4 Must-Know Hat Knitting Tips When Working in the Round

Knitting a hat is almost always a quick and rewarding project. Hats are small, so they are easy to take with you. They are stash busters, as most patterns use less than one skein of yarn. They are also a great, low-risk project, to practice new techniques or stitch patterns. No matter what your reason for enjoying hat knitting, once you get started you’ll soon have a finished one to wear!

Here are a few hat knitting tips to get you started!

Tip #1: Use your favorite method for knitting in the round.

There are several ways to knit in the round. For smaller circumference knitting (under about 16″ for baby and small children’s hats) you can use double pointed needles, two circular needles or magic loop knitting. I tend to favor the magic loop method, but it’s just a matter of trying out the different methods to find which suits you best.

For a little bit larger circumference I suggest using a 16″ circular.  This allows you to knit continually in the round without having to adjust needles. When you get to decreasing for the crown you will need to switch to double points but for the bulk of the knitting the 16″ circular will do.

2. Go for a gauge swatch.

You know how I love to sing the praises of the gauge swatch! And while a hat may seem like a small project I have ended up with a number of ill fitting hats because I did not swatch. Take a few minus to swatch for the hat otherwise there is the possibility you may be ripping it out more than once.

Also, swatch on the needles you plan on using (whether those are the circulars or double points). Gauge can be effected by the type of needle you use.

Tip #3: Mark the spot.

When knitting hats, I tend to use multiple locking stitch markers to mark the beginning of the round and then any repeats after that. This helps you to keep track of what you are knitting as well as helps you to catch any errors that may occur.

Tip #4: Cast on.

A hat cast on should be loose enough to allow for some stretch at the brim. Many favor the tubular cast on or the German twisted cast on for hats. While you don’t necessarily need to learn a new cast on for a hat (it doesn’t hurt though!) just keep in mind that you’ll need to cast on loosely to maintain that brim flexibility.

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