Okay, someone reassure me here

I’m currently working on a hat. This is only the second hat I’ve ever made, so I’m still not 100% sure of myself. The first hat I knit on 24" circs because my head measured 23.5 inches, so I figured it was close enough.

When I went to the yarn store this weekend to pick something up, I was talking to one of the owners, and she told me never to use anything bigger than a 16" circ. She said even if the circumference of your head is close to 24 inches, you’re still stretching the yarn. I have asked her for tips/advice before, and I do trust her.

However, I’m knitting this hat (and I did take the time to swatch and measure my gauge, etc.) on 16", and compared to my first one, it just looks tiny. But I measured, figured out how many stitches to CO, etc. I should just trust the math, right?!? 16" is the correct size needle?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Yes, 16 in circs are what you use for a hat. It always looks small, but they stretch on your head. :wink:

Yes, 16 inches is the correct needle size.

Phew! Thank you ladies…I just wanted to make sure!! :muah:

pats on back in reassuring way

… there, you have been reassured!! :teehee:


There now, that’s better.


This place is the best!!

Sorry to jump in on this one - and more apologies for being a bit dumb - but is that 16" needles for all adult hats???
Or just ones that need to fit a 23.5" head?

I never trust the math, usually I’ve done it wrong :teehee:

16 in circular needles is the standard size for all adult hats. You don’t want the stitches all stretched out. If they can’t fit on a 16 in needle most people use DPNs.

Even though she’s using a 16" needle size, you don’t want the hat to be 16 inches for a 24 inch head, do yo?

I would assume that you need to be making about a 20 inch hat for you head…

anyone else?

I realize that you use a 16 inch needle because you can always fit something bigger on a smaller needle, but not the reverse…

I always use 16" needles, too. You fit way more stitches on it than 16" worth. It’s fine if the stitches are bunched, but you don’t want them stretched out–not only will it stretch out the knitting, it’s a pain to work.

I’d only use 24" needles for something several inches more than 24".

You can work 20" on a 16" needle, but you can’t work 20" on a 24" needle. The length of the circ doesn’t have equal the diameter of your knitting, but it shouldn’t be larger than you need. The cast on and first few rows may not stretch out to full diameter anyway, so smaller is better.


argh I think in centimetres I’ll have to translate that in my head

Oh sorry… 29/30"=75cm; 24"=60cm; 20"=50cm; 16"=40cm. Give or take a few cms.


thanks, the shortest I have are 60cm which were the shortest in the shop