This is the story of a very quick and easy project which could have been quicker without my tinkering!
It is rare to find times when the ebb and flow of busy schedules between friends align but one Friday in August was one of those times. My friend Adrienne and I grabbed the chance to spend a quiet evening of crochet, cuppas and catch-ups together while our teens were out partying.
I ditched my current fiddly project for something different, simple and quick. Perhaps I could make a hat in one evening? There's been a book hanging around the house called Crocheted Beanies, (part of the Twenty to Make series) tantalising me with its projects; the only stumbling block: me!
Because I'd been so busy with so many things, I hadn't had energy to seek the yarn from the stash or put my mind to anything new until other jobs were complete; but a hat would be the perfect quick project, and a crafty evening with Adrienne the perfect motivation to make a start towards my goal to work my way through all twenty patterns in the book.
The book by German designer Frauke Kiedaisch was a fabulous find from a local second-hand shop earlier this year. The book's price label was still on the back: AU$11.99 picked up for a steal at only AU$0.20! It is in excellent new condition with lovely designs.
The designs are in various weights and modern styles. There is something there to suit everyone and even if there were only one good pattern out of them all, 20 cents is great value.
My choice: "Filet Fun" a mesh beanie with a straight band and embellished with an appliquéd flower.
Recommended yarn: 100 grams Schachenmayr SMC Alpaca (100% alpaca) or similar DK.
My yarn choice: Moda Vera Marvel Soft 8 ply (100% acrylic) from the stash.
The hat structure is a small medallion at the crown from which mesh loops are created and then worked in a spiral for the body of the hat. Then a smaller hook is chosen for the band which is worked in dc (USA sc).
Body of hat: 5 mm (UK 6, US H/8)
Band: 4 mm (UK 8, US G/6)
... and this is where a quick project took a turn!
At the fourth round, the mesh was ruffling around the medallion. Of course, that was the desired result but I couldn't be sure because I was using a different yarn. The 5 mm hook felt very large and my mesh seemed to be more open than the look in the photograph.
Version One: I changed to the 4.5 mm hook on the additional premise that I do have a small head and standard hats are often too large for me. Perhaps moving down a hook size would remedy that.
Off I chuffed, making speedy progress through rounds 1‒22 to finish the body of the hat. Along the way, I noted that the simple combinations of 3-ch spaces and dc stitches made it very easy to watch the cricket, tennis and Tour de France on the television with barely a glance at the crochet going on in my hands.
Up to the band already? There now. How will that fit?
I now had a hat that fitted my head comfortably but it wasn't as slouchy a fit as the photograph in the book. Perhaps it was also a little short and will remain short even with the band.
Would it be a good child-size?
I didn't really want to undo all that work just yet. It was not a complete disaster or anything. A learning opportunity. That's what it was. That will teach me to tinker with the pattern recommendations. I found the other end of the skein and started again.
|Two attempts at the hat, experimenting with hook size:|
Version 1 (right) – 4.5 mm (red-handle)
Version 2 (left) – 5.0 mm (blue-handle)
Version Two: trust in the 5 mm hook for the body of the hat. Yes, it ruffled even more but the drape was slouchier and softer. The size was a little bigger but not significantly bigger. The length would cover ears better.
Change to a smaller size for the band. The pattern asked for a 4 mm hook but in my absent-mindedness, I got started with the 4.5 mm hook instead however I liked the tension so kept going. What's the worst that can happen? Re-doing it with the 4 mm? After three rounds, I tried it on and the band felt just right.
Yes, I am pleased with the 4.5 mm hook for the band even though the pattern recommended 4 mm. The latter would probably be too tight.
The 4 mm hook was the perfect size for the flower. I'm very impressed with the flower design–only 2 rounds for a finished diameter 9 cm / 3½ inches.
Super quick and easy!
At the beginning, the initial slip knot was made leaving a long loose end (approximately 45 cm / 18 in) for sewing the flower onto the hat after blocking it to shape. (More information about the benefits of blocking flowers can be found here: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2015/06/poppies-shaping-up.html)
The original plan was to use a metallic sewing thread together the with long tail while sewing up to add a bit of sparkle to the centre of the flower. Unfortunately, I was not able to do the final stitching for a few weeks and by the time the conditions were right for sewing, I had completely forgotten about the sparkly plan! That put an end to the dilemma of whether to use gold or silver thread (what would you choose?) and it really doesn't matter. What is important is this:
Crown to hem: 19 cm (7½ inches)
Band circumference: 45‒54 cm (18‒21¼ in)
The pattern is designed for a head circumference of 54‒56 cm (21¼‒22 in).
|Filet Fun hat featured on the book cover,|
designed by Frauke Kiedaisch.
Original Edition published in German as Be Beanie!, frechverlag GmbH, www.frech.de [redirects to www.topp-kreative.de, July 2019], Stuttgart, Germany 2012.
Also published as "Gold Beanie" in Crochet Gifts for Christmas, Knit Now magazine, edited by Hugh Metcalf, Practical Publishing Group, Stockport, UK, September 2013: https://www.knitnowmag.co.uk/2013/09/11/crochet-gifts-for-xmas/
Yarn recommendation: Schachenmayr SMC Alpaka Premium (DK)100 m / 50 g worked together with Anchor Artiste Metallic Fine (thread) 250 m / 25 g
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"Bizzy Beez", 8 July 2019: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2019/07/bizzy-beez.html
"Going Out for a Crochet Night In", 11 June 2015: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2015/06/going-out-for-crochet-night-in.html
"Geocrochet!", 24 April 2014: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2014/04/geocrochet.html
"Poppies Shaping Up", 4 June 2015: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2015/06/poppies-shaping-up.html
"Blocking for the Edge", 7 March 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2017/03/blocking-for-edge.html
"Blocking Belcarra Cardigan", 16 October 2014: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2014/10/blocking-belcarra-cardigan.html
"Better Than a Bought One", 26 March 2015: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2015/03/better-than-bought-one.html