Crochet Hats: Design, Modify, Love!
I'm ready for cool weather. Not several feet of snow mind you, but a cool breeze and beanie weather would be a welcome change. While I'm waiting, I think I'll whip up several cool new hats so that I'm ready when the temperatures do begin to dip. A stash of crochet beanies in a variety of sizes is also a great idea if you need a quick gift.
The formula for a hat is simple enough that you can whip up a fabulous chapeau while watching a movie in the evening or visiting with friends. And with a solid understanding of how crochet hats are constructed, you can easily create your own patterns or modify existing patterns for a variety of sizes.
One of my favorite articles of all time is Marty Miller's article "Circle in on the Perfect Hat" from Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010. After reading her article, I feel ready to tackle any hat modification. She covers the best way to begin your hat, basic numbers for constructing a hat in a variety of stitch heights, how to work to a predetermined circumference, how to prevent jogs in your stripes, and much more.
There are a couple of different ways you can begin you crochet hat and they are interchangeable for most patterns. You can begin by crocheting several chains then slip stitching in the first chain to form a ring. The stitches of the first row can be worked into the chain ring. I usually prefer to work into a magic ring because you can tighten the ring to the point that the hole is almost invisible. I will substitute this method in hat patterns. Slightly bulkier that a regular magic ring, you can also work a double magic ring for greater strength; this is great for kids hats.
The basic construction of the hat crown is simple. Work your beginning stitches in your magic ring or chain ring. I generally begin my hats with a round of single crochet, so I work six single crochet stitches in the magic ring. Marly covers how to determine how many stitches to work in the first round depending on the height of your sitches.
To increase the next round, work two stitches in the first stitch (remember your beginning chain may count as the first stitch), work one stitch in the next stitch, work two stitches in the next stitch, then continue to work an increase every other stitch around.
For the third round, work two stitches (your increase) in the first stitch, then work in stitch in each of the next two stitches then work an increase in the next stitch. You will notice that you have worked one more single stitch between your increases then you did in the previous row. This will keep your piece from ruffling.
On each additional round, work one additional stitch between the increases. The circle for the crown will continue to grow. For a women's hat, I increase until the circle measures about 6.5" in diameter before working in even rounds without increasing.
I'm going to go open my Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010 issue and get started on a great fall beanie. If you don't have this fabulous issue, you can now order all four issues of Interweave Crochet Accessories in one collection. You will find fabulous how to articles and cutting edge designs. Add these amazing issues to your library today!
P.S. What is your favorite crochet hat design, beanie, beret, etc? Share your preference in the comments.