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How to Crochet a Hat for Beginners

Updated on April 08, 2016
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The art of crochet is a beautiful hobby. It is an old yet simple craft that is quick and easy to learn, and it yields beautiful textiles such as:

  • Blankets and afghans
  • Blouses
  • Slippers
  • Handbags
  • Baby booties
  • Hats

Hats are one of the easiest projects when beginning to crochet. The stitches are simple, and the hats work up quickly.

Seeing tangible results when learning the stitches does wonders to keep you motivated to continue crocheting. Hats are also a great way to practice the basic stitches that are the foundation of crochet such as the single, double, half-double and triple crochet stitches.

Not to mention they make great gifts!

Crochet Basics

Crochet uses a hook to essentially make knots out of yarn. When done in a pattern, the result is a textured cloth that is durable, yet soft and comfortable.

Hooks vary in size and are labeled with letters that correspond to a specific size "head" of the hook which is designated in millimeters.

The Various Sizes of Crochet Hooks

Crochet hook sizes P to A from left to right. As the alphabet progresses the hook size gets bigger. Hook size A is smaller than size B and so on.
Crochet hook sizes P to A from left to right. As the alphabet progresses the hook size gets bigger. Hook size A is smaller than size B and so on. | Source

Unlike knitting which only has 2 stitches, crochet has six. However, three of these stitches are simply variations of the primary crochet stitch commonly called the single crochet. The other stitches include:

Six Different Types of Crochet Stitches

Stitch
Abbreviation
Chain
ch
Single Crochet
sc
Double Crochet
dc
Half Double Crochet
hdc
Triple Crochet
tc
Slip Stitch
ss

Once these primary stitches are mastered, you can make as intricate a pattern as you like or add in novelty stitches like the puffed heart. You can also manipulate the various crochet stitches to create a number of different patterns and designs.

Things You Will Need

There are a few basic things you will need before you get started:

1.Yarn – You can’t crochet a hat without yarn! In the beginning, it is best to use a yarn that is easy to work with, such as a worsted weight yarn. Novelty yarns (like eyelash yarns) and bulky weight yarns are difficult to work with because it is difficult to see the individual stitches clearly. Plain worsted weight yarns are the easiest with which to work.

2.Crochet Hooks – Crochet hooks come in many different sizes and styles. There are bamboo, plastic, and metal hooks in sizes A through Q. The type of yarn you are working with determines the size hook you will need for your project. Since we’re working with worsted weight yarn for this project, you’ll want to use either a G or H size hook. I personally prefer the G hook because I like how the yarn fits nicely in the crook of it. To me, the H hook is slightly too big, but it is a matter of preference.

3.Scissors – Preferably a sharp pair with a point on the end. The point allows you to be more precise when you cut, and you can get into small places should you ever need to do so!

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A Word About Gauge

As Maggie Righetti states in her book Crocheting in Plain English:

Gauge, or tension as it is sometimes called in European instructions, means the number of stitches of a particular kind that you get with a particular thread or yarn at a particular time in your life with a certain hook in a certain width and length (p.22).

Did your eyes glaze over? Mine too. Essentially, gauge will determine the size of your finished project. It is a certain number of stitches in a particular section of cloth.

For example, 5 single crochet stitches may equal 2 inches in a hat pattern that uses worsted weight yarn and a G hook. However, you may not get the same gauge using the same supplies.

Everyone crochets differently, some people make their crochet stitches very tight, others make loose stitches. This is why it is recommended to make a gauge swatch, or a sample swatch of the pattern to see what your gauge actually is.

For this simple hat pattern, gauge is not important. However, for more advanced patterns, like gloves, you will most definitely want to crochet a sample swatch prior to starting the actual project.

Starting the Hat

Hats are crocheted “in the round.” This means the foundation chain created is joined to form a circle.

The next few rows build the crown of the hat. Usually, the amount of stitches in each row doubles with each successive row. This is why it is best to chain an even number of stitches as the foundation row because it makes doubling much simpler.

Let’s take this step by step:

Step One - Create the Foundation Chain

You only need a few stitches for the foundation chain because in the next round you’re going to double that number of stitches.

Many patterns start with a foundation chain of three stitches. Personally, I start with four, mainly to give myself a little bit of extra room to work. My stitches tend to be tight, and my foundation chain needs to give a bit to accommodate them.

  • So let’s chain four stitches and then join that chain with a slip stitch.

Foundation Chain

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Step Two - The First Round

  • Ch 3 (counts as first dc now and throughout) 11 dc in ring, join with ss

The instructions above mean to chain three times, which will be counted as the first double crochet of the row.

Next, double crochet eleven times in the ring and join with a slip stitch to the beginning of the round. You can do this one of two ways:

  • You can double crochet two stitches in each chain stitch of the foundation chain
  • You can simply double crochet eleven times in the ring itself.

The latter method is much easier since you don't have to locate each chain stitch which can be difficult when you are just beginning.

Some people also crochet very tightly and the foundation chain stitches may be too tight. To correct this, you can use a slightly larger hook to create the foundation chain, and then switch to the correct hook size to continue the pattern.

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Note: Your "crown" won't lie flat at first and that's okay! You should notice as you crochet the crown, it ruffles a bit. When you begin crocheting the sides of the hat, it should fix itself.

However, generally speaking, the hat won't lie flat even when you're done. Only after you hand wash and block the hat will it lie flat.

Step Three - Build the Crown

  • Ch 3, dc in same stitch, 2 dc in next dc and in each dc around, join with ss to first dc

These instructions mean to chain three stitches then double crochet in the same stitch as your beginning three chains of the round. You will then double crochet twice in the next stitch and in each remaining stitch of the round. Slip stitch to the beginning chain of the round.

This round is the one used to build the crown of the hat. Repeat this row until you have 60 double crochet in the round.

Step Four - The Sides of the Hat

  • Ch 3, dc in next dc and in each dc around, join with ss to first dc

You may notice these instructions tell you to double crochet once in each stitch in the round. This is to lengthen the sides of the hat, while keeping it the same width.

This row is repeated until the hat is the desired length. This is also where you can vary the pattern a bit. You can throw in a few rows of single or half double crochet to create a “stripe” of variation.

You could also do a bit of intricate crochet and create a row (or rows) of puffed hearts, or popcorn, whatever your heart desires. Be creative! This is a great way to play around and learn different ways to manipulate crochet stitches.

Guided Instructions for Crocheting a Hat

Step Five - The Final Round

  • Ch 1, sc in same stitch and in each st around, join with ss stitch to first sc. Clip yarn leaving a 6”tail for sewing

Once the sides of the hat are the desired length, you want to create a finished “edge.” Single crochet is a great way to do this. For this final round, you will chain one stitch, and single crochet in the same stitch as the initial chain.

Finish the round by single crocheting in each remaining stitch of the round and join with a slip stitch to the beginning chain. Then clip the yarn 6 inches from the initial chain stitch.

Most patterns will tell you to thread the remaining length of yarn into the hat with a tapestry needle. While you can do this, you can also use the crochet hook weave the tail through the last round. It’s a matter of personal preference. I prefer to use the crochet hook because I inevitably lose my tapestry needles!

Congratulations! You have completed your first hat! The next step is to hand wash the hat in cold water. You can was the hat in the washing machine if you want to do so; however, if you've used a vibrant color such as red or green, do not wash it with anything of value as the color might run.

Once the hat has been washed, lay it on a towel on a flat surface and "pull" it into the shape you want. Once you have shaped your hat, let it dry. I let mine dry overnight. In the morning, your hat should be flat.

Congratulations, and Happy Crocheting!

If you like the hat that my daughter is wearing in the first image of this article, you can find it here.

Resources

Righetti, Maggie. Crocheting in Plain English. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988. Print.

© Copyright 2012 - 2015 by Melissa Flagg, aka Daughter of Maat ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Very nice project--great colors and yarn, and I like the cap style rather than a "sock" hat. A super beginners project!

      Do have simple baby/toddler poncho patterns?

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      DOM......This may sound strange to you....but this hub has given me reason to reminisce about both my late sister and mother.......whom I dearly miss. They both knitted and crocheted continually through every winter. I would knit now and then, but unfortunately never took the time to learn to crochet, although they both always offered to teach me (Lazy, stupid me!) I know I can learn anytime, but it wouldn't be the same as being with them.

      What is so nice for me is that I have gifts of knitted and crocheted items galore, to treasure....hats, scarves, slippers......even afghans.

      I may never make this adorable hat, DOM....but thank you for a sweet walk down Memory Lane......which you had no idea you would cause!!

    • Lady Summerset profile image

      Lady Summerset 4 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

      You really made me want to pull out my crochet needle and finish up some yarn I have laying around! LOL!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @RTalloni you know I might have one in my "baby" patterns notebook. I'll have to check. Thank you for your kind comment! This is indeed an easy project for even the newest beginners!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Paula, nope, doesn't surprise me lol. My great-grandmother crocheted and knit quite often before she died. Unfortunately, I wasn't old enough, or interested in learning how to crochet. I didn't get the urge to learn until I was about 23. I, too, wish I had learned while she was still alive.

      I love heirloom gifts like afghans etc. I made my daughter's baby blanket before she was born. She's 6 now and she still carries it around with her! I'm glad I could bring back some fond memories for you!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Lady Summerset, I had the same urge! I ended up pulling out a blanket that I'm working on for my sister, and wanted to finish before Christmas. Writing this article helped renew my motivation!

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 4 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Good hub, DoM...voted up, useful, and interesting. If you can crochet me one that looks like my military cap, the check's in the mail!! ;)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Civil War Bob, lol I'll need a picture of that military cap.... :D

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Wow, very well laid out and put together. Great tips and awesome idea. Voted up and awesome.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      I'll look for a post on that poncho. :)

      I've had my eye out for the kind that would not have a drawstring around the neck and that would be a fairly simple project for a beginner. I've seen them made from one big granny square, but not in the baby/toddler sizes. I think it's a project that I'm just unsure about making so it would fit right, and I haven't had time the right occasion to figure it out.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Kitty!! This was one of those fun hubs to write, not a whole lot of research required lol :D

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @RTalloni I'll have to add ponchos to my list of hubs to write. A drawstring would be awesome, I might have to create my own pattern if I can't find one. Finding the time is always an issue though lol.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 4 years ago from San Jose, California

      Your hub is in perfect timing for me. We just received our crochet hooks in the mail last week. My daughter has been wanting to learn how to crochet since she was 8 which I thought it's a bit too young. Now she is 11 and I think it is about time for her to learn. Thank you for sharing all these cool tips. Voted up and useful!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @kittyjj Thank you! I'm so glad you're going to be teaching your daughter to crochet!! Let me know if you try the pattern and how her first project comes out!!

    • misspennywise profile image

      Erin 4 years ago from St Louis

      This helped a lot! Thank you for posting it! I love to crochet but I always have a hard time making anything circular so I usually just make a lot of blankets and scarves! haha!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you misspennywise. Personally I think crocheting in the round is much easier than knitting in the round! :D

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I love the way you showed each step of the learning process. My mother and sister both crochet, but I never learned. I like having instructions to look at while learning something new and this hub is perfect.

      I had followed many of your hubs for a long time and for some reason I stopped getting the emails and I wasn't following you when I checked. This has happened to me before, but I checked the follow again, so that should fix the problem. I enjoy your hubs.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Pamela, Thank you! You aren't the only one that has had that follow problem. There are some people I know I was following but for some reason all the emails disappeared! Of course, when I checked, I wasn't following them. I think it may have to do with the site changes, but who knows lol

      My great grandmother crocheted and unfortunately while she was alive, I didn't have the inclination to learn crochet. I just wasn't crafty at that time. I really wish I had been though. She used to knit, crochet, cross stitch, basket weave etc. I could've learned so much from her! Like you said, visual reference when learning something new makes it so much easier!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      I shared this with my crochet group. I thought it would help the beginners. Thanks and good hub.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Awe thank you Barbara!! :D

    • profile image

      Carmen 4 years ago

      this is amazing! really helped me out :)

      but I have a small question, can this method work for all hat sizes? like for a seven year old?

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Carmen, yes, you just stop when the hat gets to the size you want. So if you want it a bit smaller, you stop sooner. I tend to keep a measuring tape around for just that reason. You can also use the head in question lol :D

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I keep trying to teach myself how to crochet but I only get so far. I once made a scarf. Now I need to try this hat. These directions are simple and seem easy enough to be able to do for a beginner! :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thanks Stacy! I'm happy to hear that it is indeed easy to understand. It's a bit difficult to tell if it's written well when you're the one writing it! lol. Let me know how it works out if you try it!

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      cassie 4 years ago

      hi! i am very new to crochet and when i do a circle instead of laying flat it wants to curl up what am i doing wrong?????!!!?!?! many of my hats become bags because of this problem . what can i do to stop this?????????

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Actually it's supposed to curl up. I usually don't get mine to lie flat until I hand wash it and then lay it flat to dry it. Make sure you're not making it too long, and if it's coming out too big (like bag size) try a smaller hook. Remember everyone's stitch size is different. If you crochet loosely, you'll need a smaller hook than the one suggested. I'm a tight crocheter myself, so I always use a hook one size larger.

      Hope that helps!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 3 years ago from USA

      Love this pattern! I needed a new, easy hat pattern for an upcoming charity project, and this looks like it will suit our needs perfectly. I also enjoyed your thorough tutorial. Although I'm an accomplished crocheter myself, I've noticed that many "beginner" projects don't really offer enough information for beginners to get started. Yours, on the other hand, is all anyone would need to pick up a crochet hook and turn out a hat. Kudos!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @DonnaCosmato Thank you!! What a compliment!! I tried to think about what I wish beginning crochet instructions had in them and then wrote the article from there. I'm happy to know I didn't miss anything!! Enjoy the pattern, let me know how it turns out! :D

    • nicolehubbard10 profile image

      Nicole Hubbard 3 years ago from North Carolina

      The video I am watching is definitely good to follow along to. Since I know how to crochet I would like to learn how to make hats, and scarves for maybe the fall time. Or I could just wear the hat for a fashion sense. This post was very informative. I have got to try it.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Nicolehubbard10 I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub! Hats are one of the easiest things to crochet. And once you get the crown done, you can spice up the pattern just by doing a row of double crochet and then single crochet. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. In the hat above, although you may not be able to see it, I did a round of double crochet which added a stripe. It's much easier to see when you're wearing it. :D Let me know how your hat turns out!

    • nicolehubbard10 profile image

      Nicole Hubbard 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I have single crochet mastered pretty well. I think it would be good for me to try to see if I can do double crochet. Single crochet is pretty easy it is great to go ahead and step it up a bit to see if I can get double crochet mastered next. The hat I admit is pretty easy. It is great to be able to crochet without stopping it keeps my mind focused.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Indeed, I find crochet very meditative. When I've had a stressful day, or need to get back on track with my work, I'll take a few minutes to work on a project and it relaxes me enough to get back to the days tasks. Double crochet is actually the easiest I think, well okay maybe not the easiest, but for me it's the most fun, which makes it easy lol. I have a tutorial with step by step pictures that I'm working on, so hopefully you'll find it helpful for the double crochet.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I wish I could do this. I think I would need someone right beside me in order for me to catch on--by watching and doing. I love the idea of it. I love the hat on the little girl. Great hub!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      That's my daughter with the hat. :D I have videos if you want to try it step by step! :)

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I am just learning how to crochet. I am self taught and your hub is awesome for a beginner. Thank you so much! I can't wait to make this.

    • VictoriaSheffield profile image

      Author Victoria Sheffield 3 years ago from Georgia

      This is a very nice tutorial. You've made making a hat look easy. Maybe i'll try to make one.

    • profile image

      CGM 4 weeks ago

      Great site and lessons. I wish I had learned from my Mom when she was still with us but no time. Now in middle age, frustrated trying to learn things on my own that I wish I had learned as a teen! Thanks for helping me reach a long desired beginning, have had some crochet "flop" but I'll keep at it with your help and encouragement! Thanks again. C

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