How to Design your own Custom Crochet Hat

How to Design your OWN Custom Crochet Hat

I will teach you the basics to design your own hat or to customize any hat pattern, and I will work with you to create a hat of your own. The hat we will be working on will be a basic beanie, though you will have three different options for style. You can pick from one of the three finished beanies below.

We are going to focus on women’s hat sizes but the information can be easily applied to any hat sizing/designing issues. We will also discuss how you can make your hats more professional looking by hiding any seams and having an invisible finishing edge.

design your own hat

Once you are comfortable with a basic beanie you can check out  these other style hats.

free crochet hipster hat pattern  spring flowers valentine 062  008

First, let us discuss how to determine the size hat you will need. There are some general size dimensions for head sizes by age. The general measurement for circumference of a woman’s head is 22 inches. You will design your finished hat to be slightly smaller, approximately 18”. This measurement won’t be right for everyone, some women have smaller heads and some have larger heads, but the hat will stretch if needed but does not need to be stretched to fit either. If you do not know the head size of whom the hat will be made for you can follow a chart. See chart below for approximate head sizes.

Approximate Head Circumference per Age Group
Premie 10-12”
NB or 0-3mo 13-14”
3-6mo 15-16”
6-12mo 17-19”
1-2yo 18-20”
2-3yo 19-21”
4-8yo 20-22”
8+ 21-22”
adult women 22-23”
adult men 23-24”

Now here is where the math comes in. We all remember that pi = 3.14, right? Well what does that mean? Pi is a Greek number or unit of measurement, which is the circumference of any circle, divided by its diameter. It doesn’t have an exact value but for all practical purposes you can use the value of 3.14.

You will need to make each hat slightly smaller (2-3”) than the total circumference of the head for whom it is being made. If you happen to have exact measurements it is great but if not you can follow the chart above.

But how will I know how big to make the hat without making the whole thing, only to realize it is too big or too small. Well that, my friends, is VERY easy.

Every hat pattern, made in the round, starts with a certain number of increasing rounds. These are the rounds where 2 or more stitches are placed in specific stitches from the previous round. In order for hats to have a rounded shape the stitches must be increased gradually.

For the best results I have found that each increase round should increase by the total amount of stitches in the first round. For example if your first round starts with 10 stitches then your second round should increase by 10 stitches, giving you a total of 20 stitches. Your third round should also increase by 10 more stitches, giving you a total of 30 stitches. (If you begin with 12 stitches your hat should increase this way, 12 > 24> 36, etc.)

I have also found that when you starting hats in single crochet, 10 is the optimum number of beginning stitches. If you start your hat in double crochet 12 stitches is a great place to start. If you are using half double crochet then you can do either 10 or 12, but I prefer to start with 10 stitches. More advanced stitches such as puff stitches can be done in either 10 or 12 depending on the particular stitch.

The total amount of increasing rounds make up what is referred to as a “flat circle”. This is what you will measure in order to determine the finished hat circumference. You can be as exact as you want with this measurement. In order to determine the diameter needed for your flat circle you will divide the total hat size circumference (approximately 2” smaller than the head circumference.

Example: My head measures exactly 22”. So I would design my hat to be 20” in circumference. In order to determine what my flat circle measurement needs to be I would divide 20 by 3.14 (pi).
20 divided by  3.14 = 6.369426751592357

Well I am certainly not going to get that close, but I can round that to the nearest easily obtainable measurement in inches- 6.25”. I could safely make my flat circle anywhere from 6.0-6.75” so let’s see how it goes.

In order to simplify this step for you I have designed the following chart giving you approximate flat circle measurements by age group. *I have found many charts that have exact flat circle measurements but I have found by experience that the results will be far too large. I have made hats for every age group following numerous charts out there and compared them to the actual size required for a good fit. I have since come up with the following measurements which are what I use. I get perfect fitting hats every time. The only time these sizes could be increased would be if you are using an extremely tight stitch, or a type of yarn that will not offer much stretch. Most natural and synthetic fibers have a lot of give.

Approximate Flat Circle Measurement per Age Group
Premie 2.0-2.75”
0-3mo 2.75-3.50”
3-6mo 3.5-4.25”
6-12mo 4.25-5.0”
1-2yo 4.5-5.25”
2-3yo 4.75-5.50”
4-8yo 5.0-5.75”
8+ 5.50-6.25”
adult women 6.0-6.75”
adult men 6.25-7.0”

Now I would begin to make my hat. Using whatever yarn I choose with whatever hook size it recommends. I would increase in rounds until I reached as close as possible to my desired measurement.

So let’s put all of this theory into practical use:

I am going to use Red Heart Classic worsted weight yarn using the recommended hook size, 5.5mm (I).
All abbreviations and stitches used in the following patterns can be found here:

For more information on how to increase rounds gradually, you can read this article

There are three ways to start a hat in the round, you can either make a magic circle/ring, which seems difficult but is really quite easy once you know how. The magic ring will also give you a much more professional finished look. You can read this post to learn how to create a magic circle/ring (link includes video tutorial as well).

Or you can use the chain method. Chain 3-4 (depending on how tight you chain, experiment to see what works best for you) and slip stitch into the first chain to form a ring. Chain 1 (this will not count as your first stitch) and then place the required amount and type of stitches into the center of the ring. Join round with slip stitch (into the first stitch you crocheted, not the 1st sc)

The other method is to chain 2, and then place the desired amount of stitches in the first chain. However, it is sometimes difficult to get the required (10-12) stitches into the first chain.

I will be using my seamless method for this pattern, for more information or if you have any confusion please check out this post. My Seamless Methods  (post also includes video tutorial)

Basic Beanie Pattern

Round1:  Mc/r (or chain3-4 circle) with 12dc . Sl st into the back loop only of the 1st dc to join round. (1.75”)

Round 2:  In this round you are going to increase in every st.  Ch1. Skip next st. 2dc into the next st and in every st around, (leaving one empty st at the beginning of round). Last 2dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the 1st dc to join round. <24> (3.0”)

Round 3:  In this round you are going to increase in every other st.  Ch1. Skip next st. 2dc in the next st . *1dc in next st. 2dc in next st. Repeat from * around (leaving one empty st at beginning of round). Last dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the back loop only of the 1st dc to join round. <36> (4.25”)

Round 4:  In this round you are going to increase in every 3rd st.  Ch1. Skip next st. 2c in the next st. *1dc in next st. 1dc in next st. 2dc in next st. Repeat from * around (leaving one empty st at beginning of round). Last dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the back loop only of the 1st dc to join round. <48> (5.5”)

Round 5:  In this round you are going to increase in every 8th st. (this will increase the round by ½ of the amount of stitches previously added per round (6 instead of 12). Ch1. Skip next st. 2dc in the next st. *1dc in each of the next 7sts. 2dc in the next st. Repeat from * around. Last dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the back loop only of the 1st dc to join round. <54> (6.5”). Circle won’t be exactly flat at this point since we only increased by 6 stitches in this round, but it will still be where you measure since it is your last increasing round.

This is the measurement exactly in the middle of the guidelines and where I like to ideally fall!
Keep in mind that your measurements will probably not be exactly the same as mine, depending on how tight or loose you crochet, but you will want to end up somewhere between 6.25-6.75” at this step. If you are grossly off you will need to change your hook size. Go up ½ to 1 hook size if you are measuring smaller than 6.25” or go down ½-1 hook size is you are measuring larger than 6.75”.

Decide which design you would prefer to finish with from the choices below

Finish Option A
option a

Round 6:  Ch1. Skip next st. 1dc into the next st and in every st around. (leaving one empty st at the beginning of round). Last 1dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the back loop only of the 1st dc to join round. <54>

Round 7-13:  Repeat round 7 until you reach your desired height. I made my hat to 7.5” long, which was achieved with 13 rounds total (including increasing rounds)

Round 14:  1sc into the first st (do chain or skip any stitches). 1sc in every st around. do not sl st to complete round, instead follow my instructions for the invisible finish. <54>.

Weave in beginning tail. Embellish hat as you like.

You can find some great flower embellishments in The Flower Repository.

Here is where we need to discuss length. There are some guidelines for length but it is really more of a personal preference to decide where the hat will lie when finished. I do not like my hats to rest too far down my forehead or neck, as I find it distracting. Optimal length for me is 7.5” long (measured from center/hole to bottom edge of hat. Some people, however like their hats to be longer, their hair may be very full, they may not like to where their hats snug or they may like them to come down low on their forehead or the nape of their neck. Below are some guidelines for how to decide length of a hat. For now we will continue with the pattern which I will make to the length I prefer. If you would like your hat to be longer simply add one or two rows as necessary.

General Guidelines for Hat Length by Age Group
Premie 2.5-3” (I always recommend adding a 1-1.5” brim to premie hats)
0-3mo 4.0-4.5”
3-6mo 4.5-5.0”
6-12mo 5.0-5.5
1-2yo 5.5-6.0”
2-3yo 6.0-6.5”
4-8yo 6.5-7.0”
8+ 7.0-7.5”
adult women 7.5-8.5”
adult men 8.5-9.5”
If you want to add a fold up brim add 3-4” to total height (1-1.5” for premie sizes). If you want to add a floppy/sunhat or cloche style brim subtract 0.5” from the total measurement (not including the brim).

Finish Option B
option b

Round 6:  Ch1. Skip next st. 1dc into the next st and in every st around. (leaving one empty st at the beginning of round). Last dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the both loops of the 1st dc to join round. <54>

Round 7:  Ch2 and 2dc into the same space. *Skip 2sts and 3dc in third st. Repeat from * around. Sl st into the top of the ch2 (both loops) to join round. (make sure you are not sl st’ing into the top of the 1st dc). <18 clusters of 3dc>

Round 8:  Sl st into the next st. Ch2 and 2dc into the same space. *Skip 2sts and 3dc in third st. Repeat from * around. Sl st into the top of the ch2 (bo th loops) to join round. <18 clusters of 3dc or 54dc>

Round 9-12:  Repeat Round 8 until you reach approx. ¾” less than desired length is reached. I made this step to 6.75” long, which was achieved with 6 rows of dc and 6 rows of 3dc clusters.

Round 13:  1sc into the first st (do chain or skip any stitches). 1sc in every st around. sl st into 1st sc to join round.

Round 14:  Repeat round 10 <54> do not sl st to complete round, instead follow my instructions for the invisible finish. <54> Total height 7.5”

Weave in beginning tail. Embellish hat as you like.

You can find some great flower embellishments in The Flower Repository

Finish Option C
option c

Round 6:  Ch1. Skip next st. 1hdc into the next st and in every st around. (leaving one empty st at the beginning of round). Last 1dc will be stitched into the st previously left empty. Sl st into the both loops of the 1st dc to join round (change color if desired) <54>

Round 7:  Ch1. 1ps in same st. Ch1. Skip next st. *1ps in next st. Ch1. Skip next st. Repeat from * around. Sl st into the top of the 1st ps to join round.

Round 8:  Ch1. 1ps into same space (behind the next ps of the previous round). Ch1. *1ps in next space (between ps’ of previous round). Ch1. Repeat from * around. Sl st into the top of the 1st ps to join round.

Rounds 9-14:  Repeat round 8 until you reach approx. ¾” less than desired length is reached. I made this step to 6.75” long, which was achieved with 6 rows of dc (including increasing rounds) and 8 rounds of ps.

Round 15:  *1sc into the first st. 1sc in next sp. (do chain or skip any stitches). Repeat from * to join round. Sl st into 1st ps to join round.

Round 16:  1sc in every st around. Do not sl st to complete round, instead follow my instructions for the invisible finish. <54>  Total height 7.5”

Weave in beginning tail. Embellish hat as you like.

You can find some great flower embellishments in The Flower Repository.

 

Additional information

How to measure for customized head circumference:
A tape measure is placed on the forehead, above the eyebrows and slightly above the ears, and passed around the head, ensuring that the widest part of the head is included.

How to measure for customized desired height:
Place a tape measure on your forehead where you want the hat to lay. Pass tape measure over the back of your head and measure to where you would like the hat to lay on the nape of your neck or back of your head. Take that total measurement and divide in half. That is how long you want to make your hat.

Keep in mind that different stitches will require different dimensions. You can increase specialty stitches such as a puff stitch, shell stitch, X stitch, etc. However, the flat circle sizing will be different due to the fact that those stiches are larger and have far more give. I recommend using a standard stitch in the increasing rounds and to increase 1-1.5” smaller than typical for each age group.

Different style hats also require different fits. Slouch hats for example do not fall into any sizing categories as they are made to be very loose or very tall. The band size however will follow the measurements more closely. (To measure circumference using the band simply measure the band at its widest point and double it. That will give you an approximate circumference). Hipster style hats are worn shorter but are typically wider. Cloches are tighter at the head to really accentuate that bell shape. As you design more you will learn how to modify the size requirements for different styles and stitches. Do not be afraid to experiment, you can always rip it out and start over… that is how you will learn.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to design your own hat patterns and making your basic beanie. If you have any questions please feel free to comment bellow or through email at [email protected]

Thank you for following along and as always…
Happy Hookin’

This pattern is available as a PDF for the cost of $1. Please note that this is not an instant download. Pattern will be emailed to you, usually within a couple hours. This fee is to offset revenue lost when pattern is printed and a visit to this site is not required. PDF includes complete tutorial. Paid via Paypal. Click on option you’d prefer







Comments

  1. 1

    says

    This is the best write up I have seen.Try so many times to get my small hats the right size .Thank you so much for the information. Have a bless day.

      • 3

        Jane says

        I have seen bits and pieces of this before, but never altogether as you’ve done so well! So much of this I had to figure out on my own. This will be a great reference tool. Thanks so very much!

        • 4

          Lorene says

          Thank you. I put it all together because I felt it was very much needed. I’ve had so many fans ask me how to modify (for size) my patterns. It comes somewhat naturally to me but if I didn’t have the person in front of me to size it I would have to reference charts. Unfortunately all the charts I found were not giving me the results I wanted so I came up with my own, and then put all the hints and tricks I use to get my hats just right into one handy dandy reference.

  2. 7

    Janny says

    Thanks for this amazing guide. When you state that the approx. length of a preemie hat should be 2.5 to 3 inches, are you including the recommended brim in this measurement or do we add the 1 -1.5 inches to this figure.

    • 8

      Lorene says

      That is the measurement without the optional brim. All hat measurements are for basic beanies. You would need to add an additional 1- 1.5 inches for a brim.
      Thank you!

  3. 11

    says

    Hello! This is the greatest tutorial I’ve seen before! Thank you so much!
    I have a question about the Round 5 of the Basic Beanie Pattern: why you are increasing only 6 stitches instead of 12 as in previous rounds? Should I do the same – increase only half in my last increasing round?
    Thank you!
    ~Olga~

    • 12

      Lorene says

      Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. The increasing would depend on how big you needed to make the flat round. In that instance I only increased by 6 instead of 12 because increasing by 12 would of made it too big. You just increase normal until you get to the desired size… if increasing the last round normal would make the flat round too big than you can increase by half instead. You can also read my article on how to increase rounds for more of an explanation.

  4. 16

    says

    I love this article! May I feature it on my next blog post for PurpleKiss.Co? All credit back to you, of course! ♥ Thanks for working hard, it is much appreciated!
    ~ Shawna S.

    • 17

      Lorene says

      Thank you. You may take excerpts as teasers and use one or two pictures, but the full article may only be viewed on my blog. You can link to my article directly if you want to share it with your viewers. If you need any more information from me, or any other pictures, please let me know. I appreciate the compliment. I like your blog, your work is lovely.

  5. 18

    says

    I would never take the whole article, it would be a review of your post that links to you :) I don’t think I need an excerpt.. just a couple of paragraphs of review that eill make my readers click over :) Thank You

  6. 22

    Johanna says

    In order to determine what my flat circle measurement needs to be I would divide 20 by 3.14 (pi).
    20 x 3.14 = 6.369426751592357

    This should read 20 divided by 3.14, right?

  7. 24

    says

    Hi Lorene,

    First of all, thank you soooo much for sharing this! I have struggled so much trying to get the size right on hats and can’t wait to try this out.

    Can you please share with us the cost of materials and suggested retail for the above hats?

    Thanks!

    • 25

      Lorene says

      It really depends on the material you use but for Redheart (or its equivalent) I would charge $18-20 without any embellishments. $22-25 with flower(s) or a bow. You are very welcome.

  8. 26

    Diane says

    This information is wonderful! I have seen some of it in other places, but not all together and so well said. I am excited to expand my hat designs. Thank you!!

  9. 28

    Jani says

    This article is absolute amazing. As I live in Australia, we don’t really have worsted wool. Our closest wool is 10ply. For this reason, I am forever adjusting patterns and it can become an absolute pain! This page has now been bookmarked and I’m sure I will read from it time and time again until the information is implanted in my brain!

    Also, and I really hope you didn’t make a mistake, I’m so pleased that you used the word “premie” in your sizing. I often wonder who first wrote “preemie” and why did so many people follow it. As it’s short for premature, there should not be an extra “e” in there. (Now I’ll get off my soapbox. lol)

    Cheers from Down Under

  10. 32

    Haley says

    5″ long was much too short for my 4 month old and his head is only in the 5th percentile. Did I do something wrong? Does my son just have a long head??

    • 33

      Lorene says

      Your son may have a longer head than the babies I had measured for this post, my niece has a shorter head so I need to make hats shorter for her. Can you tell me what the measurement would need to be to fit your son so that I can update my post if needed? Thanks.

  11. 34

    Lisa says

    Hi Lorene,

    I love all your tutorials they’re great!!!! I’ve been trying another tutorial on youtube. how to crochet a beanie with a shell or scallop edge. And I have made two, they turned out really nice.
    But i just can’t figure out how to do her pattern to a baby 3 mos.
    can you help me? I’ve tried to ask but to no avail.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

  12. 38

    Elaine says

    I can’t thank you enough for your priceless information! You have answered so many of my questions that I’ve struggle with. Both your tutorials and written explainations are so easy to understand. Have a great day, I know I will!!!

  13. 40

    Rebecca says

    Every crochet enthusiast needs to pin this blog. Everything we need to know about fitting beenies is here. Thank-you for taking the time to pen your techniques as well as sharing with us! So very excited <3

  14. 42

    Christine says

    Just found your site and am so THANKFUL for the very helpful information you provide. This is THE BEST information I have found!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

  15. 50

    Laura says

    Hi Lorene,
    I love your blog! I’m definitely a beginner but I’m learning quickly :) (I’ve only made 3 hats so far and a few scarves). My biggest challenge with hats is sizing! When you divide the head circumference (20″) by 3.14 and come up with 6.25″ does this mean that I need to measure 6.25″ from the center of the magic ring to determine the number of increasing rounds I need?

    • 51

      Lorene says

      Your flat circle (total increasing rounds) need to equal 6.25″ all the way across (end to end). So just continue to make increasing rounds until you get this measurement, or close to it.

    • 54

      Laura says

      never mind….I’m trying to make a hat for a 4 year old and it seems like a lot of increasing rounds… I also started with 10 hdc in the center ring. Is that too many to start with for the size I need?

      • 55

        Lorene says

        10 is perfect for the first round in hdc. Then the next round do 20 (2hdc in every st). Third row 30 (1hdc next st, 2hdc next st, around), then continue in that matter (40 or 50 stitches will probably be the right #) measure after every round to get to the proper flat circle diameter (which will be 5- 5 3/4″ across for a four year old), then do 1hdc per stitch to the correct height!

  16. 56

    Bev W says

    Thank You!!!

    I have been crocheting for many years and I’ve never had much success crocheting hats; they were generally too large and I’m not good at altering patterns. This tutorial will be a great help. You are very talented. Thanks for going into so much detail. (With a little practice I might just try designing my own hats.)

    Oh, thanks for the print options too. I really like having a hard copy to follow.

    Best wishes,
    Bev W.

  17. 58

    Kathy says

    I just finished the pattern “how to design your own custom crochet. I followed the directions thinking that the hat would be for an adult,but it does not fit my head and I have a small head,
    I also tried to increase by adding more stitches, but it just buckled. what to do.
    thank you giving us all the info particular the sizes of the. crown. it was very helpful

    • 59

      Lorene says

      You are the first and only person that has ever had a problem so I am curious what size you made your flat circle, how many stitches, what type of yarn and what size hook. If there is an error somewhere I’d like to be able to correct it, thank you.

  18. 62

    Marlys says

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I had begun to figure some of this out myself but since coming upon your tute, I can now just continue with making hats and no more experimenting. You have saved me quite some time. Thanks again. I love it.

  19. 64

    Diane says

    Very useful concise blog article. Any chance you could offer a pdf or doc file of it? That way people can download it for referencing without having to bookmark or save this particular whole web page.

    • 65

      Lorene says

      There is a pdf option, if you scroll to the bottom of the post and click on “cleanprint” you can either save or print a pdf or word doc or you can email this pattern to yourself. You even have the option to print ONLY what you want so that you don’t use a lot of paper printing pictures or ads. Enjoy.

  20. 66

    Morvarid says

    Thank you very much for the tutorial. I’m a bigginer crocheter. in this Tutorial there is two abbreviation that I don’t know the equal meanings of them.
    Approximate Flat Circle Measurement per Age Group Premie 2.0-2.75”0-3mo
    would you please give me the meaning of ”mo”, in 0-3mo 2.75-3.50” or “yo” in 4-8yo 5.0-5.75” phrases.

  21. 68

    Lenushka says

    Thank you for the clear instructions for making hats. I’ve tried several times before without success . Just finished your second option design and it turned out perfect.

  22. 71

    Emily says

    Hi,

    I really enjoy your hat tutorial and was linked here from a hat pattern. However, I must say that all the ads and links clutter up your page and make it super spammy. I do not plan on ever coming back here again because of how horrendous this site is. I will not recommend this site to others unless they have adblock+ or some other sort of way to unclutter this disaster.

    • 72

      Lorene says

      I’m sorry you feel that way… as I give all my patterns on this site away for free I use the advertising on the site to compensate me for my time (which is 40-60 hours a week spent blogging and designing). My paid paid patterns do not have any advertising.

  23. 73

    Judith Baum says

    OMG! Where were you when I started to crochet 65 years ago. I have been making a hat that I have ripped out so many times, when I put it down for more than 5 minutes it unravels itself. I can see now that this hat pattern is waaaaay wrong. Will correct per your guideline. A million thanks!
    J Baum

    • 75

      Lorene says

      Same hook as you’d use to make ANY hat. Size of hook or yarn doesn’t matter if you make the proper flat circle measurement.

  24. 76

    katie osborne says

    Thank you so much for breaking it down. I have been disappointed with a lot of hat patterns that do not seem to be true to size. Do you have any recommendations on how to measure the length of a hat (how many rows)? I want to create a hat pattern for different age groups and not sure how to go about this. Thanks

  25. 78

    AnGel says

    Can I find you on Pinterest? I would love to give you credit for posting this and making it free.
    Thank you so much for doing this, you’re a saint!

Trackbacks

  1. […] change size:  First read this article on How to Design Your Own Custom Crochet Hat -To make smaller simply stop increasing rounds when you’ve reached desired amount of stitches for […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>