Hat too big: Decrease or Rip out?

Hi! I’m a Beginning/Intermediate knitter. I’m working on my first hat, and it’s the first time I’ve worked on circular needles. I thought I had figured out the gauge correctly, but I just measured it, and it’s 26" around. My head is 22", so this is definitely too big! :stuck_out_tongue:

My question: I don’t know if I should start some decreases now, or just rip out a whole bunch of work, back to maybe row 6 or 10, and start decreases there?

Some details:
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden (Silk/Kid Mohair/Lamb’s Wool) 50 gr, 100 mtr. I only have 2 skeins, as the yarn and pattern were a Christmas gift.
Needes: Size 7, 16" circulars
Cast on: 115 stitches–in retrospect, clearly too many
Pattern: Alchemy rolled brim hat by Weezie Wear Designs
Stockinette stitch

I have about 4" done already. Should I do some decreases now and hope I have enough yarn to finish the hat anyway? I thought I could roll the brim up and secure it if so, but that would be a big brim. Either way, what’s the best decrease to use so it doesn’t end up looking like a cone hat?

Or–is it time to suck it up and rip it back? cringe (That’s a lot of stitches to pick up!)

I’d love any advice and/or opinions. Thanks much!


Do you have a picture of the hat, or a link to a pattern? Is the brim supposed to be snug against the head? Is there a gauge for how many sts/inch? You should rip out the whole thing and cast on again with about 5" less stitches. Possibly go down about 3 sizes if your gauge doesn’t match. Decreasing for the top (now or later) is not going to make it fit.

Sometimes when you’re knitting your tension loosens a little after a while. Also the hat should be a inch or two smaller than your head size.

What pattern is it and what yarn and needle size?

Thanks for the tips, and here are more details. I’ve attached two photos, one viewing from the top down, and one detail picture in case that helps.

The pattern isn’t online, but it’s listed here, about halfway down:

And here’s a picture of the baby-size version:

The pattern gauge was 5 sts/inch, 7 rows/inch. The pattern calls to cast on 115 stitches for 20" circumference, which I did, using the size 7 needles the pattern called for. Knit st stitch for 6", then start decrease rounds.

What are your thoughts? Frogging time? Many thanks for your help!!

Okay, I’m confused. The pattern you linked to is in stockinette and has rolled brim, but the sample you’re showing is obviously in garter stitch. :??

IMO that is too many stitches for that weight of yarn and needles. I make many hats using worsted weight and size 7 needles usually cast on about 80 (give or take) for an adult size hat. :??

Rip it.

Did you get 5 sts per inch on your hat? If it’s something like 4 or 4½ then that’s why it’s so big. Though 115 sts divided by 5 sts/inch = 23", not 20. Were you supposed to cast on with a smaller neede then switch to the 7? It doesn’t look like you’re supposed to dec any after you cast on, so figure how many sts/inch you have, multiply time 20" and that’s your cast on number with the size 7.

I thought I was using stockinette stitch–knit one row, purl one row? Is it different on rounds? The picture might not have shown enough detail. Either way, it looks like I’m ripping it out and starting over. Thanks so very much for your help!! :slight_smile:

Yes, when you work in the round, you knit all rounds for stockinette; knit a round, purl a round makes garter. That could account for a difference in gauge too, garter stretches a little more widthwise than stockinette.

Ah-ha! Knit and Learn. :slight_smile: Good thing I’m starting over, then. That’s what I love about knitting–I learn something new with every single project. Thanks so much!