Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Crochet Beanie

A few months ago the postman delivered a surprise parcel of yarn that Bill had ordered for me. Among the skeins was one in Christmas colours, with a silver metallic thread wrap. I decided to make a simple Christmas beanie.
I thought it was kind of fun to see how how the colour patterning changed after the first several rounds, because I did nothing different--used the same hook and the same stitch pattern from the beginning chain to where I started the rapid crown decreases at the top.

This is a very lightweight hat and extremely simple to make with any yarn you have and an appropriate hook.

I chained enough stitches to go around my head loosely. I knew that the fabric would pull in slightly because of the chain spaces, so I made sure it was not tight to start with. My goal was a multiple of 3, so I ended up with 78, using this yarn which is a DK (sportweight in the US) and a 5mm hook (H). If I was using thicker yarn and a larger hook, I would have had fewer stitches, while thinner yarn and a smaller hook would have required more.

Join your beginning chain into a ring, being careful not to twist the stitches. Sc (dc in UK terms) in same chain as joining, chain 3, skip 2 chains, *sc  in next chain, chain 3, skip 2 ch* and repeat around. You will end the round with the chain 3 and two chains left. Skip those and make a sc in the first sc of the round.

Once you've done the first round, simply work around and around without joining. Sc in each sc and ch 3 in between.

Once the tube is as tall as you want it from brim to start of the crown, do a few rounds of sc in each sc and ch 2 in between. Then a couple with 1 ch in between. After that sc in ea sc with nothing in between. Finally, do a round or two of sc2tog.

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail, which you can thread through a tapestry needle and use to cinch the top closed. Weave in the ends and that's it.

I often use stitch combinations that involve a lot of chain stitches in crochet. They help create a really nice drape. Depending on how you place the other stitches, you can end up with a very lacy fabric or one that is not thick and dense, but provides good coverage even with the chain spaces. By stacking the single crochets, there is little space between chain rows. I made myself a bed jacket/sweater thing with mohair using this stitch pattern and I was well pleased with how that came out. I use it all the time.

 If I had placed the single crochets in the chain spaces, I would have ended up with a very different sort of fabric. It still would have had good drape, but would have been a more open, lacy design. I used this stitch combination in this way for the borders around each square in this shawl, and you can see how open it is, even with the thinner thread.

The new hat and the bed jacket/sweater, however, with the same two stitches--sc and ch--results in a very different fabric simply because of where the singles are placed.
This is one of the things I love about crocheting--I can grab a hook and some string, play around with where I put stitches, and get something different every time 😃

I think today I will be returning to a larger project that I set aside in order to work on time sensitive items. I still have quite a bit--possibly even half--of the Christmas skein left, so I might get an idea for that too. Since I cooked our supper overnight in the slow cooker, I have extra time to play with today, so who knows what I'll get up to!

Happy Saturday!

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