If you don't have a go-to baby hat in your arsenal yet, what are you waiting for?! Not only are hats quick to crochet and easy enough for newbie crocheters, they make great gifts (I'm not the only one scrambling for a last minute baby shower gift, right?). And when you're working on a baby-sized hat, it's basically done before you know it. Win-win.
The tutorial here will give you the basics, but there's always room to adapt, get creative, and make the hat entirely your own.
Step 1: Choose your yarn and crochet hook
Sure, you can use whatever yarn you want. But remember, not all yarns are created equal. Keep these things in mind before you start hooking.
- Choose a soft yarn. Let's state the obvious: a hat will get all up close and personal with baby's head — the yarn needs to be soft. Also consider other sensitivities: wool can be a great choice, but not if your bundle of joy is allergic to it.
- Choose a washable yarn. New parents do not have time to handwash a baby hat, so don't ask them to. Choose a yarn that won't shrink or get damaged in a washing machine. Bonus points for a yarn that can be thrown in the dryer, too.
- Choose a yarn you find easy to work with. Now it's time to do yourself a favor and pick a yarn that has good stitch definition, not an eyelash yarn that's hard to work with. A lighter color will help you see your stitches more clearly, a definite advantage if you're still getting the hang of crochet. 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
Babies have heads of very different sizes depending on their age, so some planning is required. It's always better to ere on the side of too big: babies grow fast, and eventually that hat is going to fit.
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're not sure what those measurements should be the size you want to make, follow these suggestions
Size: Premie (Diameter: 2¾"; Length: 4")
Size: Newborn (Diameter: 3½"; Length: 5")
Size: 0-3 Months (Diameter: 4"; Length: 6")
Size: 3-6 Months (Diameter: 4½"; Length: 7")
Size: 6-9 Months (Diameter: 5½"; Length: 7½")
Size: 12 Months (Diameter: 6½"; Length: 8")
Size: 24 Months-4T (Diameter: 6¾"; Length: 8½")
Step 3: Crochet a flat circle
To start, we need to crochet 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 in the example shown here.
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! Check out Fantastic Finishes: Edges and Borders for some inspo.
Bear in mind 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.
An edging doesn't have to be fancy: 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 (but definitely not your last) crochet baby hat!