Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flowered Hat

Hi all! I apologize for being remiss in my blogging – I’ve had this pattern ready to go for weeks, but then suddenly allergies and hives attacked my body and I’ve been doped up on antihistamines and that’s just not the optimal blogging environment.

I have a confession: sometimes (well, a lot of times) I peruse commercial clothing sites and reverse engineer my favorite hat styles.  I even have a list entitled “hat knockoffs”, with plenty of patterns to share with all of you.  This one I found on Zappos – their yarn-based hat selection is ENDLESS!  I’m sure you’ve seen this style before – it’s all over the place on Ravelry etc., but I liked the flower and it was straightforward, so here you go. Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

(Ignore the fact that it’s on a male model head – makes for a weird photo prop but whatever.)

Before I continue, I must caveat: this is a knit AND crochet project.  Sorry folks – you will have to embrace your inner ambi-yarner for this one.  Knowing how to do both really isn’t as evil as each side makes it seem.  I think they’re all just slightly jealous so they make the other side seem inferior.  I’m not going to attempt to teach knitters how to crochet or crocheters how to knit for this hat – it’s impossible to do through photos and that’s not the point of this post (or blog). Just please put up with me on this one.  🙂

I researched several grades of ‘chunky’ yarn for this hat.  It appears that the hat itself is made of a *slightly* heavier weight than your typical “size 10 needles” (based on the stitch size and number of rows), which was the vast majority of what I had on hand, but I wrote it up for 1) what I had and 2) what seems to be more readily available.

Before you commit, here’s my version.  Not quite as impressive on a round styrofoam ball but I swear it looks adorable on.  Also, second caveat: this hat isn’t really “slouchy”, as in, it doesn’t pouf out the back.  It fits nicely on the head. I just don’t know how else to describe the “in out” pattern… pancake? cupcake? not as cool, right?

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

MATERIALS

I used Plymouth Encore Chunky for the hat body in an indiscriminate light blue (actually, it was the free skein I pilfered from the awesome free skein giveaway of yore) and size 10 needles.  The flower was made with Vanna’s Choice (white) with a random wooden button from Joann’s.

PATTERN

With size 10 16″ circular needles, cast on 64 stitches.  Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.  *Hint: sometimes I have issues getting the stitches to stretch around to join on the cast on round.  Usually I just knit the first row and by the time I get to the end, it’s now stretchy enough to join, and then I use the tail to sew up the bottom. It doesn’t look much different than the torture of streeeeeetching it out to join in the first round.

Rows 1-10: k2, p2 in rib (or for about 2″)

Rows 11-14: purl all the way around

Rows 15-18: knit all the way around

Rows 19-22: purl all the way around

Rows 23-26: knit all the way around

Rows 27-30: purl all the way around

Begin decrease: *k7, k2 tog*, repeat around

*k6, k2tog*, rep around (at some point you will have to switch to DPNs)

Continue decreasing by one stitch every round (k5, k2tog, k4, k2tog, etc.) until k1, k2tog.  Then k2tog on last round.  Cut off a tail to draw through remaining stitches and fasten off. It’s a bit of a quick decrease so you have a very obvious spiral across the crown of the hat.

FLOWER

Time for the flower.  It’s pretty much my basic crochet flower pattern, with a few additional petals.  There are some tips on that page on keeping the flower flat, how to best sew onto a hat, etc.  I won’t repeat them here but feel free to take a look. I used pink here, cause white on white just doesn’t work.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

With worsted weight yarn and H (or I, whatever you prefer) hook, ch4 and sl st to form a loop.  Ch6, dc into loop.  *Ch4, dc into loop*, repeat 3 times. You should have six posts at this point. Sl st to the third ch of your original ch6. You should have a wheel-esque looking contraption, above.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Sl st into the first ‘spoke’. Into each ‘spoke’ of the wheel: *ch1, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st*. Sl st into next spoke, and repeat.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Turn flower over.  This is the trickiest step, not because it’s difficult at all, but simply because you’re going to be creating eight petals out of a six petal flower.  Basically, you will: *ch4, insert hook, sl st into the back of the petal* and repeat until you have a total of eight loops.  I don’t have any magical methods of making this even – I ended up doing it a few times and ripping it out until the loops were evenly spaced across the back of the flower.  They don’t *have* to be perfectly even if you don’t care – it is a flower, after all, not a dodecahedron.

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Turn flower back to the front again.  Repeat the petal row, except increase the number of dc: Into each ‘spoke’ of the wheel: *ch1, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st*. Sl st into next spoke, and repeat.  You can do 5 dc or whatever you want that will make your flower as big and pretty as you’d like.  Sometimes I increase my hook size for the second row to make the petals bigger as well.  When you’re done, fasten off and leave a long tail to sew flower onto hat.

Sew flower onto hat, sew button to middle of flower, put hat on head, and feel very proud of yourself for completing an ambi-yarning project.  YES!!

Free Pattern: Knit Slouch Flower Hat | Classy Crochet

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties

I am so excited for today’s project share with all of you!  I first saw these ages ago on – you guessed it – Pinterest, and immediately fell in lurv.  They didn’t have a name, pattern or any sort of copyright, so immediately I busted out my reverse engineering skills.

I love natural materials: wood, fiber, leather, etc.  This project combines ALL THREE.  It’s really straightforward… it modifies your basic mary-jane bootie pattern, and totally elevates the street value with just teeny additions of luxurious leather and wood. Once you show these babies off, your friends will universally acknowledge you as empress of the crafting universe.  I’d also promise that you’ll also physically turn into Shakira’s doppleganger, but seeing as I’m still waiting for my hips to stop telling lies, I can’t guarantee that last bit.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

You will need the following:

  • DK yarn (preferably something including wool, just so you can feel uber natural, like your entire project came freshly sheared off of a humble sheep, hand scavenged from your local forest, and um, nobly sacrificed from whatever animal your leather belongs to…)
  • This pattern
  • Size 5 (or 6) knitting needles
  • Teeny tiny scraps of leather for the straps
  • Wood buttons (or you can use felt like the original link)
  • Yarn needle to sew up bootie seams
  • Something sharp to poke holes in your leather (embroidery needle or small awl)
  • Sharp scissors to cut said leather

I wasn’t planning on using the exact same color scheme as the original source, but when I went to Joann’s to find some appropriate DK yarn, they just so happened to have Paton’s DK superwash wool, in taupe, on clearance, for $.97 a skein.  I mean, 97 cents, okay.  Honestly, I would have never chosen taupe myself since by itself it’s kind of a weird yucky color, but it works perfectly here.

Quick insert of The Leather Saga:  (bear with me, it has an awesome ending.)

I first saw these shoes, oh, about 15 weeks ago (says Pinterest). The reason why it’s taken me so long to get these made is that I didn’t have the leather.  I was in China without access to big box craft stores where I knew I could buy a patch for $3.  Of course, I could probably have gone on another all-day adventure to find some, but my desire to procure a 1/2″x 2″ scrap simply to make some baby booties was not that high.  Once I even walked by a leather stall in a random shopping area above a deserted Jinkelong, thought ooh, I should go back and beg a scrap sometime, but that didn’t happen either.

Then I came to the U.S. In my first few days I went to Michaels in search of leather.  Their aisle marked “leather goods and tools” only contained felt, pom poms, and googly eyes.  Fail, Michaels.  I’ll look somewhere else.  Turns out their aisles were simply mis-labeled, but fortuitous for me, because…

That very afternoon, I went home to my parents’ house, and whaddya know… there was a large pile of leather scraps sitting on their living room table.  You know, the kind with metal grommets that probably once belonged to a furniture store as their color samples.  It turns out a friend of theirs had bought them for pennies at a garage sale, never figured out a use for them, she bu de (there’s that word again – couldn’t bear to) throw them out, so she gave them to my mom when SHE moved back to China, and there they sat, because my own mom was she bu de to throw them away either.

Anyway, story summary: my mom had literally two pounds of free leather scraps, was never planning on using them, but was never planning on throwing them away either.  So now… THEY’RE MINE!! And they were ALL FREEEEE!  And when I say “leather scraps”, I mean… LEATHER SCRAPS:

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

1) How many booties could I make with this??? 2) I started a new Pinterest board entitled “Leather Scrap Projects” and I need your input please.  🙂

Okay, end of story, back to project.

Start knitting your booties using this pattern.  The pattern says size 6 needles will net 6-12 month booties. I used size 5 and mine were about 3.5″ long, which was what I was going for.  STOP knitting after row 16.  Bind off and sew up booties.  They’ll basically be little shoes.

Obtain leather scrap by whatever means necessary.  You should be able to just use sharp scissors to cut it, no need for special tools here.

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy CrochetCut two long skinny strips for straps.  This took a bit of trial and error for me.  Make sure they’re thick enough to poke at least one hole to sew onto your shoe – I wanted it thick enough for two holes, so mine are pretty thick.

Second obstacle: poking holes into said leather.  After many days of searching stores for little teeny leather hole punchers or something of the sort, it turns out my mom also had a very random mini-awl that she picked up on the streets of Taiwan for like 60 cents.  You can probably just use a sharp needle and a thimble (so you don’t skewer yourself).  I wanted to use yarn for my sewing so I needed a bigger hole, but a needle will work just fine with regular embroidery thread.

Poke holes into leather on both sides.  I wanted four, but my leather wasn’t big enough, so I just poked two holes and did one stitch on each end.  Using yarn scraps or embroidery thread, sew one side onto the shoe, sew the other side through at least one (or all) of your buttonholes.  Step back, admire your work, and wait for the compliments to come showering in!

Happy knitting!

Knitting Project: Au Naturale Knit Baby Booties | Classy Crochet

Free Pattern: Knit Fisherman Ribbed Hipster Hat

One day (like, back in December-when-it-was-still-cold one day), as I was trawling across Pinterest like I do, I came across this pin:

The caption of the pin read: “DIY Incredible Knitted Mustard Hat – Super Easy and Awesome”.  Ooh!  I thought.  Super easy awesome free knitted hat pattern!  So I clicked it.  The link took me here: a fashion design blog written in French, with beautiful designs, gorgeous handmade products for sale, and nary a knitting pattern in sight.

So, being the masochist that I am, I decided to figure out the pattern by myself.  It couldn’t be that hard, right?  Just some sort of rib with a wide wale, and a huge pompom on top?

As my not-so-subtle leading question would imply, with any pattern I attempt to replicate, the project took me many, many, many evenings of researching knitted rib patterns, figuring out how they work in the round, how to decrease them, the appropriate gauge, etc etc etc.  However, after many dribbling tears, I think I’ve finally got this hat (more or less) in my adult head size.

The trick to this hat is a stitch known loosely as “brioche”, or “fisherman rib”, or “prime rib”… honestly, I have no idea what the technical term is, because each of those stitches has a few different variations.  Plus, the skills behind each stitch varied excessively widely from one source to the next.  There were all sorts of skippings, slippings, knitting fronts and backs, etc.  But, the one I found to be the easiest was the most straightforward: k1, k1 below, repeat.  The end.  The result is a very stretchy, giving fabric.

(I think *technically* the stitch in the pictured hat above is a “brioche“, vs. the stitch I’m using is “fisherman rib“, or a “brioche rib“, but whatever, my version is easy and it gets the point across, yes?)

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(Please excuse my ghetto-fabulous styrofoam head purchased for $2.99 at a thrift shop.  It suffered major structural damange in the move to China.  At least the hat covers the giant dent in the top of the head…)

I’ve used my ever-favorite Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick N Quick yarn, and size 13/15 16″ circular needles for this project. To replicate the beautiful smooth design of the original photo, I assume you can use a nice fancy thick single ply roving alpaca wool.  One of these days I’ll actually pony up and buy some.

To knit this hat, you will need to know the following:

  • k1 below
  • p1 below
  • k2tog
  • ssk

K1 below and p1 below sound waaay scarier than they really are.  Here is a picture tutorial on how to do both from the ever-dependable Purl Bee.  Here is a great video for k1 below, and here is a great video for p1 below.  Read/watch through them, be ready to try them out.  Ready? Okay!

Cast on 42 stitches with size 13 needles (16″ circular).  Join to work in the round and place marker.

Rows 1-5: k1, p1 rib

Row 6: switch to size 15 needles.  K2tog, p1 below, repeat around. (28 st left)

NOTE 1: On this row, when you p1 below, you will be purling into a knit stitch every other purl due to the stitch groupings of 3.  Do not be alarmed.  Purl into the knit stitch (BELOW, drop that top loop off!) and continue with faith.  You will also have what seems to be now a ridiculously small hat.  Again, faith, my friends, and carry on!

Row 7: k1 below (into the k2tog stitch), p1 as normal into the p1 below stitch from previous row.  Repeat around.

NOTE 2: this row is going to look like a hot mess. You’re going to wonder if you’re doing it right, because it looks really ugly; there will be weird lumps and loops everywhere.  Keep that faith going – it’ll be about four rows of ribbing before the hat pattern starts to look ‘right’.  I promise it looks better on your head.

A quick photo tutorial on “k1 below into k2tog stitch”:

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Here, I’ve just purled normally, and am ready to k1 below into the k2tog from previous row

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I’ve circled the two loops of the k2tog. Insert your needle through both loops to k1 below.

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Insert your needle into the aforementioned loops…

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Knit and draw your loop through…

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Now the scariest part: lift the top loop off of the needle and drop it. Yes, drop it!

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I like to give the back of the loop a bit of a tug to loosen it up. It will feel like you’re intentionally dropping a stitch and pulling it apart, but you’re NOT. Have faith!  This extra yarn is what creates the nice stretchy fabric between ribs.

Row 8: k1 as normal (into k1 below stitch), p1 below.  Repeat around.

Row 9: k1 below, p1 as normal (into p1 below stitch).  Repeat around.

Rows 10 and on: repeat rows 8 and 9 until hat measures about 6.5-7″ in length.  (This was about 12 rows of fisherman rib for me.)  Make sense?  You’ll be alternating k1/p1below and k1below/p1 every row.

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This is what your hat will look like after several rows. It looks way too small, but it will magically stretch. A lot.

Decrease sequence: (transfer onto DPNs at this point)

Row 1-3: k1, p1 in a regular rib around. (Keep these rows loose otherwise they bunch up from the fisherman rib)

Row 4: k2tog, repeat to end of round.

Row 5: knit

Row 6: ssk, repeat to end of round.  Draw tight, fasten off.

Make extremely large pompom.  (As always, I tout my extra large pompom maker from Clover.) You’ll have two tails from tying it together; use these to thread into hat, sew a few stitches to secure, and then tie a square knot.  Secure some more, and fasten off.  The very top of the hat will look a little off from the fisherman rib.  The pompom should cover up any weirdness.

Squash hat on head and proceed to feel very hipster.  Hooray for hipster hats!

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FINAL NOTE: you can probably make this hat easily using a real brioche stitch and you will probably end up with better results.  Be sure to let me know if you do.

Follow along with the project gallery on Ravelry!

Shake your pom pom, shake your pom pom…

A few months ago I discovered this fantastic pattern for a quick and sporty toddler/child hat.  I totally luuuurved it – it was fast, it was easy, it was my first time knitting stripes, the boy factor was most definitely there, and the color combinations (read: sports team related) are endless.  It was a great way to use smallish amounts of my ever-increasing Lion Brand Thick n Quick collection, PLUS two Christmasses ago I had gotten a whole collection of pom pom makers that I’d never actually used.  Win!

Pom Pom Knit Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

When my husband saw these, he immediately wanted one in the University of Michigan colors.  Apparently, Lion Brand’s dark navy blue and citron yellow don’t cut it.  For a guy who can’t tell the difference between purple and orange on any given day, he suddenly becomes an expert on the nuances between “maize” and “mustard” when it comes to his beloved football team.  In an effort to find the right color yarn, in the right weight and texture, I had to expand my yarn choices to Lion Brand Homespun, a similar weight yarn in a shinier acrylic that I wasn’t a huge fan of (it’s not terribly elastic), but darn it if the colors weren’t more accurate for his precious Wolverines.

Anyway, this is by no means a “look what I created!” pattern, because I very obviously fashioned it off of Fiberflux, but here is what I did for a (very) large men’s head.  My own head is also ginormous (23″) and my husband’s is 24″.  The hat fit my head fine, I just had to add a few rows for his head.

Cast on 44 stitches with size 13 needles (16″ circular) in main color (MC)

Rows 1-5: k2, p2 rib

Row 6: switch to size 15 needles.

Knit two rows in MC, two rows in second color (CC), alternate two rows MC/two rows CC for three rows of CC total

Continue knitting in MC until hat measures 6″/6.5″ (for 23″ or 24″ head) – this ended up being about 16 stockinette rows total for my husband, probably about 14 rows for myself.  Begin decrease sequence.  If your own head is a much more normal 21″-22″, cast on 40 stitches instead of 44.  I’d still knit 14 rows though.

Decrease sequence:

Row 1: *k2tog, k3, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 2: knit

Row 3: *k2tog, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 4: switch to dpns, knit

Row 5: *k2tog, k1, repeat from * to end of round.

Row 6: knit

Row 7: k2tog around.

Row 8: k2tog around, fasten off.

Make extremely large pompom.  You’ll have two tails from tying it together; use these to thread into hat, sew a few stitches to secure, and then tie a square knot.  Secure some more, and fasten off.

So.  Pom poms.  Although as previously stated, I had four pompom makers, sadly the largest one still came woefully short regarding adequate fluffy balls (yes, snicker).  Therefore, I had to go online and order an additional one, the largest pom pom maker I could find.  It look something like five weeks to get here, by which time said husband’s head was getting pretty durn chilly.  Glad it finally came though, he loves his hat and wears it everywhere!

Pom Pom Knit Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

Please ignore the fact that the first stripe is obviously three rows up from the other two, not two rows as previously stated in the pattern.  I was watching Wrath of the Titans for like the eightieth time (hey, U.S. television is limited in China), was distracted by the Medusa scene, lost count, and by the time I realized I was off I was waaaaay too lazy to rip it back down and fix it.  Husband didn’t worry at all though, apparently men don’t care about miscounted rows.

GO BLUE!