Hat size wrong

Hi! I knit a hat for my 21 inch head son. There were 4 stitches for each inch. I cast off 90 stitches. I know I was 6 stitches off but the hat was more like 20 stitches off. When he puts it on, it falls over his face down to his shoulders. Not big deal, I have the hat to his older cousin. Now I am confused on how many stitches to cast off with. 90 was written in the directions, which was why I started with that. With the 90 stitch hat, i fold it 20 stitches and it will fit on his head. What am I missing here with my castoff calculation? Thank you for your help

What is the name of your pattern?
Are you using the same weight yarn as recommended?

it was a pattern i found online. http://fivespeckledeggs.blogspot.com/ same weight, but when it was done, i measured an inch and how many stitches were in the inch and it was four so even with 21 X 4 would be 84 stitches but it was just way off

Measure the stitch gauge over 4 inches and calculate how many sts per ince. Use that to determine how many sts to cast on to get 18-19 inches. The hat should be a bit smaller than the head measurement.
(18" x Xsts/inch = sts to cast on)

I didn’t see the yarn weight specified in the pattern.

It was the brand. She posted in the comments it was red heart yarn so I went by that. There must be different weights. Now that I am writing it of course there are different weights. Thank you for the advice though. You and everyone here have been so helpful. Thank you

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I recommended these 2 links to another member they might be useful for your project. I made Santa Hats a few years back and had to do quite a bit of adjusting to get the fit right but the final result was worth it and I made lots of notes so I have been able to remake them in many sizes and colors.
How to Knit a Hat by Megan Goodacre save it to your Ravelry Library https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/how-to-knit-a-hat-2
the pattern link is archived in the wayback machine http://idiotsguides.com/static/quickguides/hobbiescrafts/how-to-knit-a-hat.html
The Other One I use is not as customizable but still useful Super Simple Circular Hat Calculator http://www.earthguild.com/products/knitcroc/marypat/hatcalc.htm

This is great thank you for all the resources. I appreciate it

Were you to use that pattern again, start from the top and stop when it’s the right size around. Or just a tiny bit larger.

Bind off l o o s e l y

Oh my I never thought of that. Thank you! Still a Beginner

What are friends for if not to help? I tell all the kids I’ve worked with that there’s only one stupid question in the whole world. Just one. That’s the question you do not ask.

Feel free to ask away and help will be given.