Master Basic Knitting Techniques with The Classic Beanie

If you’re a beginning knitter looking for a simple project to hone your skills, then look no further than The Classic Beanie. Not only is it a practical and versatile accessory, but it’s also a great way to practice basic knitting techniques.

The Inspiration for the Design

When I was a brand new knitter, I found a blog post with a hat called “The ABC Cap”. The blog author called it “A Beginners Cap” because it gave new knitters a simple pattern to practice skills and gain confidence. I was so glad I found that blog post as it did just that for me! Considering the theme of my new blog, I wanted to recreate this design for others. I can no longer find the blog post I used (I sent many people to it over the years in the early 2000s!)

Why it is so great!

The materials are easy to find and affordable for a new knitter. I recommend starting out with commercially spun wool like Cascade 220 (avoid single ply yarns). I love farm wool and art yarns, but save them for when you have some experience as they are a little trickier to knit with.

If you have not yet learned to cast on and perform the basic knit and pearl stitches, YouTube has many wonderful videos to teach these. While videos are helpful, you can also pop in to your local yarn shop (LYS) and ask questions, or even see if they have classes or groups to join to get in person feedback. My LYS helped me get past some stumbling blocks early in my knitting journey (before YouTube even!)

How Can I Help?

If you have a question you think I can help with, you’re always welcome to leave a comment or send me an email, and I will do my very best to help. If we know each other locally, I’m always happy to help in person as well!

I’m sharing the pattern here as well as a pdf for you to download and print. Grab your needles and yarn, and let’s get knitting!

Skills required:

Long-tail cast on

Knit and purl stitches

Knitting in the round



1 skein of worsted weight yarn

  • A good yarn for a beginner that is affordable and makes a lovely hat is Cascade 220. It can easily be found online or in most local yarn stores.
  • Feel free to have fun with this and use handspun yarn, hand dyed yarn, stripes, etc!

16-inch circular needles in US size 8 (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Double-pointed needles, or 40-inch circular for magic loop in US size 8 (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Darning needle


5 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch


Cast on 100 stitches using the long-tail cast on method. (This will yield an adult sized hat. Go down by 10 stitch increments for smaller sizes)

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Work in 2×2 ribbing (knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches) for 2 inches (or desired brim length. Make it longer if you wish to fold the brim).

Switch to stockinette stitch (knit all stitches) and continue until the hat measures 5-6 inches from the cast on edge. (you can make this longer or shorter depending on the intended recipient, or the look you wish to achieve)

Begin decreasing as follows:

Round 1: *Knit 8, knit 2 together* repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 2: Knit all stitches.

Round 3: *Knit 7, knit 2 together* repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 4: Knit all stitches.

Continue in this pattern, decreasing the number of knit stitches between each decrease round until you have 8 stitches remain.

Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through the remaining stitches and pull tight to close the top of the hat.

Weave in any loose ends and enjoy your new beanie!

If you are interested in my other patterns, you can find them in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry

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