How to knit in the round: Seed stitch beret for beginners!

Hi all! ⊗

It’s already March, but the winter weather is doing its best to hang on just a little longer. In this post, I want to guide readers through creating a simple yet intricate patterned beret. It doesn’t have to be a winter month to knit a winter hat! Knitting in the round can be difficult for beginners who are more comfortable using straight needles.

I advise those beginners who aren’t comfortable joining in the round, using double pointed needles or casting on with circular needles, to practice casting on and knitting a few rounds before taking on this pattern. It is a tad difficult to get the hang of things while learning to knit in the round, so don’t be discouraged if your first projects are tiny enough to fit a newborn or big enough to be a stool seat cover. 

Tip: Invest in a circular row counter, it will help keep track of how many rows you have knitted and acts as a place marker to where the row starts.

I will be using 16″ size 10 (6.0 mm) circular knitting needles and size 10 double pointed needles. For this pattern you will also need a light weight worsted yarn made of wool, not acrylic. 

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I chose a lovely plum color for this hat! Photo credit: Dakota Burr

Step 1: Cast on 89 stitches

To begin cast on 89 stitches then join in the round. You will be left with 88 stitches after you join. It is important to cast on loosely and make sure not to twist the stitches. Place your marker on either needle before beginning row one.

Step 2: Knitting the ribbing

One of the special things about knitting in the round is not having to worry about two sides of the project like in straight needle knitting. If you were to simply knit all the way around your piece using circular needles, the pattern would actually come out as stockinette! It is different from the constant switching between knitting an entire row then purling an entire row on straight needles to obtain the stockinette pattern.

For a more finished and advanced look, you will be knitting a ribbing pattern to begin. Ribbing allows for a stretchy but snug opening to your beret. Stockinette tends to roll up and look unfinished while knitting any type of hat.  

  • First 11 rows: *K2, P2 *repeat until the end of row.
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Two by two ribbing. Photo credit: Dakota Burr

Step 3: Begin Seed stitch

Seed stitch is a little time consuming because you will need to be constantly moving your working yarn back and forth between each stitch. The finished pattern looks intricate with out the intricate patterns to follow, which I love about Seed stitch.

  • Row 12: *K1, P1 *repeat until the end of row.
  • Row 13: *P1, K1 *repeat until the end of row.
  • Row 14: *K1, P1 *repeat until the end of row.
  • Row 15: *P1, K1 *repeat until the end of row.
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Notice the difference between purl and knit stitches. Photo credit: Dakota Burr

Below, my beret is about two inches of ribbing with five inches of seed stitch. Continue in this fashion until your piece is at the desired length. The more seed stitch rows you add, the slouchier the beret will be.

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Step 4: Ending your beret

Once your beret has reached the desired length, begin to decrease your stitches. On your last seed stitch row switch to your double pointed needles. Switching from circular needles to DPN can be difficult for those just beginning to learn. Remember not to be discouraged, practice makes perfect!

  • Last row: *K1, K2tog *repeat until end of row.

After this last row, measure out a foot from your needle on your working yarn and cut your work from the ball with a pair of scissors.

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Finished beret! Photo credit: Dakota Burr