Knitting Hats and other Headware

One of the cool things about using a circular loom is how easy it is to knit hats! Knitting looms often come in four or five sizes to match the different size heads (adult, youth, infant, etc.) In addition to hats, the looms can knit other types of headgear.

The following is a list of the types of hats worn. You can knit each type of headgear listed below. Free patterns are noted for each type of headgear. You may have to convert the pattern for the loom. Converted patterns will be up shortly.

For a complete list of headgear, see the Wikipedia.

  • rib stitch hatsHats generally have a brim all the way around the rim. It is either placed on the head or secured with hat pins. Some hats are gender specific.


    To learn more about the different parts of a hat and how to knit them and the correct sizing for a hat on the loom, please click on the tabs below. To learn about organizations that take chemo hat donations, see knitting for charity for more information.

Parts of a Hat
Sizing Chart
Large Gauge Looms

The following are the parts of a hat. You may or may not knit each part.

  • Crown. The crown is the the portion of a hat covering the top of the head. When given sizing for the crown, you will need to knit a length of approximately 2/3 of the amount given. For your convenience a chart has been provided in the next tab for when you haven't been given a crown size.

  • Brim. The brim is material, often stiff and sometimes projecting outward, from the bottom of the hat's crown horizontally all around the circumference of the hat. Here is one method for making brims:

    1. Knit double the number of rows you'd like the brim to be
    2. Reach inside the loom and pull up the bottom row to the top of the loom
    3. Put a loop on each peg (you will now have two wraps on each peg
    4. Knit the bottom wrap over the top wrap for each peg., completing the brim

    This technique also works for socks, clipper & sleeve cuffs and purse & bag brims.

  • Sweatband. The sweatband is the inside part of the hat which touches the top of the wearer's head. Often this is not included in a knit hat unless the hat has been felted.

  • Hatband. The hatband is a leather strip, ribbon, or string at the intersection of the crown and brim to hold the hat's size. This is not always included in knitted hats though it is not uncommon to see one on a felted knitted hat.

Head sizes and shapes differ from country to country with the smallest heads being in the Far Eastern countries and the largest in Germany. Head shapes can be very round or oval, with the Far Eastern countries having a rounder head and the Western countries having a more oval shape.

To determine your hat size, take a measuring tape and place it around the circumference of the head, slightly above the ears.

The following information was compiled from Martha Stewart's website. It provides an estimate for American head sizes by age and/or gender.

Average American Head Sizes
Head Size Age Circum. Crown
Newborn ≤ 6 mo 14-17 in 8-10 in
Infant 6-12 mo 16-19 in 11-12 in
Child 1-3 yrs 18-20 in 11-12 in
Child ≥ 3 yrs 20-22 in 13-14 in
Woman Adult 21-23½ in 13-15 in
Man Adult 22-22½ in 14-16 in

Which loom should you use when making a hat? Here's a quick table for large gauge looms for hats from size infant to adult large. Length knitted is the amount of knitting total on the loom before binding off.

Round Loom Hat Chart
No. of Pegs Knifty Knitter Length Knitted Age Group
24-26 KK Round Blue
KK Long Pink
7-8 in Infant
24-26 KK Round Blue
KK Long Pink
7-8 in Infant
30-32 KK Round Red 7.5-9.5 in Youth
36-38 KK Round Green
KK Long Yellow
8.5-10 in Adult S-M
40-42 KK Round Yellow 9-10.5 in Adult M-L

The following table will help you determine which loom to use if you are given the hat size (child (≥ 3) through adult).

  30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54
 Inches 201/2 203/4 211/4 215/8 22 221/2 223/4 231/4 235/8 24 241/2 243/4 251/4
 US 61/2 65/8 63/4 67/8 7 71/8 71/4 73/8 71/2 75/8 73/4 77/8 8
 Aus/UK 63/8 61/2 65/8 63/4 67/8 7 71/8 71/4 73/8 71/2 75/8 73/4 77/8
 Europe 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
  • cap with little beaded flowersCaps are usually soft and usually have no brim. They sometimes have a peak such as in a baseball cap. Married or older women wore caps made of muslin from the 18th through the 19th centuries indoors or under their bonnet.


  • baby bonnetBonnets are usually worn by women and girls outdoors. Their construction has a tie under the chin and peaks or visors. Bonnets have been worn by men but this is rare today. The construction of male bonnets were different from hats in that they were soft and had no brim. Today it would be referred to as a cap.


  • hooded scarfHoods are soft head coverings that are either an integral part of a larger garment, e.g., an coat, shirt or sweater or a separate form of headgear.


  • eye maskMasks are over part or all of the face. They may be worn to hide the face, protect the face or keep the face warm. Everyone from the military to travelers to skiers to revelers wear masks.


  • hallowigWigs are made from various natural and man-made fibers and are worn to disguise baldness and hair thinning or as part of a costume.


  • Crown HatCirclets & Crowns Circlets (aka fillets) are essentially a crown without the points or headcovering, just a band around the head. They eventually evolved into a crown.

    Don't you wear a crown or tiara while you knit? The Queen of Knitting? Well if you don't, try one of the patterns below. The first is a crown for a man and the second is a crown for a woman.