How to shrink this hat?

So, while I am bragging about my hat in one thread, I am going to complain about the same hat in another. :slight_smile: Here it is.

I have two important questions:

  1. It fits but the recipient would prefer it to be more ‘snug’. It’s been blocked already. Can I try to shrink it in the dryer? The yarn is Patons classic wool. It grew a bit after I washed it (as did the swatch, no surprises here). Which leads me to another important question

  2. How on earth one could factor in all the details and still have a multiple of 18 for the pattern and a hat that fits perfectly?

I knit and washed the swatch to see if it grows. Did the math for the circumference and the gauge based on st st hoping that my Fair Isle part would look this way. Got 108 st, a happy coincidence, I needed a multiple of 18. But the hat is ribbing plus Fair Isle and the elasticity of those two is different… and it’s yet different from the stockinette swatch. What I am getting at is that I would like to measure a slightly stretched swatch to get a good fit but what to do about the colourwork that probably is not supposed to be stretched?

It seems logical to knit the ribbing on a smaller size needles but the first Fair Isle swatch looked really huge and the ribbing swatch looked nice and tidy so it didn’t seem reasonable at the time of testing. I am asking cause now [I]I[/I] want a hat too :slight_smile:

Because it is 100% wool, you can do some “hand felting” … Swish it around in warm soapy water and gently rub it until it “shrinks” down to the size you want. Keep in mind that the length will felt more than the circumference so rub and measure and rub and pull and rub and shape.

You have to be really really careful with felting to shrink; it shrinks more one direction than another so you may end up with a short wide hat.

Get some elastic thread and run it through a couple rows on the inside of the ribbing. That should snug it up enough that it fits a little better.

You’re right that ribbing ought to be knit on a smaller needle, usually patterns don’t give a gauge for them unless the whole pattern is in ribbing.

Thanks! I cast on the same number of stitches on smaller needles for a matching hat (in the opposite colours – light background, dark geometric pattern), it seems to be going well.

I fear that the original hat has to be reknit :frowning: I wouldn’t risk felting if it can result in a ‘short and wide’ hat :slight_smile:

It is too lovely a hat to risk ruining in an attempt to make it smaller. I have to say that the fit looks perfect in your picture.
Patterns often call for a smaller needle for the ribbing and I have made hats that also use fewer sts in the ribbing. The increase comes in the last row of ribbing or the first row of st st.

You can also try re-blocking it and push the stitches close together.