Saturday, August 20, 2011

Suede Beanie

I started and finished this project in 3 days.  Yes, 3 days!!  Let me start off by saying that I don't consider myself a crocheter and I feel when I start a crochet project, I have to relearn all the stitches again.  Thank you to my sister, Kathy, who had to talk me through the basics (again) so I could start.

My inspiration for this was a conversation about back-to-school shopping.  Vince's youngest daughter is starting high school and she had her shopping list written out with lots of detail.  On the list was accessories, which included a hat.  I asked, "What kind of hat?"  I mean, who knows these days?  She may have wanted a fedora or a ten-gallon.  She wanted a beanie-like hat, but not really a beanie.  I then asked, "A yamaka?"  Her reply was, "Yea kind of."  Okay, I had something to go on.

I went through my knit magazines and found one from a Berroco booklet called #225 - Scarves and More.  The pattern was called Kathe.  It was a crochet pattern and the yarn was Suede by Berroco.  The color I chose was a pink shade they call Annie Oakley (100% nylon) because I already had it in my yarn stash.  Yeah for using up stash yarn! 

So, I start and right away something didn't seem right.  They have you chain 5, connect to make a ring, then do 6 double crochets (dc) in the ring.  Increase in the next round, etc.  I found that the hat was already curling in on the third row.  I did several rounds according to the pattern (and, yes, I even did a gauge swatch) and it was looking like the smallest hat in the word.  I ripped it out and moved up from a G hook to an H hook and redid it.  Still too small.  Hmmmm, what is going on here?

After a day of trial and error I decided that I'm going to alter the pattern to what makes sense to me.  Now, where do I get off altering crochet patterns when I can barely chain, is beyond me, but I was willing to try.  I did the ring again on the H hook and made 9 dc in the ring.  I increased like the pattern said to do for the first 5 rounds where the pattern was pretty basic: ch-1, dc, ch-1 in the spaces.

I'll admit, maybe 9 dc in the ring was too much because this was looking really flat and too loose on my head even though at this stage, I had the required amount of dc, ch-1 spaces as the pattern indicated.  I decided to do a few rounds without increasing.  Still too loose.  Okay, my next round I just did dc in the spaces and left out the ch-1: a little better.  I was feeling some confidence starting to rise up in me at this point.

My 12th round I did dc in the each space four times then skipped a space, then dc four times, etc.  I was hoping this would tighten it up a bit and it did.  Whoo-hoo, my plan is working!

I finished as how the pattern read with 3 rounds of single crochet (sc) in the back loop but moved up one more hook size to an I (it was really tight with the sc rounds on the H hook).  Okay, I'm admitting that I have no clue where the back loop was, but I worked into something in the back around each time.

Ta-da!  I say, not bad for my first, "let's wing it" project.  Crochet is so much faster and a bit more forgiving than knitting it.  I still feel more confident when I knit than crochet, but I do enjoy doing a crochet item every once in awhile.  

I am imagining this is how the daughter will wear it.

She is actually going to high school in another state, so this was her last week in Florida.  I finished in time to give this to her before she left for the airport.  Good luck, G!  I'll see you at Christmas!

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