Tutorial: Crochet an Inuit Hunter’s Hat

This will be a somewhat feeble attempt to explain how to crochet an Inuit Hunter’s Hat. I am embarking on this project at the request of a few people who were interested to learn how to crochet the hat. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert in crotcheting. This is the only thing I crotchet. The instructions below are for a newborn hat. To make a bigger hat you will need to increase the crown of the hat by adding extra rows.  

Yarn: I use a medium weight acrylic yarn easily found in craft stores. The original Inuit Hunter’s Hat is done in wool but as most of the hats I make are for children, acrylic yarn washes easily and doesn’t shrink.  

Hook: 3.5 or 4  

Stitch: single stitch  

DISCLAIMER: If you decide to attempt this project, you do so at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for bouts of frustration and uncharacteristic cursing. I will do my best to present the material as accurately as possible. Enjoy the journey!  

The Crown of the Hat  

Begin with 6 chain stitches.

Join the 2 ends together by inserting the hook into the first stitch.

Wrap the yarn once around the hook and pull it through the 2 loops.

How are we doing? You should have a nice little circle of yarn with 1 loop on the hook.

Take your hook and put it in the hole of the circle.

Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the hole.

You should have 2 loops on the hook. Wrap the yarn again around the hook and pull it through the 2 loops.

Repeat the going in the hole stitch 8 more times. You should have 9 stitches around the circle.

Now we get to the tricky part, the part that confuses everyone at first. I know, I know. And here you thought everything was going tickity-boo. Well bare with me and try to follow the next part. Unfortunately my close-ups were too fuzzy to post. So we will be going at this blindly.  

You will begin the next series of stitches with a loop already on the hook. In each of the nine stitches you will put your hook in the middle of the stitch (a mini hole in the stitch), wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the 2 loops on the hook to create a single stitch. Place your hook back in the same stitch and repeat.  You are putting 2 completed single stitches (I call this the 2 in 1 stitch) in each of the nine stitches. Once complete you will have 18 stitches in the next row.  

Begin the next row by doing a single stitch in the first stitch and then a 2 in 2 stitch in the next stitch. You should have a total of 27 stitches.  

Begin the next row with 2 single stitiches and one 2 in 1 stitch. Continue to repeat this sequence until you have 36 stitches. By now you must have realized that you are crocheting in a spiral. For this reason it is very important to keep your stitch count accurate.  

After each completed row begin the next row by adding a single stitch to the sequence (3 singles & a 2 in 1 stitch, then 4 singles & a 2 in 1 stitch etc.).  You should always end up with 9 more stitches than the previous row. For a newborn hat stitch 8 rows (row 1 being 18 stitches) with a total of 81 stitches in row 8.  

 For a toddlers hat stitch 10 rows.  This is a hit and miss as it depends on the weight of the yarn. I have taking hats apart a number of times because it was too big or too small.  I now try to use the same wool for all my projects so that my hat sizes are consistent.  

If you feel brave you can add a row of a different colour. Just don't forget to count your stitches.

The Base of the Hat  

When you have completed your 8 rows, begin crocheting single stitches only.  Within a couple of rows you will notice you hat will begin to curve creating the sides of the hat.  

Good Job! Please note the hat is inside out.

When you have your desired length (approx. 3 in./7.75 cm) turn the hat right side out.  

With hat right side out begin a row of single stitches. This part will become the brim.

The Brim of the Hat  

This is the part where you can get creative. Use 2 or more colours to create an interesting design.  Recount your stitches.  You should have 81 stitches but if you discover you only have 79 because 2 stitches disappeared in the process, DO NOT PANIC! This will not overly affect the look of the hat. Using graph paper draw out your design using one square of the graph paper for each stitch. Remember that when you follow your design ALWAYS follow it from the bottom of the paper up or else you will discover that your design is upside down when you put flip your brim up. Trust me. I have done this more than once. For some designs it may not matter but if you decide to put the child’s name on the hat then you will find the name crocheted upside down. When you have completed the brim, knot it off.  

This is what your hat will look like once you have completed the brim.

Flip the brim.

If you would like to add ear flaps, skip this part and go the the Ear Flap part.  

At the seam where the brim and the hat join you will crochet one row of single stitches all around.  This keeps the brim from rolling down. Knot off at the end of the row. Now skip to Tassel part.  

  • If you do not want to add ear flaps, scroll down to the bottom of the tutorial to finish off with a tassel.

Ear Flaps  

You may wish to add ear flaps. I particularly do this for all of my children’s hats. Find the back of the hat.  This will be where the designs are off a little because of the spiral effect. Begin with the left side of the hat. Begin your row of single stitches at 9 stitches from the centre back of the hat. From this point stitch 14 stitches. Once you have completed the first row flip your hat to stitch the next row. Each row will automatically decrease. Continue to flip the hat as you finish stitching each row until you are left with one stitch. Put your yarn through the last stitch. Cut leaving a long enough tie.  

Hat with ear flaps.

To do the right ear flap count 23 stitiches to the right. Begin crocheting the first row if 14 stitches. continue as with the left ear flap flip the hat at the end of each row. Once both ear flaps are completed you will crotchet a row of single stitches all around the hat and ear flaps. You will find that it is not straight forward to stitch around the ear flaps. Do the best you can spacing the stitches evenly.  I find there is a sequence of stitch and a hole/space, stitch and hole/space.  I use each the stitch and the hole to introduce a single stitch as I go around.  I know. This sounds as clear as mud. However it is neccessary to give the hat a nice finished look.  

Adding the final touch to the hat.

You can use an alternating colour to stitch around the hat and ear flaps.

 Hooray you have completed your hat. Now on to the tassel.  

Tassel  

No Inuit Hunter’s Hat is complete without a tassel. Cut four pieces of yarn approximately 14 in/35.5 cm long. Using your crochet hook, thread 2 of the yarns at the top of the crown in one direction and then the other two in the opposite direction so that they are perpendicular to each other.  

Yarns are threaded pependicular to each other. One side will have 3 strands as it will include your starting yarn.

If you have ever made bracelets with gimp at summer camp (I might be dating myself), it is the same principle except that your braid will appear circular rather than square. Using the illustration above you cross strand A & C and then strand B & D and repeat until you have the length you require. You may need to get assistance from another individual to do this. It also helps if strands A/C are one colour and B/D are another colour. Once you have reached the desired length add your tassel.  

To make the tassel, wrap yarn (you can use as many colours as you want) around a piece of cardboard the desired length of the tassel. Cut the yarn at one end of the cardboard.  Join strands A/B together and strands C/D together.  Place the middle of your tassel yarns in such a way as you can tie them with the braid strands. Then using a separate strand of yarn, tie everything together.  

Trim yarn of the tassel to the desired length or to simply clean up the ends.  

Hat complete with tassel.

For the ties you may choose to do a 4 strand braid or you can do a regular 3 strand braid.  

And there you have it, your very own Inuit hunter’s hat. Enjoy the journey! 

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7 thoughts on “Tutorial: Crochet an Inuit Hunter’s Hat

  1. Vanessa says:

    When I was living in Iqaluit I learned how to do the hat part but had to leave before I learned how to do the brim. I was just wondering if you could give me some more guidance on how to do the brim(changing colour) I have never crocheted before and I’m not sure on who to do the brim or how to make it so the the brim doesn’t flip over. I’m a knitter. Thank-you so much for posting this and for all the work you did.

    Have a good one

    V

  2. Vanessa says:

    When I was living in Iqaluit I learned how to do the hat part but had to leave before I learned how to do the brim. I was just wondering if you could give me some more guidance on how to do the brim(changing colour) I have never crocheted before and I’m not sure on who to do the brim or how to make it so the the brim so it doesn’t flip over. I’m a knitter.

    Thank-you so much for posting this and for all the work you did.

    Have a good one

    V

  3. G. C. Simmons says:

    Thanks for the great explanation. You are a good teacher. Could you tell me what changes I should make to the pattern to make a man’s size?

    Many thanks.

    • threadlore says:

      To increase the size of the hat, simply increase the rows on the crown of the hat adding the additional stitches as you do initially. When I make my husband’s hat I usually increase to 11 rows. This does depend on the wool you use. I once used an acrylic wool that was very stretchy and the hat was too loose. Unfortunately it is not an exact science. Good luck to you.

      Lucie

  4. Lynn says:

    Hi. I am writing from Scotland. I saw a programme about Billy Connolly travelling round the North West Passage and loved the hat he was wearing. Research told me this was a Pang hat, but though I have tried, I never managed to find a pattern for one. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am sure with a bit of time to experiment I will manage to work out the hat shape.

  5. It has been some years since you wrote this tutorial, so I don’t know if you will still be checking the comments or not. I have been crocheting and doing other crafts for many years. I saw a photograph of a Pang hat recently and went to Google to find a pattern to make one, which led me to your tutorial. What you have done here is actually quite amazing, in that you have explained how to crochet a hat without using any of the standard crochet terminology! I would not have thought that was possible, but obviously other people have followed your instructions and were able to be successful? In fact, I can even see how one would write out the pattern in “normal” crochet terms, using your instructions as a guide. I’m going to try some adult sized Pang hats from your description, and see what happens. If you are still around, I’ll let you know, and if you ever want a standard crochet pattern made from your description, I’d be happy to give it a try.

    • threadlore says:

      Greetings Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that despite my lack of crochet terminology, it makes sense. I would be grateful if you sent me a standard crochet pattern based on my description.
      Lucie

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