One of the complaints about crochet fabric that I hear from lots of folks is that it isn’t stretchy enough.
My response is, you need to use the right stitches and stitch patterns (the yarn you choose has a big influence as well).
For solid stitch work that creates a stretchy fabric try my favorite stitch, the Half Double Crochet – abbreviated “hdc”. That is the US crochet terminology for it, I think that it is called a Half Treble in the UK.
The hdc has been my go-to stitch for hats for years now. Especially worked in spiral rounds, like the hats I made for my sons this past Christmas.
I just enlarged my Little Bitty Noggin Cap pattern by using worsted weight yarn and adding a few more increase rounds. To create even more visual interest I worked a few rounds in black to make a stripe just above the brim. When I make a hat with worsted weight yarn I use a Size H (5mm) hook for a denser fabric.
The hdc is very simple to work.
To start the stitch, wrap the yarn once around your hook (just like you do with a Double Crochet), then insert into the space or stitch you are working on. Wrap the yarn around your hook (YO – yarn over), pull thru a loop. You now have 3 loops on the shaft of your hook. YO again and pull thru all the loops.
You just made a half double crochet.
Give it a try in your work and see if you like the stretch you get with this stitch.