Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Seth's Hat

A very quick little crochet project 
that I think most beginners will have no trouble with.

Oh my.  Isn't he a cutie?
This is Seth.  Seth is almost 2 and he has been coming to my house to play and nap a few days a week for the last year and a half.  He calls me Lah-lah, and I adore him.

So this little hat was made for Seth.  I think he wears it well, don't you?

Some beanie basics: 

Look closely to see the seam.
Beanie hats are crocheted in rounds as opposed to being crocheted in rows like you would for a blanket.  The hat is made from the crown down, working in a spiral-like fashion.  It starts as a circle with stitches made into the circle and with each round the stitch count is increased.  For example, if I were to do 8 stitches in my circle, then in general, I would increase each round by 8 stitches.  If I started with 6 stitches in my circle, I'd increase each round by 6... get the idea?  The number of increase rounds you'll do for your beanie will depend on how large or small you want the hat.  To get the size hat you want... whether for infant, teen, or adult, depends not just on the number of increase rounds or initial stitches, but it also depends on the size hook you use and the weight of your chosen yarn.  It may take a few tries, and a few frogs, before you get comfortable with sizing a beanie.  Worst thing that can happen is you'll know how to make a size for someone else ;)

Another thing to keep in mind is whether you want to begin each round with a chain up (1 chain for single crochet, 2 chains for half double crochet or double crochet, 3 chains for double crochet...etc.) and then end with a slip stitch into the initial chain to finish the round... OR forgo the chaining up and just use a stitch marker to remind you where each completed row ends and just crochet in rounds.  The benefit of this second method is that there will be no annoying little seam that wanders through your work.  I used the first method and if you look closely on the picture down at the bottom left of the hat, you will see a slight seam.  I made a second hat (for my husband) which I used the second method and there was no seam.

Okay, so for Seth's hat I used a "G" hook  (4.25mm) and Caron Simply Soft yarn in Gray. **

** I love Simply Soft for hats... because, well, it's soft.  It takes some practice using this yarn though, if I'm being honest.  It has a tendency to split and can be frustrating for the beginner.  Red Heart yarn isn't quite as nice, in fact I find it a bit scratchy, but it is VERY easy for beginners to work with.  Plus it is about the cheapest yarn out there and you can get it conveniently at Walmart.  Caron Simply Soft is also stocked at Walmart. Also, the beginner will want to use a light colored yarn for the first attempt. Using dark yarn makes it difficult to see the stitches.

ML           Magic Loop
Rnd           Round
dc             Double Crochet
ss              Slip Stitch
st              Stitch
ch             Chain
fpdc          Front Post Double Crochet
bpdc         Back Post Double Crochet

To start my circle, I use a Magic Loop.  This is a technique that I am so glad I learned, even though it was quite awkward at the beginning.  There are other methods, but I think the ML is worth learning.  Here is a tutorial for learning it.  Magic Loop Tutorial

Rnd 1: 10 dc into ML
Rnd 2:  ch 2, dc into next st, 2dc into each st around, ss into top of ch2 (20dc)
Rnd 3:  Repeat round 2
Rnd 4:  ch 2 (will counts as the final stitch in the round), dc in next st, 2dc, [dc, 2dc]* Repeat around, ending with a final dc next to ch2 counting as the final 2dc in the pattern.
Rnd 5:  ch 2 (final stitch), dc, dc, 2dc, [dc, dc, 2dc]* repeat around, ending with final dc next to ch2 as the final 2dc in the pattern.

The alternating fpdc/bpdc makes a
"ribbed" effect that I really liked.
This would be the end of the increasing rounds if you were making the size hat that Seth is wearing for a toddler.  If a larger hat is desired, continue adding increasing rounds.  For ex. [dc, dc, dc, 2dc] then [dc, dc, dc, dc, 2dc] and so on until you reach the right size.  For adults (we have large heads in my family) I will usually go up to 6 or 7 dc's then the 2dc.  Don't worry if it's too big, slouchy is "in" ;)

Pattern Continued:

Rnd 6-13:  dc in each stitch, ss to top of ch2.
Rnd 14:  ch 2,[ fpdc, bpdc] around, ss into top of ch 2.
 Here is a tutorial on how to do the front post double crochet and the back post double crochet.    
Rnd 15-17: repeat Rnd 14, fasten off and weave in ends.

Okay, here's my disclaimer.  I am not a great pattern writer.  I'm sure there are mistakes and unclear parts to this pattern.  If you have any questions or would like to have something made clearer, I beg you to ask.  I am not sensitive about having my mistakes pointed out. :) Thanks.  If anyone actually makes this beanie.. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see your finished work. Send me a link or find me on ravelry @ Iowaycrochet.  Thanks!!

The video Tutorials that I have recommended are from Teresa Richardson.  Subscribe to her youtube here:
Crochet Geek

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