The James Beanie

The James Beanie

A step-by-step guide to crocheting the James Beanie



Whether you're a complete beginner or have some experience, this guide will help you crochet a bangin' beginner beanie and the best part? You only need to know one type of stitch!

Even if you've never crocheted before, we'll take you from zero to hero in no time 🦸‍♀️

When it comes to crochet, practice makes perfect

Before we start the pattern, we suggest you spend some time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your beanie. 

The James Beanie is made in half double crochet stitch. You'll want to be confident with this stitch before you start 🧶 You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and chaining.

You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch! 

Total beginner? 👩‍🏫 

For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of crochet visit our Learn to Crochet page. 

💪 Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 

📏 Test your tension

While we're practising and before you start your project, you'll want to make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your crocheting is) is juuuust right 🥣 We do this by making a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like Goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 

Gauge: If done correctly, your 10x10cm swatch should be 8 stitches wide and 5 rows high when made in half double crochet on a 10mm hook.

To test this, chain on 10 + 2 stitches (the +2 makes your turning chain), then work in half double crochet for 6 rows. Then measure a 10x10cm square and count your stitches and rows within that space to make sure you're crocheting at the correct tension.

If you've got more stitches or rows than the instructions say you should have, your work is a little too tight, and if you've got less your work is too loose. Adjust your tension by holding the yarn a little more tightly/ loosely as you crochet.

Half double crochet swatch

⚡️What you'll need

Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;

  • 10mm hook
  • 2 balls of Cardigang Chunky Acrylic Yarn
  • A darning needle
  • Made by me tag

You also want to have a pair of scissors handy. 



Chain on your foundation chain of 27 stitches. 

💭 Try to make your chain stitches as evenly sized as possible. Don't pull the loops too tight because you'll struggle to work into these loops in your first row. On the other hand, if you make your loops too loose, your project will look a little messy. 

Once you've chained, you'll move onto the first row of half double crochet stitch. 


In this first row you're working into the chain so you'll insert your hook into one of the bars of your chain stitch. 

To start insert your hook into the 3rd chain. Skipping the first 2 chains gives you the height you need to complete the first row. Then do a half double crochet into the 3rd chain. Repeat into every chain until the end. You'll end up with 25 stitches. 

Chain 2 to make your turning chain and then turn your work. 

For row 2 and all future rows, you'll need to make sure that you're putting your hook into the back loop of your stitches. Insert your hook under the back bar of your first stitch and do a half double crochet. Continue for all stitches in this row. 

Repeat until you've done 24 rows. 

Sewing Together

Well done! You’ve done most of the hard work. It’s time to seam your beanie together. Start by chaining 1 and then turn your work.

Next, fold your work in half so that the first row is laying on top of your last row.

We’re going to join our two seams by slip stitching the two ends together. To do this, insert your hook into the starting chain on your top piece, and then into the back loop of the next stitch on the bottom piece. Yarn over and slip stitch by pulling the yarn through both loops. 

Continue to slip stitch both ends together along the row, making sure to work the slip stitches loosely and not too tight so that the hat remains stretchy. This will now become the inside of your beanie.

At the end of the row, cut your yarn, leaving a long tail for cinching the top and then fasten off.

Now that that you’ve made a tube it’s time to cinch in the top to make the beanie shape. Thread your darning needle with the tail of yarn you’ve left from the previous step and thread a running stitch around the edges of the tube to gather the top. Pull your yarn tight to close the loop and tie a knot to secure it.

There'll still be a small hole at the top, so continue to close up the hole with your darning needle. When done, knot the yarn again and then weave in all the ends. Turn your hat inside out.

Use your darning needle to weave in any loose ends and you are finished! Well done 🕺💪

In a bind and need a little more help?

Email us at and we'll be able to help! Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.