My half arsed explanation of how I modeled the beanie.
-Model a stitch
-Unwrapping at this point can be useful for mappin g bump or disp to each stitch
-Array the stitches (you can adjust the individual stitch easier when it is arrayed properly
-Array the stitches into a cylinder
-Use FFDs and zbrush to wrap it onto the head
-Use spacing tool and a spline to create the rim
-A circular patch of stitches can create the top cap of the beanie, much like real beanies are made