Please help me keep all my hot air inside.
October 24, 2021 12:34 PM   Subscribe

My head measures 24 inches, and this means almost all winter hats are too small, don't cover my ears, pull themselves off, and cause headaches. Which is too bad, because I love hats! I found one site last year that sold hats in actual sizes, but otherwise my google-shopping-fu is failing me. Please help me find a wool or cashmere hat in size XL! Simple skull cap style preferred, but still need my ears covered. Thanks in advance.
posted by Dashy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe this is not what you’re looking for, but do you know anyone who knits or crochets? I would be more than happy to help out a friend in your situation with a custom hat. Simple skull caps are pretty easy to make.
posted by MadamM at 12:43 PM on October 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Or, try Etsy! This is an option, or you could search around for someone who would customize a hat for you.
posted by MadamM at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I did ask a family knitter! And there's nothing more awkward than -not- wearing a hat made for me b/c it didn't fit ... maybe I should try a seller on Etsy.
posted by Dashy at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2021

I have the same problem. My solution was to get a Simplicity pattern for fleece hats and size it up an inch or two. (I can't knit or crochet to save my life.) Bonus: making a matching scarf is really easy.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:02 PM on October 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

How expensive are you prepared to go? I got a closeout XL from Golightly Cashmere a few years ago and they are definitely big enough - I too suffer from a giant head. Sadly, they are extremely expensive even for cashmere, but they are very high quality with none of the flaws that sometimes, alas, plague Etsy hats. (I've had a long hat-related saga.)

If you are a beret-type person, these wool berets from Poland are cheap and large - I have several. I pull them down over my ears.
posted by Frowner at 1:12 PM on October 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've adored my Tilley Hats from Canada: this winter wool is cozy. You're a 7-3/4 or XL in their sizes.
posted by Jesse the K at 2:03 PM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

Check out King & Fifth online. I wear size 7-7/8, and they have a "wide" selection in that size, so I bet they can help you. Mostly $20-$25 range for skullcaps and watch caps.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:42 PM on October 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

How to find a knitter / crocheter / yarnsmith --
Check your local yarn store (Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, Michaels, etc.) and ask for recommendations. Some of their staff who teach classes and make demonstration models may also take on projects at a reasonable price and timeline.
Check your local libraries, senior centers, community colleges, online bulletin boards, etc. Knitters gotta knit, and sometimes they gather on a regular basis to swap patterns and learn new tricks.
Ask friends and neighbors and coworkers if they have any leads. We. Are. Everywhere.
Put up a flyer at the above places.

Easy Beginner's Crochet Beanie -- Bonnie Barker. Great tutorial, a simple spiral pattern of double crochet stitches made with the help of a stitch marker.
There is a free downloadable pattern. There is no diagram.
I would follow Bonnie's suggestion and continue working all the rounds as simple double crochet, without the fancy ribbing stitches on the last rounds used in the pattern. The extra long beanie can be doubled over to make it tighter and thicker over the ears.
I use Hobby Lobby "I Love This Yarn" or Red Heart "With Love" acrylics yarns for softness and thickness. There are wool blend yarns available. The downloadable pattern is made with an acrylic yarn.
This pattern uses an I/9 (5.50 mm) hook. A larger hook (J or K hook) or a thicker yarn will make a wider hat without changing the pattern at round 6 (13:18).
The Increase Round pattern is made by adding twelve stitches per round. By round 5 there are 60 stitches. For a bigger beanie add twelve extra stitches evenly on round 6 (72 stitches), round 7 (84 stitches), round 8 (96 stitches), etc. as desired. At some point this will make a ridiculously wide beanie, unless the crocheter makes very tight stitches with a thin yarn and small hook.
Once the beanie is wide enough, the rest of the rounds are one double crochet per stitch until the desired length is achieved. Follow instructions to slip stitch to the next stitch, chain one, cut a 5 inch tail, and weave in the extra yarn with a large-eye darning needle.
One of my favorite things about crochet is that you can always unravel it and do something new. On the other hand, wool yarns can be felted, which seems to be a permanent material.
posted by TrishaU at 10:17 PM on October 24, 2021

And if you do enjoy crocheting hats and beanies, here is my go-to hat book -- Vintage Crochet Hats and Accessories: 23 Classic Hats, Shawls and Bags, by Kathryn Fulton, 2014
I do like the bucket hat and the fedora.
posted by TrishaU at 10:31 PM on October 24, 2021

Sadly it looks like SunGrubbies doesn't sell winter hats.... sharing it anyway in the event you need a summer hat as well, and for reference for future big-head hat seekers.
posted by Sublimity at 4:53 AM on October 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

As a fellow big-header, I took a leap and purchased this cashmere hat last spring and I can confirm that it's worth the money--so warm and soft and doesn't squish my head.
posted by shornco at 7:56 AM on October 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Last Christmas my mom tried knitting a hat for my meganoggin, but she enlarged her pattern a bit too much and it came out as a sort of pumpkin cozy. So I took some matching yarn and stitched through the bottom row as a drawstring, and it makes a lovely tam-o-shanter.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:03 PM on October 26, 2021

Response by poster: Update: I ordered a Golightly expedition hat in XL. The hat I got was 10" across at the brim when flat, and was the same snug as any other one-size-fits-all hat. Sadcakes.

I emailed them and asked if I'd gotten a mislabeled hat or if this was truly their XL. They didn't reply, but then I got a shipping notification for a "custom size" replacement hat. It just came, and I'm so happy it fits! My ears will finally be warm!
posted by Dashy at 12:56 PM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

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