Friday, March 23, 2012

Crochet Class #6: is it a hat, or a basket?

Most of what you need to know for this week's pattern was covered in the last class.  In our last real-life class, the girls worked on making a small flat circle (like the beginning of a coaster); but some of them found that difficult.  The shamrocks actually turned out to be easier for them; everyone completed at least one shamrock before the end of the class, and a couple of the girls said that they really liked making treble crochets. 

Well, this week we're going to go back to making those flat circles, and this time it will be easier because everybody's had a bit of practice--right?  Get your stitch markers ready!  (If you don't have split-ring markers, you can use things like earrings, paper clips, or bits of yarn to mark where you start each round.)

Today's Mini Hat pattern came from a holiday decoration, "Peppermint People,” in Crochet World Magazine, December 2005, by Angela Winger.  The designer's "snowman" person wears a flat-topped hat, boater-style, and that's the part of the pattern that we're using.

But not in snowman's-hat-black, please; black is one of the hardest colours to crochet with, since you can't easily see your stitches.  I'm thinking a lighter brown, and "straw" colour would be perfect.  Or any light colour is fine.  You will need a very small amount of a second colour for one row of trim.
What weight of yarn, and what size hook?  As written, you need a 4mm hook (F or G in American sizing) and worsted-weight yarn; in my own sample, that made a Moxie Girl-sized hat.   UPDATE:  I made another sample, using Red Heart Super Saver in variegated pinks and purples, and a 4mm hook; and it came out a little smaller than the first one--this one was more Barbie-sized.  So your mileage may vary quite a bit on these.
I made another hat, but I doubled the yarn (used two strands at a time) and used a larger, 6mm hook (that's a J hook for Americans), without making any changes to the pattern.  That made a hat that would fit a Ty Girlz doll or a Beanie Bopper.  The larger size also fits a cloth doll from Ten Thousand Villages.
I think if you wanted to make an even bigger hat, say for an 18-inch doll, you would need to change the pattern, rather than using heavier yarn with the original directions, so I'm not going to recommend that yet, unless you're already comfortable adapting patterns.  If you don't have a doll or critter small enough to wear the small-to-medium-sized hat, don't worry, because if you flip the hat upside down, it makes a perfect little basket.  Maybe for Easter, to hold a few foil-covered candies?  You'd just need to add a handle of some type.

I've copied out the pattern as printed in Crochet World, but with my "translations" below each row, in italics. 


Supplies needed: see notes above.  One strand of worsted-weight yarn, used with a 4mm hook (F or G, in American sizing); or two strands and a larger hook, for a larger hat; or you can experiment with heavier or lighter weight yarn for different effects.  Enough of the main colour to make the hat, plus small amount of a second colour for contrasting row.  Yarn needle, scissors, and stitch markers.

Stitches used:  Slip stitch (Sl st), Chain, (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Half Double Crochet (hdc)

Rnd. 1: With main colour, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, do not join. (6 sc)

Chain 2 stitches. Make 6 single crochet stitches in the second chain stitch from the hook. Do not join with slip stitch—just keep going, and remember to count stitches.  The (6 sc) at the end means that you now have 6 single crochet stitches in the round.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)

Work 2 single crochet stitches in each of the 6 single crochets that you made previously—this gives you 12 single crochet stitches. Do not join, just keep going.

Rnd 3: [Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times. (18 sc)

In the first stitch, make one single crochet. In the next, make two. In the next, make one. In the next, make two, and so on around. Square brackets plus a number afterwards mean that you are to do something a certain number of times, across a row or a round.

Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 6 times. (24 sc)

You are continuing to make the circle bigger. In the first stitch, make one single crochet. In the second, make one single crochet. In the third, make two. Repeat this pattern (one, one, two) all the way around.

Rnd 5: Working in back lps only, sc in each st around.

No increases on this round, but work only in the back loops to make a ridge.

Rnd 6: Sc in each sc around, change to contrasting colour in last sc.
No increases—just work around, and change colour at the end.  Don't cut the original yarn--you'll need it again in another row.

Rnd 7: Sc in each sc around change to main colour in last sc, fasten off trim colour.

Same as before—change back to original colour at the end.

Rnd 8: Repeat rnd 6.

Work around with original colour.

Rnd 9: Working in front lp only of each st, work 2 hdc [See notes below] in each st around, sl st in first hdc, fasten off.

This is how you make the brim, and you want to double the number of stitches. Hdc is half double crochet, and the only difference between it and single crochet is that you bring the yarn over the hook first before drawing up a loop, so that you have three loops on the hook. Draw the yarn back through all three loops at once to finish the stitch. Half double crochet gives you a nice solid stitch a bit bigger than single crochet. When turning rows made with hdc, chain 2 instead of chain 1.

If you don’t want to try the new stitch, you could do the brim in single crochet and then do a second round with no increases. Add a handle if you want it to be a basket.

That's enough to keep us busy for this class.  We are planning one more real-life class so that the girls can do an amigurumi animal or some other small project that they would like to finish off with.  Are you in?  Check back here...probably not in two weeks, since that's Easter weekend, but sometime next month.

(Hat photo found here)

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