About Hat Sizing: A Reference Chart (Downloadable PDF)

Do you keep a journal of all your makes? I have a book, a journal if you will, always near me so I can jot down the date, needles, yarn I'm using, and patterns that I'm working on. I have a section specifically for adapting for babies, teens, and adults and I've finally made an official printable reference guide. This Chunky Hat Sizing Reference Chart can always be found near me in hat-making season! And now you can get it, too. While it used to be a bunch of notes that were getting a bit unwieldly, I have now officially created a printable document to add to my journal binder so I can jot down all the relevant information in one place - yes, you guessed it, it was scattered throughout the journal and I was constantly flipping through the pages when I wanted to go back to my notes. It's here for you to download as a PDF.

When I started making hats for different people, I just started experimenting to make various sizes and jotting down my notes. Believe me, it can be a challenge to know where to start and there are tons of charts and resources but, the thing is, I still wrote down my own notes and I feel most comfortable going back to my own notes because none of the references I found were right on for my own knitting. Well now, I’ve pulled all of my notes and learnings out of my notebook and put together a single digital version to capture it all! I can’t believe how often I go searching to look back to my charts, make comparisons, etc. etc.. Now, with this post, I have condensed it all and I have a just a few pages centralizing it so I can reference it all in the same place.

About My Gauge – Slight variation between 8mm, 9mm, 10mm

It’s hard to say if I knit more tightly or more loosely than another knitter, and to be honest, to me it doesn’t matter because I write down my own patterns so I can go back and recreate another. What DOES matter is that each of my hats is consistent when I use the same needle – and they are! But when you’re you and you’re trying to decide if my pattern will work up the same for you, here are the gauges for my knitting:

  • 8mm – 4″ x 4 = 15 rows, 10 stitches
  • 9mm 4″ x 4″ = 14.5 rows, 9.5 stitches
  • 10mm 4″ x 4″ = 14 rows, 9 stitches
Needle Variations – Top: 10mm Middle: 9mm Bottom: 8mm

About Sizing – There is no ONE SIZE FITS ALL

Here’s what I have found – from real data from REAL people who are wearing my hats. All the notes are in this downloadable and printable chart. Here is a summary:

Yes, a lot of the data collected from ACTUAL PEOPLE fell into the RED CENTER boxes (the Medium and Large size hats shown on this chart – 22.5′ to 24″ head circumference). However it is best to assume there is NO One Size Fits ALL. I have found that there are generally 5 sizes in teens/adults as shown on this chart. No matter how many hats I have made, there is always another person who either falls outside the “norm” range or who wants theirs tighter fitting or looser fitting. So I write down what worked for them and keep it in a list with any notes (e.g. this person likes navy and red, or this person likes a more narrow brim (6 rows instead of 8)) – because if they ever come back wanting another one, I want to be sure I refer to my notes for their personal fit.

From X-Small to Small to X-Large, a majority of people do, indeed, fit into the Medium and Large sizes. But I have also found equally as many that fall into the other ranges – some XS/S and some XL. Everyone appreciates a good-fitting hat, so it is best to ask for this sizing information (or perhaps measure the wearer yourself if you can):

  • 1) circumference (measurement around forehead, over bottom of ears and around the back of the hairline), and
  • 2) head height (measurement from earlobe to top of head so it covers the ear fully)
  • NEXT: Find the intersection of those two measurements on the sizing chart below and plan your hat sizing accordingly.

What About: More Snug or More Loose, Please

It is also true that some people like a MORE SNUG fitting hat and some like a MORE CASUAL, LOOSE fitting hat. Just like it is true that some people like a pom pom on top and some do not – it is ALL personal preference that must be taken into account. For the record, generally my hats are sized for a medium-tight fit (not loose, not tight).

Alteration Example: If a person would like a more snug hat and their head circumference is 22.5, I may move over one box to the left as seen in this chart (cast on fewer stitches).

Alteration Example: If a person would like a more snug hat and their head circumference 23″ with a height of 8″, I move over one box to the left (22.5″) and see it’s the same number of cast-on stitches for either circumference. In that case, I may size down to 8mm needles.

My Teen & Adult Size Sizing Chart

I am often asked how my hats fit and sometimes asked how to resize (either downsize or upsize) my hat patterns to fit someone bigger or smaller and, in most of my patterns, I provide the “multiples of” to increase or decrease sizing for your convenience. But if you’re new to knitting or new to chunky yarns (which most of my patterns use), or just simply want a Quick Reference like I use, the sizing chart (above) will give you an easy place to start. Next, the Personal Reference Pages (below) includes a BLANK PAGE that you can print out, even print multiples if you like, and keep a list of your own hat-making notes all together. Heck, you can print out multiple pages and keep your notes going and going and going until you get your own knitting size variations figured out. Or even simply keep track of your customers, your family, your friends’ hat notes so you can build your own go-to reference as a knowledge base.

Anyways, I DID IT! I formalized my document, put all my notes together and I’m making it available for you if you’d like to have a single reference location, an ongoing list to jot down all the things. Print it, put it somewhere nearby, I find this an invaluable reference because, as you know, when I move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing….. there is NO WAY I will remember what I did, no matter how hard I try. I think it’s the Creative Way of Being.

This provides a PDF version that you can print for yourself. Please note, I am still working on a Baby & Kids section, collecting data, and testing my sizing. I’ll provide an updated version as soon as I have collected enough to be certain I have it correct.

I hope you find these reference materials useful!

Jot me a note below the post if you like it, if you want to see something added, or if you just want to pop in to say hi in the comments – I’m always happy to hear from you. I hope you’ll find this downloadable PDF as helpful to your hat knitting as I do mine.

– Be Creative –

~Beccie B

I'd love to hear from you, comments or questions are welcome!

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