The Any Size, Any Yarn, Any Needle Hat
When I started teaching knitting and crochet I wanted to give my students something they could work on besides a scarf. I think 90% of us made a scarf for our first projects but after making one scarf, you don’t always feel confident enough to tackle a more difficult pattern so you get hung up on creating scarf after scarf.
I created the “Any Size, Any Yarn, Any Needle Hat” instructions for just that purpose but I soon learned that even experienced knitters loved them for their ease of use and because you can make hats in a variety of different styles and stitches that fit perfectly every time.
Instead of being made to size from a pattern, these hats are made to measure. This way you can use any weight of yarn and any size of needle you like. You can even use any stitch pattern you like. The hats will be perfect every time.
Basically, you are just knitting a long rectangle, so no advanced skills are necessary. If you can knit a scarf, you can knit one of these hats. The various styles are created by different ways of sewing them together at the end. One method of knitting can give you 5 different styles of hats. You are the only one who will know just how simple it was to make them.
To start, you will first need to take some measurements:
Measure the circumference of the head and the depth of the crown as shown in this image.
If you do not have the person or child you are knitting for handy, here are some average measurements.
Men: 22″ circumference, 8″ crown
Women: 20″ circumference, 7″ crown
Child: 18″ circumference, 6″ crown
Baby: 16″ circumference, 5″ crown
For the circumference, you will want to subtract at least an inch for your finished measurements to allow for a nice cozy fit. Otherwise your hat may feel too loose. Your finished measurement should give you your head measurement when slightly stretched.
One other feature of this pattern is that you can choose to knit from the brim up or from side to side. Experiment with both and achieve different looks.
Next you will need to choose your yarn and needle size.
Determining the number of stitches you will need will depend on the needle size and yarn weight. As a general rule, you should use the size of needle recommended by the yarn manufacturer for that particular yarn. For example: A medium or worsted weight yarn recommends a 5mm(US8) needle to achieve a gauge of 18s, 24r per 4″x4″ swatch.
This is how you will determine your number of stitches.
- Calculate your number of stitches per inch. In this case it is 18 divided by 4 = 4.5.
- For this example I will use an adult male. So 22″ minus 1″ for stretch. Now I will multiply the 4.5 stitches x 21″ = 94.5 stitches. I would round this down to 94 for the brim up style. For the side to side style you will multiply the 4.5 sts by the 8″ length which is 36 sts. The side to side method works great with the garter stitch(knit every row) and is a really good way for a beginner to start knitting hats.
- If you want a rolled brim or top knot, add 3-4 inches to the crown length.
- Once you have determined how many stitches you need, cast on and start knitting. Knit the desired length and cast off leaving an 18″ tail for finishing. You should have a long rectangle.
- Using the invisible seam method, sew the back seam of the hat to form a tube.
- Choose the style of hat you want and follow the finishing directions.
The basic toque or beanie is achieved by using a running stitch around the top of the tube and pulling the yarn tight to gather the tube closed at the top. Secure the yarn very well before cutting. Attach a large pompom or hat topper to the center top.
Envelope Folded Top. This will give a more tailored looking toque or beanie. Mark the center front and match up with the center back seam. Starting at one side, sew the top seam closed. Now fold both ends of the seam to the center and tack them down. This will completely hide the seam and give you a folded envelope look.
Top Knot Hat. This is particularly cute for kids and baby hats. Knit the hat 4 inches longer than the crown length. Gather the tube together 4 inches below the top edge and wrap yarn around and around several times. Secure the yarn well. Fan out the top knot for a very cute finish.
Animal Ears Hat. Another adorable way to finish a baby/child’s hat is to sew the seam flat as in the top knot hat. Gather the ends of the seam into “ears” and wrap yarn around and secure to hold the shape.
Pig Tails Hat. Sew flat top seam. Make 9″ braids of yarn and secure to the ends of the seams
4 Tassel Hat. Tack center front to center back. Tack both sides to the center. This will leave 4 points. Sew the top of the points closed. Attach tassels to the 4 points.
Teddy Bear Hat. Sew flat top seam. Attach large pompoms to the ends of the seams for fuzzy ears.
Can you come up with more ways to finish the hats? Please share your ideas with us.