Increasing Crochet in the Round for Rugs, Hats, and Other Lovely Things!

Two of the most popular searches bringing visitors to this blog are something along the lines of ‘free crochet pattern for beanies’ and ‘t-shirt rag rug’ so I figured I’d tell you how they work!

These directions enable you to use any hook, yarn, or stitch.

When I make beanies (like this one) or rugs, I usually use single crochet (US- Double in the UK) stitches.

The key to any increasing in the round, is to increase each row by the number of stitches you’ve started with.

My favourite number to use is 6. From there, you just have to add 6 stitches to each row, evenly spaced. If you wanted to do a base row of say 5 (or 8), then you’d just have to add 5 (or 8) stitches to each row for an even increase. I start with a ‘magic circle’ (The first second-7th stitch worked into the first so that you have 6 stitches that can easily be tightened into a close circle). To increase, you simply work two stitches in the place of one.

How to crochet in the round

  • Base row: 6 stitches. From here, the ending number is not a matter of the row times 6, but rather in anticipation of the next row multiplied by six.
  • 1st row: increase every stitch, ending with 12.
  • 2nd row: increase in every second stitch (6×2 is 12, but you should have 12 beginning the 2nd row and 18 to start the 3rd.
  • *increase in every third stitch (end with 24)
  • *increase on every 4th (end with 30)….
  • Each new time around is a row in this case- so the 6s are one row, the 12s are another row…
  • The main thing to remember is that on the 4th row, you’ll only increase every 4th stitch and should end up with 30 stitches (5 x6). For the 5th row, every 5th stitch and 36 (6 x6) total…

For rugs this is the entire ‘pattern’ and I usually slip in 6 contrasting pieces of yarn as space holders at the increases. That way, I can easily see where to increase when I come back to the project instead of counting. You continue to increase on each round until the rug has reached the ideal size. Here’s another example of a rag rug I’ve worked on.

To continue for hats

  • Continue to count each row
  • Increase until the circle is slightly smaller than the crown of the recipient’s head and then stop increasing each round. The yarn and stitch will influence how quickly the increase stops and the sides ‘begin’. That is what creates the gentle curve into the side of the hat and why I stop increasing just before the ‘perfect’ size. Usually around 2-4 rows with a DK or worsted weight yarn.
  • Crochet in the round without increasing until the hat sides are as long as desired (to stop above the ears? Just cover the ears? You decide).
  • Once the hat sides are long enough, slip stitch the last stitch to ‘even up’ the bottom, and do a row of decorative crab stitch (also reverse single crochet) around the edge! Here are links to reverse single directions and a video.

Rainbow crochet rag rug | Riotflower's Realm

If this isn’t clear enough feel free to ask questions and I’ll clarify. If you do end up making your first beanie this way, let me know how it turns out!


  1. I’m trying to use this method to make my first beanie, but my hat is coming out squared, rather than round…

    Can you please tell me what I’m doing wrong?? I’ve started over a few times, and I’m beginning to get a little frusterated…

  2. Hi there..
    Hmm- let me try and figure it out.

    Did you start with 6 stitches in the original circle and increase by 6 stitches each row?
    If you did, are the increases evenly spaced? If it’s squared, that sounds like there are 4 increases in your piece?
    If there are indeed 6 increases each row and evenly spaced perhaps you could stagger them a bit. I tend to just put stitch markers in for rugs and they turn out a sort of hexagon, which is why I count for hats: the counting staggers the increases just that little bit so it comes out smoother.

    If you’ve done all of the above let me know where in the process it seems to have gone wrong and I’ll try and help you figure it out!

  3. Hey, thanks for replying!

    In other patterns I’ve looked at, “rows” are defined by chaining two stitches after making the correct number of stitches in a row. I was wondering if I’m supposed to be defining rows in a similar manner with your pattern? I’ve just been stitching in a spiral in one continuous row. I think the reason I have four corners to my piece is because when I stitch in a spiral, the increases occur in the same four areas (something I’ve noticed)…

    From the beginning to my current progress: I chained four stitches and slip-stiched them together. At that point, I stitched around the loop six times. Then, I made twelve stitches (two in each stitch). From there, I’ve begun to increase according to the article (row four: increase every fourth stitch; row five: increase every fifth stitch, etc.), using the “6 x [row number]” formula to tell me how many stitches I’ll need.

    Thank you for helping!!

  4. Hi Marcy…
    I’ve just got my hook and yarn out and it seems the post is unclear and incorrect in places! I’ve learned my lesson that it’s better to write what I’m talking about as I’m doing it. Thanks for writing.
    I may have left out a few rows and mis-represented the numbers reached after each round.
    You are correct in working in a spiral, but I talk in terms of rows to keep track of increases to keep it even.
    Each new time around is a row in this case- so the 6s are one row, the 12s are another row…
    after that, before you begun increasing by on each 4th stitch, you should have increased every 3rd stitch- maybe that wasn’t clear.
    4 chains to form a loop.
    6 stitches around that circle so only 6 stitches are visible (I labeled this as row one, but it should be row “zero”

    THIS is what is missing from the post:
    From here, the ending number is not a matter of the row times 6, but rather in anticipation of the next row multiplied by six.
    (6×2 is 12, but you should have 12 beginning the 2nd row, 6 x 5 is 30 but begin the 5th row with 30).
    increase every stitch to end with 12 (row once since you increase every one)
    *increase in every second stitch (row two since you increase on every second stitch- end with 18)
    *increase in every third stitch (end with 24)
    *increase on every 4th (end with 30)….
    This should work out much better than I had written it before and I will soon fix this tutorial.
    Thanks a lot for flagging it up to me.
    Good luck!

  5. If you are looking for a way to make any room in your home more attractive, then you may want to invest in some oval rugs. You can use an oval rug in the living room, dining room, bedroom or outside, even if you get the type of carpet.

    • I am particularly partial to making hexagons but my mother’ crocheted some beautiful oval rugs for our home when I was little :* )

  6. Thanks for the clear instruction, I’ve only been shown how to crochet granny squares years ago by my mother (I’m a guy too lol) and have recently bought some yarn and worked out how to start and crochet on my own.

    Anyway, blankets get boring after a while, and I’ve been searching for ‘beginner friendly’ hat patterns – your’s seems to look good and is quite simple to understand.

    Thanks again.

    • Hey there Fletch,

      Glad you found the instructions useful and clear!
      Good luck with your crocheting!


  7. well, I guess I messed up – I bought a VERY black yarn and couldn’t see to stitch! so I’m using a treble crochet to make this first hat easier, and it’s turning out great, Thanks again 🙂

  8. I started to make a round blanket, but it keep curling up after each round.
    after watching your demo, i see where i went wrong, I am now going to start again
    properly this time,

    • Hi Kathy,

      I’m glad it became clear! The great thing about crochet is it’s so easy to undo and start over. If you have any questions this time around, let me know!

  9. Hello I tried crocheting a beanie for an adult,the pattern i followed said 68 stitches was all that was needed for my hat but it turned out only 18 inches round and much to small so now i have undone it and need to increase more to get it to 22-24 inch round but not sure how many increases and how often in between my stitches I need to do it,can you help please!

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thanks for commenting, I hope I can help!

      Without knowing much about your pattern or seeing the yarn and hook in front of me, I can tell you the following: in order to get a flat-top part of your hat, you will need to increase the same number of stitches per round as were in your starting loop. If you started with 4, for instance, then you would need to increase by 4 each round. I use 6 in these directions because it’s a nice solid loop to start with and a number that can be multiplied fairly easily.

      I would suggest doing two things:
      1. Counting the number of stitches in your starting loop and use that number to make sure you increase by that number each row.
      2. Once you have ripped it back to where you can still increase, count the number of stitches and figure out what ‘row’ you’re on. If, for instance, you have 6 stitches in the starting chain and currently have around 60 stitches, then your next row would be increasing every 11 stitches, to total 6 increases evenly spread over the whole round.

      Does this make sense? Does this help?

      Let me know if you have further questions or if there’s something I missed out.

  10. Hi there. I have a question! After looking at a number of beanie in the round tutorials, I have noticed that there are some that instruct, as you do, to increase each round until reaching the desires diameter. Other tutorials say to increase every other round. Any idea why?

    • Hello!

      Both types of increase will create a slightly different shape. Increasing every row creates a flat shape, which then curves slightly when placed on the top of your head (this is why you stop increasing when it is just slightly smaller than the top of your head and then move on to the sides). I have not made any hats by increasing every other round, but two things could be happening- either they are increasing as dramatically as would occur over two rows and having a row of ‘rest’ in between, or they are increasing the same amount as patterns that increase every row but over two rows and then creating a more gradual increase. This would create more of a curved shape for the hat, likely useful for more slouchy style hats.

      I hope this helps, but feel free to ask me any follow up questions!

  11. Hi! I’ve a very new beginner. I’ve made 2 beanies so far. My third however, I have unpicked 3 times already. I used 6 chains ring, 12 single dc into ring. 2 dc into each of those. single dc then 2 dc next round, 2 singles the 2dc and so on until 6 singles to 2 dc onto one hole. Slip stich and chain up two round. For some reason this particular beanie keeps going wavy/wonky on the flat top. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong? or how to fix it? I’ve been scouring the internet and cant find a thing 😦

    • Hi Jacq,

      Thanks for posting.

      Reading it, it sounds like you might be increasing the same way for two rows in a row.
      When you create 12 stitches from the 6, that is the round of increases in each stitch done. You don’t have to then put 2dc into each stitch of the next row. That will make it more tube-like than flat. Once you’ve done the round where you put 2dc in each stitch, you will then move on to the single dc then 2dc in the next stitch round…and continue the pattern you’ve described. This is working in the round.

      Finally, by slip stitching and chaining for the next round, it sounds as though you are working in rows, which is when you stop a row and slip stitch it closed. You don’t want to do this when you’re working in the round because working in the round should be a constant spiral.

      I hope this helps. If not, comment again and I’ll see what I can figure out!

      If it does help, it would be great to hear!

  12. This is absolutely the clearest instructions on increasing in the round I have ever read. I’m so thrilled. Thank you!

  13. Hi! I’m making a beanie for my 10 month cousin. Unfortunately I don’t live close to her so how do I know how big to make the beanie?

    • Hi Avery, very sorry for the delay getting back to you, I was unplugged for a bit of summer vacation. I generally look up measurement charts or sizings from free patterns online and measure the browband on the hat I’m making. You’ll need to ask the recipient’s parent to measure them to start. Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s