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How to Crochet a Hat for Beginners

Melissa is a self-taught and devoted crocheter. Today she creates her own patterns and teaches others the art of crochet.

Are you a new crocheter? Practice your skills by creating this easy, pretty hat.

Are you a new crocheter? Practice your skills by creating this easy, pretty hat.

Practice Crochet by Making a Simple Hat

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.

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.


Unlike knitting which only has two 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 those shown in the table below.

Six Different Types of Crochet Stitches




Single Crochet


Double Crochet


Half Double Crochet


Triple Crochet


Slip Stitch


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.

Supplies for Crochet

Supplies for Crochet

Crochet Supplies

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 hard to see the individual stitches clearly. Plain worsted weight yarns are the easiest to work with because the stitches are easy to see.
  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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About Gauge

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).

— Maggie Righetti - Crocheting in Plain English

What Is Gauge?

Did your eyes glaze over while reading the quote above? 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 or sweaters, you will most definitely want to crochet a sample swatch prior to starting the actual project.

How to Start 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:

Foundation Chain

Foundation Chain

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.
Join with a slip stitch to beginning chain to form a ring.

Join with a slip stitch to beginning chain to form a ring.

Step Two: Do 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.

Make 11 double crochet in ring.

Make 11 double crochet in ring.

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.

This is what your first round should look like.

This is what your first round should look like.

Join with slip stitch to top of beginning chain 3.

Join with slip stitch to top of beginning chain 3.

The joined round should look like this.

The joined round should look like this.

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

This is round increases the width of the hat. The instructions are telling you 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: Create 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.

Step Five: Do 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 to 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!

Step Six: Hand-Wash the Hat and Lay Flat to Dry

Congratulations! You have completed your first hat! The next step is to hand wash the hat in cold water. You can wash 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 my crochet hat dry overnight. In the morning, your hat should be flat.

Congratulations, and Happy Crocheting!


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

© 2012 Mel Flagg COA OSC


poop on October 05, 2018:

this does don't help me at all

Tinz on December 18, 2017:

Great tutorial. Everything is explained so basically and helped me understand what to do. Which I'm sure will help through other patterns if I want to keep learning.

I still don't understand the 'build a crown' section. You get to 11dc in a ring and then it says 2dc in each dc in the round which comes to 22dc in total. Then if you do this again it doubles to 44dc and again to 88dc. This seems like too many and seems to become quite large and difficult to get into each stitch.

I then tried 2dc then 1dc in a sequence all around the round. Which made it smaller but still wasn't the 60dc you require. Please can you help?

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on September 24, 2017:

A slip stitch is made by inserting the hook into the next stitch, yarning over and pulling up a loop and just pulling the loop through the loop already on the hook, instead of yarning over again and pulling through both loops. Hope that helps, a tutorial on that and the chain stitch is coming soon.

robin mupo on September 22, 2017:

what is a slip stich ty

CGM on February 26, 2017:

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

Author Victoria Sheffield from Georgia on March 19, 2014:

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

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on March 06, 2014:

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.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on January 18, 2014:

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

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on December 24, 2013:

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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 13, 2013:

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.

Nicole Hubbard from North Carolina on June 08, 2013:

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.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 02, 2013:

@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!

Nicole Hubbard from North Carolina on May 29, 2013:

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.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 13, 2013:

@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

Donna Cosmato from USA on May 10, 2013:

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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on February 18, 2013:

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!

cassie on February 18, 2013:

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?????????

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on January 20, 2013:

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!

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on January 12, 2013:

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! :)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on January 10, 2013:

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

Carmen on January 07, 2013:

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?

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on October 09, 2012:

Awe thank you Barbara!! :D

Barbara Badder from USA on October 09, 2012:

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

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on September 23, 2012:

@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!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 23, 2012:

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.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 28, 2012:

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

Erin from St Louis on August 28, 2012:

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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

@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!!

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on August 25, 2012:

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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

@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.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

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

RTalloni on August 25, 2012:

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.

Kitty Fields from Summerland on August 25, 2012:

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

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

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

Civil War Bob from Glenside, Pennsylvania on August 25, 2012:

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!! ;)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

@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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

@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!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 25, 2012:

@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!

Lady Summerset from Willingboro, New Jersey on August 24, 2012:

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

Suzie from Carson City on August 24, 2012:

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!!

RTalloni on August 24, 2012:

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?