Hat size question

In a knitted hat, what should the circumference of a hat be in relation to the circumference of the wearer's head? That is, how much smaller should the hat be to provide the right amount of stretch/tension? I sometimes get the hat a bit too big. Currently, I'm knitting a double-knit hat for a friend whose head is 24" around. Despite knitting a double-knit swatch, I undersized the hat and -- after 4" of double-knitting -- I've decided to frog it and start over bigger. But how much bigger? Appreciate your advice. -John


Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I am a hat guy and I can tell you that there are two types of hat wearers, i.e the one who likes a tight fit and the one who wants a comfort fit. If the head is 24" a 22 inch hat should be good, but it depends on the elasticity of the pattern and the elasticity of the material, cotton for example is not elastic, but wool is very elastic. If you are doing Color Stranding you will have to have at least 23 to 24 inches because these kind of knitting has very little elasticity. A swarch of the pattern will give you an idea of how much it stretches! You should also block the swatch as if you would the hat.