Hadley Hat Modifications

(photo from Elise's Instagram feed)

So far, the #holidayknitalong has been going like gangbusters! Elise has officially become a hat addict, knocking out an adorable hat for Ellerie (seen above), with plans to make a few more in the near future!

While I'm still slogging away at my hat, working a row or two in between holiday presents, I wanted to take a minute to share a few ways to modify the Hadley Hat pattern to suit a wide variety of needs. I wrote the pattern over two years ago now, and when it was originally written I only had one size, and used a very specific yarn. These notes will hopefully help you make your hat in a bunch of different ways!

One of the things I love most about hats is that you don't need to worry AS MUCH about sizing - most hats will fit most heads, and have a few inches of stretch to cover any possible sizing mistakes. That said, you can't expect a hat made for a baby to fit an adult, and visa versa.

One of the other things to keep in mind is the number of stripes you'll use for your hat, and even how many stitches to use in each stripe. The adult size has six stripes made with six rows each, but for a newborn hat this would be far too long. You'll want to adjust both number of stripes and number of rows per stripe accordingly.

To make life easier for everyone, I've made this handy chart to help you out. While you can definitely measure your hat recipient's head and then figure out the cast on number, number of stripes, and number of rows per stripe, this chart makes the Hadley Hat a bit more "thinking-proof"!

** Remember, the number of stripes INCLUDES the ribbing rows as the first stripe color. **

Now let's talk yarn. The pattern calls for Hobby Lobby's house brand of yarn, but what's great about this hat is that you can substitute in just about any thicker worsted weight yarn and the hat will turn out perfectly!

What do I mean by "thicker worsted weight"? Well, just about any acrylic yarn with a "4" on the label will work perfectly. That means you can head into any craft store, and just about any of their acrylic yarns will work just fine. Some brands I've used for this hat include Bernat, Vanna's Choice, Red Heart, and Lion Brand Wool Ease.

If you're making the hat with wool yarn, just be sure the suggested needle size on the ball band is at least a size US 8 / 5.0mm. Anything smaller will give you a much looser gauge hat, and the fit won't be the same.

All in all, the Hadley Hat is a fun and fast knit, perfect for last minute presents, or for cheering on your favorite football team during the bowl games, as Elise and I are doing! I'd love to see how you modify the Hadley Hat for everyone on your list - tag your finished knits #holidayknitalong and/or #shemakeshats so I can see!


  1. Thank you for the chart!! I am hoping to bust out a hat for Aidan and a hat for Alan in time for Christmas using some Vanna's Choice I have at home. #stashdown15 for the win!

  2. Thanks for the chart! Printed it off. I finally learned jog less stripes my first Hadley did not like due to the jog in the stripes!


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