There are a lot of skills it's important to learn as a knitter, and being able to knit in the round is one of them.
But whatever your skill level, if you're not quite ready to try circular needles (and/or double-pointed needles, which I'll admit are a little intimidating), there are ways to knit most projects you could work in the round on straight needles instead.
One example is the flat hat, which is just a rectangle of knitting that's seamed down the side at the end.
This ribbed flat hat does use a little bit of shaping at the top to make it fit a little better, but it's nothing you can't handle. The seaming will be the hardest part. (And even that isn't hard, you just need to pay attention to make sure you're stitching straight.)
And because this project uses just one skein of bulky yarn, it's a quick project that knitters of all skill levels will want to keep on hand for gift and charity knitting.
- one skein Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Collection Serenity Chunky Weight (I used color citrus) or about 100 yards of your favorite acrylic or wool bulky yarn
- one pair size 10 US knitting needles
- scissors and yarn needle
18 stitches and 17 rows per 4 inches/10 cm in 2x2 ribbing (unstretched; 4.5 stitches and 4.25 rows per inch/2.5 cm)
Hat is about 16 inches/40/5 cm around and 9 inches/22.75 cm tall unstretched. Will stretch to fit an average sized woman or teenager.
How to Knit the Ribbed Flat Hat
- Cast on 72 stitches. (I used a long tail cast on, but it doesn't matter.)
- Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 8 inches/20 cm.
- Next row, *knit 2, purl 2 together. Repeat from * across.
- Work next 3 rows in Stockinette Stitch.
- Next row, *knit 2 together. Repeat form * across.
- Bind off, leaving a long tail when you cut yarn.
- Weave end through the bound off edge, pulling tightly to close up the hole in the top of the hat. Sew the side seam from top to bottom and weave in any remaining ends.
More Projects Worked Flat
An even easier hat pattern is the Flat Hat, which I worked in really funky yarn but you can use something a little more low-key if you prefer. That one has no shaping at all so it's great for newer knitters (and the funky yarn hides any imperfections in your seaming).
I also have a flat hat for babies, knit in a yarn I love, but again, use something out of your stash to make a quick and simple baby gift in no time. I want to say the pom pom at the top is optional, but if we're being honest, I don't think it is.
And if you end up liking knitting hats flat, there are lots of other options on Ravelry. To name a few:
- Super Slouchy Knit Hat by Vicki Neff
- Knit Flat Hat with stripes from Slugs on the Refrigerator
- The Flat Hat from the Holland Road Knitting Company
When you knit a hat flat, you can also do cool things like give your hat instant ears, as is done in the Cool Kids Hat pattern from Lion Brand Yarn (free registration required to download patterns).
And while there are a lot of fun patterns that are worked flat and seamed, I hope you'll get over your fear of circular knitting and give it a try!
The Roll Brim Hat is a super simple hat to start with because there is no purling at all, so you only have to focus on getting the hang of working with circular knitting needles.