How to Shrink a Hat? (Wool/Soybean Fibre)

Hello all,

I knit my dad a hat for Christmas, but it’s going to be a little too big, in every direction.

I used Rowan Tapestry, 70% wool, 30% soybean protein fibre.

Care instructions for this yarn are as follows:

Hand wash 30 degrees C
Do not tumble dry, dry flat out of direct heat and sunlight
Dry clean or hand wash in soapflakes; do not soak; cool rinse; do not wring; short spin; do not leave wet; reshape and dry flat away from direct sunlight; use damp pressing cloth

I really don’t want it felted… Hat is ribbed, then stocking stitch to the top.

Thanks so much!


If the hat is seamed you could take the seam out and make it smaller. If not then I don’t think there is much you can do at this point. The only way I know to shrink wool is to felt it. :shrug:

If it’s just a little bit too big, you can lightly felt it without getting the felted look that you don’t want. I did it once with a bag I made for my sister - the knit came out a bit too loose but I didn’t want to felt it so I put it in the washer as though to felt it but only left it for a 30-60 seconds, checking VERY carefully and leaving it a bit longer as necessary. It was enough to tighten up the knit just a little bit, losing VERY little stitch definition. If you do this, just be sure that you watch it like a hawk.

It was done in the round, no seam.

Thanks, Knitqueen. I was looking for a way to shrink without obscuring the stitch pattern. Maybe this will work, and maybe the soybean fibre will help too.

What’s a simple way to felt, then, anyone?


You might want to use your swatch as a guinea pig before doing anything to the actual hat. I think I’d try just spritzing it with water and then putting it under a hair dryer to see whether that changes anything before doing something drastic like putting it through the washing machine. But I really don’t have much experience with felting.