Free Pattern: Basic Magic Loop Hat

Liat modeling the Basic Magic Loop hat in purple

Here is a basic hat pattern for Magic Loop that is perfect for learning this awesome technique.

Or, if you’re teaching a lucky friend how to do Magic Loop, you can each make one – you can practice Continental knitting in the round or knitting faster while your friend practices the basic movements of Magic Loop.

Why not use this opportunity to try the Travelling Loop method? It’s a cool way of using one loop of cable when knitting a large-ish diameter project, like a hat or small sweater.

Video

I usually start out using normal Magic Loop, then switch to using one loop after I increase to the widest diameter of the hat (here, 100 stitches), and then switch back to using two loops when I start to decrease.

Basic Magic Loop Hat Pattern

Side view of the Basic Magic Loop hat - slouchy versionThe hat can be made more fitted or more slouchy, depending on how long you knit after the cast-on. It’s up to you!

The pattern calls for worsted-weight yarn and size 7 circular needles at least 40 inches long – be sure to check your gauge (in the round, of course) before you start!

Size: one size fits most
Measurements: 16-inch-brim stretches to 20 inches around. Hat fits a 19-21-inch head.

Materials:
Yarn: 100 g (150 yards) worsted-weight wool
Gauge: 5 sts/in in Stockinette stitch
Needles: 1 circular needle, 40-47 inches in length, US size 7 (4.5 mm) or WHATEVER size you need to use to achieve the right gauge.
Notions: measuring tape, tapestry needle, scissors

Back view of the Basic Magic Loop hat in purpleAbbreviations:
(links pop up KNITFreedom videos)
CO: cast on
K: knit
P: purl
St st: Stockinette stitch
M1: make one)
K2tog: knit 2 together
Magic Loop: how to do it
Check your gauge: swatch in the round
Work even: continue in the same stitch without increasing or decreasing

Notes:
This basic hat is worked from the brim to the top, with a wide, ribbed brim. It can be a fitted hat or a more slouchy hat, depending on how long you knit before beginning to decrease.

Pattern Instructions:
Using long-tail cast-on, CO 82 sts.
Join for working in the round on Magic Loop.
Rounds 1-13: (K1, p1) around.

Increase for body of the hat:
Round 1: *K1, m1, (k5, m1) 8 times, rep from * to end (100 sts total).
Work even in St st for 6 inches from cast-on edge for a fitted hat, 7 inches for a slouchy hat.

Decrease for the top of the hat
Round 1: (K8, k2tog) around (90 sts remain).
Round 2 and all even rounds: K
Round 3: (K7, k2tog) around (80 sts remain).
Round 5: (K6, k2tog) around (70 sts remain).
Round 7: (K5, k2tog) around (60 sts remain).
Round 9: (K4, k2tog) around (50 sts remain).
Round 11: (K3, k2tog) around (40 sts remain).
Round 13: (K2, k2tog) around (30 sts remain).
Round 15: (K1, k2tog) around (20 sts remain).
Round 17: K2tog around (10 sts remain).

Break yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail.
Thread tail on tapestry needle and pass twice through live sts on needles.
Remove needles, pull tail tight.

Finishing:
Using tapestry needle, weave in ends.
Wear and be fabulous!

Liat modeling the Basic Magic Loop hat in purple - slouchy version

Keep Learning

If you liked this basic magic loop hat pattern, please comment and click the “Like” button!

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About Liat Gat

Liat is the founder and video knitting expert at KNITFreedom. If you liked this article, you'll love the tips you learn from her FREE video newsletter. Get it now by subscribing here.
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54 Responses to Free Pattern: Basic Magic Loop Hat

  1. Sue says:

    Thanks for the video tutorial Liat!
    I haven’t knitted a hat on circular needles before so this is perfect opportunity.

    • liatmgat says:

      Thank you for watching! Yes it is an easy pattern to learn on. Do let me know how yours turns out and remember I am always here if you need me. :)

  2. Jayne says:

    Liat, I can’t wait to start one of these hats. I will most likely make quite a few for Christmas gifts this year. How long will you be in South America? It’s awesome that you can experience this big adventure! Thank you for all your help and sharing of talent!!!

    • liatmgat says:

      Yay! I think you’ll love them – it’s so relaxing to knit something easy in the round like this. I’ll be here until the end of October I think – I’ll leave right when it gets too hot, and then it’s back to Aspen for winter again! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for following my blog!

  3. Lori says:

    If you were knitting this hat for a man would you still do the increase round, or would you just cast on 100 stitches to start with? I want this to look more or less like a watch cap. Thanks so much in advance.

    • liatmgat says:

      Hi Lori,

      Great question! To make a watch cap to fit a man, either use a slightly thicker yarn with a slightly larger gauge, or cast on about 8-10 more stitches and follow the directions, including the increase round.

      Just follow the directions for the non-slouchy version. :)

  4. mary says:

    This is great thanks. Always room for one more project!

    • liatmgat says:

      Hi Mary,

      I agree, there is definitely always room! And you are more than welcome! Good luck on your Magic Loop Hat project!

  5. Thanks so much for the lesson.

    How many sts would you cast on for a child’s hat?

  6. Great pattern. How many Sts would you cast on for a child’s hat?

  7. Peggy Marcus says:

    I have been trying to work up the courage to try the magic loop method for a few years now. Even have bought books on it for socks. I think beginning with your hat pattern will be a great introduction to using this method.

    Peggy

  8. Peggy Marcus says:

    I am now half way through your hat pattern.
    It did take me awhile to figure out the magic loop method,
    but I am on my way.

    • liatmgat says:

      Wow! Keep up the great work. :) I’m so glad that you stuck with it and are half way through! I’d love to see your finished project when it’s all done. :)

  9. Peggy Marcus says:

    I just realized the other evening that I am not doing the one loop or travelling loop method. I am doing the regular magic loop method and I am now about to begin the decrease rounds and realize that once I get to the ten stitches I don’t know how to
    get the ten stitches off the circular needle at the end.

  10. Pingback: Knitting Hats for Breast Cancer Awareness

  11. Judy Staroska says:

    Just going thru my stash of patterns and found this one. I have some really neat yarn to make it . Can’t wait to get started. I already get your emails and look forward to them. Thank you very much.

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Judy –

      I love when you can go back to a pattern that somehow made it to the middle (or bottom!) of that pattern stash. What kind of yarn are you going to be working with? I’d love to see the finished product!

      Happy Knitting. :)

  12. dianne says:

    Hi just wondering how many rows is it for 10 inches while knitting i am trying to make a beanie and unfortunately i do not have a measuring tap me and if anyone can let me know in my email thanks.
    yours truly
    Dianne

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Dianne, what do you want to knit for 10 inches? How many rows it would be depends on your gauge. But nothing in this pattern calls for you to knit for 10 inches, so I’m a little confused…

  13. Lyssie says:

    I just learned how to knit on circular needles, so this is a great project to learn with. Next I’ll make a jacket to match. I’m using hot pink red heart shimmer.

  14. Christine Jones says:

    Love your patterns. I have started the hat and it is going great, complete with Magic Loop and Long tail cast on, very stretchy.
    I have been knitting for 53 years and I now feel that it is improving greatly with your expertise and tutorials. Funny how we can have bad habits for so long.
    I love the circulars because there is not as much sewing at the end, which has in the past taken years to finish off. Still waiting to graft the toe of 3 year old socks.
    Have decided to rescue the yarn and make toe up, which work great.
    Thankyou for your help in the tutorials.
    Regards Christine Jones

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Christine –

      I’m so glad that you love the patterns and it’s great to hear that you’re working on the hat! I’d love to see the finished product when it’s all done. :) I’m also excited that you are resurrecting your socks – that’s awesome. You are more than welcome for the tutorials.

      Keep up the great work!

  15. Diane A. says:

    If your looking for a hat to start today that you can wear tomorrow this one is for you! Very easy and true to size!

  16. k1 says:

    hi
    Thanks for your efforts
    I appreciate your good training
    Sincerely k1

  17. Kathleen G says:

    Thanks Liat!

    I’m a big fan of Magic Loop but didnt know about the Traveling Loop method before except, perhaps, accidentally. Not knowing that it was a legitimate, workable option.

  18. Bonni says:

    I am so glad you have a clean bill of health & are back online working on updates for all of us who follow your wonderful, informative videos.. I was so afraid to learn how to knit sox, my sister started a pair over 50 years ago she never finished. I started doing toe up sox, one at a time, magic loop & just make tube sox, I will work up my courage to do wrap & turn heel. You make everything look so simple & easy. I know I can do it with your help.

  19. Jonathan says:

    Hi,
    I’m wondering if there is a download for the hat

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      This is just an online pattern. You can select “File > Print” in your browser and in the print dialog box select “Print to PDF.” Then you will have a PDF of the page. When the new site is launched, this will be available as a PDF download.

  20. Kim says:

    Thanks Liat-never fail to educate with an entertaining enjoyable time-just trying to finish your top-down socks-with hopes to attempt this pattern-you have no idea how much you have enlightened my day for almost a year now, with nest empty & disabled(usually do not mention that but hey its you) your videos and patterns have made/makes me feel useful productive person just just collecting dust now if I can master “continental” why why why am I have such a difficult time with this I joke to soon message”I did it”just not sure when

    Continued success very grateful for all you do

    • Liat Gat says:

      Thank you so much, Kim. I’m so happy that I can be part of your days and help you learn new knitting techniques.

      Stick with it and you’ll learn Continental. Happy Knitting!

  21. Cathy R says:

    Thank you, thank you, for your generosity with your knitting wisdom. I love getting your emails…..this one is a five star!

  22. Lori J. Thorne says:

    Hi Liat! I am so happy that I did a search on Ravelry for a magic loop hat and I found yours! I learned how to do magic loop last year and have been wanting to use it for making slouchy beanies for my family and friends! Thanks so much for posting this hat on your Blog!

    Sincerely,

    Lori J. Thorne

  23. Joan says:

    Really like this pattern; it will work well for chemo hats I’ll be making. I do have a slight problem with the website, however. I wanted to print the pattern and used the print button shown below the pattern instructions and was greatly surprised to find all the comments printed out as well, so now I have a 3-page pattern and 9 pages of comments that I don’t want. I’ll recycle the paper, but can’t you adjust your print settings so only the pattern prints? I’ve wasted paper and ink on something I did not wish to print. I know I could have set my printer to only print a highlighted section, but it never occurred to me that your site would print the comments as part of the pattern. Thanks for looking into this. At least I’ll know better next time…and there will be a next time as I really like your site.

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Joan –

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the pattern and the site.

      I’m so sorry that you wasted your paper and ink. I will definitely look into seeing if we can change the settings.

  24. cheryl says:

    great sight thank you so much for the pattern cant wait to try this one.

  25. Helen says:

    Luv this pattern. I do alot of knitting and appreciate your site.

  26. patricia hewitson says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, parked the tablet on my lap and managed to complete the circle , I even attempted the continental method of knitting.
    Is there a special back to doing pearl or is it only for stocking stitch?
    Many thanks
    Patricia

  27. Barbara says:

    Liat, thank you for the tip about knitting magic loop with just one loop re. the tutorial. I knit baby hats and adult size hats for charities.
    The next hat I knit I will use this method. I am 65 and what a joy it is to learn something new. thanks again to for this hat pattern.

  28. Amy Nicole says:

    Awesome!!! I have been knitting in the round for a while but always had a problem with the length of my cable, not anymore!! Thank you so much for sharing this! :D

  29. Carol says:

    Thanks Liat for the pattern; I love it. I have very short hair, probably shorter than yours and I usually look awful in hats as they hide my hair. I think I will try your pattern because I can see what it will look like on me and I like it.

  30. Maria says:

    Hi Liat,
    I finished the ribbed part of the hat but was confused about the increase. Which pattern is the upgraded one? Where it says, 1st round *k1,m1 (k5,m1) 8 times or *k1,m1 (k5,m1) m1. Also is it suppose to be spread out evenly?
    I have 84 st total 42 on each side so 4 times on each side?

  31. Maria Johnson says:

    Hi Liat,
    I finished the ribbed part of the hat but was confused about the increase. Which pattern is the upgraded one? Where it says, 1st round *k1,m1 (k5,m1) 8 times or *k1,m1 (k5,m1) m1 till you have 100 st. Also is it suppose to be spread out evenly?
    I have 84 st total 42 on each side so 4 times on each side?

  32. Donna Fournier says:

    Thanks for your video tutorial, you have helped me so much! I am going to use this method for a sock pattern. I won’t need the double pointed needles! yea!

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