Knit-Look Crochet Hat Pattern: Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap in 8 Sizes

Are you looking for an easy, knit-look crochet hat pattern? Then try out the Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap, my most popular free crochet pattern of all time (as of January, 2020). This simple pattern makes a cozy, gender-neutral stretchy cap that looks like it was knit. The pattern is available in 8 sizes, with instructions for customizing it even further.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. The yarn for the sample was generously provided by Molly Girl Yarn.

I’ve always loved the simplicity of the “mistake rib” pattern in knitting. I tried a few different ways of mimicking it with crochet over the years, but nothing turned out quite right – until now!

I finally found the right way to create a knit-look crochet hat pattern that both looks like a mistake rib watchman’s cap AND has the stretch of one. The solution was to crochet the hat in rows from the brim to the crown, combining stitches of different heights and working in the back loop. Once the measurement across the rows is the right size for the finished hat circumference, it is seamed together. And, then, finally, the crown is crocheted in rounds to decrease and close up the hat.

I made the sample in wool, which has much more elasticity than some other yarns. In other words, the hat will stretch and then return to its original size. If you’re using a less elastic yarn, you may want to choose a larger size hat circumference so you don’t have to stretch it as much. The way to do that is to start with the same amount of chains as you’d like for the finished length, but repeat Rows 2-3 until you reach the desired finished circumference measurement.

If you make your own Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap, I’d love to see it! Share your progress and questions by tagging me on Facebook as @Underground Crafter, Instragram as @ucrafter, or Twitter as @ucrafter. You can also share a picture in the Underground Crafters Facebook group. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get a coupon code for your choice of one of my premium patterns and other subscriber goodies. Plus, you’ll never miss one of my free patterns again!

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Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap

Knit-Look Crochet Hat Pattern by Underground Crafter

02-easy 50US terms 504-medium 50Mimic the look of the mistake rib knitting stitch pattern with stitches of different heights and by working in the back loop.

Finished Sizes

  • Newborn (3-12 month old, 1-2 year old, 3-5 year old, 6-10 year old, Teen/Adult small, Adult medium, Adult large).
    • Newborn: 10” (25.5 cm) hat circumference x 6” (15 cm) height.
    • 3-12 month old: 12” (30.5 cm) hat circumference x 8.5” (21.5 cm) height.
    • 1-2 year old: 12” (30.5 cm) hat circumference x 9” (23 cm) height.
    • 3-5 year old: 12” (30.5 cm) hat circumference x 9.5” (24 cm) height.
    • 6-10 year old: 13” (33 cm) hat circumference x 10” (25.5 cm) height.
    • Teen/Adult small: 14” (35.5 cm) hat circumference x 10.25” (26 cm) height.
    • Adult medium: 16” (40.5 cm) hat circumference x 10.75” (27 cm) height.
    • Adult large: 18” (46 cm) hat circumference x 11” (28 cm) height.



  • Molly Girl Yarn Chart Topper (100% superwash Merino wool, 3.5 oz/100 g, 220 yd/201 m) – 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2) skeins in Chart Topper, or equivalent amount in any medium weight wool yarn. (I recently learned that Molly Girl discontinued the Chart Topper yarn. Her Rock Star yarn would be a great substitute.)
  • US Size H-8/5 mm crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.


  • 20 sts x 17 rows in pattern = 4” (10 cm) in pattern, pinned flat but unblocked. For best fit, always check your gauge.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • BL – back loop only
  • ch – chain
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • invdec – invisible decrease – Insert hook in front loop only of each of next 2 sts, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops.
  • rep – repeat
  • Rnd – Round
  • RS – right (front) side
  • sc – single crochet
  • slst – slip stitch
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • yo – yarn over
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Pattern Notes

  • This watchman’s cap is crocheted flat along the length of the hat, then seamed and finished with crown decreases in the round.

Pattern Instructions


Brim to crown

  • Ch 36 (48, 50, 52, 54, 58, 60, 62).
  • Row 1: Turn, skip 1 ch, *hdcBL in next ch, slstBL in next ch; rep from * across to last 7 chs, hdcBL in next ch, slstBL in last 6 chs. — 35 (47, 49, 51, 53, 57, 59, 61) sts
  • Row 2: Turn, ch 1, slstBL in first 7 sts, *hdcBL in next st, slstBL in next st; rep from * across.
  • Row 3: Turn, ch 1, *hdcBL in next st, slstBL in next st; rep from * across to last 7 sts, hdcBL in next st, sl stBL in 6 sts
  • Rep Rows 2-3 until hat measures approximately 10”/25.5 cm (12”/30.5 cm, 12”/30.5 cm, 12”/30.5 cm, 13”/33 cm, 14”/35.5 cm, 16”/40.5 cm, 18”/46 cm) across rows. Rep Row 2 once more. — Approximately 46 (56, 56, 56, 60, 64, 72, 80) rows.

Seam hat

  • With RS facing (with wrong/inside of hat together), work seam up to short edge (crown), being careful to match stitches on each side of hat. UPDATE: I used a slip stitch seam for my version of this hat (tutorial here), but some readers have suggested that makes the seam too visible. Alternate options for a less visible seam are the mattress stitch (tutorial here) and or the whip stitch (tutorial here).

Shape crown

  • Rnd 1: Work 24 (28, 28, 28, 32, 32, 36, 40) sts – or, any multiple of 4 sts – in sc evenly around short edge of hat (crown). Join with sl st to first sc.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 1, (invdec, sc in each of next 2 sts) around, join with sl st to first invdec. – 18 (21, 21, 21, 24, 24, 27, 30) sts.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 1, (invdec, sc in next st) around, join with sl st to first invdec. – 12 (14, 14, 14, 16, 16, 18, 20) sts.
  • Rnd 4: Ch 1, invdec around. Fasten off with long yarn tail. – 6 (7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10) sts.


  • With yarn needle, sew remaining sts together on crown. Weave ends into wrong side of hat.
© 2015, 2017 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: Thanks for supporting indie designers!

This pattern is featured on the 100+ Best Craft Projects of the Decade on FaveCrafts!

38 thoughts on “Knit-Look Crochet Hat Pattern: Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap in 8 Sizes”

  1. Such a nice cozy look!! It reminds me of going tobogganing!! Thank you so much for the pattern, especially including so many sizes.

      • This is a lovely pattern. I tried to buy the PDF version on Craftsy, but discovered that I couldn’t pay with a non-US PayPal account. I’m in England. This is the FIRST time I have ever encountered someone who wouldn’t accept my “non-U.S.” PayPal account! Your loss, babe, as well as mine.

        • Thanks for writing, Phyllis. I wrote you an email with more details, but essentially as an independent designer I’m unable to track the varying taxes of every country in the EU to comply with VAT. Perhaps the other designers you have purchased from are in your own country, and are already familiar with VAT, or they aren’t concerned with being out of compliance with your government, as I am.

  2. Hi Marie
    Just seen you pattern through Favecrafts. You did an amazing job in creating the Faux Mistake Rib hat for crocheters. Can hardly wait to make, not just one but a dozen or so. A scarf in the same pattern would be a nice addition as well. Thank you for for your efforts and for sharing your creativity. How very thoughtful and generous! Thank you again and again!!

  3. Marie, what an awesome idea for a watchman’s hat with the Mistake Rib stitch styling. Thanks for sharing this KOOL pattern with your readers. Best regards, Victor

  4. Hi Marie! I just finished your faux mistake rib watchmen’s cap! I have carpal tunnel in both my hands which has caused me to almost totally abandon crocheting; a craft I love and have been doing for over 40 years! This pattern was easy, it didn’t put undo strain on my hands, worked up fast and looks great!

  5. Thank you for a wonderful hat pattern. I like to make crocheted hats and to give them away as gifts, as well as other crocheted patterns.

    Appreciate you sharing your patterns.


  6. Hello. I am a liitle confused about the ” shape crown” part. If you have 40 st(s), and you invdec two st(s) together all around. How du you end up with 30 st(s) as in the description? I get 20? Perhaps I am missing somthing. English is not my first language. Cute hat btw. I am making it for the hubby for our 7th wedding anniversary. (In sweden, seven years wedded is wool-wedding). He has put yp with me for seventeen years now and deserves warm ears 🙂

    • Thanks for writing, Emelie. You are correct that what you have written won’t work, but if you look more closely at the pattern you will see that it alternates between invdec and sc stitches, which is how you can end up with more. Congratulations on the anniversary and it is wonderful to know about the wool anniversary! I would love to see your hat when it is finished. Let me know if you have other questions.


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