Picture this: you’re working on a beanie with the most gorgeous pattern. You’ve followed all the steps, it’s the right size, and you used your warmest yarn to make this extra special beanie that you’re actually going to keep for yourself. Then you go to try it on –and your chain is so tight you can’t get the beanie on. If that’s happened to you, you’ll love this stretchy crochet ribbing tutorial!
I used to start my beanies with a normal chain and crochet the ribbed section using whatever method the pattern stated, but I always had a hard time with the ribbing. But over the last few years, I’ve been using a method for the perfect stretchy crochet ribbing that I’ve ever seen. And today, I’m going to show you how I do it!
Beanies have become some of my favorite things to makes. All the things I used to struggle with are easier now (after time and patience and just learning), and I’ve even designed a few of my beanie patterns. Two things never change though: my sizing method and my stretchy crochet ribbing.
If you have trouble sizing beanies too, then make sure you grab a copy of my Ultimate Guide to Sizing Hats cheat sheet. It’s totally free and it has an extensive list of measurements for every size beanie you’d want to make.
Freebie: Ultimate Guide to Sizing Hats
As for the ribbing, you only need to know how to double crochet and work foundations stitches. The foundation stitches are super easy though, and I walk you through them in the video tutorial below. So, let’s get started!
- FDC – Foundation DC
- DC – double crochet
- FPDC – Front post DC
- BPDC – Back post DC
Stretchy Crochet Ribbing Tutorial
Grab your yarn and hook. It doesn’t really matter but for this, I’m using some Red Heart yarn and a 4.00mm hook. Make a slip knot and chain 3. Then insert your hook into the first chain, YO, and pull up a loop.
YO and pull through just the first loop. Then YO again and work a DC with the three loops on your hook. This is your first Foundation DC (FDC). The first loop you pulled through is sort of standing in for a typical link on a foundation chain and the DC is worked directly on top of it. When you work a row of these, the chain has more room to stretch so you get a stretchier first row than just using a chain.
Now, *YO and insert your hook into the “chain” you made, YO, pull through the first loop, YO and DC.* Continue working these FDC until it’s long enough. I made 20 FDC here.
See that stretch already!
Insert your hook behind the DC on the last row and YO. DC as normal. This is a FPDC.
Insert your hook in front of the next DC and pull up a loop. Finish the DC as normal. This is a BPDC.
Alternate between FPDC and BPDC along the row to make the first row of your stretchy crochet ribbing. For the next row, chain 2, and continue alternating between the two stitches. The more rows you work, the taller and more pronounced the ribbing becomes.
I love this crochet ribbing method and it’s my go-to for all my beanies. I even switch out whatever other patterns call for with this method because it’s so much easier, stretchier, and looks better! Plus, it’s reversible so it looks great even when you have the brim flipped up and you don’t need to worry about it being on the right side or wrong side once you start the body of the beanie.
Check out some of my beanie patterns here (they all use this stretchy crochet ribbing!):
Rosebud Beanie Free Pattern
Pumpkin Spice Beanie Free Pattern
Houndstooth Beanie Free Pattern
What’s the best crochet tip, trick or method you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments below! And if you want to get free patterns and yarny deals delivered right to your inbox every week, sign up for the newsletter below. It’s free and you get access to tons of subscriber-only bonuses!
See you soon 🙂
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Friday 11th of December 2020
Thank you for this tutorial. I made my infant granddaughter a winter beany but it was too small for her, so I went up in size, but that one was also too small. I figured it was because the yarn I used wasn't stretchy enough. I'm looking forward to trying this stitch on another beany for her.
Monday 14th of December 2020
I'm so glad you found it helpful! I always had so much trouble getting beanies to fit but not anymore! You may also want to grab the Ultimate Guide to Sizing Hats freebie (in the post near the top) so you can have a reference for any size beanie you want to make. It has all the measurements you need so you don't have to guess!
Sunday 2nd of October 2016
Great tutorial; It's so easy to follow! Thanks for linking up with Merry Monday!
Monday 3rd of October 2016
Friday 24th of June 2016
Love this DIY! I'm getting some new crochet hooks and can't wait to learn how besides the string I can make lol ;) Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party!
Tuesday 21st of June 2016
Thank you, Tammy!
Tammy @ Posh Patterns Blog
Tuesday 21st of June 2016
Great tutorial and pictures! Visiting from That DIY Party link up. :-)