My gift hat is too big

oh no, my friend has a smallish head (20"). My head measures 23" which is quite large, and look how it fits me. Even if I roll it up, it will be too big for her.

So! I can keep it for myself, to wear wtih my heavier winter coat in January. I don’t think it can be de-knitted, cuz of all the knotty bobbles in the yarn. I do have another ball.

But I don’t know how to figure out how many stitches to cast on for a smaller head.

I’m thinkin’: the yarn knits about 5 stitches per inch, so a 20" head should need 100 stitches. BUT: this hat was knit with only 60 stitches and look how big it turned out. Maybe it’s the needle size?

Yes, its the needle size that determines how many sts you need, and you should make the hat about 2" smaller than the head measures. So figure out how many sts per inch you get with the yarn and needles and multiply it times 18". Yarn in hats stretches easily.

And you can always wear another hat under it when it gets cold. Don’t think of it as a failure. Think of it as a learning experience. I’ve got bags full of “learning experiences.” But I know how to do it now.

Oh thank you, ladies! I love the idea of wearing two hats! hehe, will make a smaller one now…and the tips on using smaller needles and counting is helpful…thanks!

If you’re going to use the same yarn as in the picture, smaller needles might make too dense a knit. Use less stitches…

That’s why I hate knitting hats. I do them once in awhile, but I don’t like making them. Success on your next attempt!!!:thumbsup:

Did you knit the hat with a wool fiber? If so you can slightly felt it.

Hey that’s a darn good idea, dreamsherl! :thumbsup:

Doesn’t felting usually shrink more lengthwise than widthwise? That could result in a shorter, wider hat.

What could be done is to cut a stitch above the ribbing to take it off and unravel a few rounds, then reknit them and the ribbing with much smaller needles.

It worked for me.

Yes, Sue it does shrink less in width. Your suggestion is a good solution.

You guys are both right. It is true that it shrinks vertically more. However, I felted my husband’s hat that was too large and it worked. As someone advised, I pulled it lengthwise to compensate for it. (First, I measured the original length to know how long it should be).

Plus, it smothered the texture and made denser fabric. I liked the result.

On a side note, next time I would try to reknit the ribbing on a fewer number of stitches (I don’t think I could go much lower in needle size). Somehow this hat still has a tendency to slide upwards a bit :slight_smile:

Another solution without having to start over is to buy some elastic thread, and stitch all around on the inside of the hat. I’ve done that before, and it worked just fine.

I turned the hat inside out, and ran my threaded sewing needle round and round, running the stitches evenly, by counting a couple stitches between each catch by the needle. Occasionally, I would turn it right side out, and pull the thread to tighten it up a bit.

When I reached the end, I knotted the end of the thread really well, and wove in the ends. Then, I turned it right side out, and it was just right. :slight_smile:

I also use this technique to knit hats with cotton yarn.

I will try the elastic thread; I now have two hats which are too large, and this is just too sad.

The brown hat has no wool in it, 100% acrylic.

Thanks for all the tips, everyone!

You might need to recheck your gauges or measurements next time you knit a hat. Or work the ribbing, then put the sts on scrap yarn to try on. It may be you’re just making them too large and need less stitches, or should be using a smaller needle.

It isn’t unusual for gauge to change after you start a project.

What is the name of the yarn and the needle sized use with each of them? Normally for hat I cast on 72-80 stitches and use a size 6-7 needle with worsted weight. I knit on the loose side, too.