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.

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Underground Crafter on Ravelry

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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!

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

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