Double Thick Knit Hat on a Circular Knitting Machine

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This double thick knit hat is the classic first knitting project for people who own a large circular knitting machine. And with good reason: it’s super quick and easy to do with whatever medium weight yarn you have on hand. You don’t need any knitting skills to make it, and there’s always a need for hats (whether for yourself, to give as gifts or to donate to charity).

Which Knitting Machine Makes a Double Thick Knit Hat?

I have an Addi Express King circular knitting machine, which has 46 pins. The largest Sentro circular knitting machine has 48 pins, so either one can be used to make adult sized hats.

It’s possible to make different sized hats on the larger machines by working fewer rounds and/or adding more tension. This green hat was worked to 80 rounds and I held the yarn gently to add a little more tension than the Addi naturally does.

It came out to about 15.5 inches/39.37 cm around and almost 8 inches/20 cm long. The width is basically the same as my adult sized hat but because the gauge is a bit tighter it is not quite as stretchy. This hat would probably fit a small child but I don’t have a head around to test it on.

Many people say that you can knit hats for kids on these sizes of machines, too; you just have to work fewer rounds and/or put more tension on the yarn as you go. So while there are “standard” instructions for the number of rounds you’ll need to make hats of different sizes, you’ll want to try on your hat and make sure it’s to your liking before you decide what your standard is.

Circular Knitting Machine Hat Design Options

This style of hat is worked as a long tube, then you close both ends and put one end inside the other to make a double-thick hat.

For me, that’s plenty of warmth, but you can work more rounds and add a fold up brim if you like (that makes four layers of knitting in that part, which is really thick and warm).

Of course you can work the whole hat in a single color of yarn as I show in the tutorial photos below, but you can also make half the tube one color and half another color for two looks in one.

You can also add stripes or color blocking to one or both sides to change the look and make it more of a stash buster.

For this one I started with the gold yarn and went until it almost ran out (which happened to be 24 rounds), then worked the rest of the hat in a different color, so there’s a solid side and a more colorful side.

Speaking of yarn, you’ll need 150-200 yards of worsted weight/medium/size 4 yarn to make this hat. The gold and green hat I think is mostly Cascade 220 and a long-discontinued wool (the gold). The brown hat shown below is worked in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in beige.

Basic Double Thick Knit Hat Instructions

Regardless of how many colors you use or how many rounds you work, the basic procedure is the same.

Using your first color of yarn, cast on to the machine. You do this by putting the yarn in front of the first hook, behind the second, in front of the third and so on around.

Once you make it back the first pin, reset your round counter if you haven’t already (I like the first full round to count as round one).

Feed the yarn through whatever mechanism your machine has for feeding/tensioning the yarn. On the Sentro I’d start in the middle hole for tension. On these samples I did not add any tension to the yarn beyond what the Addi does feeding the yarn through.

Begin cranking, changing colors as you like, to your desired number of rounds. (More on that below.) Pulling from the center of these little cakes of yarn made it so easy!

When you change colors or need to join a new ball, leave a tail of a few inches of each yarn hanging. I like to hold onto the yarn ends as I knit those stitches for a couple of rounds just to make sure everything knits correctly.

Note: if changing colors the best place to do it is the beginning of the round.

Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail for finishing. Thread the tail onto your yarn needle and crank around, picking up the stitches and sliding them onto the yarn as you go.

This will naturally begin to close up the end; when all the stitches are picked up you can cinch it closed.

I like to go through the stitches again to make the finish more secure. It also seems to make it easier to close up the hole more tightly.

Turn you hat inside out and weave in any yarn ends, including this one, but not including the one at the beginning of the project.

Turn it right side out again and pull tight on the yarn from the beginning of the project to close up that end. Thread the yarn onto the needle and run it through the stitches again as before.

Fold the hat so that one half is inside the other half.

Take the yarn through the center of both layers and make a couple of stitches to hold the layers together.

Run the needle through just one layer of hat to “weave in” the end. Trim excess yarn from the outside.

How Many Rounds for a Double Thick Knit Hat?

As I was looking at different patterns to make my own double thick knit hat, I saw most commonly recommended to crank 110-120 rounds for an adult sized hat (some sources say more for a men’s hat).

I tried this for my first hat and had to fold up a couple of inches at the bottom. That’s fine if you like that look but I didn’t want a brim since the hat is already plenty warm. This size could also fit a larger head without folding over.

When you make your first hat, you can crank 120 and finish the hat up to the point where you fold it together. Then try it on.

If it’s too long you can easily unravel a few rounds, pick up the stitches again and finish as described when you get the right fit.

I found that 100 rounds worked better for me. This is a pretty snug beanie look without a foldover brim, and my head is 23 inches/58.42 cm around.

You can use that as a guideline for determining your ideal hat measurement. Add rounds if your head is bigger, or you want a slouchier look or a foldover brim.

Once you’ve made your first double thick knit hat you can alter the basic pattern to try different looks if you like.

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