A Berry Baby Hat with Earflaps

Stephen In hat

I take after my mother in many ways. Whenever she tries a new recipe, she always follows the recipe instructions faithfully the first time. But then her mind fills with ideas for customizing the recipe, whether for practical purposed or personal taste. I have the same tendency when it comes to crochet patterns. Recently I received a copy of Crocheted Gifts: Irresistible Projects to Make & Give by Kim Werker. I dropped all of my other work and eagerly leafed through the pages of gifts, mentally matching each project with one or more of my family and friends. But the first project that I looped on my crochet hook was Chloe Nightingale's Berry Baby Hat. I whipped up an adorable blueberry hat for an expectant friend in a surprisingly short time. Then my mind began whirling.

I love hats with earflaps. I find earflap hats especially adorable and practical on babies and little children. The earflaps keep the part of your ears that the hat doesn't quite reach warm in the wind and chill. Growing up in Wyoming, I have had my share of run-ins with the wind. And I have found that hats with earflaps stay on my nieces heads better than hats without. But mostly I just like the childlike reminiscence of the look of earflaps.

Stephen In hat back

Having completed one Berry Baby Hat, I was in love with the single crochet, elegantly simplistic design and adorable stem and leaves. I quickly created a little white hat, did a little math, decided where I wanted to add the earflaps, and went to work.

I love the way this little creation turned out. Sir Stephen, from the Summer 2008 issue, even offered to model it for me.

Now my mind is again buzzing with ideas for this fabulous pattern. I will likely create several more hats from this pattern. Some will follow Chloe's brilliant crochet hat pattern exactly while others will incorporate a touch of my own imagination and personality or reflect the personality of the recipient. Do you find yourself doing the same thing? To what kind of patterns have you added your own personal style? There are so many options that we have talked about, from customizing a garment's fit to match your body measurements to embellishing a crocheted or noncrocheted item. Toni


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