Hats are pretty simple to knit once you know the basics. Usually a 16 inch circular needle is used (or smaller for infant / baby size). The size will depend on the weight of the yarn. Hats usually also require the same size DPN’s (double-pointed needles).
The cast on number will also depend on the weight of the yarn as well as hat size. Hats are fairly stretchy so this can be tricky. The Craftsy site has advice for figuring out the cast on, by creating a swatch. OR… look at the Simple Hat Calculator at the EarthGuild site – I don’t think it’s so simple really.
Jogless Knitting Stripes
When stripes are made, or more than one color used separately, here is a tip for keeping the color lines even. This is called jogless knitting. This video also shows how to remove the gap that forms while doing so. I really need to learn to do this!
The video below gives some good advice for creating a nice ribbed cuff, which is a popular way to begin a hat, whether it’s a k1,p1 or k2,p2 rib. The pink baby hat below has a k1, p1 rib.
Making a Nice Ribbed Cuff When Beginning a Hat
In the video you will see how to cast on the correct number of stitches for a long tail cast on, knitting in the round and making knits and purls look even, and finishing (weaving in) the tail.
Once you reach the desired height for the hat, it’s time to begin to decrease stitches to round off the top. Patterns will do this in different ways, but usually after a few rounds DPN’s are needed because the stitches are fewer and will no longer fit on the circular needles.
I have added a “How to switch to DPN’s” video tutorial on the Snow Day hat page.
Usually once the stitches have been narrowed down to just a few left, the hat pattern will say to cut the yarn and weave it through the remaining stitches. Keep those stitches on the needles and use a tapestry needle to pull the yarn through every stitch. Then the end of yarn can be pushed down inside the hat to weave in.
More making hats for adults information can be found at the Dummies site.
Some hats look cute with a pom-pom, and I have linked to a tutorial for that.
Check out the helpful knit stitches tutorial page to learn some basic knitting stitches.