The Basic Crochet Hat

I have been asked to outline a basic pattern for a top down crochet hat several times over the last few weeks, this has resulted in this really basic crochet pattern.

I designed this pattern with baby yarn, so it can easily be adapted for donation hats for those journeying through a cancer diagnosis that might include chemotherapy. Baby yarn is recognized as being soft, and as it is 100% acrylic it is hypo-allergenic.

The pattern is written to address 5 different and popular hat sizes, to use the pattern find the type of hat you want to create, notice the location of the name in the parentheses, as all subsequent rounds of the pattern will relate to this same position. (To make a custom sized hat, check out my basic hat formula here). This hat has a tie at the brim to allow for some adjustment by the user to get a bit of a more custom fit.

Basic Hat

Materials

Lion Brand Baby Soft light weight yarn, (60% acrylic, 40% nylon)

G/6/4mm crochet hook

 

Gauge

10 rounds =4 ½”(11.5cm)

 

Preemie (Baby, Kid, Woman, Man)

Ch 4, sl st to first ch to create ring.

Rnd 1(1, 1, 1, 1): Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 11 dc in center of ring, sl st to top of ch-3. -12 dc

Rnd 2 (2, 2, 2, 2): Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in each st around, sl st to join. -24 dc

Rnd 3 (3, 3, 3, 3): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next st, [2 dc in next st, dc in next st] rep around, sl st to join. -36 dc

Rnd 4 (4, 4, 4, 4): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, [2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -48 dc

Rnd 5 (5, 5, 5, 5): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 3 sts, [2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -60 dc

Rnd – (6, 6, 6, 6): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 4 sts, [2 dc in next st, dc in next 4 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -72 dc

Rnd – (-, 7, 7, 7): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 5 sts, [2 dc in next st, dc in next 5 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -84 dc

Rnd -(-, -,  8, 8): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 6 sts, [2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -96 dc

Rnd – (-, -, -, 9): Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 7 sts, [2dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts] rep around, sl st to join. -108 dc

Rnd 6-11 (7-15, 8-16, 9-16, 10-17): Ch 3, dc in each st around, sl st to join.

Rnd 12(16, 17, 17, 18): Turn, ch 1, sc in same st, ch 1, sk 1 st, [sc in next st, ch 1, sk 1 st] rep around, sl st to join, fasten off.

Tie

Create a chain that is 5 inches (13 cm) longer than the circumference of the hat. Weave the chain through he ch-1 spaces, tie into a bow.

Finishing

Weave in all ends.

Corded Edges-A Great Finish

Often times it is the small details that can really cause your crochet work to shine. One of those details can be found in the edging.

There are many times that I finish off a piece of fabric with a Reverse Single Crochet stitch, also known by the name “Crab Stitch”, but in my time teaching I have found that this stitch can be a bit to trying for some students. It requires a good sense of adjusting your yarns tension and working in the opposite direction (I discuss how to work the stitch here). However there is another stitch, The Corded Edge stitch.

The Corded Edge stitch looks very similar to the Reverse Single Crochet, but is easier to work. It is not quite a stitch as much as a technique that creates a braided or cabled look. It is worked in the last row of the fabric and is worked by rotating the two loops on the hook 360 degrees, and then finish the stitch.

Unlike a Reverse Single crochet, this technique can be used with any stitch. Below I have demonstrated this technique with a Corded Single Crochet and a Corded Double Crochet stitch.

To work a Corded Single crochet, you begin a single crochet just as you always do: Insert hook in indicated stitch, Yarn over and pull through a loop. Now with 2 loops on your hook, you rotate your hook 360 degrees. It is not crucial as to which direction you make this turn as long as you are consistent with each stitch. There is a slight difference in the appearance depending which way you rotate, so sample each and see which you prefer. I typically rotate in the direction it feels most comfortable for my hand to work.

Now you yarn over and pull through the 2 twisted loops on your hook. This completes the stitch, and you repeat it in the next stitch.

To work this technique as a Corded Double Crochet, you begin the Double crochet as normal: Yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, Yarn over, pull through a loop, Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. Now with the last 2 loops on the hook you rotate your hook 360 degrees, yarn over and pull through the 2 twisted loops.

It is pretty simple, yet results in an edge that is very finished.

Don’t Under Estimate What You Don’t Understand- Pom-Poms

There are many ways to embellish with yarn, such as tassels and fringe, and then there is pom-poms. In my years of crocheting pom-poms have probably been my least liked of the three noted above. This is because I found they were a bit labor intensive and yarn consuming, and I could never replicate one…each looked very individual.

As a kid I understood pom-poms as short strands of yarn that were all tied together in the middle. There are supposed to be enough strands to push outward and create a sphere. I would wrap yarn around a ruler, or small book; much in the same manner I would create fringe only smaller. I attempted to tie these together to create the sphere. I found that that had a lot of trimming to do to make this item look like a ball, and this left yarn scraps everywhere. With my hand trimming no two balls ever looked alike.

I had found some other directions in books, about making cardboard rings, two that matched, and wrapping the yarn around the ring to create a pom-pom. Honestly, I never completely tried it. The cardboard I had access to was pretty light weight, as from a cereal box, and this did not lend itself well to having yarn wrapped around it. Also, I did not fully understand what the directions were asking me to do. I thought that maybe this was just one of those novelty things. As a result, I rarely made or worked with these little balls of fluff.

Recently I had a student that had purchased a pom-pom maker, and was attempting to put it to use. I was skeptical. I thought “another novelty idea”, but then we played with it and all the concepts I didn’t understand before came into clarity. By working over these two pieces of plastic, shaped in a ring like the cardboard directions had suggested, I understood that the two pieces were to help you cut and tie the pom-pom. The reason for the circular shape was that the yarn was evenly placed in the tie, unlike my wrap of a ruler where the yarn was more focused at a point. This rounding at the tie helped form the sphere shape, and also used a lot less yarn! By using a template, use as this tool, it is much easier to make more than one and have them come out the same size.

Having helped my student understand this tool, I gained a filling in my knowledge void, and started to think of ways I could use these balls; maybe some garland, tops of hats, edges of scarves. I must remember, never dismiss anything as a novelty until I actually understand it.

Stitch Order Can Make All the Difference

Simple stitch switches can create a very different appearance. Sometimes these “switches” happen by mistake…I speak from experience, and sometimes they are thoroughly thought out.

Often my students look at me with a bit of “sure, that is true” look whenever I explain that crochet essentially has only 3 stitches, everything else is just variations. They think I am even crazier when I explain, it is all about stitch location that causes all the different looks.

I happened to reinforce this for myself just the other day. I was working up a pattern, and looking at my notes it stated “sc, dc” stitches. Pretty straight forward and I thought I knew what I meant, however when working up my fabric is was not looking like the sample swatch.

I had to go back and study my sample swatch…I was working my stitches in the single crochet on both fabrics so why were they so different in appearance? I finally found my answer….I worked the stitches in the opposite order. I was working a single crochet then a double crochet in the next single crochet stitch in the swatch sample, but in the fabric I was working a double crochet then a single crochet in the next single crochet stitch. Wow, I was surprised by the difference it caused.

One swatch looks like little blocks turned slightly aside, while the other looks a bit lacy, and almost like a stacked “v”. They are both worked with the same hook, the same yarn, the same number of stitches, yet the simple error of working the stitches in the opposite order caused a very different look.

I plan on playing around more with “switching” my stitches, you never know where I new idea can be generated and maybe by intentionally changing the stitch order I might find something truly fabulous…I will have to keep you posted.

 

Crochet Ups & Downs

How is it that WIPs (Works In Progress) can multiply and haunt you? How is it I can love to crochet yet not have the desire to do one more stitch on the afghan? Why is it that time can stand still with some projects?

I think we have all had these questions, I know I find them popping up in projects that are not even crochet related. In the beginning I have a plan, I am completely excited…the something happens. I don’t know what it is exactly, maybe I get bored, or I hit a snag in my plan. Maybe the next project just looks so much more exciting.

Yes, this is a challenge, even as I crochet for a living. In some cases if it wasn’t for a deadline some designs may not get completed. Not that they are not good designs or that I don’t love them but they sometimes fall into a rut and have to get put into time out.

Sometimes I think I am a bit manic in my crochet, I will crochet for non-stop for hours finishing project after project…then I hit a spell where I cannot even pick up a hook. My yarn and hook just stare at me, causing me guilt…I should be working on that project…I want to complete that idea…but I am stalled. I really do set goals every morning about what project needs to get done, and how far I need to get, but some days work a bit better than others.

I shouldn’t beat myself up too much, this is not the only area in my life this can appear nor am I the only one afflicted. There are always some home improvement projects around the house that haven’t quite been finished. There are always some art or craft projects that are half done; the garden seems to get partially started every year but never really finished. Some of it is that plans change part way through, others that the skill might exceed the ability.

Fortunately the slump always passes and the projects always get finished. Fortunately somehow everything balances out. So I will try and be a little nicer to myself when I just cannot pick up a hook. It is not a reflection of my love of craft it is just finding balance.