With the sunny days of spring and summer upon us, it is a great time for the whole family to enjoy outdoor activities. Our littlest family members have delicate skin and eyes that are sensitive to the sun's rays. With a few preventative steps and common sense we can protect our babies and toddlers. Of course, we don't want to expose infants during the midday hours of harshest sun glare, In addition a good baby sunscreen and a sun hat are essentials.
Since my granddaughter will be joining the family for walks, picnics, and other get-togethers, I have been experimenting with crocheted sun hats that would be comfortable and would shield her from the harmful effects of exposure to the sun. Cotton is an excellent fiber for summer hats. It is light weight, strong, breathable, and draws heat away from the skin. The cotton fibers are not elastic, and so hats made from them will hold their shape. Cotton also gives excellent stitch definition. Displays in your yarn and craft stores show a wide variety of colors. Pieces are machine washable and can briefly go in the dryer. Just be sure to take the hat out while damp and lay flat on a towel to continue drying. With brighter colors, be careful to wash individually or with like colors, as the dyes may bleed and discolor other garments in the wash. I usually crochet cotton with Sugar n' Cream by Lilly.
To crochet the sun hats, I have been trying out a variety of styles. Sometimes, I find myself changing the stitch or hook to get the desired look or size that will get the best look or fit. The first pattern I made was a flapper style hat with a scalloped edge that could be decorated with a ribbon or flower.This is a free pattern by Anna Virginia that can be found on Ravelry as Baby Flapper - Girl Hat or on the designers website: http://annavirginiafashion.blogspot.com/2010/11/baby.
To shield the baby's eyes and neck from the sun, I chose a pattern with a brim from stitch11.com. The pattern comes with directions for 6-9 months, toddler, child, and adult sizes. The hat can easily be decorated with ribbons, flowers, or appliques. See: http://stitch11.com/peach-happy-sun-hat.
A similar hat with shell clusters on the sides is offered by Daisy Cottage Designs.This hat is for children 4-8 years old. I adapted the style to create the yellow hat below for baby size 6-9 months. See:
My Messy Life also provides a brimmed hat. The main version is suitable for a boy or girl and can be styled with a variety of color combinations or qppliques. There is also a ruffled version. Sizes come in newborn and toddler. For the 6-12 month size, the designer suggests adding to the crown and length to achieve size suggested on crocheted hat charts. Another option is to use a larger crochet hook.
For a baseball style cap, I used the Cheri Hat by Jennie Harrell. The pattern can be found as a free download on Ravelry. Of the various baseball caps available online, I found this the the easiest to understand and reproduce accurately. Directions are given for sizes 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months. The hat can be edged with a contrasting yarn, applique, or decorative feature and customized for a boy or girl.
Hats do not have to be just for the fall or winter. These spring and summer designs in cotton yarn are stylist and fun to make and wear for the warmer months. My winter hats have been among my most popular pieces at craft shows and with my custom clients. Now I am thrilled I can fashion one this summer for my granddaughter. I would love to hear about your experiences with hats for the sun and to see your designs. Please post your comments on this blog or on Facebook. You will also find also find my pins on Pinterest. See: Lillian@lilcreates.com