Last Christmas a very few select friends were the beneficiaries of some select crochet beanies. Crochet beanies are a great starter project as they teach you a lot about working in the round, sizing and different yarns and hook sizes. I think I’ve tried something different with every crochet beanie I’ve made in the last few months. They are a brilliant to make when you are learning to crochet once you have become proficient at granny squares and the basic double crochet, treble crochet stitches etc. This Christmas more of my family received a crochet beanie as gifts, I’m pleased to say they all fit beautifully and all the recipients are very happy with them.
I recently read a great post by Eleonora who writes the Coastal Crochet blog on secret Christmas projects, I can totally relate to Eleonora’s words on keeping things secret. My early 2016 projects will definitely remain a secret unless I catch someone wearing one of my crochet beanies that hasn’t been photographed yet. I will continue to regret the things I forgot to photograph in 2016 as write about the new things I make. My New Years resolution is to always take in progress pictures and finished pictures so that I can share them with you. I also plan to start taking inspiration pictures to share in my posts too.
Choosing a pattern
There are so many free beanie bpatterns out there it can be overwhelming choosing one. My tip is to do a simple hat to start with but save all the ones you ooh and ahh at when you find them. Pinterest is amazing for saving the images that inspire you but don’t be fooled by just the images explore the post, look at the blogs and save the ones that have patterns that don’t disappear.
The pattern I eventually settled on is an easy double crochet stitch with or without stripes. I don’t seem to be able to easily re-find the pattern so I can’t quite work out where I found it but here is a link to Red Heart UK site, it might have been a ravelry find but who knows. My other lesson learnt is to always, always save the patterns and pictures you see so you can back to them at a later date. What your looking for one day may change the next depending on what your making.
Once I’d made two of these I started to be able to work out how to size it based on this pattern. You will know that your head is not the same size as someone eases both in terms of circumference around your head and if you want a crochet beanie that fits perfectly or a beanie that is slouchy.
I took a couple of approaches, the first was to repeat the crochet beanie pattern in an Aran weight yarn with a size 5 mm hook. It worked really well and fitted my younger son’s larger head but in the Aran weight yarn a slouchy look doesn’t work as a long slouchy its only forgiving if its a little slouch. The double knit weight yarn is definitely better for a slouchy crochet beanie. To adjust for Aran weight yarn I reduced the number of rounds in round 20 – 26 to only be 22 then continued with the decreasing rounds as written.
A tip I picked up from a sock pattern by Patons, Kroy Toe Up Sock 1, that was accompanied by you tube video is to use a yarn stitch marker. I tried it and its so much easier than the little plastic markers that snap as soon as you pull them too much and get in the way when you are learning and make a stitch too big. You can see it in the picture as the grey wonky line. The picture below I used a yellow stitch marker.
The biege with pink strip was my first beanie, the wonky line was corrected in future beanies by using the stitch marker. The trick is to join with a slst and dc in the same stitch to start the next round. The pattern doesn’t say that in the first few rows so make sure you do it anyway. You can begin to see the difference in this second crochet beanie.
My third tip is to watch this you tube video on changing colour and weaving as you go. This will give you beanie a with really professional finish, you won’t have the tedious chore of weaving in lots of ends for them to pop out again once you’ve laundered the beanie or once the receiver launders it. Preventing it from being returned for repair at a later date. For the strips in my beanie I didn’t joint each of the three lower strips at each stage I carried the yarn around the rows in the same way the earlier video shows you how to weave as you go. You only join and cast off once for all three rows and the rows further up the beanie.
I am very pleased with this beanie and now I’m confident on beanies and sizing. The latest crochet trend is a messy bun beanie and I just couldn’t resist making one! Here is where I found the pattern Mango Tree Crafts . I made the adult size messy bun beanie , I have a small head but I also crochet quite tight so check your gauge and try it as you go to get your sizing right. The recipient is very pleased with the outcome.
Happy crochet beanie making xx