Shell Stitch Hat Tutorial

Here, as promised, is how to make the shell stitch hats as featured in my first post. It can be adapted to more or less any fibre or size, and I’d love to see what you make with it. Because it’s adaptable, there’s a little maths involved and if it becomes puzzling, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help!

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UK terms are used throughout, with occasional US terms in brackets. The basic principles used for this hat can be applied to any stitch pattern; the ones I offer here are merely suggestions.Essentially, the hat is formed from a flat circle, and then the number of stitches is maintained until the last round. This gives the hat shape; a bowl or basket can be made in the same way, but upside down.

To calculate the size of circle that you will need to make:

Measure the head circumference, or use a resource such as Bev’s Country Cottage hat sizing chart for guidance

Subtract 3cm (1 1/4″),  (more or less depending on the stretch of the yarn)

Divide this number by 3.14 (pi), or multiply by 7 and divide by 22. This gives you the diameter (measurement across a circle) that you need.

So for example if the head circumference is 50cm:

50-3=47

47/3.14= 15cm diameter.

Alternatively, enter the circumference minus 3 (or minus 1 if using inches) in this calculator to find the diameter.

Abbreviations used:

ch: chain
tr = treble (US dc)
dc: double crochet (single crochet)
R1, 2, 3…: rounds 1, 2, 3
SSR1, 2, 3…: shell stitch rounds 1, 2, 3…
sl st: slip stitch

This example is worked on a 4mm hook (KnitPro Waves) in Rico Essentials Cotton DK, Royal Blue.

Make a magic loop (or ch4 and close with a sl st to form a ring)

Round 1: ch3 and work 11 trebles (dc) into the ring, then join with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch-3 and tighten the ring (I find this easiest with a little finger inside the ring as I begin to draw it in) (12tr)

P1000874  P1000875

Round 1 is now complete.

Shell stitch hat round 1

Shell stitch hat round 1

Round 2: ch3 (counts as tr), work 1tr into the same stitch and then 2tr into each stitch around (total 24tr).

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R2 completed

R2 completed

Close R2 with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch-3.

Round 3: ch3 (counts as 1tr), tr in the same stitch, then work 1tr in the next stitch and repeat *2tr in one stitch, 1tr in next stitch* until the last stitch of the round, and close with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning ch-3(36 tr)

R3 stitches

R3 stitches

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Round 4: ch3 (counts as tr), tr in the same stitch, tr in each of the next 2 stitches, *2tr in one stitch, 1tr in next two stitches*, repeat from * to end; close with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch-3 (48 tr).

This process continues until you reach the desired diameter, in this case 10cm (4″) for a newborn hat.

Round 5: ch3 , tr in the same stitch, tr in each of the next 3 stitches then *2tr in one stitch, 1tr in next 3 stitches*, repeat from * to end; and close with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch-3 (60 tr).

For further rounds, where n is equal to the number of the round:

Round n: ch3 , tr in the same stitch, tr in each of the next (n-2) stitches then *2tr in one stitch, 1tr in next (n-2) stitches*, repeat from * to end; and close with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch-3 (12n tr).

 

R4 completed and measured

R4 completed and measured

The shell stitch pattern (or any of your choice that fits a multiple of 3 or 6 stitches) now begins. There are two alternating rounds to follow from here.

Shell Stitch Round 1: Counting from your slip stitch, skip the next two stitches, and work 5tr into the next (third) stitch; skip two stitches again, then 1dc in the third stitch; *skip 2 stitches, 5tr into next stitch, skip two stitches, dc into next stitch* and repeat from *until the last group of 6 stitches. Skip 2 stitches, 5tr into next stitch, skip 2 stitches, sl st into final sl st from previous round.

Shell stitch R1 begins

Close first round of shell stitch

Close first round of shell stitch

Shell stitch round 2: Ch3(counts as tr), then work 2tr in the same stitch. Skip 2 stitches, dc into next stitch, Repeat *skip 2 stitches, 5tr into next stitch, skip two stitches, dc into next stitch* until the last 3 stitches; 2tr into the first stitch of the round and sl st to the top of the first tr to join.

Shell stitch round 2 begins

Close Shell Stitch Round 2

Alternate Shell stitch rounds 1 2 until you reach the desired hat height. You can finish with a round of dc into each stitch for neatness. Break off yarn and weave in ends.

Shell stitch round 2 ends

Please feel free to use and modify this pattern for personal, charitable or business purposes. I’d appreciate it if you would link back to the tutorial when selling or if you produce a modified version of the pattern. Thank you! NNN. x

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11 thoughts on “Shell Stitch Hat Tutorial

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  5. For the rounds after 3 do you do sttr or ch3 (counts as tr), 1tr in the same stitch, then *2tr in one stitch, 1tr in next two stitches* around each time or do you have to change it?

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    • Hi Alyse, I just re read it and can see that it isn’t clear so later today I’ll update this section and add something on adult sizing. It was my first pattern and I still have a lot to learn so I really appreciate your feedback.

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