How do you make a pattern bigger?

I’m a brand new knitter taking on the Stitch-n-Bitch Umbilical cord hat, but it is for a baby 0-6 months, and I need it to fit a baby 9-12 month and with a big head. What’s the best way to make it bigger without getting too complicated? Thanks!

The easiest way would be to use a larger needle size. I’d do some swatches to figure out which needle size gives you a better # of stitches per inch for the desired outcome, then you don’t have to change the pattern at all, just use the same # of stitches that it asks for and maybe increase the length by a bit before starting your decreases. Make sense?

Just to clarify, you mean, use size 8 or 9, when the pattern says use size 7, not changing the length of the circulars?

Then, I’m also new to gauge. When I measure it, how much bigger am I looking for? The pattern says 4" for a 0-6 month old, but I’m not sure how much bigger to go for a slightly bigger baby.

Any more advice?

Thanks for helping me with these basic questions!

I don’t know exactly what gauge your pattern asks for, but let’s just use an example of 20sts/4". If that produces a hat for a 0-6 month old using size 7 needle, say you tried a swatch with a size 8 needle and you got 18sts/4". That would work out to 4.5sts per 1", so you could take your total stitch count and divide it by 4.5 and you would get your approximate finished size in inches. Say your cast on stitches total 60. With your original gauge (20sts/4", or 5sts/1") your hat would be 12" (60sts divided by 5sts/1"), and if you used the gauge of 18sts/4", or 4.5sts/1", your hat would be 13.3".

Again, this is just an example, I don’t know what your stitch counts are, but you see how much difference even 2sts/1" can make! Over 1" difference in finished size. You also have to remember that a knitted item is fairly stretchy so you might not need to alter it all that much. I’d try going up one needle size, as we discussed in this example, and see if you arrive at the result you’re looking for.

Let us know if we can be of further help.

Regarding gauge: the 4" measurement wouldn’t change, the number of stitches you get in the 4" measurement would.

Smaller needles = more stitches
Larger needles = less stitches

To increase the size you will want to increase the size of the needles to get less stitches in the 4" measurement than what the pattern gauge calls for without the fabric getting too holey. You may find you need to change the weight of the yarn or the number of stitches if you can’t increase needle size enough and still keep a tight fabric.

A newborn hat should be about 11.5"-13" around and about 6" tall. A hat for a 6-12 month old should be 14.5"- 18" around and about 7.5" tall. These are measurements I have gotten off various websites in the past and have posted on my own website all together.

So you will want to add about 2" to the overall width of the hat and about 1.5" to the height before decreasing.

Hope this helps.