I began by following several patterns by various skilled designers, but true to form, I could never make them work to suit me. This was not a problem with the patterns; rather, the issues are my unusual crocheting style-I have been told several times that I "crochet wrong."-my inability to get correct gauge using anything approaching recommended hook sizes and my stubborn distaste for following anyone else's directions, no matter how reasonable this might be. Eventually, I sorted out my own pattern, which I give to you here, as my holiday gift. It's written true to my fashion; that is, directions and recommendations are sparse, because I agree with Elizabeth Zimmerman's decree that we are all capable of being "thinking knitters," or in this case, "thinking crocheters." Although I designed and tested this specific pattern, I owe much to many, many crochet designers who have built better patterns before this one.
The basic hat is quick to crochet. I can make one in a few hours and have it fulled and dried by suppertime, ready to wrap. With all that spare time you have between now and next week, you can easily knock off a few of these. (You're welcome!)
I have to carefully count the increase rounds; however, the rhythm of the stitches is established quite quickly and once you are past the increases, this is a rather mindless project, good for carrying to fibre nights and working while sipping wine. Make it your own-change colours, work it in thick yarns, thin yarns, novelty yarns, whatever your heart desires. (Make them in a soft, organic cotton yarn and they are perfect "chemo caps.")
You Can Leave Your Hat On: A Last Minute Gift Pattern
This is a crocheted top down hat, worked in the round, and is easy enough for the beginner crocheter to work. The circumference and length is adjustable, simply by increasing the number of increase rounds for the hat body and the total number of rounds worked. Try it on as you go; I prefer to make my hats slightly larger than required and then full them in the washing machine to fit. If you plan to full them, be sure your yarn is 100% wool or similar natural fibre such as alpaca and be sure to do a test swatch to determine shrinkage.
Yarn: Any worsted weight wool yarn which will give you an approximate gauge of 4 Single Crochet (SC) stitches per inch, although the pattern will adapt to any yarn—just change your hook and the number of increase rounds accordingly. Depending on the size and length required, each hat uses at least 1—100 gram skein; buy sufficient yarn in the same dyelot to ensure success.
Hook: Hook size will depend on your yarn. I crochet loosely, so I use an average size of 4.00 mm. The hat shown was crocheted from a gift yarn, 100% wool yarn, brand unknown. I have made this hat in Noro Kureyon, Brown Sheep Wool and Shepherd’s Pride Wool yarns; follow the suggested hook size for your chosen yarn.
Gauge: Approximately 4 SC per inch. The more closely you work the stitches, the warmer the hat, but the more difficult it will be to full.
Size: Adjustable, depending on yarn and hook size. 78 stitches will give you a Women’s Small; 84 stitches will give you a Women’s Medium/Men’s Small; 90 stitches will give you a Large size hat, perfect for fulling.
You will also need one safety pin marker to mark the beginning of your rounds, one blunt tapestry needle for darning in ends and scissors to trim ends.
Hat Body: Make a slip knot and chain 2.
Round 1: SC 6 times in 2nd chain from hook (6 stitches).
Round 2: SC twice in each st (12). Place a marker at the beginning of your round and move it as your fabric grows.
Round 3: *SC twice in next st, SCin next st. Repeat from * 5 times (18).
Round 4: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 2 sts. Repeat from *5 times (24).
Round 5: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 3 sts. Repeat from *5 times (30).
Round 6: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 4 sts. Repeat from *5 times (36).
Round 7: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 5 sts. Repeat from *5 times (42).
Round 8: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 6 sts. Repeat from *5 times (48).
Round 9: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 7 sts. Repeat from *5 times (54).
Round 10: *SC twice in next st, SC in each of next 8 sts. Repeat from *5 times (60).
Because you are an intelligent crocheter, you will see how the increases work: for each required increase round, work one more stitch between each (SC twice). Every increase round will add another 6 stitches; continue until you have reached the desired circumference of your hat. How do you determine this? Try it on, of course.
Once you have completed your increase rounds, continue working one SC in every stitch of the previous round until your hat is the required length (approximately 11 inches in the hat shown, allowing for a double fold up brim). Break your yarn, fasten off the remaining stitch and darn in all yarn ends. If you’re a brave beginner, you can finish your hat with a round of Crab Stitch. I leave it to you to look up instructions for that trim.
Handwash your hat in hot water and a no rinse wool wash product. Roll the hat in a towel to remove excess moisture and dry flat, blocking to shape. If you own a Styrofoam head form or a bowl of the appropriate hat size, let your hat dry over that; it will look more professional.
I full my hats in a hot/cold cycle in my top loading washing machine. I then run it through my dryer for a few minutes before placing the hat on a form and allowing the hat to dry completely. The length of your fulling cycle and drying times will depend on your washing machine and dryer. Please do a test fulling with a swatch made from your yarn to ensure success.
© Deborah Behm