Monday, February 27, 2012

Free: Basic Adult Hat Knitting Pattern

I have been very busy making hats! Specifically, I have been making hats for my husband and his co-workers at  Anvil Tattoo. While making these hats, I thought it would be nice to share how I make a basic adult size knitted hat.

Basic Adult Knit Hat Pattern:

Yarn: Any worsted weight yarn. (the yarn in the sample photo is Vanna's Choice)

Needles: US size 8/5mm 16” circular and DPN

Gauge: 4” x 4” = 17sts. x 26 rows

Finished Measurements: hat height: 8 1/2”   circumference: 19”  (not stretched, laying flat)

CO 84 sts. Onto your circular needles, place marker, and join for working in the round.
R1-5: 1 x 1 ribbing, *K1, P1* repeat around
R6-41: Knit

begin decrease rounds:

R42: *K12, K2tog* repeat around =78sts
R43: Knit
R44: *K11, K2tog* repeat around =72sts
R45: Knit
R46: *K10, K2tog* repeat around =66sts
(note: if it is becoming tight to knit, now would be a good time to change to DPN)
R47: Knit
R48: *K9, K2tog* repeat around =60sts
R49: *K8, K2tog* repeat around =54sts
R50: *K7, K2tog* repeat around =48sts
R51: *K6, K2tog* repeat around =42sts
R52: *K5, K2tog* repeat around =36sts
R53: *K4, K2tog* repeat around =30sts
R54: *K3, K2tog* repeat around =24sts
R55: *K2, K2tog* repeat around =18sts
R56: *K1, K2tog* repeat around =12sts
R57: * K2tog* repeat around =6sts

Cut tail long enough to string the remaining 6 sts through with a yarn needle, tie off, and weave in ends.

Whenever I sit down to make an adult hat, I often start here, with this basic pattern. This simple pattern fits most adults comfortably and is easy to modify to suit my needs. To make a hat larger or smaller increase or decrease in multiples of 6. For stripes just change yarn color at the appropriate time. A folded brim can be made by adding more rows of ribbing. Making a more decorative brim is as easy as using seed stitch or different proportions of ribbing. When using finer yarns or smaller needles, simply knit a gauge swatch and adjust the pattern accordingly.
A long time ago I came across this excellent online resource for average head measurements according to age. Bev Qualheim and her friends were kind enough to compile size charts for head measurements as well other useful size charts.
 These charts can be found at I love these charts because they are easy to follow, very straight forward. When designing your hat, keep in mind that the hat height measurements on this chart include a folded brim, if you don't want a folded brim be sure to make your hat height 1-3 inches shorter than the listed height.  Also, the hat circumference should be a few inches smaller than the head circumference listed, depending on how stretchy your hat is.

Another thing that I like to do, especially when knitting a gift, is to personalize the item in some way. I love to add details that are most meaningful to the person the gift was meant for. On my next blog post I am planning on sharing one technique I like to use when personalizing a knitted item.

As Always, knit long and prosper :)


  1. I knit hats for ppl and family,all the time. I love to craft. right now...I'm making rag rugs...they're selling as fast as i make them.

    1. That is awesome! Rag rugs, that is a craft I have not tried yet, I might have to sometime.