Measuring

Hello, I am knitting a hat using straight needles and following a pattern. The head I am knitting the hat for is bigger than the largest pattern size, so upon advice from the yarn shop I am using slightly larger needles and following the pattern for the largest size. So instead of 3.25mm needles, I am using 3.75mm for the rim, and instead of 3.75mm, I am using 4.00mm for the main part of the hat. FYI, it’s a halfdome hat (skullcap). Anyhoo, I have a few questions…the pattern doesn’t always nominate how many rows to knit, but rather states things like “knit until work measures 1.5inches…” so one of my questions is: given that I’m going to be knitting it a little bigger, do I go over a little bit on the measurements? but also, what is the best way to measure - it is in stockinette stitch, so am I best to use the wrong side when measuring? and do I measure from the very first cast on row? and do I measure to the top of the needle (cos isn’t that a row of stitches) or to the bottom of the needle? New to knitting so any helpf would be appreciated. Many thanks.

Lay it down on a table and measure from the edge up to the needle. The 1½" is probably for the ribbing or other edge, so if you’re a bit longer it won’t matter. The overall length is determined by how long you knit before doing the decreases. Also, measure the size and check your gauge - a hat should be an inch or 2 smaller than the head it’s going to fit, so if you went up in needle size that could make it too large.

Thanks so much, that’s a great help. Especially the tip about hat sizes…maybe I’ll go back to the 3.25mm. The largest size in the pattern is for a 22inch head and the head I’m knitting for is 23inch so I think I should’ve stuck with the original needle requirements. Although it’s a 10ply yarn and the helpful ladies at the yarn shop worried that the small needle size might mean the wool could matt. Thanks again.

Wait, 10 ply as in worsted/aran weight? Is that the right yarn for the pattern? Needles that small will make a very dense stiff hat with a heavy yarn.

It’s a debbie bliss cashmerino aran yarn. this is the pattern link: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATThalfdome.html. the hats do look dense.

They sure do. Though the DB Cashmerino is a pretty soft squishy yarn, so it may not be as dense as another yarn knit at that gauge.

So do you think I should revert to the prescribed knitting needle size or continue as I’ve started?

What gauge are you getting with the needles? That’s really the determining factor. If you’re getting gauge or slightly larger then stay with the bigger needles as long as that won’t make the hat too large around. The exact size of the head would be too large, btw…

yeah, i’m just slightly bigger…but I did my guage using the bigger needles as that what the main part of the hat is. I think I’ll stick with what I’m doing. Thanks so much for your advice, it is very much appreciated.