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I'm wanting to make a men's knitted hat in ribbing. But I am having a hard time figuring out how much to cast on so that it will fit a head that measures 24 1/2 inches wide.

I started out doing a knit 2, purl 1 with a cast on of 96 stitches on size 7 needles. (the original pattern called for size 6) but it was still really tight.

Then, I started over and tried it on size 8 needles and it just looks all stretched out where you can't see the ribbed design.

Should I try size 9 needles with a knit 2 purl 2? The problem is my husband wants it to be tighter weaved than others that I've made him.

any pattern links would be great! thanks! My circular needles have to have a cast on of at least 96 to work. And I'm using Nature Spun worsted if that helps.
 

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So then instead of larger needles, you would want to cast one extra stitches, making sure the cast-on is loose. Are you following a pattern? If so, add on the number of stitches that the pattern repeat calls for if it's not too much.
 

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I think I would start with 120 stitches on the 7's. After a few inches of ribbing run a life line through it. Take it off the needles and see if it fits. If it is too big mark by how much and you will know by how much to subtract from the original cast on.
 
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