It’s almost time for the winter months, which means colder weather. To me, that means it’s almost hat season, and anyone who knows me knows that hats are high on my list of things to crochet. They’re quick, they often take only one skein, and they can be tucked into almost any bag.

One problem I’ve had with making hats, however, is that I realize mid-project that it’s either going to be too small or too large. While momentarily disconcerting, either situation can be remedied easily. All it takes is some simple math that can be done in just a few steps.

Step 1: Figure out the stitch multiple in the original pattern. For this example, we’ll be using the Hudson Hat from Interweave Crochet Fall 2016. Many times you can decipher the multiple from the number of stitches in the first round, as is the case with the Hudson Hat. This hat begins with working 9 half double crochet in an adjustable ring. In this case, 9 is the multiple upon which the rest of the hat will be built. Based on the fact that I’m not using the original yarn and hook size called for in the pattern, I will definitely need to use this information later.

Step 2: Check the gauge. The original gauge is 12 sts and 9 rnds = 2 inches, and my gauge is slightly larger: 7 sts and 6 rnds = 2 inches. This change in gauge means that my hat is increasing at a faster rate than the original did. It’s not a problem for it to do this; in fact, it’s totally expected. But that means that I need to modify the pattern in order to make sure the hat fits the way I want it to.

Stitch gauge: 7 sts = 2 inches

Round gauge: 6 rnds = 2 inches

Step 3: Make modifications. There are a few ways the hat can be modified.

1)   Whenever your hat is the correct size, begin working even. To work even, you will work 1 stitch in each stitch with no increases or decreases.

2)   If the hat is too small, you’ll want to continue increasing. There are two ways to do this:

a.   Continue increasing:

i.   Work 1 stitch in each stitch around to the 2nd stitch of the next increase on the previous row.

ii.   Then you’ll work 2 stitches in the 2nd stitch of the increase.

b.   Increase after working even:

i.   Using the multiple you’ve been working with throughout, work 1 stitch in each stitch around to the last stitch of the multiple group.

ii.   Work 2 stitches in the last stitch of the multiple.

3)   If the hat is too large, decreasing is the obvious way to go. In order to decrease proportionally, you’ll have to do one of two things:

a.   Decrease after increasing:

i.   Work 1 stitch in each stitch around to each increase, decrease in the increase stitches.

ii.   For the following rounds, work 1 stitch in each stitch around to the last stitch before the decrease, decrease in the next 2 stitches.

b.   Decrease after working even:

i.   After figuring out the multiple, you’ll work 1 stitch in each stitch around to 2 stitches before the end of the multiple group.

ii.   Decrease in the last 2 stitches of the multiple.

Increases and decreases

Step 4: Work even. Once the hat reaches its correct size, you’ll work even until the hat reaches the correct length. You can even switch the colors or change up the edging. Whatever works for you!

Modified Hudson Hat

Well, there you have it—a quick and easy way to modify your hats. Now that you know what to do, which hat will you modify first? Let us know in the comments!

Happy stitching!

Susanna