One of my favourite things to make in crochet is a hat or a beanie. They’re a quick make and a great way to use up your stash of yarn. Depending on the size and style you can easily make one with 100g of a DK/8ply or worsted/aran/10ply weight yarn.
My middle child had asked for a beanie ages ago and I finally had the opportunity to make one up on the weekend. And this prompted me to write this blog post. I thought I woul provide the guidelines to making a basic beanie in any size which would then allow you to learn and then start creating on your own.
To make your own beanie the first thing to understand is the rules around increasing in the round. You want the start of the hat to work up flat until you get it to the right size. As a general rule, the number of stitches that you begin with is the number that each round needs to increase by. I usually start with 8 stitches which means that my rounds need to increase by 8. To do this evenly you would then make the increases happen evenly. So round 2 you would increase in every stitch, round 3 you would increase in every second stitch and so on. Once you have increased to the size that you want you can start working into every stitch once so that you start to create the “sides” of the beanie.
How do you know when to stop increasing? You want to increase until the circumference of the circle that you’ve created is the circumference (or near to) of the head for the person that you’re making the beanie for. This is easy to measure. You can measure around the outside of the piece that you’ve created or you can measure the radius (which is the distance from the middle to the edge) and put it into a circumference calculator like this one that comes up with when I search “calculator for circle circumference”. Just enter the radius and the circumference comes up. I generally make mine a centimeter or two less than the size head I am aiming for, mostly because the yarn will stretch. You can adjust to suit your preferred style and fit.
Once you have the circumference right, you can start to make the sides. Just simply stop increasing and work 1 stitch into each stitch from the round before. The further you get, the longer the sides will be. As a very general guide, I have found that the number of rows that it took to increase will be the number of rounds you need to make to get the side long enough. This will usually take you to the middle to lower forehead. How long you make the sides will depend on the style hat and type of fit you want. For a more fitted hat or one with a brim, this will be far enough before you add your brim. If you want a more slouch styled hat, keep going until it is loose enough for you.
The last part when making a beanie style hat is to create a band. If you’ve made the hat slightly too big you can use this opportunity to do some decreasing. This can be done by switching to a smaller hook size or decreasing each round by an even number until you get to the right size. You can make the band any size you want and I tend to change to a different stitch to make it stand out a bit.
As an optional extra you could also opt to add a brim to the hat. This means you will need to do some more increasing. To do this, follow the same rules as in the beginning and increase each round by the same number that you began with. You can control the size of the brim by the number of rows that you add.
So are you ready to try it? This can work with any of your basic stitches. Once comfortable you can start to play around with design using colours or other stitches.
If you’re a clubhouse member I have put together a handy guide to use that covers this! Just check out the facebook group or your inbox. If you’re interested in becoming a member, you can add your name to the waitlist for when the doors open again in September. Just head here to find out more! The clubhouse is designed to help improve the skills of crocheters to move you from being a beginner to being a designer of your own projects.