Smaller Pattern Size

I have a pattern for a child’s hat and want to shrink the pattern just a touch. I already made one hat and it was a little on the loose side. I don’t necessarily want to use a different yarn so would I try a smaller size needle or larger size? I’m assuming smaller.

Using a smaller size needle would (should) make it smaller. The one thing to watch there is that it doesn’t make the material too dense.

Another approach would be to simply reduce the total number of stitches.

If the previous one was a little loose, then use a smaller needle.

So if I reduce the stitches by, say, the number of stitches it takes to knit one inch - I would therefore reduce the circumference of the hat by that same one inch? That sounds easy enough. But will I need to modify the decreasing stitches towards the end of the pattern? If so, how hard is that?? I guess, since the pattern is in ST, I could simply remove the number of extra knit stitches evenly throughout the decreasing rows.

Yes, just dec evenly spaced. If your pattern calls for 80 sts and the dec is k8, k2tog 8 times and you have 70 sts then you would k8, k2tog 7 times.

Okay great. Thank you both!