If you are looking for a unique gift idea for your friends and family, why not learn how to crochet a hat? The art of crocheting is an old and useful technique that's not only easy to learn but is also a great way to unwind at the end of the day. The repetitive and simple act of looping and hooking the yarn allows your brain to loosen up and helps to put you into a relaxed state of mind.

Learning how to crochet a hat may seem like a challenge but it's actually quite easy. Many people enjoy this relaxing pastime and are able to gift their finished projects to friends and family. In this article, we'll cover all the basics: what materials you need, how to size the hat correctly, and where you can find beginner crochet hat patterns on the web.

What Materials Will You Need to Learn How to Crochet a Hat?

Crochet a Hat

Crocheting doesn't require a lot of materials apart from some yarn, the right hook, and a few supplemental materials, but choosing the right yarn and the right hook is sometimes confusing for beginners. We've put together a brief guide to selecting the right yarn and the right hook for you here.

Yarn

Yarn

You can't learn how to crochet a hat without yarn. For beginners, it is generally best to start with a yarn that is easy to work with and has some give. Most people recommend using a worsted weight wool yarn for your first project. Wool has the most give of almost any material and worsted weight wool has a nice clean fiber that makes it easy to see the stitch definition.

Novelty yarns and bulky weight yarns are a lot thicker and can be more difficult to work with since you can't see the individual stitches as clearly. It's also harder to count and see the stitches with darker colored yarns, so most guides to crocheting recommend that you start with a lighter color for your first project. Once you've picked out your yarn, you can select the right size hook for it.

Crochet Hooks

Crochet Hooks

The word crochet actually derives from the French word for a "small hook." Hooks come in sizes that range from B to U (2.25mm to 25mm), and the type of yarn you choose will determine what size hook you will need to learn how to crochet a hat. Most four-ply worsted weight yarns work best with either a G or H-size hook. The best way to find out what size hook to use is to fit the yarn to the hook. You want the yarn to fit snugly in the hook so that it doesn't slip too much when you loop your stitches.

Crochet hooks also come in a variety of materials and two basic styles; inline or tapered. The most common materials for crochet hooks are metal, plastic, and wood. The best way to decide what kind of hook you need to learn how to make a crochet hat is to fit the yarn to the material. Slippery yarns tend to slip off metal and plastic hooks so many people prefer wood or bamboo hooks for working with slippery yarns.

Tapered hooks have a gently tapered throat while inline hooks have a sharply angled throat. Most experts recommend that beginners use a tapered hook because they don't grab the yarn quite so tightly and this makes it easier to keep your stitches regular and even.

Most of the differences in the shape and material of crochet hooks won't change the outcome of your project, it's just a matter of what works best for you. You'll probably end up trying a few different hooks and eventually settle on the style that feels the most comfortable in your hands and works best with the type of yarn you are using.

Other Essential Tools and Materials

You'll need a few other basic craft supplies on hand when you learn how to crochet a hat:

  • Scissors
  • Stitch markers
  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn needles for weaving the ends

Once you've got everything assembled, it will be time to find out how to crochet a hat in the right size.

How Do You Size a Crochet Hat?

Determining the Size

Determining the Size a Crochet Hat

Before you learn how to crochet a hat, you need to decide how small or large you want to make it. There are two options for deciding what size to make your hat: you can use a pattern with general size guidelines or take a head measurement for a specific fit. Either way, it's good to find the gauge of the yarn you're working with before you choose the size. Gauge simply means how many stitches you work in per inch with the yarn and hook you've selected. For example, 5 single stitches may equal 1 inch with worsted weight yarn and a G hook. If you switch to a bulkier yarn and a bigger hook, you'll only get about 3 stitches per inch.

Everyone crochets differently too. Some people make their stitches loose and some people make them very tight. So, it's a good idea to make a gauge swatch - a sample square of 20 stitches across and 20 stitches down. When it's done, you can figure out how many stitches you've got per inch, both across and down.  

Using a Pattern

The main reason you might use a pattern when you learn how to crochet a hat is because you found a pattern for just the right style. If that's the case, you can sometimes skip taking measurements of the head that the hat is destined to go on. Most patterns come with size guides for the average head measurements of babies to adult sizes for males and females. Just follow the directions for the size you've selected and you'll be on your way to making your first hat.

Not everyone's head falls into the typical guidelines, however. If that's the case, you can adjust the pattern to the correct size by adjusting the number of stitches accordingly or work directly from the measurements you've taken of their head.

Taking Measurements

If you take a measurement, you will need to get the head circumference and the height of the head:

  • Head circumference -  starting in the middle of the forehead, wrap the tape measure around the head front to back; record the number where the tape joins back with itself at the forehead
  • Height of the head - run the tape measure from the crown, or middle, of the head down the side to the base of one ear; this number will tell you how tall you will need to make the hat.

Where to Find Beginner Crochet Hat Patterns

Not everyone learns the same way and not everyone teaches the same way. Some people prefer to watch a video while some people prefer to follow step-by-step written instructions and images. Since that's the case, we've gathered together several links to different instructions so that you can learn how to knit a crochet hat in the way that works best for you. 

There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to crochet a hat. Here are a few of our favorites:

Simple winter hat that you can complete in a few hours

Step-by-step guide to make a simple ribbed crochet hat

Easy 30-minute slouchy hat

How to crochet an adult-size beanie hat

Quick and easy baby hat

While some people prefer to work from written instructions, it's important to bear in mind that not all patterns are free. Sometimes you have to pay anywhere from $1 to up to $10 for a downloadable PDF. With that in mind, we've put together a collection of free and paid selections for you to pick from. Look for the dollar sign after the link to see if you will need to pay for the pattern.

  • How to crochet a hat for beginners
  • 10 crochet hat patterns for the whole family (Some patterns are free and some cost up to $5 each) https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/free-crochet-hat-patterns-for-family-978240
  • Basic instructions on how to crochet a hat in any size  https://www.crochetforyoublog.com/2018/02/how-to-crochet-hat-in-any-size/
  • Large selection of free patterns and some video tutorials  https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Hats/24-Beginner-Crochet-Hat-Patterns

Have Fun Learning How to Crochet a Hat

Learning how to crochet a hat is a great way to start building up your crochet skills. It's now easier than ever to learn with all the beginner shapes and patterns available. Once you get started with your first project, learning how to crochet a hat won't seem intimidating at all. Pretty soon, you'll have fun making new and unique gifts for your friends and family. There are hundreds of ideas, patterns, tutorials, books, and starter kits available for crocheters at any skill level, and only your imagination will limit what you can make with a yarn and hook. Crocheting is a fun and easy way to pass the time, relax, and make special gifts for the people you love. All you need is the right hook and a ball of yarn at your side.

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