Friday, February 3, 2012

How do you crochet a hat...

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...or beanie or whatever. I know, there are plenty of tutorials, patterns, etc. that you can find on the Internet. On my part, I am also sharing a few points with you. As you might have known by now, I am on a hat-crocheting spree and felt it is more appropriate to do this post right now before I get bored of hats.

Most of you would know how to crochet a basic beanie, but I am sure there are lots more who don't have an idea about it. Even if you know how to go about it, I bet there is one big question many of you will have, "how to determine the correct size?"

Now, I am not an expert in this area. I am fairly new to crocheting hats, but from what I have researched on the internet, there are a few things which might help you to crochet a hat of the desired size.

*Measure the size of the head.
Wrap a measuring tape around the head (forehead, back of head, above ears) to find out the circumference of the head.

You can click here to get a chart on head sizes for different age groups.

The beanie that I have shown here measure 12.5 inches in circumference. It will fit a newborn head.

Now you have measured the circumference of the head and you would want to make a hat of that circumference, but remember that the hat will stretch.  So make it an inch or two smaller. A hat that has been made using double crochet stitches will stretch more than one made using single crochet stitches.

You can either start from the bottom and move towards the top or start from the top and move towards the bottom, which is more common.

I will explain to you how to start from the top. First you have to make a flat circle which forms the top of the hat. You will be expanding the circle to reach the desired size. This is where most of you will have the question, "when to stop expanding.?" I found in the internet a formula for this.

Say for example, you want to crochet a hat of 12.5-inch circumference. You have to divide this measurement by 3.14 (value of pi)
So, 12.5/3.14 is approximately 3.98, which can be rounded off to 4.

You have to stop expanding when you have reached a diameter of 4 inches.

There is one more method. Place the circle on top of the head and check if the edges of the circle are in line with the ears. Ah, I made a small drawing to explain it :))) Hope you can get it. So now you can stop expanding and start working even.

Are you someone who don't know how to expand a circle? If you know how to make a magic circle, it is very helpful. Otherwise,

  • Ch 3.
  • 8 dc into the 2nd ch from hook. Join with slip stitch to beginning of round.
  • 2 dc into each dc (16 st)
  • Increase in every alternate stitch, i.e., 2 dc + 1 dc + 2 dc + 1 dc + ... (24 st)
  • 2 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 2 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 2 dc ... (32 st)
  • 2 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 2 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 1 dc + 2 dc ... (40 st)
You will keep increasing in this manner until you have reached the required size. As I mentioned earlier my hat measures 12.5 inches in circumference, so I stopped expanding when I reached 4 inches diameter. From the next step onwards you will start working even, i.e., 1 dc into each dc. Once you have stopped expanding and started working even, the edges of your circle will start to bend.

 You will continue working even until you have reached the desired length. That's it. You can use any stitch: sc, hdc or dc. When you use single crochet, the stiches are more compact and stretches little whereas a hat made using a double crochet will have more stretch.  I hope that helped.

You can visit my Etsy shop for crochet patterns.


  1. Bored ? Don't be, you have done such lovely hats....
    Have a nice week-end.
    Hug and
    thank you for your kind comment.

  2. Love this! Thank you, Pradeepa. Hope all is well.

  3. Thanks for the tips, when winter comes, I'll be making hats!

  4. Thank you so much for this information. I've found it very helpful and will definately be attempting to crochet some beanies come the winter now I know what to do.
    Anne xx

  5. Perfect instructions, thanks so much for sharing all of this with us. Happy crocheting!

  6. Thank you for the tips and instructions. I'm a newbie crocheter (I've made one laundry cloth) and I had many aha! moments while reading.

  7. This information is very helpful. I had a plan to crochet hats for my kids during this winter... But was confused about the measurement. Thank you so much....

  8. Hi Pradeepa,
    Thanks a ton for this tutorial. I real couldn't figure out how to go about. I will now undo the hat and re crochet it all over again!! Thanks again so much!!
    Also, where can I find tutorials on how to crochet a doily?

  9. Thank you so much for explaining how to size hats. I just pinned it so I'll know where to find it next time I make a hat.

  10. Thank you for your great explanation! I always wanted to know how this works!
    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award! Please see this as a compliment to your work and how much I love your blog!
    Have a great day! Barbina

  11. ths s super cute pradeepa...ur works r pretty always....

  12. Hola y gracias por el tutorial. Pásate por mi blog, tengo un premio para ti.
    Un saludo.

  13. Thank you so much! I had been struggling to get the base right with the patterns I had and then this post came to my rescue! I have a picture of the cap in my blog made according to the instructions here!
    Thanks so much once again!

  14. wow! brilliant work. I would like to invite you for the international blog hop. Please follow me and the link

  15. Thank you so much for this! Now i'm finally crochetting (?) a beanie :D

    But I have a comment on the 'circles'.

    First 8 dc's.
    Then every alternate (16)
    But when you follow the next instructions: 2dc + 1dc + 1 dc etc. you, you'll get (32)! Right?
    You'll get (36) if you continue to 2dc every alternate. But obviously, you're not ;)

    I hope you get what I mean! (Sorry for my poor English!)

  16. Oh yes! it is 32. Thanks for correcting, Kirsten.

  17. What a great post! I've made a few hats...and loved them...haven't done any for awhile but there are many babies in the futures of my friends - so I'll have reason to make some new hats very soon! Thanks for the great share! Annette

  18. Oi amiga adorei o seu blog e suas dicas!! Já estou te seguindo, te convido a vir conhecer o meu cantinho tb. Fique com Deus


  19. I loved your hat size explanation. I use mostly acrylic thread because they are washable but I love many of the cotton and wools. How do you take care of your cotton and wools?

    1. I mostly use wool. I just handwash them and lay them flat to dry.

  20. Lovely, fun hats! And thanks for sharing a link to my SIZE CHART page! Really appreciate that. :) HUGS

  21. Thanks for such a simple to understand answer! I searched the web and it took me forever to find an answer that I understood. Math was not my strong point in school and that was 28 years ago anyways so when they started talking pi and dividing times blah blah blah it didn't mean a thing to me so the pics are exactly what I needed. Again, Thanks!!

  22. Thank You! This is awesome!! I especially appreciate the drawing :-)

  23. I love the way you explain crochet, especially the added pictures. I get flustered reading patterns and never use them. But the granny ripple tutorial and this one make me want to get into my yarn stash!

  24. Found a link to this article on pinterest and it has come in very helpful since I am on my own crochet craze at the moment. Thank you for the info.

  25. This is very pretty. Im in the process of trying to learn to crochet a chevron throw as a summer project for myself. Love your blog and your etsy shop. I am also a new follower. Come visit me sometime at

  26. LOL I meant to add the above comment on your ripple blanket. But I love these cute hats too. Ive just been all over your blog. ha

  27. Boa tarde! Amei este tutorial, nunca antes alguem me explicou tão claramente como proceder, e eu fazia tudo às cegas. Agradeço do fundo do meu coração; você gastou seu tempo pesquisando, mas no final de tudo pensou em nós que somos ocupados demais, ou preguiçosos, ou sem noção, ou completamente disprovidos de capacidade para encontrar um caminho; me emocionou.
    Um grande abraço e até breve!

  28. Thank you so much for explaining circumference that way! I have been trying to figure out how to get a hat to the right size for what feels like forever!! You explanation was exactly what I needed! I will be mailing the hat I make to a friend and want to make sure it at least comes close to fitting before I ship it out!! Hats...well crocheting in general is fairly new to me so I am very grateful!! Thanks again!

  29. This has helped a lot thank you!

  30. Simple and effective thank you so much for sharing

  31. THIS is, by far, the best tutorial I have come across. I have made hats for a while, but always kinda just winged it as far as sizing goes. This time around I was trying to figure out how exactly to get the measurements that I keep seeing on size charts...and apparently I need it spelled out for me like you did here! lol This is the only time I have ever read to divide by 3.14! So, thank you for just made a (should be) easy thing so much easier! :D

  32. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. This is the first sizing explaination that I've found that actually makes sense. Awesome!

  33. You rock. I almost never crochet w/o a pattern. This tutorial will help me expand my repertoire. THANKS so much.

  34. Don't you love it! You are in India and I am In New York, USA and can exchange information so easily. Thanks for your help, great blog. Unfortunately I can't open link for chart. Appreciate your help.

  35. Tried link again and got the chart, thanks again.

  36. THANK YOU! My oldest daughter asked me to crochet her a hat & I have been having *such* trouble with the sizing, but here you've explained it so beautifully!

  37. Yes, but please don't forget to link it back to me.

  38. Thanks for sharing.Your explanation is simple to follow.God Bless You.

  39. You want to know what is AWESOME about this? That you get it and are teaching others about the correct size dimensions. That SO many sellers on Etsy who crochet baby hats and advertise "newborn" when it's clearly a "0-3" months size and they have no idea what I mean when I say newborn size. It gets me SO MAD because they really don't see the difference.

    I ordered a newborn hat from a vendor a year ago, and it was always too big to use. So I wrote her a year later (a week ago), and asked her if she could make the same hat, but smaller. Because it's one of my favorite hats to touch and feel! She said she couldn't because she could no longer get that yarn, but then wondered why I needed a smaller one because she made it exactly to specifications. 6 inches long by 6 inches wide when it lays flat (it's a pixie hat) for a 13-14" head on an average 8 pound baby. She sent me a picture of another newborn in the hat that it didn't look big on, but wondered if the excess hat was tucked around in the back (baby was on her back). I really REALLY wish that people who crochet hats understand that photographers photograph newborns in the first ten days of life. Their heads do not get to the 0-3 month stage until about a month or so. Photographers publish their pictures often on Facebook and if you want your product to make the cut, go the extra yard and check in with your photographers to see if it fits. Look for genuine feedback and not just assume there's no problem because no one ever said anything. It is awkward for me to give feedback to vendors because I don't want them to get offended by it, but then I'm part of the problem and they think that their products are perfectly fine. So I usually find something positive to say and just don't order from them again. So PLEASE if you're going to list something as newborn AND you want photographs showing you image in use, you want it to look the best it can.

  40. Thank you for putting this in layman terms! I did a lot of looking before thia and others make it aound so complicated. Good job!

  41. Thank you! I'm just starting on hats and LOVE this explanation!

  42. Is this the rule for all hats are just beanies?


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