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Head size chart for knitting hats

These measurements are the average head circumference measures gathered from different sources (e.g. knitting books & websites). You can use the measurement as a basis when you are grading your hat design or when you are knitting a hat as a gift. However, there is no chart that works for everyone so it’s always better if you are able to measure the head you are going to knit the hat for.

The finished hat circumference depends on how stretchy the stitch pattern you choose for your hat is. As a rule of thumb, a stockinette or ribbed hat should be made with approximately 10% to 15% of negative ease. This means that if according to the table the head circumference is 22″ the hat circumference should be from 18.7″ to 19.8″ but for instance, colorwork hats should have less negative ease because the fabric is not nearly as stretchy as stockinette stitch. Less negative ease means simply that the hat circumference and head circumference should be closer to each other. In this article I have explained how to figure out how many stitches to cast-on for a hat.

Typically you would also want to add some positive ease to your hat length. For teenagers and adults the hat is usually knitted 2-3″ (5-8 cm) and for babies and toddlers 1-2″ (2.5 – 5 cm) longer than the measurement from crown to base of ear.

Head size chart in inches

AgeHead circumferenceLength from crown to base of ear
Preemie12″4.25″
Newborn14″5″
6 months16.5″5.75″
12 months18″6.5″
Toddler19″6.75″
Child20″7.25″
Teenager21″7.75″
Woman22″8.25″
Man23-24″9.25″

Head size chart in cm

AgeHead circumferenceLength from crown to base of ear
Preemie30 cm10.5 cm
Newborn35 cm12.5 cm
6 months40 cm14.5 cm
12 months45 cm16.5 cm
Toddler48 cm17 cm
Child51 cm18.5 cm
Teenager53 cm19.5 cm
Woman55 cm21 cm
Man56 – 61 cm23.5 cm

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