Beginner crocheters often want to learn how to crochet a baby hat. Crochet hats are popular because they work up quickly, make great gifts and can also be donated to charities. Crochet baby hats can go to help babies in the NICU, cancer centers, family shelters and more — not to mention that they are great items to give to any new baby in your own life.
This tutorial teaches you how to crochet a baby hat step-by-step.
It also includes a pattern as well as enough information to adapt the instructions to your own design.
Step 1: Choose your yarn and crochet hook
You can make a crochet baby hat out of any yarn you want. However, some choices are better than others for baby items. Here are some tips for beginners working on their first hats:
- Choose a soft yarn. The hat will be right on baby’s sensitive head, so make sure it feels good to the touch. Consider other sensitivities — wool can be a great choice, but not if baby is allergic to it.
- Choose a washable yarn. You want a yarn that won’t shrink or get damaged in a washing machine. Busy parents usually want a hat that can also go in the dryer, so check your yarn labels.
- Choose a yarn you find easy to work with. Select a yarn that has good stitch definition, not something like an eyelash yarn that’s harder to work with. You might want to choose a light color so you can see your stitches clearly. Select a yarn weight that is comfortable for you.
I made my hat with worsted weight cotton yarn. Use the crochet hook suited to the yarn you choose (which can be found on the label). I used a size G crochet hook. If, for example, you worked with a larger bulky weight yarn, you might use a size J crochet hook.
Step 2: Choose a size
Newborn Caps by JeanieK’s Pattern Store
Babies have heads of very different sizes depending on their age, so you need to plan for the size you want to make. You could take an exact measurement of baby’s head and do the math to figure out the size — but since babies grow so quickly, an approximate will usually do.
You need to know two measurements before you begin: the diameter and the length. For our example, which will be sized for a 6-month-old, we’ll use a diameter of 4½” and a length of 5½”.
If you do want to find an exact number, try B.hooked Crochet‘s formula, or use the seven baby hat sizes detailed in “The Secret Formula for Knitted Baby Hats that Fit Every Time.” Note that the second article include the circumference but not the diameter. To get the diameter, you’ll take the circumference and divide by 3.14 (pi).
Step 3: Crochet a flat circle to the desired diameter
We’ll begin by crocheting a circle, worked in the round, by increasing in each round until the circle reaches the diameter you want for your baby hat.
You can crochet the circle using any stitches you want, working as many rounds as necessary to achieve the desired diameter. I used double crochet stitches the example
Ch 3 and work 9 dc in third chain from hook. (Or crochet a magic ring and make 10 dc inside it.) Join the last stitch to the top of the first stitch to close the ring. (Total of 10 dc st.)
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). 1 dc in same stitch as ch 3. 2 dc in each stitch around. Sl st to top of ch 3 to finish round. (Total of 20 dc st.)
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). 2 dc in next stitch. *1 dc, 2 dc. Repeat from * around. Sl st to top of ch 3 to finish round. (Total of 30 dc st.)
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). 1 dc, 2 dc. *1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc. Repeat from * around. Sl st to top of ch 3 to finish round. (Total of 40 dc st.)
Chain 3 (counts as first dc). 1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc. *1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc. Repeat from * around. Sl st to top of ch 3 to finish round. (Total of 50 dc st.)
Remember to measure the diameter of your circle after each round to determine when you’ve reached the size that you want. In my example, I reached the 4½” diameter after five rounds of double crochet. You could continue with additional rounds until you reach your diameter. Then it’s time to move onto the body of the hat.
Step 4: Crochet the body of the baby hat
You’ll create the hat’s body by continuing to create rounds but without any increasing. You’ll simply crochet one stitch in each stitch from the round below, adding rows until you reach the length (from crown to bottom row) that you desire.
In my example, I finished off Round 5 with 50 dc stitches, so each round in the body of the hat has 50 stitches. Here’s how to stitch each additional round:
- Chain 3 (counts as first dc).
- Dc in each stitch around.
- Sl st to top of ch 3 to finish round. (Total 50 dc st per round).
You’ll repeat those steps until you reached the intended length of your baby hat. For me, I reached the 5½” length after five rounds of the body of the hat (10 rounds total in the hat).
Step 4: Crochet edging (optional)
You can finish off your crochet hat after Step 4 and it will look fine. However, a crochet baby hat always looks a little cleaner with an edging to border the bottom of it. You can use any edging that you want! Get some ideas from our “5 Crochet Edges You Should Know” post.
Note that an edging will increase the overall length of your hat. If you’re concerned about an exact fit, add the edging into your calculations.
I used a simple single crochet border by adding an 11th round to the baby hat by working ch 1 (counts as first sc), sc in each st around, sl st to ch 1 to close the round (for a total of 50 sc stitches).
After the edging, fasten off, weave in ends, and you’ve completed your first crochet baby hat!
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