Beginner-Friendly Garter Stitch Hat


For an incredibly easy pattern, I had a surprisingly difficult time prepping it. For starters, I measured the gauge wrong and did all the math with incorrect numbers. I was a few rows into my prototype before I realized things looked wrong. I remeasured, redid the math, ripped it all out, and started over.

And then I was halfway through the hat before I realized that I didn’t have enough of the yarn I was using. I knew I was cutting it close when I started, but I was hoping it would be enough. It was going to be color blocked, with dark pink on the bottom and tan on top. It was adorable. But it was not to be.


Of course, that was also the last I had of the right yarn weight, and it’s crazy hard to get to a craft store for more with the two little ones. (I only go when I intend to really stock up; I can’t just drop by for one skein like I used to.)


I ended up using worsted weight yarn held double instead. This time, it worked. I finished the hat while I waited for Little Bear to finish eating breakfast. In true Little Bear fashion, he assumed that the hat was for him (just as he does with every hat I make), and wanted to put it on immediately. Once he was cleaned up, he got to wear it for a bit. (And I got a few pictures, even though he’s a very wiggly model.)



So here it is, the simplest, beginner-friendly garter stitch hat.


What you need:


  • Size 11 knitting needles–This hat is knit flat on straight needles and then sewn up at the end.
  • Bulky yarn (weight category 5)–The yarn I started to use and ran out of was Loops & Threads Charisma from Michaels, but you could use any bulky yarn. You could also do what I did and use a worsted weight yarn held double to get the right thickness.
  • Yarn needle


Gauge: 11.5 sts per 4 inches, or about 3 sts per inch


Skills you need:



Sizes are written as Toddler (Child/Teen, Small Adult, Large Adult)


Cast on 54 (60, 66, 72) sts.


Knit all stitches until hat measures 5.5” (6”, 6.75”, 7.75”) from cast on edge.


Next row: k4, k2tog, repeat to end

Next row: knit

Next row: k3, k2tog, repeat to end

Next row: knit

Next row: k2, k2tog, repeat to end

Next row: k2tog, k1, repeat to end

Next row: k2tog, repeat to end

Next row: k2tog, repeat to end (if there’s an uneven number of sts and there’s a stitch left over, end with k1)


Cut yarn about 20” from last stitch. Thread yarn through stitches on needle and pull tight. Sew side seam. Sew ends under.


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