Take a knitted hat and closely examine the stitches, pattern, and the way the yarn delicately weaves in and out. The design is intricate and complex, yet knitting a hat is not as complicated as the finished product looks. But how long does it take to knit a hat, especially with all of its complexities?
It takes around three hours for experienced knitters to knit a simple, solid-colored hat, while beginners might find that a basic hat takes six hours or more. The time it takes to knit a hat depends on the size of the hat, yarn weight and texture, and how often you work on the project.
Throughout this article, we will discuss the factors that determine how long it takes to knit a hat. Read on to learn more.
Complexity of Pattern
A basic hat is a relatively simple knitting project that beginners can complete within several hours if working consistently. The more complex the pattern, however, the more time it will take.
Below are three types of popular knitted hats and the time it usually takes to complete them:
- Beanies: A basic beanie is among the easiest of hats to knit, so an experienced knitter can knit a beanie in two to three hours in a single sitting. You can dress beanies up with lace or cable patterns, although this will add to the time it takes to complete.
- Slouchy hats: These hats are similar to beanies with extra material that drapes slightly in the back. Because they require more yardage, they take longer to make. An experienced knitter can knit a slouchy hat in as little as three hours, but more intricate designs, including added ribs or cables, may take six hours or more.
- Berets: These flattering hats are more challenging to knit than beanies but still doable for beginners. A very simple beret using a stockinette stitch will take around three to four hours for an experienced knitter.
In addition, any colorwork will add to the time it takes to complete a knitted hat.
Size of the Hat
The size of the hat plays a role in how long knitting will take, as a small, baby-sized beanie using simple stitching is easier to make than an adult beanie. Therefore, the baby-sized hat will take less time.
Below is a chart with the average head circumference of specific age groups. You can see how the head circumference relates to the height of the hat and the amount of yarn you’ll need.
|Age||Head Cir.||Height of Hat||Yardage|
|Newborn||14” (35.5 cm)||6” (15 cm)||100-150 (91-137 m)|
|3-6 Months||17” (43 cm)||7” (18 cm)||100-150 (91-137 m)|
|6-12 Months||18” (46 cm)||7.5” (19 cm)||100-150 (91-137 m)|
|1-3 Years||19” (48 cm)||8” (20 cm)||100-150 (91-137 m)|
|3-10 Years||20” (51 cm)||8.5” (22 cm)||100-180 (91-165 m)|
|11-17 Years||21” (53 cm)||10” (25 cm)||100-180 (91-165 m)|
|Adult Male||22.5-24” (57-61 cm)||11.5” (29 cm)||200-255 (183-233 m)|
|Adult Female||22.5” (57 cm)||11” (28 cm)||120-200 (110-183 m)|
The lower the yardage, the less time it will take to knit the hat.
Weight of the Yarn
The yarn that you’re using will impact the time it takes to knit a hat. Finer yarn means more stitches, so knitting will take longer. Below, we’ll discuss some of the popular yarn weights for hat making.
- Worsted weight. Worsted weight is the traditional knitting yarn. A medium worsted weight yarn is among the most popular for making winter hats, gloves, and scarves and keeps knitting time short while creating a cap that isn’t too stiff or bulky. This is a popular yarn for hat-making on Amazon made from Peruvian wool.
- Fingering weight. Fingering weight is best for slouchy hats, as it’s lightweight. When using fingering weight for a slouchy hat, use a larger needle (that still corresponds to the weight of yarn) to avoid stiff stitches and ensure maximum drape. It will take longer to knit a hat with fingering yarn versus worsted weight, as fingering yarn is finer.
- Sport yarn. When knitting hats for babies, sport yarn is the best choice, as it is lightweight and finer than medium-worsted yarn. Anything thicker than sport yarn will likely be too bulky for a baby’s hat. Even though sport yarn is finer, the project is likely to be smaller (i.e., newborns, infants, toddlers, etc.), so it should take less time.
- DK or double knitting. Slightly heavier than sport-weight yarn, Double Knitting (DK) yarn is ideal for creating thicker, warmer hats that aren’t too heavy or stiff for a child’s head. It’s available in various colors, including pastels, making it a popular choice for babies. Projects using DK yarn will take longer to complete compared to worsted yarn.
- Chunky yarn. Chunky yarns aren’t recommended for children’s hats, as the hats will be too heavy and stiff. However, this yarn makes excellent winter hats for adults, and is thicker than worsted, fingering, sport, and DK. Because the yarn is thicker, the project takes less time but will be bulkier.
The Texture of Yarn Matters
Textures of yarn range from very fine to coarse. Most knitters prefer a yarn that’s somewhere in between when knitting hats. Very fine yarns take too long to knit, whereas yarn that’s too coarse yarn will render any intricate patterning practically invisible, as it hides the weaving under the coarse fibers.
Highly textured yarn also adds time to the knitting process. Coarse yarn tends to catch on the needle, slowing you down, while the novelty yarns are notorious for being hairy or tweedy and could significantly increase your knitting time.
Your Experience With Knitting
The speed at which a knitter knits has a definite impact on how long it takes to knit a hat. If it’s your first time knitting, it will take you significantly longer to knit than someone who’s been knitting for years. The more you knit, the faster you’ll become.
In addition, first-time knitters may find that their fingers and hands ache after a short period of knitting. Fortunately, knitting is a kinetic skill, and as you gain experience, you become more fluid and used to repetitive movements.
How Often You Work on Your Hat
An experienced knitter that works on their hat for an hour every day could finish it in as little as two days. Those who prefer to work on it intermittently instead of consistently will take significantly longer to complete the project.
Many knitters do not work on a project all day long. There are distractions, responsibilities, and other tasks that need finishing, so it’s best to set a designated time to knit. You can knit while you watch television, lie in bed, listen to music, or watch your children play at the park.
An experienced knitter can knit a hat in as little as two hours, but several factors determine exactly how long it will take, including:
- Style and complexity of the hat
- Weight and texture of the yarn
- Knitter’s experience
- How consistently you work on the hat
Knitting a hat is an ideal project for beginners, as it doesn’t take much time and allows you to become more fluid in your knitting movements.