It is the best time to start making all your winter hats, getting them ready for the return of the cooler months.
Winter hats and beanies are one of the most popular knitting and crochet projects, they can be incredibly easy to make, or you can take your time and knit a really intricate pattern. They can be gifted to family, babies, friends, and charity as well.
Whatever pattern you do choose for your beanie, making sure you knit with the right yarn is really important. Using the wrong yarn can cause your whole project to completely flop, and you would have wasted all that time knitting for nothing.
So, get to know the best yarns for winter hats, and make sure you choose the right one for your next winter hat project!
5 Best Yarns for Winter Hats
There is such a wide variety of yarn textures, colors, and styles to choose from that work perfectly as yarn for beanies and winter hats. These yarns keep in the warmth and look really great once finished as a winter hat.
|1.||Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo||Acrylic|
|2.||Lion Brand Yarn Cotton Yarn||Cotton|
|3.||Red Heart Gumdrop Yarn||Acrylic|
|4.||Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn||Cotton|
|5.||Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick Acrylic Yarn||Acrylic|
1. Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo
This 100% acrylic fiber yarn is exactly the same as the normal Red Heart Saver yarn, but just in a larger quantity, so you can make the whole family matching hats!
The yarn comes in many different marled colors, prints, heathers and multi-colors. It is recommended that you use a size 8 knitting needle or size i-9 crochet hook.
This acrylic yarn can be machine washed on warm or can be dried in a tumble dryer on low. With bursts of color in a finished project, the color combinations will really make your winter hats stand out.
While it isn’t a jumbo yarn, it is slightly thicker than a normal saver yarn, making it the perfect size yarn for baby hats or for adult beanies!
2. Lion Brand Yarn Cotton Yarn
This worsted weight, mercerized yarn is made from 100% natural fiber.
Through the mercerization process, the yarn is given an incredible color, with a sheen lasting through many different wash cycles. The cotton is soft and breathable, but still warm enough for the winter months.
It is completely machine washable and dryable and is fairly easy to clean as well. The yarn is available in 24 different colors and can be used to make a wide range of accessories, garments and even home décor pieces.
Although it does say worsted weight yarn, it is slightly smaller than Double Knit so it would be better used for a baby hat or light winter hats.
It is soft, breathable and washable, exactly what you need for a winter beanie!
3. Red Heart Gumdrop Yarn
Bright, trendy colors come together to make this premium acrylic yarn that is perfect for babies, toddlers, and adults. It is 100% premium acrylic, making it both soft and durable.
The silky soft textures make the perfect winter beanie and keep its softness when machine washed and tumble dried.
The yarn is best served using a US 9 hook or a 5.5mm hook. The medium weight yarn is great for beanies for babies and toddlers due to its lightweight and smooth texture but can be used for the whole family.
4. Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn
Offering up the most beautifully soft and subtle color blend, Bernat Handicrafter is a medium worsted yarn that should be used with a US 8 hook or 5mm needles.
The yarn is 100% cotton and is the perfect choice for beanies. It is versatile and can be used across a wide range of products.
Long lasting and durable, the yarn maintains its soft feel and keeps in the warmth when it needs to.
It can be washed in a machine using cool water and dried in a machine as well. There are many different colors and combinations to choose from, including ombres, scents, and twists!
5. Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick Acrylic Yarn
This is a wonderful yarn to use to make winter hats. It is made from 88% acrylic and 12% polyester, but is designed to look and even feel a little like wool. It is not only suitable for hats, but for sweaters, scarves, blankets, and throws as well.
The variegated lavender colors will look cozy and bright, adding a little soft cheer to your winter days.
The super bulky yarn is machine washable and dryable, and in total is 160 yards per skein. When finished, the beanie will have a soft and fluffy texture, which keeps in all the warmth needed during the cooler months.
What makes this a great yarn to use for multiple projects is that this set comes with three skeins of Lion Brand’s Homespun, and due to its chunky size, it knits or crochets up really quickly.
There are different colors to choose from, from blues to browns to pinks, something to suit a whole host of different tastes!
How To Choose The Best Yarn For Winter Hats
There are different factors that go into choosing the right yarn to use. Types of yarn, different weights and color patterns all play a role in helping you decide which yarn is the right one for your winter beanie.
You first need to decide who you are knitting or crocheting the winter hat for, this will help you decide on the right fiber to use, for example, alpaca wool is non-allergenic, making it great for babies, the right weight, lighter weights are better for babies and toddlers, and chunkier yarns are better for adults, and then the color or pattern would just be for you to decide.
All these factors come together to make the perfect winter hat, so it is really important to give them proper consideration. Using the wrong yarn for a hat can actually be quite disastrous, it might not stretch, or it could stretch too much and not return to its shape, it might not keep in warm or it might be scratchy and itchy.
Knowing all these factors will help you choose the next yarn to work with to create the perfect winter beanie for a loved one.
The Types of Yarns
In order to choose the right yarn for your knitted or crocheted beanie, you need to know the different yarns available. Understanding the different types of yarns and knowing all your options will help you better decide which is the best yarn for you to use.
- Cotton – Made from cotton plants, cotton yarn is lightweight, making it great for summer items. The fiber is breathable and comfortable, but the dyed cotton might run when washed. Cotton yarn is also unforgiving, it shows mistakes clearly in a finished project. It is okay for a summer hat, but not necessarily the best for a winter hat.
- Wool – Wool is possibly the best yarn for making a winter hat. It is incredibly warm and comes in many different weights and textures. It is soft and easy to knit with.
- Mohair – Mohair is from the Angora goat. It is considered a luxury yarn, and it has a high luster and sheen. It is great in the sense that it is wrinkle resistant and durable, but it does not return to its original size when stretched out, making it unsuitable to be used for a winter hat.
- Cashmere – Made from the soft undercoats of the cashmere goat, cashmere is warm like wool but appears a lot smoother. It is soft and stretchy and has an incredibly elegant look. It is usually quite pricey, and it is not as durable as normal wool.
- Angora – Angora fur is made from incredibly soft rabbit fur, it has a cute, fuzzy look when knitted. It is a fairly expensive yarn, but it is really warm and is a great option for making a winter hat. Just remember that angora yarn can only be hand washed.
- Alpaca – As the name suggests, alpaca yarn is made from the wool of alpacas or llamas. It is a wonderful yarn, it is non-allergenic, sustainable, warm, soft, lightweight and strong. It is on the more expensive side of the yarn range, but it is definitely worth it.
- Silk – Silk is made from silkworm larvae. It is smooth and light but is not stretchy and can’t be used to make a hat on its own. It could be combined with a stretchier yarn but it isn’t the cheapest option.
Rayon – Rayon is known to wrinkle easily and weaken when it becomes wet, however, it is breathable and comfortable to wear. It is inexpensive and durable, and comes in a wide range of colors.
Nylon – Nylon is made from petroleum. It is often combined with acrylic or wool to increase its stretch, making it perfect for knitting a beanie. It has good elasticity, it is strong, inexpensive, but it will melt when in contact with heat.
Acrylic – Acrylic yarn is used as a cheap substitute for wool. It is one of the best yarns to knit with. It is strong yet lightweight and cheap, it is also available in an incredibly wide range of different colors. Remember though that it isn’t very elastic and doesn’t breathe well.
Polyester – Polyester is also derived from petroleum. It can range from dull tones to satin tones and adds novelty to different yarns. It can be uncomfortable as it is so synthetic, although it does look beautiful when used in a project.
Different Yarn Weights
Not only does the type of material play a part in creating a beautiful winter hat, but you need to choose the right weighted yarn. It isn’t about how heavy a ball of yarn is, but instead how small or large the strand of yarn is.
- Lace 1-3 Ply – This is the finest yarn, it is used for projects like doilies and lace items. It is more often than not used in crocheting and not knitting.
- Super fine, Fingering Weight, Baby, 4 Ply – This weight of wool is often used for kids garments, but can also be used to make socks and shawls.
- Fine, Sport Weight, 5 Ply – 5 Ply can also be used for baby clothes and light throws.
- Light, Light Worsted, Double Knitting Weight, 8 Ply – This is great to use to knot thin jumpers, socks and kids clothing.
- Medium, Worsted, Aran Weight, 10 Ply – This is the most popular weight used to make winter hats, gloves, scarves, and jumpers.
- Bulky Weight, 12 Ply – 12 Ply is also a great option for winter hats. It is thick and warm, and also works well when used to make jumpers, scarves, and gloves. Winter blankets made used with bulky weight yarn are always wonderful.
- Super Bulky – Super bulky clothes aren’t often used for clothes, but work well to make carpets and heavy blankets.
Color and Patterns
The last thing you need to think about when deciding on the right yarn is the color or pattern of the yarn. Some yarns knit up into color patterns, and some have plain color, here are the different types of variations:
- Solid – This is the simplest choice to make for knitting. It is one solid color and is great to use to make accents on a pattern such as cables or bobbles.
- Semi-solid – Semi-solid yarn has a very subtle color change within the yarn, from lighter to darker shades of the same color. It is subtle color variation but looks great on winter beanies.
- Ombre/Gradient – Ombre yarn has long sections of different shades of one color. The shades eventually blend into one another, and a winter hat knitted using this yarn will not need any additional decorations.
- Tweed – Commonly, tweed is single color wool but has flecks of other colors in it. It is simple but gives a piece a more sophisticated look.
- Heathered – Heathered yarns have fibers of different colors, intertwined to create a random color pattern.
- Colorway – Colorway yarns consist of two or more colors and create a random, yet intricate design when finished.
- Marled – Plies of different colored yarns are twisted together to create marled yarn.
Types of Needles
The types of needles you will use will depend if you are knitting or crocheting. Crocheting is fairly simple, you have the one crochet hook that you use to complete a project. However, there are different knitting needles to use when knitting up a winter hat.
- Straight needles – Straight needles are used to knit flat pieces. They can be used to knit beanies, but sewing them up at the end can become tricky. Straight needles are fine for knitting winter hats, as you won’t be knitting a heavy project so there won’t be too much weight on your hands and wrists.
- Double pointed – Double pointed needles are used to knit circles and tubes. Most often, they are used to knit the crowns of hats, so it is a good choice when knitting a beanie.
- Circular needles – Circular needles should be your go-to when knitting winter items. They are used to knit items in the round, such as beanies or sweaters. There are different length cables to choose from, depending on the project you are working on. Circular needles, particularly with larger projects, help distribute the weight of the project evenly, giving relief to hands and wrists.
Knitting Needle Sizes For Different Yarns
It is very important to choose knitting needles, or crochet hooks, which are the right size for the yarn you are using. Not doing this will make knitting or crocheting incredibly difficult, you will not land up with the right size project, and it will all be slightly disastrous. Most yarns come with a recommendation of the right size needles to use, but here is a guide to follow as well:
- Lace, 2 ply – 1.25mm – 3.0mm needle, 0.75mm – 3.00mm hook
- Sock, Fingering, 3 ply – 2.0mm – 3.5mm needle, 2.25mm – 3.5mm hook
- Fingering, Sports, 4 ply – 3.25mm needle, 2.5mm – 3.5mm hook
- Light worsted, Double Knitting, 8 ply – 3.5mm – 4.5mm needle, 3.5mm – 4.5mm hook
- Worsted, Aran, 10 ply – 3.75mm – 4.5mm needle, 5.5mm – 6.5mm hook
- Chunky, Bulky, 16 ply – 5.5mm – 8.0mm needle, 6.5mm – 9.0mm hook
- Bulky, Chunky, 20 ply – 8.0mm and larger needle, 9.0mm hook and above
- Jumbo, Super Chunky – 12.75mm and larger needle, 15mm and larger hook
What You Need To Knit A Winter Hat
Not surprisingly, you need to have a couple of things on hand to complete your knitted hat, not just the right yarn and accompanying needles. Here is a list of everything to keep nearby when knitting or crocheting a winter hat:
- Needles – You will have your preference of needles to use, and you will need to make sure the needles you pick are the right size for the yarn you are using. You can choose between the types of needles, and then the material it is made from, such as bamboo, steel or plastic.
- Yarn – You obviously need some good yarn to knit up a winter beanie. You would have chosen your fiber, weight, and color.
- Scissors – You will definitely need a trusted pair of scissors to cut your yarn at the end of the project, or to cut the yarn when you are changing colors. Smaller scissors work great as they are easy to snip yarn with between stitches and can be taken out with you.
- Tapestry Needle – There should be no knitter that does not own at least one tapestry needle. This is a large sewing needle that has a large eye to accommodate bulky or chunky yarn. The needle is used to weave in the tails of yarn left once you bind off your work.
- Stitch Markers – Stitch markers can be anything really, but more commonly they are small colorful rings which look like safety pins. They slip on your needles and help to mark a place in a pattern. They can also be clamped directly onto a stitch.
- Stitch Holders – Some patterns call for you to keep some stitches aside that you will come back to later. You can simply slip these stitches onto a stitch holder and pick them up at a later stage.
- Measuring Tape – Sometimes you will need to measure a pattern in inches and not by rows. A measuring tape which is flexible will be such a useful tool. It helps make sure your knitted project is exactly the right length.
- Crochet Hook – A crochet hook can help you with your knitted projects. They can pick up dropped stitches or can even help as a provisional cast-on.
- Row Counter – Some patterns need you to keep count of exactly how many rows you have knitted, and it is really difficult to keep a proper count in your head. There are row counters which help you keep an accurate count. Some slip onto your needle and the number dial changes after you change a row, some have a button you click to count a row, and there are even smartphone apps that count your rows for you as well.
Finding A Pattern
Life is much easier for us nowadays. Our grandmothers and even our mothers had to sift through pattern books or even come up with their own patterns when wanting to make a winter hat or other knitted or crocheted projects.
While many people still choose to do this, there is also the internet. There are so many sites out there dedicated to knitting or crocheting patterns, with many forums and reviews on patterns, so you can really choose if it is the right one for you.
The only problem with this is that you could spend hours looking, and with so much choice, it can make it difficult to settle on one pattern. Maybe our grandmother’s method was the best?
The Right Yarn For A Beanie
With so much to choose from, you really don’t have to sacrifice anything in your yarn to create the beanie you want. From countless fibers, both natural and synthetic, brilliant color schemes, textures, and weights, there is an unlimited choice of yarns for winter hats or beanies.
Once you figure out the right yarn to use, you will be ready to knit beanies for the whole family!