Since I’m in the middle of cranking out a design commission and knitting like the wind, my writing time is limited, so today’s post is a reprint of an article I wrote (obviously in the summer & not the middle of winter!) for the May 2006 CGOA Chain Link newsletter:
Hats in a Hot Flash
With apologies to male readers in the audience, here’s an idea for those women who, shall we say, feel quite warm and fuzzy during a certain transition phase in their life. Having reached midlife, I have been experiencing my own set of the strange and wonderful. Enduring the record-breaking heat of summer has not helped (now I understand why women of yore were often labeled “hysterical”: there was a reason!) It can be easy for one to experience anxiety at this time of life. Try turning to the comfort of crochet to help with the transitions of your life.
If the thought of holding yarn or projects in your lap during heat spells is unattractive, you can still enjoy relaxing with crochet: with an iced drink in hand and the fan cranked up, get out your pattern books or magazines and enjoy leafing through pages of pretty pictures and technique articles, dreaming of future projects when the weather cools. When my own disinterest in hobbies hit, I took a few weeks off to pore over my personal library of craft books. After awhile the urge to hold hook and yarn in hand returned. I decided to refocus from my own discomfort to doing something for others. “Hats in a Hot Flash” were the result.
The stimulus for these hats was a $2.00 box of colorful acrylic yarn oddments discovered by my co-worker at a garage sale. The first thing I did was share the bounty with others at work, giving them the opportunity to take yarn for their own charitable projects (I already have a room full of yarn, but who can resist even more?) After co-workers chose their skeins, there was still enough left for several hats and scarves, small projects easily managed despite the mid-summer heat (and my own self-generated warmth). I grabbed a size I hook and a colorful skein of lime green to create the first double crochet hat, with accent bobbles in hot pink (shown lower right). Next came the patriotic single crochet beanie (at top), with rounds of red and white stripes finished off with a wide band of blue. Third, I chose a vivid red and orange combo to create the half double crochet bobble hat (shown left). Playing with this box of vintage acrylic scraps served two purposes: it brought me out of my current hormonal state to a place of relaxation, and resulted in gifts for children, teens, and adults.
The formula for these hats is very simple. Play with color, stripes, and bobbles using yarn from garage sales, thrift shops, or your own scraps. Create the popular beanie-style with these basic “recipes.” All of them use worsted weight yarn and a size I hook. Gauge is not that important. When the crown (top) of the hat seems big enough for the size you are making (about 48 stitches for a child, about 60-72 stitches for teen/adult), just work even on those 48/60/72 stitches until total length is 6” to 8” long, depending on the style you want. For beanies that just touch the top of the ears stop at the shorter length. If you want a turned up cuff or brim, make it longer (9” or 10”). Be creative!
Note: On these hats, each round ends with a slip stitch join, then a chain-up for the next round (ch-1 for single crochet, ch-2 for half double crochet, ch-3 for double crochet). That way the random stripes won’t form such a noticeable color jog as they would if the caps were worked continuously in a spiral.
Single crochet beanie (red, white, blue): Start with a beginning ring, ch 1, work 6 sc in ring. Increase to 12 on the next round, and to 24 on the next round. Work 1 round even, then increase to 36 on the next round. Work 1 round even, then alternate an increase round with an even round until you reach 48/60/72 sts, depending on the size you are making. Continue working even, changing colors at random or in a stripe pattern of your own choice, until beanie is desired length. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Half double crochet beanie with bobbles (red & orange): Start with a beginning ring, ch 2, work 7 hdc in ring (total 8 hdc to start). Increase to 16 on next round, then increase to 32 on next round. Keep increasing every round until you reach 48/60/72 stitches, depending on the size you want. Work even in hdc until cap is desired length. To add bobble round: hdc in first 3 hdc, work bobble in next hdc as follows: work 5 hdc in next hdc, remove hook from last st made, insert hook into first hdc of the 5-hdc group, reach over to the last hdc in the 5-hdc group and pull that loop through loop on hook, ch 1 to secure bobble. Continue around, working 4 or 5 hdc between each bobble. To finish cap: work 1 round single crochet evenly around, then 1 round reverse single crochet (crab stitch, shrimp stitch). Fasten off and weave in ends.
Double crochet hat (pink & green): Start with beginning ring, ch 3, work 11 dc in ring (total 12 dc to start). Increase to 24 dc on next rnd by working 2 dc in ea dc. Work 1 rnd even. Increase to 36 on next rnd, work 1 rnd even. Keep alternating an increase round with an even round until you reach 48/60/72 sts, depending on size. Continue working even, adding random color stripes or bobble rounds (as in half double crochet beanie above) until hat is desired length. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Have fun creating your own “Hats in a Hot Flash” (no matter what stage of life you may be in!) Good health to all.
Copyright 2007, 2010 – Designs by KN – www.designsbykn.com
For personal or charity use only. Do not duplicate pattern for commercial purposes.