Knitting DIY: Winter Hat

By Sarah Lalond

Brace your friends against the cold DeKalb winter by crafting a cute, homemade Christmas present with a knit hat.


Grab Your Tools

Knit hats are typically made with bigger, chunky stitches. Choose a skein that needs at least a nine mm needle.

Walmart has a variety of inexpensive yarn. I chose the off-white, peppered Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Oatmeal for $5.97 in store. Don’t be afraid to purchase thicker material, even if it’s labeled as blanket yarn.

Sarah LaLond/Northern Star

For this project, you’ll need a circular pair of needles. This will give your hat the rounded shape. Make sure to match your needle size accordingly with the thickness of the yarn. I purchased Walmart’s nine millimeter Boye Circular Aluminum Needles for $5.47.

You should also grab a rubber band or twist tie to mark where your knitting round ends. While working with circular needles, knitting is counted in rounds instead of rows.

To finish up your project, you’ll need to buy plastic yarn needles. My purchase from Walmart was $1.27.



For this project, I followed the YouTube video How to Knit a Basic Hat.

To begin, cast on 38 stitches while leaving a long tail of yarn. This should be a big enough opening for the hat; however, you can increase or decrease stitches as needed. I added an extra six stitches to my round. It’s important to keep the number of stitches even for the next part.


After casting on, place your rubber band or twist tie on the right side of the needles to mark where your first round begins.

For the first five rounds, alternate between knitting and purling your stitches. Purling is just the inverse of regular knitting. This will give the hat a base.

For the rest of the rounds, knit in each stitch as you normally would. Your hat should be long enough after 15 more rounds, but knit until the length you desire.

Finish the project by cutting off about three feet of yarn and threading it through a plastic knitting needle. Pass the needle back through your stitches and off the circular needle. Pull the material tight as you work around.

After you’ve gotten your work off of the circular needles, cinch the stitches together. Pass the plastic needle back and forth around the top of your hat in an X pattern to keep the top of the hat closed.

Sarah LaLond/Northern Star

Knitting a hat is as easy as cast on, knit, purl and cinch for an accessory to brave the winter or a personalized gift for the holidays.