Crochet Hats De-Mystified

It is interesting that you completely forget how you felt about something before it became common place. Okay, that sentence could apply to many things in today’s day and age, however I was personally thinking of my crochet. A conversation I had with a student juggled a little something free in my mind about hats.

I find crocheting hats a pretty relaxing past time at this point in my life, enough so that the yarn I post about on Fridays … that swatch usually becomes a hat…but I didn’t always feel that way. Hats were intimidating to me, probably because the only crochet hats I had seen as a kid growing up were usually worked vertically with short rows. I had never really seen a top down, or even bottom up worked crochet hat, until probably college.

Top down hats start as a flat circle

That does make my crochet life sound a bit sheltered, maybe it was. I did teach myself after all and I primarily crocheted with “hand-me-down” yarn form other people’s stashes. I made doll clothes and scarves, but if it was something to be adorned or admired, I made afghans …hundreds of them.

Anyway, when I would contemplate working a hat, I was always befuddled by the dome shape, and having it actually fit. Little did I realize how easy it was to make, so easy that since I learned it I have never looked back. Essentially a top down crochet hat begins with a flat circle. Yes, a flat circle. This seems a little counterintuitive, but it works. Creating a flat circle simply requires adding the number of stitches worked in round 1 to be added evenly throughout all other rounds. Meaning if I begin the first round with 12 double crochets, then I add 12 double crochets evenly in each following round, so round 2 would have 24 double crochets, and round 3 would have 36 double crochets.

After the circle is worked to a point where the outer edge, the circumference, measures the circumference of the head (usually somewhere between 20” and 22” (51-56 cm) for a typical adult), then you quit working any increasing stitches and continue working even (a single stitch in every stitch around), until you have the hat the desired length.

Here is a really basic pattern for a hat, nothing fancy…

Using any yarn and a corresponding hook,

Rnd 1: Ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beg ch. (12 dc)

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

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

Note: Depending on your yarn and hook only continue working Rnds until circumference of hat is met with circumference of the circle, then work Body of Hat.

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

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

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

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

Body of Hat

Ch 3, dc in each st around, sl st to join. Repeat this Rnd until hat is desired length.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Make a few hats, and considering helping your local community by donating a few to your local homeless shelter.

Design Help- Outside Crochet

Not all designing involves crochet, at least not in my world. Since November 2016 I have been a 4H sewing project leader, this entails me arranging meeting times and helping guide the participants in completing project. Fortunately 4H encourages leadership from the kids, so it does not involve much instruction from me, as I am not much of a seamstress and sewing is not my favorite pastime. After all I crochet, and even work join-as-you-go motifs so I do not have to sew.

However in the course of these last several months the participants under took a community service project. So in addition to creating their shirts, and skirts, dresses and jackets, they also created a project to help Veterans. They arranged to teach the basic use of the sewing machine to other 4Hers at a large community event, then I aided then in creating a quilt square pattern that involved simple strips of fabric. They then sought donations of fabric and cut it into long strips to have their “students” sew these long strips together.

Quilt top created by my 4H sewing project

After a full day of instruction they had all the strips sewn together, then it was time to create the squares. I will admit I did help put some squares together, after all I did want to at least see my dining room table. The squares are completed and put together, now this quilt top is being donated to Quilts of Honor to be finished as a quilt and given to a Veteran.

Yes, I am proud of what they have accomplished, and their dedication and generosity is inspiring. It has been a really interesting undertaking for myself, watching the kids grow and understand themselves and what they like. Some of the kids actually created their own patterns and designs, other modified their patterns to create what they like. There are designers everywhere, at least in the sense that we are all creators.

A Perfect Flair for Summer- Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress

I really enjoy when I have a design that looks fashionable and creative, and more difficult than it actually is to construct. The Dare to Flair Toddlers Dress fits this description. It can be found in the June 2017 issue of I Like Crochet Magazine, and dependent upon the size you make, uses no more than 2 skeins of Lisa Souza Dyeworks Hardtwist yarn.

This girls dress worked in Tunisian Simple stitch is comprised of strips, so you make only rectangles and triangles, these are put together with Reverse Single Crochet, to add an almost rope like edging between all the panels and the edging. I love how this dress allows even a relative beginner complete a project that shines like an advanced piece.

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress www.lindadeancrochet.com

Dare to Flair Toddler Dress Photo courtesy Prime Pulishing

The pattern is sized for a 2T through a girl size 8, and can easily be customized. Add length by making the rectangles longer, add width by making rectangles wider. You may need to make some adjustments on the triangles, but this will depend upon where you want the flair to begin, at the waist, at the thigh, maybe at the hip.

I enjoy the versatility that this dress has, and how it really allows variegated yarn to color pool in a way more like knitting. This design would also be fun worked in color blocks, meaning working different panels different colors and joined together.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Photo courtesy Prime Publishing

Whenever I design clothes for kids, I always try to make it something that they can be successful getting dressed in themselves. So the piece has not really front of back, hence no way to put it on backwards. If it gets turned inside out, the fabric on the inside is just as pretty as the outside. Pair it with legging, or length it for a full dress effect. Ever little girl will want to wear this dress.

A Little Linen for Summer- Milo

The temperature has begun to heat up in my California mountains, so I picked up a yarn that I knew would give a little less warmth then others in my stash. I chose a merino, linen blend yarn. This means that it has a fine, or soft, wool combined with a plant based fiber that has been around for thousands of years.

Linen is created from the stalk of the flax plant. The stalk is essentially long strands that are held together by a “glue” that is created by the plant. The “glue” is dissolved, in years past it was done with a fermentation process, the stalk was placed in a watery solution and allowed to rot. This broke up the “glue” and allowed the long, fine strands to be gathered and spun into a yarn. Once it was turned into a yarn, it was called linen.

Milo by Manos del Uruguay

There are certain characteristics with linen. It actually repels dirt and is stronger when wet. If it gets wet and dries quickly, but it does wrinkle easily. There is a particular luster quality, and is cool to the touch. This definitely fits the description of a summer yarn to me.

The yarn I picked up was Milo by Manos Del Uruguay, it is 65% merino and 35% linen. Offering a generous 380 yards/350meters, for a 3.5 oz/ 100 gram hank, in a super fine weight yarn. Honestly it does not remind me of a super fine weight, or lace, it seems to have a bit more body then that and I feel comfortable working it up on a 4-5mm crochet hook. It has a nice feel in the hand, and definitely has that “linen luster” quality.

After washing it actually becomes softer, and I feel it will make a great shawl, but it could work into a nice camisole, or wrap. I think the fiber blend is really at a point of mutual benefit. The is just enough merino to allow for strength while being balanced with enough linen to give it a interesting and stand out quality. This one will do well on my hook and I look forward to seeing what it will become.

Crochet Leaves an Impression

The use of doilies has decreased, you do not see them resting on as many table tops or vanities as you may have in the past, but that does not mean that their beauty cannot be enjoyed. I have a couple hanging on my wall, I have seen some worked up as window valances, and even pieces together as a jacket, but there are a few other more impressionable ways they can be used.

Crochet & Clay www.lindadeancrochet.com

A small crochet tablecloth and wet clay

I enjoy how my son has managed to be inspired by crochet and apply it in a different way. He has been playing in pottery and creating bowls and figurines in a local 4H project and one of his vases will leave a lasting crochet impression.

Using a small crochet tablecloth he placed an impression in the soft clay before completing his vase. He only used the center to create an almost flower like pattern. I have seen this done in other ceramic pieces, some artists have used doilies to create various textures in their designs. I have even seen pieces that use the doily as the art by encasing it in glass, like a bowl or glass, to highlight the effect of crochet stitches.

Crochet impression vase www.lindadeancrochet.com

Crochet impression vase

When my son worked the glaze for his vase, he highlight the crochet design a bit more by having the color radiate out from its center. I was surprised he used this approach to his project. He enjoys my crochet, but I never thought that he would incorporate it into any of his crafts.

I hope that he attempts a couple of other crochet stitch patterns, and I will admit I have suggested a few. His use of a table cloth has inspired some ideas within my own mind, of how I might be able to incorporate crochet in my metal working class, for instance. There is a large world of craft and crochet can fit nicely in many different artistic ways.