join because, well, I’m lazy. I don’t have the luxury of constant concentration on something all the time because I have children. The downside to that, is that all my beanies will have a joining seam down the back of the hat. The plus side is, I don’t have to use a stitch marker. Honestly, I could use a stitch marker and not have to worry either. It’s just how I learned though. Either way you decide is fine. A beanie worked in spirals will not have a seam at all, anywhere on it. Which is ideal. I will write these instructions under the impression that we will be working with a join because I think that is a more common choice, but if you have decided to work with a spiral, just ignore where it says “join” and “work a turning chain”. If you need help deciding, or would like to know techniques, there is more information here.


How do I increase and when do I stop?

No matter WHICH stitch you decided on, this will remain the same. You will put X amount of X kind of stitches into a circle (magic circle or the 2 chain method) and then you will join OR place a stitch marker and just work in spirals. If you joined you will need to work a turning chain. You will need to decide on that as well. You can watch these videos on turning chains to help you to decide.

Then, complete the below instructions for the desired size until it is the diameter specified in the chart below.

You may not need all the rounds listed below for your size, but they are available should you need them. Each size increases to a different width. You will increase in this fashion until the circle’s diameter (that’s measured across the widest increment across the center from the left side to the right) equals what is below in the “Diameter” column for the size that you are creating. This goes for any hat, no matter which stitch you are using to make the hat. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could mix them up! Do one round in single crochet, one in double crochet, then back post half double crochet all the way around and repeat! This makes a BEAUTIFUL beanie that gives the impression that you followed a very extravagant pattern. It really is your choice!

sizing blog hat artofadg

So if you are creating a toddler beanie, you will increase until the circle is 6 – 6.25 inches across.

Round1:

<turning chain if applicable>

X stitches worked into a beginning round,

<join if applicable>

Round 2 :

<turning chain if applicable>

2 stitches worked into EACH stitch,

<join if applicable>

Round 3 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the second),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 4 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 2 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 5 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 3 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 6 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 4 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 7 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 5 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 8 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 6 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 9 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 7 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 10 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 8 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 11 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 9 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

Round 12 :

<turning chain if applicable>

(2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in the next 10 sts),

Repeat () around, <join if applicable>

This is 9 double crochet in a magic circle with a chain 2 turning chain that does not count as the first stitch in the round. I used red heart worsted weight with an H hook. As you can see, it is about 4 inches, which would be the perfect amount of increases for a Newborn size beanie. The basic pattern for this would look like this: Round 1: Ch 2, 9dc in magic circle, join (9) Round 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, join (18) Round 3: Ch 2, (2dc, dc), Repeat () around, join (27) Round 4: Ch 2, (2dc, dc2), Repeat () around, join (36)
This is 9 double crochet in a magic circle with a chain 2 turning chain that does not count as the first stitch in the round. I used red heart worsted weight with an H hook. As you can see, it is about 4 inches, which would be the perfect amount of increases for a Newborn size beanie. 

The basic pattern for this would look like this:
Round 1: Ch 2, 9dc in magic circle, join (9)
Round 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in each st around, join (18)
Round 3: Ch 2, (2dc, dc), Repeat () around, join (27)
Round 4: Ch 2, (2dc, dc2), Repeat () around, join (36)

For more information on crochet abbreviations see here: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/crochet.html

 


How long do I make my beanie?

After you’ve created a circle with the diameter listed in the chart above for the desired size of hat you’re making, you will begin to make only ONE stitch in EACH stitch with NO increases all the way around. Super simple right!? But how long do you go to make it look right? After a few rounds you should be able to easily lay the beanie down and measure a length. Just work rounds until the beanie measures what it says in the “height” column above for your desired size. Here you can mix and match too just as before! Any combination of stitches as long as they meet the length requirement will do!

When you’re finished and you have the hat the length you want it, you may want to do a finishing round of single crochet around if you used half double crochet or double crochet. It just gives beanies a nice, finished appearance.


Congratulations! You should be able to create a beanie now, using ANY size and ANY stitch with no pattern required!


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15 thoughts on “How to make a basic beanie for any size, using any stitch WITHOUT a pattern!”

  1. The increasing doesn’t seem right to me. Shouldn’t it be 2 stitches in the first stitch, 1 stitch in each of the next X number of stitches? (Repeated). Otherwise, this looks like a helpful resource, thank you!

     
      1. That makes better sense. Your original directions, ” (2 stitches in the first stitch, 10 stitches in the second)” for example, don’t make much sense… It sounds like 10 stitches go into one stitch! (My “X” was supposed to be a variable where you could plug in the appropriate number depending on the round.)

         
  2. Hello,

    I am new to crocheting hats. I have read many helpful articles, especially yours, but I still have a question. I am trying to make a hat with a specific crown diameter and I am following the standard double crochet increase you wrote above (12, 24, 36…) I can’t seem to hit the diameter I need (about 6.25-6.5) using the yarn I have. It seems to fall short or go over. It is Big Twist preium yarn from JoAnn’s. It calls for a 5.5 “I” hook but it seems a little thicker than standard medium 4 yarn. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 Thank you! Carrie

     
    1. You may do either that you wish. Some like the look of a turning chain because they don’t like the hole it leaves to not have one. Some use a chain 3 as the first st, some use a chain 2 and a dc as a turning chain and the first stitch. This will work whether you are counting a turning chain or whether you are not. Whichever you decide, just make sure you are consistent throughout the entire pattern, and just make sure your ACTUAL stitch count is correct. Example: If you want to start round 1 with 6 dc, and use a chain 3 turning chain, you’d join to the ACTUAL first stitch, regardless of a turning chain. If you want to start round 1 with 6 dc, and use a chain 2 turning chain, you’d join to the ACTUAL first stitch, regardless of a turning chain. IF you want to start round 1 with 6dc but DON’T want a turning chain, and you use a chain 3 as your first stitch, you’ll join to the top of the chain 3. So no matter what you’ll have 6 dc in the round. I hope this helps!

      You can look at my videos on turning chains below. They may also help you!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbkIqU8UdHw

      If you still need help I’m happy to assist 🙂

       
  3. hello iv tried making this pattern for my 2 year old I managed to get the diameter that u have put but that looks absolutely huge. I dunno if it’s just me over thinking or iv done something wrong x

     
    1. I and many other designers use this method to write patterns. I have tested probably 20 hats using this method and it always comes out working properly, so the method is definitely correct, but I can tell you what I think the problem might be! A common problem a lot of crocheters have (and I had when I first started) is that they do not measure the toddler/child/person they are creating the hat for! I have a nephew, who is tiny. It’s so weird though, because his head measures 22 inches! As big as mine! You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but I have to make him adult size hats.

      Crochet patterns are typically written for age demographics rather than sizes (small medium large) and the reason is, that my large might not be the same as another designer designates her large. Her large might be the child size because that is as large as she is creating it. That can get really confusing! This really is the best method for sizing. We use an average sizing method. Newborn size is based on average sizing for a newborn. Toddler is for average sizing for a toddler. You might be surprised to find that your toddler is probably measuring smaller. It means nothing! When my daughter was born, my sister in law wanted to make her this adorable little tinkerbell dress. She spent so much time on it. She made it for 0-3 months since she knew it might take her that long to make it and we were excited to try it on her. She had made it right under the deadline too, at 3 months of age! We tried and it wouldn’t go up over her knee! But the measurements were correct. What we hadn’t planned for is that my 3 month old girl would gain a lot of weight due to breastfeeding. She got up to 20 lbs quickly! She’s normal now, but at the time we were scratching our heads. We measured her and she was measuring 9-12 months. So the dress would never have fit her, even though she was only 3 months old.

      I know many of my testers have toddlers, children and teenagers and my first hat tests weren’t working out and I almost gave up designing. So I had everyone measure heads. The results meant that this toddler would wear a 6-12 month hat, that child would wear an adult hat, and this teenager would wear a child sized hat. The results will be marvelous once you measure!

       

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