Whether you’re looking to save money on your own accessories or you want a custom gift for a friend, crocheting a hat from scratch can be a great project. If you’re new to crocheting, making a whole hat may seem intimidating. However, it is easier than it might seem. With some simple directions and a bit of time, you can crochet a lovely, unique hat.
Almost exactly a year ago, I published my pattern for a Double Crochet Hat in 10 Sizes, and I have to say that I think it is still one of my most practical and useful patterns to date! It is so handy to have these basic crochet patterns in your collection. They are great for learning, teaching, gifting and selling. If fact the original reason I wrote this pattern was to sell at craft fairs, and now it is one of my most useful patterns when I teach crochet classes through my local community education. So now, I have turned this popular pattern into a video tutorial so that you can learn to crochet a hat from start to finish.
Crocheting doesn’t require a lot of materials apart from some yarn, the right hook, and a few supplemental materials, but choosing the right yarn and the right hook is sometimes confusing for beginners. We’ve put together a brief guide to selecting the right yarn and the right hook for you here.
You can’t learn how to crochet a hat without yarn. For beginners, it is generally best to start with a yarn that is easy to work with and has some give. Most people recommend using a worsted weight wool yarn for your first project. Wool has the most give of almost any material and worsted weight wool has a nice clean fiber that makes it easy to see the stitch definition.
Novelty yarns and bulky weight yarns are a lot thicker and can be more difficult to work with since you can’t see the individual stitches as clearly. It’s also harder to count and see the stitches with darker colored yarns, so most guides to crocheting recommend that you start with a lighter color for your first project. Once you’ve picked out your yarn, you can select the right size hook for it.
The word crochet actually derives from the French word for a “small hook.” Hooks come in sizes that range from B to U (2.25mm to 25mm), and the type of yarn you choose will determine what size hook you will need to learn how to crochet a hat. Most four-ply worsted weight yarns work best with either a G or H-size hook. The best way to find out what size hook to use is to fit the yarn to the hook. You want the yarn to fit snugly in the hook so that it doesn’t slip too much when you loop your stitches.
Crochet hooks also come in a variety of materials and two basic styles; inline or tapered. The most common materials for crochet hooks are metal, plastic, and wood. The best way to decide what kind of hook you need to learn how to make a crochet hat is to fit the yarn to the material. Slippery yarns tend to slip off metal and plastic hooks so many people prefer wood or bamboo hooks for working with slippery yarns.
Tapered hooks have a gently tapered throat while inline hooks have a sharply angled throat. Most experts recommend that beginners use a tapered hook because they don’t grab the yarn quite so tightly and this makes it easier to keep your stitches regular and even.
Most of the differences in the shape and material of crochet hooks won’t change the outcome of your project, it’s just a matter of what works best for you. You’ll probably end up trying a few different hooks and eventually settle on the style that feels the most comfortable in your hands and works best with the type of yarn you are using.
You’ll need a few other basic craft supplies on hand when you learn how to crochet a hat:
Once you’ve got everything assembled, it will be time to find out how to crochet a hat in the right size.
Before you learn how to crochet a hat, you need to decide how small or large you want to make it. There are two options for deciding what size to make your hat: you can use a pattern with general size guidelines or take a head measurement for a specific fit. Either way, it’s good to find the gauge of the yarn you’re working with before you choose the size. Gauge simply means how many stitches you work in per inch with the yarn and hook you’ve selected. For example, 5 single stitches may equal 1 inch with worsted weight yarn and a G hook. If you switch to a bulkier yarn and a bigger hook, you’ll only get about 3 stitches per inch.
Everyone crochets differently too. Some people make their stitches loose and some people make them very tight. So, it’s a good idea to make a gauge swatch – a sample square of 20 stitches across and 20 stitches down. When it’s done, you can figure out how many stitches you’ve got per inch, both across and down.
Not everyone’s head falls into the typical guidelines, however. If that’s the case, you can adjust the pattern to the correct size by adjusting the number of stitches accordingly or work directly from the measurements you’ve taken of their head.
Head circumference – starting in the middle of the forehead, wrap the tape measure around the head front to back; record the number where the tape joins back with itself at the forehead
Height of the head – run the tape measure from the crown, or middle, of the head down the side to the base of one ear; this number will tell you how tall you will need to make the hat.