There’s nothing like sitting down to knit a hat pattern and realizing the pattern size is not quite big enough to cover your head (or maybe it’s too big). I recently experienced this myself—I knit almost all of an adorable colorwork hat and when I tried it on before closing the top, realized that I hadn’t paid attention to the instructions and it would need some adjustment before I could wear it. (It’s still sitting in time out but I’m hoping to get back to it soon—it’s really cute!)
In this instance, I could have avoided the disappointment by making sure to read the pattern first and foremost, and then adjusting the pattern repeat to make it wide enough to fit my head. Sometimes a hat has a horizontal headband, from which stitches are picked up and worked to the crown. To help you practice adjusting your hat and headband patterns, we’ve got five free headband patterns, and three easy ways to make them fit the circumference you need.
- Consider going up or down a needle or hook size. This is one of the easier and quicker fixes—using the same yarn at a slightly larger or smaller gauge will create a bigger or smaller headband. Use this technique on: Macaron, Calisson.
- Add an extra repeat, or remove a repeat, of the stitch pattern. Take a look at the row gauge listed in the pattern, and figure out how many rows are listed by the inch. For example, in the Cotolana headband, there are 27 rows to 4″—divide the 27 by 4 to get 6.75 rows to one inch. Then look at how many rows are in the stitch repeat (10 rows). You can add one repeat to add about 1.5″ to the headband, or subtract one repeat to make it a bit more snug. Use this technique on: Pralines, Clafoutis, Profiteroles
- Modify the stitch pattern. This one is a little trickier but not impossible. Take a look at the Macaron: the stitch pattern is quite wide, making it hard to adjust the stitch repeat. However, you’ll notice there are purl stitches separating the lacy elements—you can add mirrored purl stitches to give this headband a little more circumference. If you’re using this method to modify a hat pattern, you—ll likely need to make small adjustments to the decreases at the crown. Use this technique on: Tuscan Tweed headband