How to Crochet

3 Easy Crochet Hat Starts You Need to Know

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Let's crochet together!

One of the first things I wanted to tackle as a new crocheter was learning how to crochet a hat for beginners. Even crochet hat patterns for beginners can seem daunting if you’ve just picked up the craft, but with a little determination, you can do it!

Whether you’re a total beginner crocheter, or just someone who’s looking for the best and easiest way to start a crochet hat from the top down, this article will help you make crocheting hats fun and easy.

These techniques work for just about any hat pattern that’s worked in the round from the top down, whether you’re using single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, or even a more complex pattern.

#1 How to Start a Crochet Hat With a Ch 4 Loop

This join is often the easiest for a beginner to master, as chain stitches are the first thing you learn in crochet. With this hat start technique, you will make a small chain, usually ch 4, then slip stitch to the first chain to form a small loop. 

After that, you’ll create a turning chain. then all your first round of stitches will be worked into the center of the loop you just created. Here’s my YouTube video demonstrating how to start a hat with a chain loop:

As you can see, while this way to start a crochet hat is absolutely the easiest, it does leave a small hole at the top of the hat. If you plan on adding a button on pom pom, that’s just perfect! But if you want to crochet a skull cap or beanie for a guy who wouldn’t appreciate the fluff, you might like the other two methods of starting a crochet hat just a bit better.

Be sure to grab my FREE Crochet Hat Size Checker tool to make sure you nail your hat sizing every time!



#2 How to Start a Crochet Hat With an Extra Chain

If you’re a bit more comfortable crocheting, you might like how this way to start a hat has a bit less of a hole in the top. It’s still fairly easy to make, less fiddly than a magic circle, but it requires a bit of patience.

To start a hat this way, you’ll make one chain that serves as the foundation of your hat. Then, you’ll make a turning chain, and work all the stitches into the first chain on the knot. Here’s the video I made to show you guys:

This method of crocheting a hat does have a little hole, but it’s much smaller than the Ch 4 loop method. It’s probably fine for a fall hat, but if you’re trying to keep warm in the dead of winter, you might like our next crochet technique- it’s my favorite.

#3 How to Start a Hat with a Magic Ring or Adjustable Loop

This crochet hat start is my secret sauce. After you learn how to crochet the magic ring, your hats will look so sleek and professional, you might have to start taking orders.

In this crochet technique, you create an adjustable loop by deconstructing your slip knot. Then you work your turning chain, crochet your first round into the loop, and cinch it shut later. It will all make sense when you watch this video:

The perfectly closed join at the top looks so polished, doesn’t it? While the magic ring can be fiddly for beginners, once you take the time to practice and learn it, you’ll be hooked. The flawless hats you’ll make are worth the effort!

So which hat start technique is right for you?

Just starting out, or want to add a removable button on pom pom?
Go for #1, the Ch 4 Loop.

Still getting used to crocheting, but want a sleeker look?
Try #2, the Extra Chain start.

Ready to get a flawless finish with no holes?
The Magic Ring technique, #3, is right up your alley!

I hope you’re feeling so excited to crochet hats now. After you master one or all of these techniques, you’ll probably agree that hats are one of the BEST crochet projects to make. They’re definitely my favorite!

Before you move on to Round 2 of your next hat, check out my Locked Loop Ends tutorial for hats– you’ll never  have to sew in that first yarn tail again.

Or, if you’re looking for more crochet hat patterns to try, check out all my free crochet hat patterns HERE.

Let's crochet together!

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