Happy 2020 everyone! This was a momentous past year for me – it’s the first time I’ve spent the ENTIRE calendar year in ONE location, without any temporary moves, medical evacuations, pregnancies, births, nothing! My belongings have finally been in a closet long enough to gather dust!!
I spent a formative portion of my childhood in the Chinese restaurant that belonged to my parents’ best friends. Every major occasion, including Sundays dim sum, were spent eating atop the laminated tabletops with the paper Chinese zodiac place mats, the ones with the different animals that told you your personality, your tendencies, and most importantly, which animal you should marry. As my parents discussed Taiwanese politics, news, television shows, and who knows what else, I spent many, many, many hours studying those twelve animals. I am a monkey, which means I am (apparently) inquisitive, intelligent, and prone to playing pranks (?) I always enjoyed the concept, but did question how accurate the personality definitions were, since I went to school with a zillion other monkeys ‘just like me’, and obviously there was a great disparity of intelligence, prank playing, and curiosity.
I’m commemorating this Chinese New Year with a little mouse hat! I think technically it’s the Year of the Rat, buuuuut, rats give me the heebie jeebies, and if Gucci can release Mickey Mouse themed products, then I believe I also have artistic freedom to interpret accordingly.
I used my favorite baby hat yarn, Lion Brand’s Jiffy, and then discovered while typing the pattern up that at some point in the past year it’s been discontinued (insert crying face). This is what happens when you live outside the U.S. for the past 8 years. You can substitute any bulky weight yarn (size 5). I had several colors, but you really just need a body color, ear color, and whisker color. I also used buttons for eyes and nose (approximately 1″ for eyes, 3/4″ for nose), but you can easily crochet them as well.
This pattern makes a hat to fit a baby approximately 6-12 months old. You can easily increase more stitches and add more rounds to make a bigger hat. I’ve written a quick and easy hat pattern (in worsted weight) that you can access in PDF form here, and use it as a basis if you’d like to make more sizes.
Row 1: Using K hook and body yarn, ch4, sl st to form loop. Ch2, 12 dc into loop. Sl st to first ch2 (12 st).
Row 2: Ch2, dc in same st, 2 dc in each ch around, sl st to last st (24 st).
Row 3: Ch2, dc in same st, *1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around. Sl st to last st (36 st).
Row 4: Ch2, dc in same st, *1 dc in next 4 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around. Sl st to last st (42 st). (Note: normally you would increase by 1 st each row, so you would *1 dc in next 3 st, 2 dc in next st* etc., but this made a very large hat in this yarn size and I had a limited amount of gray [see above re: discontinued], so I made it slightly smaller.)
Row 5-10: Ch2, dc in same st, 1 dc in each st all the way around. Sl st to last st (42 st).
Row 11-14: Ch1, sc in same st, 1 sc in each st all the way around, sl st to last st. You can switch colors on the last row if desired.
*Note: my dc are 2 chains high. If yours are 3, start with 4 chains
Using ear color, ch 3, 12 dc into first ch. (You can also use magic circle if you want). Sl st to first st (12 dc).
Ch1, 2 hdc into each dc, sl st to first st (24 hdc).
Switch to body color, 1 dc in each st around, sl st to first st (24 dc). Fasten off, leaving long tail of body color to sew to hat. Weave in remaining ends. Repeat for second ear.
Before sewing on the ears, I like to flatten the hat out and position them to have an idea of where to attach them. Then, while I’m sewing, I keep the crease of the hat fold as a guide to nice, even, straight ears.
If you’d prefer to crochet the eyes and nose, you can hdc 8 into a circle for the eyes, and 6 sc into a circle for the nose (to make it slightly smaller than the eyes).
I used a long length of black yarn to sew the whiskers. I like to count the number of stitches the whiskers are long (and high) to keep them somewhat symmetrical on both sides.
Et voila! Your very own adorable mouse hat! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!