After missing several months due to illness and family issues, it is wonderful to be back with my readers again. Although I have crocheted and knitted several items, my crocheted hat and mitten project is the perfect for launching into 2024. At a recent birthday celebration for my husband, my 8 year old granddaughter announced that she wanted to sit next to me (her gram-gram) at the dinner table. Naturally, we got to talking about the type of winter gear that she preferred for season. My beautiful blond, blue-eyed darling requested a hat and mittens in blue, pink, green, and white. I immediately began research to produce the pieces in a timely manner. If time permitted, I also planned to include a scarf to complete the ensemble.
At first I was intrigued by the Jelly Beanie - Free Pattern from loopsandlovecrochet.com with sizes ranging from infant to adult. In the original pattern, the designer, contrasts a main color with the same bright variegated yarn for all three sets of puff stitches. This is a bottom up hat that begins with a crocheted border strip done in single crochet (SC) in the back loop only (BLO). Once you reach the desired length for the brim, join he ends are joined together. Then you single crochet (SC) around and follow with rounds of Front Post Single Crochet (FPSC) and another row of single crochet. Two rounds off puff stitch (PS) in a contrasting color are very attractive. My first hat was done white as the main color and contrasting puff rows of blue, pink, and mint green. I started with a child size as I was working a hat for an 8 year old. However, the finished piece appeared to be much too small. Then I moved up to the teen size. I knew I was doing something wrong, but I could not figure out how to solve the problem, The issue probably stems from the way the SC or the FPSC do not allow the crocheted fabric to stretch. The hat was still too tight. When I added stitches to the base cuff and beginning rows, I switched to a main color of blue with puff stitches in white, pink, and green. The last hat seemed larger, but I will have to try them on my granddaughter when I see her during the next month. I really the Jelly Beanie, and I am hopeful that I can figure out how to make it true to size. I tried one more adaptation to get a more relaxed fit. I moved up to an I hook (5.5 mm) and made 3 rounds of Single Crochet (SC) between sets of the Bean Stitches and left out the Front Post Single Crochet (FPSC). The fit was improved, but I am not happy with the stitch definition.
I was still determined to create a crocheted hat that would please my granddaughter and which would fit comfortably. I had bought plenty of yarn, and decided to work on a tried and true pattern, the Lakeside Beanie. Although pattern directions are for a man's size, I have experimented through the years to crochet this hat in smaller sizes for children or women. I generally use worsted weight yarn (#4) with an H hook (5.0) This beanie begins with a magic circle with 10 double crochet stitches in the beginning ring. The object is to crochet a disc for the crown. Therefore, you crochet 2 double crochet stitches (DC) into each stitch for round 1 (20).Then in round 2, you make a repeat of 2 DC in the same stitch, followed by 1 DC in the next stitch (30) For each round you increase the number of Dc between the increases until you reach the size needed.
The directions call for a final row in the disc of 70 stitches with an I hook (5.5mm) for a man. When I make a woman's hat, I crochet 6 rounds. For a child 5 rounds are usually enough. Once you are finished making the crown you stop increasing and just crochet 2-3 rounds of DC. At this point the hat starts to curve downward. What I like best about this hat is the use of alternating Front and Back Post Double Crochet (FPDC and BPDC) stitches that create a lovely stitch definition with a wam cozy covering of several inches for the ears. Although the original hat calls for one or two colors, I wanted to include my granddaughter's chosen colors in the hat. For the original pattern, see "Lakeside Beanie," a pattern from Chellie Plummer of 5 Knots North. Detailed directions are given for the men's size, but you can easily adapt for a child or woman by decreasing the size of the crown circle and adjusting the number of rows you crochet with the FPDC/BPDC. This is one of my favorite patterns. Many thanks to Chellie for sharing her design.
The technique I chose for the coordinating mitten was a a top-down version that started with a magic circle with increases in subsequent rows to eventually form a 30 stitch disc. After I stopped increasing, in about 11 rounds, I added to the main color with 2 rows each of contrasting stripes to match the hats. I crocheted to about round 24 before making the opening for the thumb. I chained 10 stitches and skipped 5 stitches in the body of the mitten before joining. Then I continued around in single crochet to the end of that row and in the second round (Including the thumb hole). Directions are given on how to form the bottom of the hand. I like to finish my cuff with a few rows of alternating Front and Back Post Double Crochet (FPDC/BPDC) to form the cuff. Where all was done, I went back and attached the yarn to make the thumb. See stitch11.com for Mixed Stripe Mittens Crochet Pattern. Directions are found in 3 sizes.
I am almost finished with the various hats and mittens that I have been playing with. As you can see, I learn from mistakes as well as from my successes. Although I will include the crocheted scarf in my granddaughter's gift package, I decided that I will write about that piece in my next post. I am also looking at several bottom-up mitten patterns that will need adaptations and changes for both the woman's and the child's size. I have had a lot of fun exploring and creating with my hat and mitten project, However, I am learning to simplify and prioritize for those blog posts. If I am to meet my personal goal of posting this article before the end of January, I will need to include my bottom-up mittens for women and children in a future article. I also need to do some additional research before I start the coordinating scarf. Some friends have suggested a cowl that will not get in the way of a child playing outdoors. Still, my granddaughter may want a longer scarf that can be folded in half with the ends pushed through the loop.
As always, I welcome your reflections and feedback. Which hat did you like best? I invite you to join me on my stitching journey.