Need hat help

First off this is my first hat (on anything knit in the round for that matter)

Second these are my first set of instructions:
using worsted weight yarn and size 4 or 5 needles,
cast on 72 stitches.
Join, work 1 x 1 (knit 1, purl 1) ribbing for 6 rounds.

That is it. Doesnt tell me a a lenghts of circs or a swatch size. I did a little mock up and the size wouldn’t even fit my toddler daughter. Do I increase the needle size or do I need to CO more stitches?

ok, all for now :oops:

If you know how to alter a pattern (ie. where the place the incs and dec w/ an altered amount of sts), then increase the st count. However, since I don’t know how to alter patterns, I would just inc the needle size. This is all assuming that the patterns have incs and decs. :?

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help :frowning:

I wonder if the sizes you were given were in non-U.S. sizes :?:

“Size 4 or 5” could additionally mean UK English or Metric sizing. Given the weight of the yarn and the number of stitches, if I were you, I’d try a US size 8. The reason why may become apparent to you after a closer look at the conversions below:

U.S.: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

English: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,

Metric (mm): 3.75, 4.25, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0

I’ve worked a few hats by “winging it” on circulars and straights and in combination. Cheer up, I’ve yet to use a pattern that worked for me either! Of course, I’ve yet to try any of the great hat patterns here yet, so we’ll see later because there’s a first time for everything!

First, cast on the 72 stitches and then wrap it around your head to see if you’re in the ball park. Adjust your needle size accordingly. You should be within an inch or two of the correct sizing for it to work right. Too long? Try a size 7 and fit again. Too tight? Try a size 9.

Also keep in mind that your ribbing will allow for some tightness around the temple and there’ll also be some give built into it as well.

The instructions I give you below is roughly what I did with my first hat pattern and a few subsequent ones. So let’s keep it simple and enjoy a rewarding first time hat making experience. :slight_smile: Read on.

When you work on the right length circulars, the stitches should tighten up as you go around (usually after 5-10 rounds). If it doesn’t tighten for you, you can always tighten up your stitches a bit at a time at each new round or until you think you’ve got about the right diameter.

Then ease up on the tension and keep working the same amount of stitches until you get the length you want. Be sure to end at your 72nd stitch.

Then simply leave a long tail (like a foot or two to be extra safe) and grab a yarn needle and thread it with the long tail. Beginning at stitch #1 on your last worked row, cast off by threading each loop on your circular through the yarn needle as you slide them off and onto the long tail. Once they’re all off the needle, pull your threaded/looped circle as tightly as possible and weave in the end on the wrong side of your hat.

I sure hope this is helpful for you! Good Luck!

Thanks! I’ll try a size 8 today… now another question. The pattern requires me to switch needles to a size 10 after I am done with my first rounds… so I would need too bump that up too then???

Hold your horses, don’t convert!

What size (corded length) circulars are you using? I noticed this was conveniently NOT mentioned in the pattern. Not a good thing for a newbie. If you’re using something short or too long, this could be part of your problem.

The site’s coming from Pennsylvania (where I happen to be coming from also). I’d say it’s a US size measurement. Your ribbing is going to “give” later in the pattern. From the picture, it looks like a very nice headband is being created with the sizes indicated. Those 6 rows are the headband and the switch to a larger needle will be your “poofed out” part of the hat.

Since you have such a nice hat pattern there, I’d stay with the needle sizes they indicate and give it one, last, try before converting to another needle size or corded length.

Here’s a few other random thoughts:

Show us a pic with the project on the working needle. It’s a lot easier to see the problem than describe it, no?

It’s also possible your ribbing rows are a bit tight (which made me wonder about the cord length) and it’s making you think things are way off.

Check your tension to be sure it’s not too tight nor too loose. You should see the loops on the circulars “give” a little as you slide your work along while knitting.

As you knit up onto those larger needles, the ribbing will make a lot more sense to you as your hat takes on it’s shape. You’ll find the conversion row a bit tough, especially if you’ve knit (way) too tight, like I usually do. :wink:

The hat’s ending is pretty much as I described in my example, except the last 2 rows will decrease the diameter and shore up the top part of the hat, prior to the yarned circle routine she and I have described for you.

Remember, these hats only take a little while to make, so if you end up with something you’d rather not, it’s not like the time you might invest in say, a sweater or coat.

Don’t be afraid! Even if your first try doesn’t fit you, you can always rip it back and try again, or donate it to someone who’ll fit it!

Hang in there and Good Luck!

What size (corded length) circulars are you using?

I tried the smallest size in my Boye Needlemaster(which I think is 20 inches) but that was to long so I magic loop knitted the first 6 rounds. I used a “Alternate Cable Cast-On” if that means anything. I just cast on another 72 with size 8’s and it is still shorter than my 20 inch cables :roll:

this can’t really be that complicated, can it?

20 inches on that circular ey? Don’t worry that your 72 stitches on the circulars aren’t acting like they would on straights. I get that way when I work on them too sometimes, I’ve been there! You get the feeling like you’re just creating a cob web.

After you make that first round, that stretching/tightening action of the yarn is normal on circulars…it might even look real gappy at first. Your ribbing is designed to stretch a LOT. As long as it’s doing that during your first 6 rows, you “should” be okay.

Like I said before, once you convert to the larger needle in the pattern, you will start to see the true design of what the ribbing actually does for the hat.

I’m not (yet) familiar with this much talked about magic loop thingamabob or the alternate cable cast-on?

My guess is that you’ll find your way back to the needle sizes mentioned within the pattern. But if you don’t, you’d not be the first person to work a hat pattern using a needle size adjustment. :wink:

You should have seen a few horror stories I created at Xmas. I tried to follow this one #$%!!! pattern and it (seriously) turned out like something an elf or a pixie would wear! Not only was it way too small for an adult, it also came to a point, like a dunce cap! It’s funny now, but then, with the Xmas clock a-tickin’…I was ticked too!

I took things into my own hands and created my own darned pattern and made a fantastic hat for my mother out of Homespun, while working 2 inches of it along with 2 strands of Fun Fur eyelash yarn (in ribbing no less).

The Homespun and ribbing in that case started out on straights and the body of the hat ended up worked like straights on a larger sized, long circular.

I fretted for DAYS that it might not fit my extremely meticulous, highly opinionated and sometimes ungrateful mother, who could ruin all the work by saying she didn’t like it and throw it back at me (literally). I heaved a huge sigh of relief when she tried it on and said the thing surpassed all of her expectations.

If I can do it, you can do it! You just need to get a feel for the circulars.


Stupid hat. I’m having issues.

I just took a look at the Magic Loop video. Okay, now I know it.

Personally, I don’t think that’s the best choice for a headband section on a hat. I’d stick to using the circulars the regular way and let things cob web for the first few rows. I’m sure you’re probably past that by now though.

It took me a few tries to get my mother’s hat the way I wanted it too.


YOU CAN DO IT!!! :slight_smile:

Extremely off topic…
Since I don’t know anything about making hats just yet (I’m still a baby beginner) I won’t even try to help out here…

But I wanted to say “thank you” to happenin for posting the different needle sizes! :thumbsup:
I’m European and most of the patterns I’ve found on the web talk about US sized needles and I hadn’t been able to figure out what those would translate to for us metric girls and just as I was about to ask that question, I read your answer: thank you!

It’s written down on a nice bright yellow post-it and now I’ve got one less thing to figure out on my knitting journey xxx


Karen… somewhere around here is a converter of all sizes. I’ll see if I can find it for you :thumbsup:

That would be great, thank you in advance :cheering:

I’m European and most of the patterns I’ve found on the web talk about US sized needles and I hadn’t been able to figure out what those would translate to for us metric girls and just as I was about to ask that question, I read your answer: thank you!

You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. I’ve come across some nice projects that were in sizes other than US and KNOW how it is.

Karen… somewhere around here is a converter of all sizes. I’ll see if I can find it for you

The Needle and Yarn conversion link is currently at the very the bottom of the Free Patterns, Miscellaneous (fun stuff) link. It’s a link to Sarah Bradberry’s site,

Here’s a direct URL:

thanks a bunch! I’ve bookmarked that site and it will be refered to on a regular basis :slight_smile: