For the Love of Hats
This holiday season has been magical. The beautiful holiday lights still twinkle in the crisp Colorado air. And the chill lets me indulge in one of my favorite things: crocheted hats.
Crocheted hats provide a perfect excuse for learning something new—and making a fashion statement.
Take the ultra-flattering Fancywork Cloche by Simona Merchant-Dest, for example. A friend started one for herself about a month ago. Her first hat was finished within a week and she was instantly getting compliments right and left. She was hooking her way through a second hat almost immediately, this one as a gift. She had learned a new technique (openwork in the round) while creating the go-to fashion accessory of the season. And the lacy pattern makes this a great year-round hat.
Like the Fancywork Cloche, most hats, regardless of whether they are lacy, cable, or a single crochet fabric, are worked from the top down beginning with a circle that grows in diameter to the desired size. Once you learn the how to work the increases in these circles, Marty Miller provides some great information on working these increases:
1 |The number of stitches in the first round of the circle is the number of stitches you should increase in each subsequent round. So, if you start with six single crochet stitches in the first round, you should increase by six single crochet stitches in each of the following rounds. In Round 2, you would have twelve single crochets. In Round 3, you would have eighteen single crochets. And so on. By Round 10, you'll have sixty stitches.
2 | The taller the stitch, the more stitches there should be in the first round. In most cases you should start with six single crochets in the first round, or eight half double crochets, or twelve double crochets. Sometimes, you'll break this rule. If the yarn is really bulky, use fewer stitches; if it's a fine yarn, use more stitches. But, no matter how many stitches you start with, Rule 1 holds: Increase by the number of stitches you start with.
3 | The front always faces. Don't turn the work. Some hat patterns instruct you to turn, in which case you should. But for this formula, don't turn. For your practice swatch, use light-colored, smooth, worsted-weight yarn.
— Circle in on the Perfect Hat, Marty Miller, Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010.
Once you’ve got the basic concept for crocheting circles down, it’s easy to start adding texture and changing the shapes. One of my favorite hats is Robyn Chachula's Crochet Bobble Beret. From the nubby texture of the heather fabric to the great two-button accent, this classic beret is just my style.
For those of you who also love hats, we just updated the hats topic page on Crochet Me. Now you can find a list of blog posts on hats; information and tips, like that above, on crocheting hats; as well as a collection of links to a variety of hat patterns, DVDs, and books.