10 Dec 11

Pattern: A simple textured beanie

A friend wanted a simple beanie for her Dad as a Christmas present. My instructions were to do something simple in a brown, green, or blue color with subtle texture. This was really a challenge considering the over-the-top creations I’ve been working on lately. Nonetheless, it was a nice change of pace. Presented for her approval, here it is:

The beanie pattern is divided into six sections, with a spike stitch at the end of each segment. This creates six subtle ridges going down the sides of the body of the hat:

I threw in two bands of light brown to give the hat a little color, and finished off the bottom with thicker bands of double-layered stitching so that it stays snug around the ears and won’t stretch out with repeated use:

This hat should never be ironed or put in a hot dryer. Hand washing and air drying are best, as wool and acrylic don’t like mechanical washers and dryers.

If you’d like to make this adult-sized hat, here’s the pattern:

Materials:
Size I crochet hook
Two contrasting or complementary colors of yarn

I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease wool/acrylic/rayon blend yarn. I’m a big fan of this line because it’s warm, soft, and the colors are mixed with many different shades, which is more interesting to my eye than a flat pure color. I used up about 2/3 of a ball of the color Mink Brown for the main body of the hat and hardly any of the color Mushroom for the contrast striping. You could easily use other types of yarn, but make sure that you check your gauge if the yarn is not about the same thickness as Wool-Ease.

Foundation: Take your main color and chain 2. Put 6 single crochet (sc) in the first chain (ch).
Round 1: Put 2 sc in each stitch (st). There are 12 stitches in the round.
Round 2: *Do a spike stitch in the next st. This is a regular single crochet, but you reach down one more row to insert your hook. When you pull up the loop and close the single crochet, you’ll have a nice long V shape that extends over the previous row. Next put 2 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 18 stitches in the round.
Round 3: *Spike stitch in the next st. 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 24 stitches in the round.
Round 4: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts. 2 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 30 stitches in the round.
Round 5: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in the next st. 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 36 stitches in the round.
Round 6: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 4 sts. 2 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 42 stitches in the round.
Round 7: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in the next 2 sts. 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 48 stitches in the round.
Round 8: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 6 sts. 2 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 54 stitches in the round.
Round 9: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 8 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 54 stitches in the round.
Round 10: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 3 sts. 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 4 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 60 sts in the round.
Round 11: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 9 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 60 stitches in the round.
Round 12: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 8 sts. 2 sc in the next st. Repeat from * five more times. There are 66 stitches in the round.
Round 13: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 10 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 66 stitches in the round.
Round 14: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 5 sts. 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 5 sts. Repeat from * five more times. There are 72 stitches in the round.
Round 15: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 11 stitches. Repeat from * five more times. There are 72 stitches in the round.

We’ve now reached the desired size of the hat. Be sure to measure around the hat with a soft measuring tape to be sure it’s the same size around as the noggin of the intended wearer. If it’s too big, undo the last two rows and measure again. If it’s too small, increase up to 78 stitches in the round and see how that goes.

Repeat Round 15 until the hat hovers just above the tips of the ears when the wearer tries it on. Finish off your main color with a slip stitch and weave the loose end back into the hat to avoid fraying.

Take your contrasting color and attach it to the hat.

Contrast band:
Round 1: 1 sc in each st all the way around the hat.
Round 2: *Spike stitch in the next st. 1 sc in each of the next 11 sts. Repeat from * five more times. (This pattern is still assuming you reached a target size of 72 sts in the round. Remember that if you increased or decreased the size of the hat, you’ll need to increase or decrease the number of sc in each section to keep the six sections of the hat evenly spaced.)

Finish off the contrasting color with a slip stitch and weave the loose end back in to the band of the same color.

Now take up your main color and repeat the contrast band. Finish off and weave in.

Now take up your contrast color and do a contrast band one more time. Finish off and weave in.

The hat is almost done! Do a size check at this point. Have the intended wearer put the hat on. It should cover most of their head, but they should still be able to stick their fingertips into their ears. If the hat is already covering down to the earlobes, you may want to undo some of your work and redo it so that the hat is shorter, or figure out a shorter hatband.

Hatband:
Attach your main color.
Round 1: 1 sc in each st all the way around the hat.
Round 2: 1 half double crochet (hdc) in the next st, 1 spike stitch in the next st. Repeat that all the way around the hat.
Round 3: 1 sc in each st all the way around the hat.
Round 4: 1 hdc in the next st, 1 spike stitch in the next st. Repeat that all the way around the hat.
Round 5: 1 sc in each st all the way around the hat.

The hat is now basically done, except that you’ll notice the band is a bit flimsy. We need to strengthen it so that it grips around the head a little more and won’t stretch out after repeated use. This is a little trick I’ve figured out which adds interesting visual texture and is ridiculously useful to reinforce crocheted bands.

Take the hat, right side out, and put your hook down at a ninety degree angle through any space between round 1 and round 2 of the hatband. Pull up a loop of your main color. Now move over one space along the groove between rounds 1 and 2 and pull up another loop. Close a slip stich. Repeat this all the way around and you get a nice braided-looking round of flat slip stitches reinforcing the hatband and giving it a bit of texture. Finish off by tying the two loose ends into a square knot where they meet and working the loose ends back into the hatband.

Repeat a slip stitch reinforcement round twice more: once between rounds 3 and 4 and once worked right into the edge of the hat. Here’s a closeup of what that looks like:

Try the hat back on and you’ll feel the difference. The hatband will still be soft and stretchy, but it won’t have as much give and it will feel thicker and more secure.

There ya go. A nice hat for the discerning wearer in need of warmth without too much silliness. Enjoy!