My Universal BJD Hat pattern aspires to make it possible for every doll to have a basic toque (or beanie, or watch cap, or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods), based on wig size. But some dolls don’t wear a standard wig size and in this post I’ll walk you through the arithmetic of customizing the hat beyond what’s in the pattern to fit unusually-sized heads – or unusual wigs!

My model, as usual, will be the lovely Rada. Rada is a DollsTown Seola 7. She is a mini or 1/4 scale doll, but she has a *huge* head for a mini, 8.25″, which is too large for something designed to fit size 7-8″ heads, but quite small for 8-9″ ones. Never mind the difficulties I’ve encountered trying to find wigs for the poor dear, I finally have one and now it’s time for her to have a perfect hat.

With her wig on, Rada’s head circumference is just under 9″. I got my tape measure out to check! Now, if you were to divide the number of stitches in the 8-9″ size (60) by the number of stitches per inch in the pattern gauge (8), you would find out that the finished hat will only measure 7.5″ around – but the hat is meant to fit with about 20% negative ease, so that it will fit snugly, like a human hat would. The 8-9″ hat (grey sample) is a bit loose on Rada, so I’m going to knit her a custom smaller version.

**Step 0 (calculation):** I want to lose somewhere around 1/4 to 1/2″ of actual fabric. I multiply the gauge (8 sts/inch) times the number of inches I want to lose, and find that I want to subtract 2-4 stitches from the final circumference of the hat. Since the hat is built around a series of six wedge-like “sections,” I decide that I will subtract 3 stitches, so that I can space the change out evenly around the 6 sections. NOTE: subtracting 3 stitches means I will have an odd number of stitches when working ribbing for the brim, which I’ll return to later.

**Step 1 (change increase rate):** The pattern says to increase until each section contains 10 stitches. I knit until my sections contain 9 stitches. Then, instead of working a full increase row for my last row (and adding 6 stitches), I work a half-increase row, adding only 3 stitches (3 stitches fewer than in the pattern – approximately 0.4″ subtracted from the final fabric). Following the pattern, I would *[k 9, m1]* six times around. Instead, I will *[k18, m1]* three times around, working two sections before each increase.

If I had decided to subtract 4 stitches, I would have spread the adjustment out over two increase rows: I would follow the pattern until each section contained 8 stitches. Then I would *[k8, m1, k16, m1]* twice (one round finished; 4 instead of 6 stitches increased). The next increase row I would* *reverse the position of the skipped increases and *[k18, m1, k9, m1]* twice. I would have worked 2 increase rounds, increasing 8 stitches instead of 12, subtracting 4 stitches from the total circumference of the hat (in this case, I would not have to adjust the ribbing pattern on the brim as described below).

**Step 2 (adjust length): **I will also subtract a few rounds of stockinette from the following section where the pattern says to work even, as Rada’s head is a bit smaller in all directions and I don’t want the hat to be too long. To calculate how many rounds to subtract, I divide the number of stitches I removed in Step 1 (3) by the number of stitches the pattern calls for in this size (60): 3 ÷ 60 = 0.05. Then I multiply that number times the number of rounds in the pattern, adding the rounds that are worked even (18 rows) plus my desired brim style (rib, adding a further 6 rounds): 0.05 x 24 = 1.2. I’ll round up to 2, and work only 16 rounds even before moving on to the brim, which I’ll work essentially as specified in the pattern. However, because I now have an odd number of stitches, I work in K1 P1 ribbing around to the last 2 stitches, then P2tog, working all remaining rounds exactly as written. I could just as well have left out the P2tog, meaning the last stitch of each round would be a knit stitch, just like the first stitch of the next round, which is a tiny detail some people might notice and be bugged by, but for most purposes it’s just fine if you find it easier. Personally, I know if I have a rib that breaks the pattern, I will forever be tinking back to fix where I started purling my knits and knitting my purls on autopilot!

A perfect fit! Good luck with your adjustments!

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