Hat is too big

I’ve just finished a hat, which is knit from the brim to the crown, and it’s too big. Is there an easy way to redo the cast-on stitches, or should I weave in some elastic and call it good? The hat pattern was sort of made up, but more to the point, it’s the berry stitch, and I don’t want to knit it again if I don’t have to (hard on my hands, all that k3tbl).

Is the brim ribbed? If so, then I’d say some elastic should do the trick. you could also try it if the brim isn’t ribbed, but it might take a little more experimentation to get it to look right.

By how much is it too big? And is it a 100% wool hat by any chance?

If it’s not by too much and it’s 100% wool, take a piece of grosgrain ribbon (the kind that’s very stable and doesn’t stretch) and tack it to the circumference of the head you want it to fit. Mark the inside of the hat in quarters, then do the same with the grosgrain. Tack the grosgrain band into the hat (don’t pin or this process will leave marks) at eight places - the quarter markings, and halfway between each quarter marking.

Now take a steamer, the kind you steam clothing with. Steam and gently manipulate the wool (I often use a pencil, eraser end to the wool) into shrinking to the grosgrain ribbon circumference. Don’t rub the wool or it will felt/full. Be careful not to burn your fingers!

It may or may not work, but you might want to give it a go. If it does work, you might want to tack the hatband all the way down all the way around to keep it that circumference.


Well, there is ribbing, but the yarn is Wool-Ease Chunky (20% wool, 80% acrylic, I think), so it won’t shrink. So what I’m hearing is there is no good way to cut off the ribbing, pick up stitches and re-knit, eh? sigh.

The hat fits nicely when my hair is up.

Well, going on the elastic idea – you could run some elastic thread through the back of the stitches – if you do about five rows, you should get an okay result…

Certainly you can cut it and redo if you’d rather. Just cut in the last row of ribbing,pick up the sts, unravel the rib, join the yarn ends and knit down, maybe dec a few stitches or with a smaller needle, then BO.