A step-by-step guide to knitting the cute-as-a-button Rachel Beanie
When it comes to knitting, practice makes perfect
Before we start the pattern, we suggest you spend some time learning the basic techniques you’ll need to complete your masterpiece 🤓
The Rachel Beanie is a dream to knit up and the perfect winter accessory. She's made using knit and purl stitches which we put together to create a 1x1 rib stitch, a stockinette stitch and a seed stitch. You'll want to be confident with both these stitches - the knit and the purl stitch - before we start. You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and casting on your stitches which is the first step in any knitting project.
You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. Once you've got these mastered you'll fly through your beanie.
Total beginner? 👩🏫
For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of knitting visit our Learn How To Knit page.
🥣 Test your tension
Onto the beanie, babe!
⚡️What you'll need
Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;
- 10mm needles
- 15mm needles
- 1 x ball of Cardigang Chunky Merino Wool
- A darning needle
- Pom Pom maker
- Made by me tag
You also want to have a pair of scissors handy.
🧶 Let's knit our way to cosy-town!
Time to get click-clacking and whip up your warm-as-toast beanie.
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! 💪
If you need a reminder of the techniques, just head back up the page and watch the videos again.
We knit our beanie flat and then sew it together. This makes Rachel perfect for beginners!
So to start, we're going to cast on our stitches using our 10mm needles.
💭 A note on your needles. Your needles are connected by a tube which makes them what we call 'circular needles'. For our purposes, we're going to use them as if they are straight needles. So we'll knit our work back and forth from your left needle to your right.
Hot tip: your piece will 'grow' as you knit so don't be alarmed if it looks like you're knitting a baby's beanie to start with!
We knit the first 15 rows in a standard 1x1 rib stitch. You'll remember from your practice that a 1x1 rib stitch is made by alternating knit and purl stitches along your row.
💭 Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of your work between each stitch (bring the yarn in through the middle of the needles) to ensure the rib is executed correctly.
Into the fun stuff! We're going to start by changing to our 15mm needles.
💭 To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle (in this case the 12mm needle) in our right hand and the current needle with your work on it in your left hand. Then knit the stitches from your left needle onto the new needle in your right hand.
Now in this row, we're also going to do the first of our decreases. The decreases will taper our work so we end up with more of a triangle shape at the end.
Your pattern will tell you exactly when you need to knit or purl two stitches together. Just remember to count your stitches after each decrease row to make sure you've decreased the right number of stitches. If your stitch count is off it will mess up your rib stitch pattern.
For this step, we're going to knit in stockinette stitch. We make a stockinette stitch pattern when we knit all stitches in one row, and then purl all stitches in the next. We repeat this sequence to create stockinette.
💭 There is a right and a wrong side to stockinette stitch. The 'right' side is where the little v-shaped stitches are facing you. The bumpy side is the 'wrong' side and will face inwards in our finished beanie.
Time for the last trick in our knitting arsenal - we're going to do 5 rows of seed stitch!
The seed stitch pattern is created by alternating our knit and purl stitches within a row but unlike the rib, we don't stack them so they create a bumpy texture instead of the vertical stripes.
You'll do some more stitch decreases and continue knitting in stockinette stitch for these steps. Remember to count the stitches in your row after each decrease row to make sure you're still on track!
Yes legend, you've (almost) made a beanie! 🕺
By this point, you should have just 3 stitches on your needles and it's time to cast off your stitches!
When you've got just one stitch left on your right needle, simply cut your yarn from the ball (leaving about 20cm) and thread it back through your last stitch to secure it.
Now it’s time to get to work with the darning needle to sew your masterpiece together.
Thread your darning needle with around 30cm of yarn and we're going to sew our beanie together working from the bottom up to the top.
You'll work this seam through the “bars” of stockinette stitch on each side.
Don't stress if the very top of your seam (where we reach the point) isn't super neat - your pom pom will cover this!
💭 If you're anything like us you might find seaming a bit of a pain and hard to make super neat. It's a common beginner challenge! The main principle with seaming is no matter what seaming method you use, be sure you are entering into the same place on each stitch along the seam. This consistency makes it harder to see the seam.
SHAKE YOUR POM POM
Time for the cherry on top of your masterpiece!
Exciting times, you get to use your Pom Pom maker! Now this baby looks a little crazy, but it's actually quite a simple little tool.
Step 1: Open the Pom Pom maker by pulling open all 4 'arms' - you'll have a set of two on one side and a set of two on the other.
Step 4: Close the second set of arms and you're ready to cut! Grab your scissors and insert them between the two arms of the pom pom maker. Begin cutting the yarn along the outer edge of the pom pom maker, following the curve of the arms. Keep cutting until you've gone all the way around.
D.O.N.E! You've finished your beanie, well done! Epic work 🤩 If this was your first-ever knitting project or one of many, we hope you had a blast click-clacking and making your masterpiece 💥❤️