All About Knitted Hats
Quarantine has sparked plenty of new at-home hobbies. Maybe you picked up a paintbrush and tapped into your inner artist. Or, you might have transformed your kitchen into a bakery. For some, perfecting their knitting and crocheting skills even led to a business — which is why you're likely seeing the knit hat trend unexpectedly taking off on Instagram.
For Delsy Gouw, founder of Brooklyn-based label Its Memorial day, crocheting started out as a fun activity. "[It] originally started as an online Depop vintage shop [in 2019] but when Covid hit, I wasn’t able to source any goods," she tells TZR. "I also lost my job and found myself with a lot of time on my hands." Gouw picked up the old hobby of hers and began making items for friends, and then her friends' friends were requesting pieces, too. She then began crafting knit hats because she believed the demand was there. "I started with bags but when I posted them so many of my friends and followers asked when or if I’d be open to making hats and taking customs for hats," Gouw tells TZR. While trends typically fade away and come back later on, Gouw hopes this style will stay long-term. "[I] can’t speak for knitting, but the way crochet is done is truly so intricate, unique, and is made to last," she explains. "Crochet can only be done by hand so I think there is something special about having an accessory that is unique and handmade." Fans of Gouw's emerging brand include influencers like Reese Blutstein, Jo Rosenthal, and Ella Emhoff.
Who knows when the first person decided to put something over their head to keep it warm, but knitters know that knitted hats for women are some of the most fun and easy things to knit.
When they’re worked in the round there is little in the way of shaping, except when you get to the crown.
Most hats are worked from the bottom up, with stitches cast-on and worked in a snug stitch pattern such as ribbing, or in stockinette for a rolled bring hat, using a smaller size needle than is used for the head portion of the hat.
In many hat patterns, the hat is worked straight for the desired length of the crown, then nearly all of the stitches are evenly decreased over the course of just a few rounds.
The yarn is cut, the tail threaded through the remaining stitches, pulled tight, and fastened off to the inside of the hat.
The hat can be topped with a pom pom, i-cord, tassel, or whatever embellishment strikes your fancy.
A great book for learning to make hats is Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns, from which some of the material on this page is excerpted. There are chapters on basic hats as well as the type of hats called “tams.”
There are several types of hats, but the most popular knitted hats for men are beanie-type caps, tams (sometimes called “berets”), slouch hats, earflap hats, and tuques.
Beanies: These hats can be super simple or dressed up with a lace or cable patterns. In cooler climates, they’re wonderful gifts for knitters to make.
Tams/Berets: There are so many different stitch patterns to use in this style. Tams and berets can be plain stockinette or intricate Fair Isle. This style of hat is really flattering on just about every face shape, too.
Earflap Hats: These hats are popular in cold climates. They’re great for keeping ears warm and they’re fun to knit. The knitters of Peru specialize in these hats, as shown in the photo at right.
Often a knitted hats for children will have a finished size that is smaller than the average adult head. That’s because hats meant to fit closely at the brim need a bit of negative ease to help them fit snugly and keep them on the head.
The amount of negative ease refers to the difference between the finished size of the object and the size of body part on which it will be worn. A hat that measures 19″ (48.5 cm) around and is worn on a 22″ (56 cm) head has 3″ (7.5 cm) of negative ease.
A beret-type hat might have negative ease at the brim, but a few inches of positive ease in the body of the hat. The extra fabric is what creates its loose, flowing shape, while the tighter brim keeps it fitted to the head.
Hats are a natural for circular knitting (or knitting in the round). This project for circular-knit adult hats offers three brim styles: hemmed, ribbed, and rolled stockinette. Whichever brim you choose, the directions call for shaping the top. Work this hat in plain stockinette stitch in a colorful or fashion yarn, or customize it by working the colorwork pattern included here. But don’t feel tied to those two options — use this hat as a canvas to express yourself.