Learn how to crochet a beanie* that fits!* This post includes measurements for the average head sizes and crochet hat sizes for preemies to adults, instructions on how to measure your head size properly, 3 different measurements for hat heights different hat styles for babies to adults, the flat circle diameter measurements for each of the hat sizes included, instructions on how to increase for each round of your hat pattern and the starting number of stitches you need for 4 types of crochet stitches. I have also included information about how to determine how many stitches you need for your hat circumference based on stitch pattern gauge.

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## Average Head Sizes and Hat Sizes

For these average head and hat sizes I have allowed 2 inches of negative ease. We allow negative ease to take into consideration how much a hat is going to stretch from being worn. Some yarns don’t stretch very much, like cotton yarns, so if you are using a fiber that doesn’t stretch you will want to allow less negative ease. I recommend increasing the hat size by 1-inch for each size listed below, if you use cotton yarns.

**It is also important to note, if you have a head to measure, measure it!**

### How to Measure Your Head Size

### Measuring the circumference

*If you do not have a measuring tape, cut a length of string approximately 30 inches long.*

*Take your string (or measuring tape) and place the one end approximately 1/8″ above the top of your ear.**Wrap the string firmly (but not tightly) around your head, across the middle of your forehead and back to your starting point at your ear.**Pinch the end of the string where it meets the beginning point (don’t let go!) and remove the string from your head.*- Place the string on a flat surface and either continue to hold the spot where you are pinching, or use a pen to mark that spot so you can let it go. Then take your ruler and measure the length of the string.

This will give you the circumference of your head. When you are making a hat you will want the hat to be slightly *smaller* than your head in order for it to fit properly. Depending on the type of material you are working with, the amount smaller will vary because some materials do not stretch very well.

For example, cotton doesn’t stretch very well and once it has stretched it rarely goes back to its original size. You will need to make a hat closer to your head size (approximately 1 inch smaller) if you are working with cotton yarns.

I have included the measurements I use below when I am working with Medium Weight [4] and DK Weight [3] acrylic yarns.

I hope you find these measurements helpful.

### Average Head and Hat Circumferences

**Preemie**

**Head Size:** 12 inches

**Hat Size:** 10 inches

**Newborn**

**Head Size:** 14 inches

**Hat Size:** 12 inches

**0-3 months**

**Head Size:** 16 inches

**Hat Size:** 14 inches

**3-6 months**

**Head Size:** 17 inches

**Hat Size:** 15 inches

**6-12 months**

**Head Size:** 18 inches

**Hat Size:** 16 inches

**1-3 years**

**Head Size:** 19 inches

**Hat Size:** 17 inches

**3-5 years**

**Head Size:** 20 inches

**Hat Size:** 18 inches

**6-10 years**

**Head Size:** 21 inches

**Hat Size:** 19 inches

**Adult Small (Teen)**

**Head Size:** 22 inches

**Hat Size:** 20 inches

**Adult Medium**

**Head Size:** 23 inches

**Hat Size:** 21 inches

**Adult Large**

**Head Size:** 24 inches

**Hat Size:** 22 inches

### Flat Circle Diameter

For those of you who want to make your hats in the round, you will also be needing your flat circle diameter measurement. The flat circle diameter is calculated by taking the hat circumference and dividing it by 3.14 (pi). This gives you the diameter your circle needs to reach in order for the finished hat to be equal to the hat circumference you have chosen.

**For example:**

**Preemie**

(hat size 10 inches circumference)

10 / 3.14 = 3.18

10 inches divided by 3.14 (pi) equals 3.18 inches diameter

**Here are the flat circle diameters for the hat sizes I gave you above:**

**Preemie** 3.18 inches diameter

**Newborn** 3.82 inches diameter

**0-3 months** 4.45 inches diameter

**3-6 months** 4.77 inches diameter

**6-12 months** 5.09 inches diameter

**1-3 years** 5.41 inches diameter

**3-5 years** 5.73 inches diameter

**6-10 years** 6.05 inches diameter

**adult small (teen)** 6.36 inches diameter

**adult medium** 6.68 inches diameter

**adult large** 7 inches diameter

**When you crochet hats in the round (or in continuous rounds) you normally begin with one of these 3 methods:**

- a Magic Ring
- a Double Magic Ring
- a ch-3 and then a slip stitch to the first ch, to create a ring

Depending on the height of the stitch you use, it will take more stitches to make it around for the first round of your hat and for the fabric to lay flat.

**The recommended number of stitches to begin your round with are as follows:**

**Single Crochet:** start with 6 stitches

**Half Double Crochet:** start with 8 stitches

**Double Crochet:** start with 12 stitches

**Treble Crochet (triple crochet):** start with 18 stitches

This also means that when you are increasing to reach the circumference of the hat you have chosen, you will be increasing by that same number of stitches on each round. You will work these increases until you reach the **flat circle diameter** measurement indicated for your hat circumference and then you begin crocheting without increases until you reach the hat height you want.

During your increase rounds, when you are crocheting your hat, if the **flat circle** begins to cup up towards you this means there aren’t enough stitches for your yarn and hook to work with. You will need to increase your starting number of stitches. If you were using 8, try using 10.

If the flat circle becomes all wavy and it ruffles away from you, you have too many stitches for the yarn and hook you are using. Try using less stitches.

After you have reached the flat circle diameter measurement and you are working the same number of stitches for each round (working even) your hat will begin to cup up toward you. This is supposed to happen and is how the hat shapes itself. If you see your hat start to get wavy and ruffled then you may have increases in the rounds you were not supposed to be increasing in. Double check your stitch count.

The above example explains how to increase your stitches on each round until you reach your flat circle diameter. If you wanted to continue working in a circle you could simply change the number in pink on each additional round. So after Round 6 you would work the following for Round 7.

**Round 7:** (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of the next 5 sts) repeat around. [84]

For the above example you can see that we began with 12 stitches and each round increases by 12 stitches. While we are adding these additional stitches on each round it is called ‘increasing’ so these are our Increase rounds.

Once you reach your flat circle diameter, you stop increasing and you continue to work the same number of stitches in every round until you reach the desired hat height. These rounds we are working ‘even’, or without increases.

Once you get used to working in the round and making increases, you can stagger your increases around the round instead of working them in the same spot each time. By staggering those increase stitches you will have a smoother hat and it will seem rounder and the increases will not be as noticeable.

This technique is often used in amigurumi and you will even see instructions written for a round that say increase 9 stitches on this round. The reason they don’t say ‘where’ to work them is because they want you to stagger them around the round. It will make the finished project rounder and those increases less noticeable.

### Crochet Hat Heights

There are many different hat heights you can work for your crochet patterns. These are the 3 different heights I use most frequently. If you are making Earflap hats I recommend working to the mid ear hat height before beginning the earflap rounds. If you are making a hat with a folded brim a slouch hat height often works well. I have included the 3 lengths I use the most, by head size below.

**Preemie**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 4 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 4.5 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 5 inches

**Newborn**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 4.5 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 5 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 5.5 inches

**0-3 months**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 5.25 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 6 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 6.25 inches

**3-6 months**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 5.5 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 6.25 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 6.75 inches

**6-12 months**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 5.75 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 6.75 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 7.25 inches

**1-3 years**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 6.25 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 7 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 7.50 inches

**3-5 years**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 6.5 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 7.5 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 8 inches

**6-10 years**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 7 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 8 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 9 inches

**adult small (teen)**

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 7.25 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 8.25 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 10 inches

**adult medium **

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 7.5 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 8.75 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 11 inches

**adult large **

**Mid Ear Hat Height:** 7.75 inches

**Base of Ear Hat Height:** 9 inches

**Slouch Hat Height:** 12 inches

If you want to work a *specific stitch pattern* and you have the gauge for the stitch pattern, you can simply take the gauge and **multiply it by the size hat** you want to make. This will give you the exact number of stitches you will need for your hat circumference. I’ve included an example below so you can see what I mean.

This is the method I use when I design my patterns. I really want your hats to fit correctly. I know that when we work to a specific flat circle diameter and we do not take into consideration the gauge being used, the hat can end up being much too large for someone’s head.

So first I work a sample hat using the stitch pattern I want to use with a flat circle diameter measurement. I work enough of the hat to find out what my gauge is for both stitches per inch and rounds per inch. I work the sample in the round because I know gauge fluctuates between projects worked in rows and worked in rounds. It has something to do with how we hold our work when we crochet. Often when we crochet in rounds we have a bit tighter gauge.

Once I have my gauge, I calculate the stitches I need for each size in my pattern for the hats I want to offer and then I work up my samples. I create the hat pattern based on a specific stitch number, rather than to the flat circle diameter measurement.

Sometimes for my last round, to reach my flat circle diameter measurement, I only increase 6 out of the 12 stitches I could increase by. This is because with those 6 extra stitches I have already reached the number of stitches I needed to make the hat the right circumference.

If I increased for that entire round I could potentially increase by 6 stitches too many. If you are working with *3 stitches per inch* this would mean my finished hat would be *2 full inches too large*.

It could still fit at first because I normally allow for 2 inches of negative ease, but the hat would end up being the exact same size as the head it was meant for. After being taken on and off a few times, the hat would stretch and it would be much too large. This is why I feel gauge is important for hat designs and why my final round of increases in a pattern does not always follow the formula I gave you above.

I hope this post has been helpful to those of you who want to start designing your own hats. Feel free to leave me questions in the comments, if you have them.

Rhondda says

Hi Pegi, I don’t – I actually haven’t been brave enough to try felting yet! But I did find this resource from Mikey at the Crochet Crowd which may be of some help: https://thecrochetcrowd.com/calculator-crochet-stitch-counts-for-felt-shrinkage/ All the best, Rhondda

Pegi Bevins says

Your site is great! I’m wondering if you have some kind of formula or chart that tells how to crochet a simple beanie big enough to felt down to a man’s or woman’s size. I have had no luck finding something like this online.

Rhondda says

Hi Kristin, When you start the hat it will work flat while you are adding your increases (extra stitches in the rounds). After you stop adding extra stitches the hat begins to take shape into a cupped shape (like a bowl) which will fit your head once you reach the right height for your hat. If you have stopped adding stitches and are already working in rounds (without extra stitches being added) and have worked 4 rounds (approximately) without any extra stitches, then you may have relaxed your gauge and changed the number of stitches you are working in each inch. Another issue could be if you are changing the stitch pattern. Some stitch patterns will have more or fewer stitches within every inch – so if you are making a hat with a stitch pattern, the hat may not shape up the way you expect. You would need to check your gauge for the stitch pattern you are planning to work, not the regular single crochet or half double crochet stitches you used for the increase rounds. I hope this makes sense? Let me know if you have questions! Best, Rhondda

Kristin Mullinax says

When creating the top of the hat and working my increases, the rounds just continued in a spiral with no end. Is that normal?

Karen says

I really enjoyed the information in this post about making crochet hats! I never knew that cotton yarn does not have much stretch and that hats should be made smaller than the head. This makes finding all the information to make a hat in one place!

Rhondda says

I Chelle, You can follow this pattern if you’d like for Santa Hats – I have one written for all sizes: https://oombawkadesigncrochet.com/2015/12/santa-hats-for-everyone-free-crochet-pattern.html My post explains how to make hats using pi (3.14) – it includes the basic hat and head sizes for all ages too. If you follow the post it will walk you through it step by step – it includes both the measurements, the math and the hat heights. I’ve never heard of the fold in half and measure and multiply by pi method. For hats you start with the size head you want to make your hat for and then calculate the number of stitches you will need to reach that measurement. Read my post and then if you have any specific questions, please let me know. I’d be happy to help, Rhondda

Chelle says

How would this work for an elf/pixie/santa hat, with a long tail. I have been crocheting 20+ years and I am struggling with this for some reason. I have seen where some say when you get to where you want to stop increasing, fold hat in 1/2, and measure, than multiply by pie (3.14) and that will be around the finished circumference, but it doesnโt work out. I donโt have the specific head measurements just ages of children who will be wearing them. Am I missing something? Thanks in advance ๐

Carol says

wow, where has this post been all my life?? Best explanation for making beanies from age to size to increase’s….happy happy, where’s my crochet hook?

Rhondda says

Hi CP it would really depend on the type of yarn you are using too – some stretch more than others – and since there is no ‘top’ to the sunhat (it is open) you wouldn’t want it to be too tall and stretchy, with the top opening, or it would just slide down the head with the weight of the brim. If you mean a ponytail sunhat – that has the small opening at the top for the ponytail to be pulled through, I’d start with an elastic band and work your stitches around that before working to the number of stitches you need for the circumference of the head. If you want a slightly bigger opening and the assurance that it won’t slide off the head I’d be temped to use a couple elastic bands to form the top ring that you work your stitches around. I hope that makes sense! Best of luck! Rhondda

CP says

Hi.

I am a newbies. My friend has requested me to do an open top sun hat. Do you have any recommendation how to start? This is what i think. Do up the chain stitches and the length will be the circumference. I am stuck after that as i think we need to gradual decrease n then increase before i reach the brim.

Vicki Gardner says

Thank you so much for this post! I am a VERY beginner crocheter. I made my adult son a hat — it came out just perfect…for a newborn! You made everything easily understandable. I am now ready to begin working on a new hat and this time it will fit!

Rhondda says

You are very welcome! Have fun ๐ Rhondda

Lisa Cochran says

Wow! I just found information I have never known. I can make custom hats now!! Thank you for shearing.

Lisa

Rhondda says

Hi Sheen, the size of the hat would be 20 inches in circumference if you have maintained 6 stitches per inch. If the yarn you used has a lot of stretch – for example if you make a small sample using the stitch you want to use for the project and pull to stretch it – if it stretches more than 2 inches easily then you may need to decrease the number of stitches to compensate. Another reason you may have a bulky look is if you increased to the 120 too quickly and your flat circle is not flat when you put it on a flat surface. Hope this helps a bit! Rhondda

Sheen says

Hi, excellent post. I’ve been reading my way through it carefully so that i now have a better understanding of crochet hats. I recently made a hat using sock weight yarn for a small adult teen (circum. 20 inches on your chart) i had 18dhc stitches per 3 inches making 120 stitches in circumference but it’s come out very baggy. Just wondering if the thinness of the yarn affects the eventual fit? Thanks

Rhondda says

Hi Kim, I think my herringbone hdc are slightly taller than a regular hdc but they tend to be the same width (stitches per inch way). Hope this helps, Rhondda

Rashmi says

Hello Rhondda.

This is the perfect guide for hat sizing. Flat circle diameter method actually never worked for me.. Then I also used gauge method. It always results in perfect fitting hat.

Kim Welch says

Would a herringbone half double crochet measure the same as a hd crochet?

Ree says

This is by far the absolute BEST description on hat measurements, and I have read tons! You have clarified so much, especially the part about the adjustment when using cotton! They always turned out too small…thanks to your excellently detailed description, my hats will turn out so much better! Thank you for being so generous in sharing! Thatโs a sign of a good person!!!

Rhondda says

Hi Nancy, Yes ๐ .32 is approximately 1/3 of an inch. 1/4 of in inch would be .25, 1/2 an inch is .5 and 3/4 of an inch is .75.

So the 7.32 is 7 and 1/3 inches.

Gauge is determined by 2 factors, the height and width of the stitches. Usually a pattern will indicate how many rows or rounds per inch and how many stitches per inch.

For the equation you are checking for the stitches per inch. So the width of the stitch, not the height.

For your hubby’s hat you would need to know what size his head circumference is and then do a gauge swatch to find out how many stitches per inch you have. Once you know how many stitches you have then you can decide how many stitches you will need for the hat size. So if his head is 25 inches, you should aim to make a hat between 23-24 inches circumference.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask me more questions if you need to ๐ Best wishes, Rhondda

Nancy says

I’m loving all this help with the math, as I am not a math person at all. I’ve made several hats, but most (not all, but most) simply don’t fit as pleasingly as I’d like. Thus, I figured that I neeeeed to go back to the BASICS and learn from the beginning. You’re helping me do this. (THANK YOU!)

But I do have a question. It’s a basic question & so may seem utterly lame, but when you talk about GAUGE, are you referring to how TALL or how WIDE my stitches are? (Or is it both?) B/c I’m can’t think how 3 Dcs can = 3″ wide….not unless I’m using uber bulky yarn.

Also, my hubby needs an Adult XL size, so I was taking a wild stab that it would be 23 stitches in the magic circle. But when I got to the FLAT CIRCLE DIAMETER, I did the pi division (the calculator did it), and got 7.32″. What is a .32 of an inch? Do I just sorta round it to 1/3 of that inch? (Like I said, I’m not a math person.)

Rhondda says

Hi Gill, The measurements are the same. When you use heavier weight yarns there will be more stretch (elasticity) in the yarn though so you will need to allow a little bit more negative ease. For example I generally allow 2 inches of stretch for my hats so if someone has a 20 inch head size I aim for an 18 inch hat size because medium weight yarn normally stretches (unless you are using a super tight stitch pattern) 2 inches. When using Aran weight and bulkier weight yarns it can stretch significantly more. I usually do a small swatch to see how much stretch I can get on a square and then change my finished hat size according to this. I hope this makes sense ๐ I’m happy you found the post helpful ๐ All the best, Rhondda

Gill says

It seems my first comment never posted! Thank you so much for doing all the maths. I’ve managed to knit an adult man’s hat using these tips and guidance. It curled, I altered the stitch count and presto flat circle. In worsted weight yarn. Thank you and Happy Christmas.

Gill says

Thank you for this blog post explaining hats. If using worsted weight/Aran (5) are the measurements the same? i.e. for a man’s hat are we still aiming for 7″ diameter?

The tips about curl/ruffle were extremely useful!

Rhondda says

Hi Michelle, I’m happy that the information I shared has helped!! Thank you for letting me know ๐ Have a lovely week, Rhondda

Michelle says

I am working on a hat from a free pattern. I remembered there were places that helped with things like the measurements of your circle and went on a search. I found MORE than I needed and also received the answer to why the circle was buckling a bit. She starts with 12 hdc in the circle! Frogged back, made 8 and voila! – no more curl. It just added one extra row but made a world of difference. So not only did you help me figure out my diameter, hat height and hat circumference – you solved a problem I really didn’t realize I had. Wonderful page and I will be sure to share about it.

Rhondda says

Very welcome ๐ I’m happy to help! Rhondda

Jana Horn says

Wow! Thank you so much for this. Sooooo helpful.

Rhondda says

You are very welcome Sangeetha ๐ Have fun! and if you have any questions, please just let me know. All the best, Rhondda

Sangeetha Prabhu says

Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I always made hats that fit me or my husband. Now I can explore other sizes too.

Have a lovely day. Regards from India ๐

Rhondda says

You are so welcome ๐ Let me know if you have any questions – it might take me a bit of time to respond but I will respond as soon as I can! Have a lovely weekend, Rhondda

Renee says

I was stressing out until I remembered seeing your Awesome Hats on Pinterest. Thank You so Much ! You have such a Generous Big Heart of Love! God Bless You!

Rhondda says

You are very welcome Darcy ๐ Let me know if you have questions – it might take me a bit of time to get back to you (I have 2 children) but I will try my best to help ๐ Have a lovely weekend, Rhondda

Darcy Palmer says

Thank you for this post. It’s fantastic. Now I can make any size hat!! I’m excited.