Have you ever made that PERFECT hat for your kid that you absolutely fall in love with? The fit is amazing, the length is just perfect, and the project was just challenging enough to be adorable but not something you really want to repeat because it was a pain the first time. (We’ve all been there, right?!?!)
I’ve made several hats over the years for my kids that fit the above scenario. The SINGLE BIGGEST problem I always run into is that those hats I love so much only last for one winter. Why?
Well, it’s because when I dig them out to try them on when the winter season rolls back around, they all tend to look like this…
I swear this covered her ears last year…
So what can you do when you REALLY don’t want to crochet a whole new hat in a longer size? The answer lies is a simple Single Crochet Ribbing!
The first thing you want to do is to pull out the hat you want to lengthen and measure it across the brim. Once you know that measurement, you want to measure the length and figure out how much more you want to add to that.
For my hat I ended up with a width of 10″ and a length of 7.5″. I decided I wanted to add an inch to the bottom so I crocheted my ribbing to measure 2″ wide.
For me, that meant using a J hook and chaining 10.
Because you will be folding your ribbing you want to make it twice as wide as you need, so keep that in mind moving forward!
If you don’t know how to make a ribbing, the first thing you need to do is watch this short tutorial. If you have this part down, skip to the pattern below the video!
The basic pattern is pretty simple.
Chain any number of stitches.
Row 1 (Right Side): Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across, turn.
Row 2: Chain 1, Single Crochet in Back Loop Only in each single crochet across, turn.
Repeat row 2 to desired length.
For this project you will need to crochet your ribbing to within a 1/2″ of the width of your brim. That means it needs to be SMALLER by half an inch.
Why smaller? We need to make it smaller because the ribbing has a ton of stretch. If you made it the same width or wider, the hat might ripple out and the cold would get in…pretty much making the hat useless against the winter weather!
Now, a small note before we move on. My hat is finished with a reverse single crochet but this technique will work on pretty much any type of hat. You can even use it on store-bought knit hats!
Now that you have your ribbing the correct length and crocheted together to create a large circle, you are ready to fold it and stitch it together!
In order to do this, fold your ribbing in half lengthwise and slip stitch between both layers to secure. Matching stitches, skip next row, slip stitch in next row, around. TAKE CARE TO LOOSELY SLIP STITCH! If you pull too tightly, you will not be able to work the next step!!
Leave a long length of yarn for sewing and finish off.
The next thing we need to do is ease the brim to your hat!
To make this work with as few tears as possible you will need a few safety pins. I use large sized pins because they are easier with all this yarn, but you can use smaller ones if that’s all you have lying around.
Flip your hat inside out and position your ribbing on the OUTSIDE with the slip stitches facing. Then carefully pin in place so that it’s even all the way around your hat.
Once you are happy with the placement, it’s time to start sewing. Thread a yarn needle with the leftover tail from your ribbing and begin whipstitching around the hat. DON’T PULL TOO TIGHTLY OR THE HAT WILL NOT FIT PROPERLY!!
When you’re done, flip it right-side out and enjoy!
If it’s simpler for you to follow along to a video tutorial, then you’re in luck! Hit the play button below and you’ll be able to see everything I’ve just described above!
If you enjoyed this project don’t forget to click that LIKE button below and if you have the time I’d love to hear from you with a comment!! If you’ve tried this with one of your old hats and want to share a pic, I’d LOVE to see it! Come on over to the HodgePodge Crochet FACEBOOK PAGE to show off your stuff and don’t forget to hit that FOLLOW HODGEPODGE button in the side bar so you don’t miss out on more cool stuff!