C’YA Crocheting

OK so I’ve taken up crocheting again.  I did some ‘way back about 30-40 years ago, in college, during summers when I was really bored.  Now, I’m bored again and need something to do.

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Crocheting is great because:

  • It’s easy to learn.
  • It’s very forgiving when you mess up.
  • I can do it while sitting on my arse. 😉

Another reason I’ve taken it up is because my neighbor runs a charity that provides backpacks to homeless teens around Christmas every year.  One item they ask for is hats.  So, I went to the store, used a gift card to buy $50 worth of yarn on sale, and got to “work”.

The internet abounds with various patterns for hats.  Here are four of my favorites:

I’ve run into some issues, and have had to do my own variations on these patterns. The gauge is often ‘way off. This is mostly due to the type of yarn I’m using (Red Heart Super Saver and Red Heart Comfort), instead of the more expensive, thinner, softer yarn used in the above.  Also, I like a nice, snug, warm fit for the homeless kids I’m making these for, and some flexibility in how to wear them.

So, here’s what I like and don’t like about each pattern, and how I varied it:

Ribbed Crochet hat:  I love the hat this pattern makes!  It’s cushy, warm, and stretches easily to fit any head.  This is my favorite.  The only thing is, I sometimes make it shorter by making a 40 chain instead of 45 to begin. Also, gathering at the top makes it a little bulky up there.  And, it does not lend itself too well to stripes — it looks like a circus tent with stripes going up and down, so you have to stick with solid colors.  However, it’s my favorite hat so far. My husband wanted one, so I’m making one for him, and I made one for myself to go with my new hoodie.  I did run into some issues at first, and I’ll show how I overcame them later.

Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie:  This looked really attractive in the pictures, but the yarn I was using (Red Heart Super Saver) made the hat stand straight up using the puffy stitches! Working with it just made it too bulky in the back.  So, I unraveled it down to about 9 in. total in length, and just made a cute beanie out of it.  Using double crochet worked better than the heavier puff sstitches, and I’m experimenting with a shell pattern which I’ll post here after I perfect it more.

Basic Beanie (Sports Team Colors): This is a good guide to adding stripes or decoration to a hat.  I found that starting the stripes at about 6″ from center to edge worked pretty well, and making the total hat 9 inches fit well, too.  However, for a snug fit, it needs a band of some sort, and I found that switching to a smaller hook and making a band a la Jenn’s Really Easy Slouchy Beanie (starting with “Row 29”) made a snug fit, plus it had a bit of a slouch to it… you could probably try to adjust the length to about 7 inches for the body of the hat, and 2 inches for the band, and have just a snug-fitting beanie.  I’m gong to try this, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Really Easy Slouchy Beanie:  This darn thing ended up being two feet wide just following the instructions!  So, again, just making adjustments as you go is necessary.   I need to play around with it using my Red Heart Super Saver yarn, and I’ll let you know what I come up with.

I’ll post more detail on how I modified each of these patterns at a later date; I’m still working out some kinks.

So far, I’ve made 15 hats, and still have tons of yarn left.  Onward, and upward!!!  I just hope the kids I’m making these for will like them.

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