Gauge & KP's "I'll Pack a Hat" Hat

I just finished the “I’ll Pack a Hat” hat from KnitPicks
and I think I might’ve done something wrong. I did a gauge swatch, as I always do. The pattern called for size 11 needles, but as usual, my gauge dictated to go up a size in needles (I always need to go up a size), so I knitted a swatch up with size 13 needles, and my gauge was exact with the size 13 needles, so I was confident the hat would be fine. I realize this hat size in its non-felted stage was designed for a man, but I was excited about making it for myself and keeping it in its non-felted state because it seems that I have a larger than normal size head (well, for a woman I guess). :oops: Anyway, I just finished the hat, and I was really excited because–thanks to Amy’s video!–I was able to use double-pointed needles (this was the first hat I knitted that didn’t have to be seamed!) and I was able to figure out how to pick up stitches around the brim. :cheering: All in all, the hat turned out pretty nice and I was pleasantly surprised and proud of myself for being able to “conquer” two new techniques.

The problem is that I think the hat is huge, even for a man’s head (I haven’t had my husband try it on yet to verify my theory). I really didn’t want to felt this because I wanted the rib pattern to show (doing the ribbing seemed like a lot of extra work to go through to just have it felted…I could’ve stockinette stitched it if I had planned to felt it and saved myself a bit of time). So I’m confused…should I have just went with the size 11 needles even though the gauge was off, or did I do something wrong by using the size 13 needles, even though my gauge was perfect on my test swatch? Maybe the pattern really runs this big? Has anybody else made this hat? Any suggestions/comments? I will block it, but I’m not sure the hat will adjust significantly enough after blocking (maybe I’m wrong though). Help!

Anything that’s knit to be felted IS huge. Felting shrinks the item tremendously. The felted clogs start out about twice as big as one’s foot. So it’s not a matter of gauge, it’s that it was designed to start big enough to shrink down to size when felted.

Well, it’s huge because it is supposed to be felted. The ribbing will be noticeable once the hat is felted, though certainly not to the degree it would without felting. You could take your stitches per inch, figure out the circumfrence that you actually want for the hat, do the math, and knit the hat that way.

Oh, a thought: do you think you could felt the hat slightly to reduce its size but still retain the ribbing effect? It will require that you watch the washing cycle like a hawk, but it might be worth the effort!