Crochet hat sizing used to give me hives! When I started exploring different crochet projects, I used to make A LOT of crochet hats. I would use patterns from various designers and the head circumference chart offered by the Craft Yarn Council. Although these are fairly reliable, some of my hats came out smaller which was a headache! I found that I wanted just a little more flexibility in my crochet hat sizes. Since then, I’ve made dozens of hats and beanies that fit. I’ve learned how to perfectly size hats so that they always fit.
If you struggle with how to size crochet hats, this blog post is for you! I know how important making the right sized hat is. I’ll be sharing:
- A FREE printable with crochet hat size measurements INCLUDING a summary of this post,
- How to size crochet hats,
- Crochet hat size formula,
- Recommended number of stitches to begin your round
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There is going to be a lot of information in this blog post. So as not to feel overwhelmed, be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it any time you need it or even better, Pin It to your crochet essentials board on Pinterest.
Find a printer-friendly PDF version of How To Size Your Crochet Hats in the Resource Library. The PDF version includes a full-color, 3- page summary of this blog post.
How To Size Your Crochet Hats Like A Pro.
1. Your Free Crochet Hat Size Printable.
The Free Crochet Hat Sizing Guide has the measurements for sizes ranging from preemies to adult. I’ve pulled from sources all over the internet, contacted a couple of health workers and added sizes I’ve used repeatedly. All that is in a free printable that you can get from the Resource Library. Just subscribe right here and you’ll get a password to access it! The printable also includes a summary of all that you’ll learn in this blog post.
2. How To Size Crochet Hats.
- Corresponding hook
- Hat sizing cheat sheet
- Tape measure
A hat has three parts: the ribbing (or bottom edge), the body, and the crown. You can start and finish your beanies in any way, but it will always have these three parts.
a.) Top-Down Hats.
The most basic process of crocheting a top down beanie or hat has two steps; crochet a flat circle and add height. It’s that simple! The trick is knowing the relationship of the circle to the hat size to the head size.
I.) How To Crochet A Crown Circle.
With top-down hats, you start from the crown by creating a circle. You want to increase until your circle meets the measurement for the crown diameter. Let’s say I’m making a hat for a child 6-12 months old. So, according to my the guide, I need to have a crown diameter of 5 inches.
II.) How To Add Height.
When you’ve reached the right diameter in your flat circle, you’re ready to work your pattern to the appropriate hat height. To do so, simply stop increasing, and continue in your stitch pattern. Continue working evenly until you have the right height from where you made the last increase round. For a 6-12 month child’s hat, I would work until 6.75 inches. I could work that all the way down and skip the ribbing or I can work for 4.75 inches and leave 2 inches for ribbing. It’s up to you how you want to get to that height.
Lastly, you have the hat circumference. For the same child’s hat, it should be 16 inches around. Bind off and you’re done! Now you can make hat sizes perfectly no matter how you start!
b.) Bottom-Up Hats.
When making a hat from the bottom up, you start by creating the ribbing or the bottom edge-The Hat Circumference. It’s the measurement that goes all the way around the head, from the back of the neck to just below the ears and across the temples. It needs to be able to fit the head at its widest while still being snug.
I.) Start With The Hat Circumference.
For this one, you’ll start by creating chain stitches to meet that measurement of the head circumference. Then, you can join to work in the round. This is the base of your bottom-up hat. You can measure your own head and work to that measurement to make sure it fits you, or you can use the Free Crochet Hat Size printable to start at the right circumference for any other crochet hat sizes.
II.) Add Hat Height.
After working the hat circumference, we move to work on the body of the hat. This is the height of the ribbing and the design of the actual hat. It’s everything except the crown. Make your ribbing as tall as you like and then start working the body of the hat without increasing or decreasing until you reach that hat height.
III.) Make The Crown.
The crown is the very top of the hat where it closes in to make the dome. Once you’ve reached the hat height, you can start decreasing. All the rounds you work from here until the end will give you the right diameter for the crown. You don’t really need to measure this if you’re working from the bottom up.
When you decrease evenly in the round, you’ll get the right crown diameter for your hat. If you decrease 5 or 6 stitches in each round for the next 5 or 6 rounds, you should have a circle shaped crown.
c.) Side to Side Hats.
If you want to make a side to side crochet hat (a hat in a long rectangle that’s sewn closed) start with a chain of the total hat height plus 1/2 the crown measurement. Then work back and forth until you reach the right circumference and sew the ends closed.
3. Crochet Hat Size Formula.
Sometimes you might have a hat pattern that doesnt have the specific size you want to make. You can adjust the sizing by doing some simple math. In other words, using the geometric relations between circumference and diameter. The diameter is the measurement across a circle while the circumference is the measurement around a circle.
Simply measure the head circumference and use the formula below to figure out how big your crown diameter should be.
Circumference= π x Diameter
For example, say the head circumference is 22 inches;
Circumference= π x Diameter
22 = π x Diameter
Diameter = 7 inches, meaning your crown circle should measure 7-7.25 inches (to allow for some positive ease). From here, work the pattern.
4. Recommended Number of Stitches To Begin Your Round.
Different stitches call for different starting numbers in your round to crochet a hat. This also means you will be increasing by the same number on each round. You will work these increases until you reach your crown circle diameter. The recommended number of stitches to begin your round are:
- Sc: start with 6 sts
- Hdc: start with 8 sts
- Dc: start with 12 sts
- Tr: start with 18 sts
That was a lot of information wasn’t it? I’ve heard a few friends struggling with sizing and I thought I’d just share all I’ve learnt over the years. A lot of people love crocheting beanies and I don’t think they should struggle (and frog like 50 times!) while they make them. I hope this helps you and if you have any questions, you can post a comment below and I’ll be sure to address it. Lastly, don’t forget to sign up to receive your Crochet Hat Size Cheat Sheet. Until next post, stay safe and have an awesome time.