A simple and free knitting pattern for a men’s beanie suitable for beginners
Sometimes the most simple things are the most gratifying. If you ask me, a knit hat for men doesn’t need a complicated pattern. All you need is great wool in a great color and a bit of patience.
Funnily enough, it’s exactly those basic knitting patterns that are hardest to find – especially for men. So, I figured it’s time to fill that gap and create a design for a basic hipster beanie I want to wear (if you like that approach, make sure to follow me on Instagram). I call it Mütze, which is the German word für “beanie”. A basic word, for a simple pattern suitable for advanced beginners. Thought that fit quite well.
Edit: In the meantime, I also published a follow-up pattern called Mütze 2 for a simple cashmere hat. And there is also a tutorial on how to knit a hat available.
Tastes obviously differ, but for me, the perfect ribbed beanie is a tiny bit slouchy and with a little give towards the top. I don’t like it when a hat fits like a skull cap. I am also not a big fan of visible decrease lines towards the top. That’s why I am usually looking for more elaborate solutions (take a look at my beautiful cable knit hat to see what I mean).
For this project, I picked a particular beautiful wool in saffron yellow: The Lana Grossa “Slow Wool Canapa”. It’ a blend of merino wool and 10% hemp. So, it’s soft and still has an interesting texture. At first, I wasn’t all that satisfied with how the stitches turned out, but after blocking, I think it’s a perfect fit. But of course, you are free to pick a Double Knit (DK) wool of your choice.
You will need:
- 240-250 meters of wool for needles size 5 mm (size 8); that was 120 grams of the Slow Wool Canapa)
- Needle Set size 6 (4 mm) or circular needles of the same size; I use this Knitter’s Pride needle set
- Scissors & a tapestry needle
- a tape for measuring/sizing
I am knitting this pattern on smaller needles on purpose, so the ribs look better when stretched.
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.
This pattern will yield a men’s size M. I decided on a 7cm (2.75 inches) wide folded brim. The final hat is roughly 24cm (9.45 inches) high and wide. Because the fabric is very stretchy, this easily fits a head circumference of 58 centimeters (22.8 inches). Unfolded, the hat is 31 cm (12.2 inches) high.
Gauge: I needed 13 stitches x15 rows for a 5×5 cm swatch in 1×1 rib.
I strongly urge you to measure the head of the recipient and knit a swatch. Simply adjust the number of cast-on stitches accordingly. A good beanie should fit perfectly, and I can only give you the fundamental instructions here.
I know, that a lot of beginners shy away from knitting swatches and getting gauge. But I promise you, the chances that this hat will fit you the way it fits me, at least if you follow these instructions blindly, is like 5 percent. We all knit with different tension, and even the needles you use will be a factor.
!Please pay special attention to the fact that the 1×1 rib gives quite a bit. So, don’t measure the head, knit a swatch, and then just multiply it from there. Factor in the stretchiness. I wanted a circumference of 58 centimeters. So, that would roughly translate to a width of 28 centimeters. My swatch said 13 stitches for 5 cm and that would result in 150 stitches, right?
But since the 1×1 rib gives about 15-20 percent, I only cast on 124.
Depending on how tight or lose you knit, these numbers can and will vary. So, test with a swatch. And maybe even knit a for 10 rounds, fold once, and try it on to see how it looks. You don’t want to stretch the ribs too much (doesn’t look good), but you want a nice fit as well.
The knitting pattern:
Cast on 127 stitches with a long tail cast on alternating knit and purl stitches (if you don’t know how to cast on, follow this guide, and here’s how to cast on purlwise).
(For a size L, I’d go for 133 stitches, size S 121 stitches.)
Distribute the stitches evenly on your needle set. So, 31 stitches per needle and the last gets 34. (read this guide if you need to brush up knitting in the round on dpns)
Then, slip the first stitch from the first needle onto the fourth needle (which should have 32 stitches) and slip the second stitch over the first (similar to a standard bind off). Then, pull the tail tight slip it back on the first needle. This way, you create a nearly invisible join (here’s a detailed post on how I join knitting in the round). From here start knitting:
- Round 1: *Knit 1, Purl 1* across all stitches and rows. (so, a 1×1 rib)
- Round 2: *K1, p1*
Continue knitting this 1×1 rib for 28.5 cm (11.2 inches). For me, that was 84 rows.
And then it’s time to start with the decreases. I am only using k2tog (knit two together) as it’s both the most invisible and easiest decrease. If you knitted the first part with the magic loop technique, I do recommend you to switch to a needle set from here, as it will be easier to knit. That’s what I did. Here’s how to knit in the round on double-pointed needles.
- Round 85: *k1, k2tog, p1, k1, p1* (105 stitches)
- Round 86: *k2, p1, k1, p1*
- Round 87: k1, *k1, p1, k1, k2tog* (84 stitches; the last k2tog uses one stitch from the next round)
- Round 88: k1, p1, k1, *k2, p1, k1*
- Round 89: *k2, k2tog* (63 stitches)
- Round 90: knit across all stitches
- Round 91: *k2tog, k1* (42 stitches)
- Round 92: knit
- Round 93: k1, *k2tog, k2*, k1 (32 stitches)
- Round 94: knit
- Round 95: *k2tog, k1* (21 stitches; the last k2tog uses one stitch from the next round)
- Round 96: knit
- Round 97: *k2tog*, k1 (10 stitches)
If you cast on more stitches (or less), then it’s easy to adjust the decreases. What I did is basically decrease the purl stitches across 6 rows first, and then create a nice round tip with evenly spaced decreases. You can follow these instructions more or less to the word, as long as you cast on multiples of 6 more (or less) stitches.
Note: Here is a tutorial with 10 tips for knitting in the round like a pro.
With your last 10 stitches on the needles, cut the yarn leaving a tail of 7 inches. Use a tapestry needle to thread the tail through the stitches, pull tight and sew over once. Then, weave in the end on the inside of the head.
For the cast on tail, try to weave in the end on the right side (that’s the side that will be on the inside of the brim as you fold it!). I usually thread it once in each direction through one of the ribs and then cut the excess yarn.
I feel that’s the most invisible way to weave in the tails for 1×1 rib (here is how I weave in the ends in greater detail).
And that’s it. Your knitted hipster beanie is now ready to wear. Just fold the brim after around 7 centimeters and you are ready to roll! I don’t sew it in place, though you could do so with yarn in the same color and a few stitches here and there. You could also block it in place, but I just feel it’s not needed. Also, that way you are free to adjust the fit freely.
Here’s a link to the pattern on Ravelry, just in case you want to add it to your queue or share finished projects with me. I’d be delighted to see your results!
44 thoughts on “Easy men’s beanie knitting pattern: Mütze”
The Amazon link to the needles directs to size US 7/4.5 mm set, not the US6/4 mm set, at least in the US.
thank you for catching that mistake. I fixed it now. Hope you were still able to find something!
Hi! I’m interested to try your reduction method. Also curious about the join, which is one I haven’t tried. But I have questions about the join method. Your instructions say: “Then, slip the first stitch from the first needle onto the fourth needle (which should have 32 stitches) and slip the second stitch over the first (similar to a standard bind off). Then, pull the tail tight slip it back on the first needle.”
When you say “slip the second stitch over the first”, the first stitch is now on the needle with the last stitches cast on, so do you mean slip the last cast on stitch over the first? Or am I confused?
great to hear you want to learn new techniques! That’s a good quality in a knitter.
You should have two stitches on your right needle. THe first is from the first needle and the second is the last stitch of your cast on. YOu have to pass that last cast on stitch over the first. ANd then slip the remaining stitch back to the first needle.
So…i guess you were a bit confused. But hey, that’s what asking other knitters is for! 🙂
Hey! I’ve been working on this pattern and have got to row 87, but the problem is I end up with 3 stitches left over, resulting in 88 in total, rather than 84. I don’t know where I’m going wrong, hope you can help!
I also noticed your pattern instructions are slightly different when downloaded as a pdf, so instead of k1*k1, p1, k1, k2tog,* it reads *k2, p1, k1, k2tog,* which I assume is the right instruction?
How you end up with 88 stitches I don’t know. There should be 21 decreases in that row. Every second (remaining) purl stitch is decreased with the following knit stitch. That’S why the repeat is lead by a k1 because you will decrease that stitch with the last k2tog of the row. I’ll fix the instructions for the pdf.
Oh I see – now it makes sense! Thank you 🙂 Looking forward to finishing the hat soon!
How many needles do we need?
I’m not sure I understand the question? I listed all needles under “materials”? What else would you like to know?
I noticed you mention the yarn you used and that’s the yarn shown in Ravelry. It says worsted weight on Ravelry. But in this pattern you say we can choose any DK yarn we like. So which is it? DK or worsted?
European yarns are not classified in DK or worsted as there is no clear distinction. This yarn comes for needle sizes 5-6 but I’m using a 4 mm which is a typical DK weight needle size or light worsted.
Thank you for answering so quickly and for the info.
If I cast on 90 stitches, when I get to the reduction the first round works (90 is 6 x 15), the second reducing round would start with 75 stitches, then you knit one and do the reducing repeat *k1, p1, k1, k2tog* which uses 5 stitches. So after I knit one I have 74 stitches left so there is an extra stitch. I know this is hard to type out but the math doesn’t seem to add up. Is there something I am missing?
maybe an easier way to picture this is would be like this: Look at 3 ribs next to each other. You should have 3 knit ridges and 3 purl “valleys”.
And you decrease the first purl valley in row 85. Then you decrease the third purl valley in row 87…and the last remaining in 89.
So, your mistake is probably that you don’t k2tog that last stitch with the next stitch of the next round.
Hello Norman, I’ve read the other comments but I’m still unsure of what to do at the end of Row 87. There are are not enough stitches to do a k2tog. Do you need to use 1 stitch from the end of Row 87 and one from the beginning of Row 88 for the k2tog? Is a k2tog done at all? If a k2tog is done does it stay at the end of Row 87 or does it become the first knit stitch of the the k2 at the beginning of Row 88? The other problem I’m having with Row 88 is that the p1 doesn’t always line up with being on top of knit stitch and does not create the nice even “v” columns as in the pictures. I look forward to hearing your insights on this.
indeed the last k2tog uses one stitch of the next round. I adapted the pattern a bit to make that a bit clearer for beginners.
As for your problem in round 88. I’m not entirely sure what you are doing there. But basically, just kit all the stitches the way they appear.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge about knitting. I would like to try using your pattern to make a beanie but I just started to learn how to knit a month ago. Looks like I’m gonna have a challenging knitting journey! 😀
Anyway, I would like to ask if I can use yarn for 4mm needles. That’s all that’s available here where I’m from. :/
Stay safe! 🙂
of course you can knit with a different knitting needle size as well – as long as you knit a swatch and adjust your cast on accordingly.
Would it be possible to adapt this pattern for a bulky wool yarn?
Well..probably.i mean..I don’t like hats with bulky yarn as they end up way too warm and cumbersome and. Also ribbing probably adds too much structure to bulky yarn.
Hi! I am going through the pattern for the second time and I have the same problem I had the first time. The first time honestly I thought I had messed up so I just trudged through but I fixed my mistakes this time and its been going really well. The question I have is that when I get to row 88 it says to repeat k2 p1 k2 which doesn’t line up with the knits and purls from the previous row. Following row 87 you get basically 3 knits between each purl. So I’m wondering if I’m supposed to knit over purls or just knit the knits and purl the purls basically for row 88?
No, you shouldn’t knit over the purls. Basically, you just continue to knit across all stitches the way they appear and gradually decrease the purl stitches.
So the first stitches of round 87 are: k, k, p, k, k (<- result of the k2tog) And the first stitches of round 88 are: a half k2tog, k, p, k, k
I am finishing up the beanie and I am having trouble with row 89. I am ending up with 68 stitches rather than 63. I end the row with 4 stitches and therefore cannot do the last k1 of the k2k2 tog. K1 pattern for the row. I have ripped out and repeated several times and keep coming up with the same number. Just wondering if you could tell me if perhaps there is a typo or any suggestions for what I might be doing wrong? I love how the beanie turned out. Appreciate any help you can give so I can finish up this gift!
i am terribly sorry. Only recently I rewrote this section because people seem to have problems with understanding the notions and I seem to have made it worse and even built in a typo in the progress:(
So round 88 has 84 stitches. And you should have a continuous repeat of *k2,p, k1*. that’s 4 stitches. Meaning you should be able to repeat that 21 one times and this decreases from 84 to 83 stitches.
I’m going to edit the pattern again and upload a new file. I am terribly sorry for the confusion. Please let me know if things are clearer now.
Hi!! I’m hooked on your YT videos and am a big fan, looking forward to incorporating your tips and tricks for designing patterns and knitting up a storm. I noticed a link you have embedded in text above on this page.. intended for this pattern on Ravelry.. actually goes to the wrong pattern, one by Gründl Wolle.. I then had to search for you on Ravelry to find this pattern and then sign up (brilliant!) and then download the pattern. I’m all set now.
— the incorrect link follows the last line in this article, “ Also, that way you are free to adjust the fit freely.”…. <3
interesting. I changed the name of the pattern only recently and I think ravelry added a weird re-direct. Still thank you for letting me know!
If I were to apply the decreases with a smaller number of stitches (110 sts), would it still work properly?
If not, any advices on how to adjust the decreases?
yes, they should still work.
As i said, the way to think of it is. you have a repeat of 6 stitch =3 ribs. And first, you get rid of the purl in between one after another, and then you decrease the remaining stitches evenly.
I’m a total newbie in knitting (but not so much in crocheting 😉). I did not start the pattern yet but I already got the materials and I’m practising with testing gauge.
I study the pattern over and over again and after reading all the commemts and issues other knitters had, I have one conclusion about decreasing section that – if I’m right – would clarify a lot for me.
So here it is: Is it safe to say, that every round without decreasing stitches you’re supposed to knit stitches as the appear?
yes, you understood it perfectly Alicja!
Thanks for sharing your great tips! I really like the way your crown decrease looks, however mine turns out bunched. I am using 4mm needles and cast on 144 stitches, so I’m thinking I need a more gradual decrease. Do you have any suggestions or ideas?
well two things. You can always add one more intermission round without decreases. If you want a different crown shape, then kindly check out my other hat patterns here on my blog for suggestions!
I’m just finishing off your pattern but I’m stuck at round 93 and I can’t get the maths to add up for the last 3 decreasing rounds. I seem to be ending up with too many stitches for each.
I had 42 stitches at round 91, but following [k1, *k2tog, k2*, k1] gets me to 32 stitches rather than 28 at round 93.
Similarly if I had 28 stitches, following [*k2tog, k2*, k1] gets me to 21 stitches not 19 at round 95, and I don’t have a stitch left over to do the remaining k1. And a similar issue with round 97.
Would you you be able to point to where I’m going wrong?
Also for round 97, is the k1 repeated through the round or just the k2tog?
I’m terribly sorry. So many people keep on commenting this pattern and they don’t understand a section. Then I change it slightly to make it easier to understand and the mistakes crawl in.
– the stitch count was off. It should be 32 stitches after round 93. So you knitted the right way. As a result, row count of 95 is 21.
– Round 97, yes there were some asterisks missing.
Love that I ran across this pattern and “met” Norman. Detailed explanation of each step and why really makes a hugely positive difference. Thank you!
happy to have you here as well, Bonnie. And glad my step-by-step explanations help you 🙂
Hi Norman! Great pattern and love how decrease is not so visible for this beanie! I did not do quite as many rows since I prefer a more ‘skull cap’ look but it worked out in the end. Thank you!
Awesome! Glad it worked so well for you!
This is a great pattern! I’m going to make one for myself.
I’m slightly confused about the amount of stitches to cast on for medium. In the pattern it says you knit a medium which was 127 stitches but then in the the pinked out section about swatching and measuring you say you had 124 stitches?
Not sure why tho. What does your swatch say?
pink is my calculation for my head, the rest is an approximation for standard sizes.
What length of cable do you recommend for knitting this hat on circular needles using magic loop. I have 5 inch interchangeable tips and am casting on 104 stitches.
PS: Next time, kindly don’t ask the same question three times. I am one person, and I do like to enjoy my weekends. thank you.
Well, that really depends on your preferences and your technique. BUt as the hat has quite a bigger diameter, I would definitely us a slightly longer cable (like 32″) – at least for magic loop.
Thank you ! 😊