How to: Braids on Earflap Hats

I’ve crocheted about eight thousand earflap hats over the course of my crocheting career (accurately and scientifically estimated,of course).  My go-to method of crocheting the actual strappy parts is the long ch with sc along the edges – it minimizes the amount of yarn used, it doesn’t require excessive cutting/sewing/weaving, and it automatically does this cute little twirl that always has recipients wondering “how I did it” (um, the yarn just curled…?).

However, there are times where you just want the old-school churro braids, and they’re really not hard either.  Ready?

Cut several lengths of yarn double the length you want the braid (you’ll be folding them in half).  Keep the total lengths of yarn (doubled) to a multiple of 3 – for example, 12 strands for 24 lengths (3 groups of 8), etc.  The number of length totally depends on the weight of your yarn.  I used 12 strands of worsted for these photos.

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

Gather up the lengths and fold them in half.  Using a large crochet hook, insert the hook through where the braid will attach, and draw the fold through.

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

Pull the lengths through the loop and draw them tight.  The loop will be all kinds of uneven – I like to go through and pull each length tightly to even it out.  A bit tedious, but your loop will thank you.

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

Separate lengths into 3 groups.  Braid braid braid.

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

How to: Braids on Earflap Hats | Classy Crochet

Tie a knot at the end.  Again, it’ll be uneven and again, go through and pull each length tightly to even it out. Cut off ends evenly.

Repeat on other side.

Revel in awesome braidy braids!

Free Pattern: Crochet Bow and Ribbon Baby Hat

I have a confession to make: close on the tails of my yarn addiction is my ribbon addiction.  It’s mostly fueled by a discovery several years ago of a RIBBON FACTORY in Hagerstown, MD from where I used to live in Virginia.  The possibilities of ribbon decor are endless, but not the price – $5 for 10 yards at your local big box hobby store?  No thank you.  But, BUT… the Berwick ribbon factory gives their castoffs, remnants, and extras a very honorable resting place in the attached outlet store, where you can find 100 yards of 1″ grosgrain for – wait for it – $2.  I know, right??

Anyway, I love ribbon, I love it as decoration, but when it comes to hats, it can be difficult, because hats are stretchy, ribbon is not, ergo, wrapping ribbon around/through a hat = nonstretchy hat.  Kind of defeats the purpose.

Enter simple solution: crocheted ‘ribbon’ and bow right on the hat!  Huzzah!

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

This pattern is a very basic baby hat.  The only special stitch in it is the reverse sc on the border, which I learned just to make this hat.  It’s that easy.  I have a quick tutorial here.  (See how the pictures in the tutorial are from this actual hat?  Right.)

A brief pontification on hats in general:

  • Once you master the art of making a basic double crochet hat, you can do a zillion things with them – my favorite way to get creative is to add appliques (flowers, butterflies, hearts, etc.)  I used to experiment with different crochet stitches: fan, shell, lace, etc., and those are marvelous as well, but at the end of the day, I found that an unfussy, clean, simply decorated hat presented a nicer silhouette of the type of product I wanted to create.
  • I almost always end my hats with a few rows of sc.  It makes the band more snug fitting around the crown of the head.  I’ve had many customers comment how this feature makes their hats super comfy/fit right, or actually stay on their babies’ heads when other hats fall off.
  • This particular pattern only includes instructions for one size, but the premise behind all crocheted hats are the same: two st in one = an increase in size.  You basically make a flat increasing circle until you get the diameter you want, then just one st around until the hat is the length you want.  Your gauge will be different depending on your hook and yarn weight, so the only way to know for sure how big your hats will be is to experiment.  Feel free to jigger this pattern as you please and I’d love to see the results!
  • I took the liberty of writing out several different recommended baby hat sizes in my free striped earflap hat pattern, so feel free to download that and use it as a template for this hat if you want a different size.

MATERIALS

I used Vanna’s Choice yarn in two colors (hereafter referred to as “red” and “white” – I’m not big on labeling with letters when you can clearly see the red and white in photos) and an I hook for this hat.

*second pontification: Vanna’s Choice is actually quite thick for a worsted weight – most worsted weight yarns recommend an H or I hook, while Vanna’s Choice recommends a J.  Honestly it should be an aran weight yarn, but whatever.  I’ve made hats with G, H, and I hooks and get over an inch difference in each size, so feel free to play around.  My I hook resulted in a pretty decent sized baby hat, about 6-12 months.  A thinner yarn (such as Caron Simply Soft) and an H hook would result in a newborn size.  However you do it, you should end up with a hat sized to fit some baby at some point or another.

PATTERN

Row 1: Using red and I hook, 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 2 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * around. Sl st to last st (48 st).

Row 5-7: Ch2, dc in same st, 1 dc in each st all the way around. Sl st to last st.

Row 8-9: Switch to white. Repeat row 5 (1 dc in each st all the way around). Sl st to last st.

Row 10: Switch back to red (carry it up from the white, no need to cut your yarn). Repeat row 5.

Row 11-12: Ch1, sc in same st, 1 sc in each st all the way around, sl st to last st.

Row 13: Ch1, reverse sc all the way around.  (Click here for tutorial.) Fasten off and weave in ends.

CROCHET BOW

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy CrochetUsing white and I hook, ch 33.  (Leave a 6-8″ tail to sew up the bottom.)  Skip first st, sc into each st.  You could also use chainless foundation, but I find it a little finicky with sc.  Plus, nobody can tell the difference for this project.

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy CrochetSl st into the top loops of the first sc, being careful not to twist your stitches.  You’ll now have a loop and will be basically sc a very wide, flat cylinder.

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy CrochetCh1, sc in first st, 1 sc in each st all the way around.  Sl st to the first st at the end of each row.

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy CrochetRepeat until you have 6 total rows of sc.  Do not cut or fasten off.  Use the bottom tail to sew up the bottom of the bow. Take your yarn and wind it several times tightly around the center of the cylinder to create your bow – this will determine how much you need before you cut off the final length.  Wind it until you like how it looks, and add a few feet to sew the bow onto the hat.  NOW, cut off yarn and fasten off.

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy CrochetTada!  Finished crochet bow.

Using a tapestry needle, sew the end through the back a few times to secure it, then sew the bow onto the hat.  I like the sew all my appliques directly over the seam of the hat – that way if the wearer wants to put it on the right or left side, the seam isn’t running down the middle of the forehead.

Happy crocheting and as always, if you have any questions or comments, you can email me at classycrochet@gmail.com.

Follow along with the project gallery on Ravelry.

Thanks for stopping by!

Crochet Ribbon and Bow Baby Hat Pattern | Classy Crochet

How to: Reverse Single Crochet (rev sc)

Today’s tutorial is brought to you by the elusive reverse single crochet, also known as crab stitch.  When I first encountered said stitch in a pattern, I got confused trying to decipher the images and written instructions, and just thought it meant, “turn your work around and sc in the opposite direction”… which is what I did, for years, until a mere few weeks ago when I 1) discovered that my presumption was completely untrue, and 2) yesterday, when I actually tried the stitch for the first time.  *sigh*

Anyway, here it is.  Before we start, I just want to summarize the stitch so you don’t think it’s anything fancy or new: you are sc (single crochet) as you normally do.  You’re just going in the opposite direction.  Got it?  Instead of sc right to left, you are sc left to right.  That’s all.  No fancy loops, turns, nothing.

Also, from what I can tell, reverse sc is usually reserved for a border.  Since you’re going in the opposite direction, your stitch definition is kind of lost.  I mean, if you wanted to go all crazy and creative you could probably continue to add stitches, but in my little world, it’s a border, and a nice corded one at that.   The end.

That being said, here are the requisite photos:

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Start your row by ch1 as per usual.  Do you see the black arrow?  This is where you’ll go in your next stitch.

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Insert hook through previously labeled ‘black arrow’ st…

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Yarn over, draw a loop up…

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Yarn over and draw loop through.  Completed reverse sc.  Remember: you just did a regular sc.  You just did it in the opposite direction.  Once your brain wraps around this, it’s really, really easy.

Reverse Single Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

It takes a few stitches before the ‘pattern’ of the reverse sc appears.  Your yarn will sort of slant towards the right as you go.  Keep your tension even the way you would a regular sc – don’t freak out and pull too tightly.  You’ll use a little more yarn than a regular sc due to the opposite direction and added ‘distance’ to travel, but I like the results.

Et voila!  You’ve got a new stitch to add to your repertoire and a fun new border to add to your projects.  I think all my hats will have reverse sc borders from here on out…

Happy stitching and if you have any questions, leave them in the comments!

Crochet Daisy Tutorial

Good morning yarning friends!  Today I’m going to walk you through a super easy crochet daisy tutorial.  I came up with this flower several years ago in my first few months of rediscovering crochet, and I thought it was time to revive it.  It’s a pretty cute flower – the only gripe I have is sewing it on, since the petals are a bit floppy and since I’m anal retentive I tack each. one. on.  But the end results are well worth it!

Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy CrochetCrochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy Crochet

(Personally I think the hat itself is kind of ridiculous, since it’s really not a hat but a doily, but if you want a pattern, I can probably figure it out again.)

Okay, to start: you’ll need daisy colored yarn (I used white and yellow) and your crochet hook of choice.  This flower is easily adaptable to different weights.

Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Start with yellow yarn.  If your dc are 3 ch high, ch4.  If they are 2 ch high, ch3.  12 dc into the first ch.  You could also use magic ring, but I never really figured it out and crocheting into the first ch always worked just fine for me.  Sl st to first st.
Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Switch to white yarn.  Sl st and ch8. (9, if your dc are 3 ch high).  Starting on 3 ch from hook (or 4, if you have 9 ch), you’ll crochet into the remaining six ch: 3 dc, 2 hdc, 1 sc.  Make sense?  You’ll have three stitches of dc, two stitches of hdc, one stitch of sc, six stitches total.

Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy Crochet

When you reach the end of the petal, sl st into the very next st of yellow (see arrow above).  Ch 8 (or 9) and repeat petal.
Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Again, you’ll be sl st into the very next st when you are finished.  You’ll end up with 12 petals of six st (3 dc, 2 hdc, 1 sc).
Crochet Daisy Tutorial | Classy CrochetCompleted daisy.  Sl st the white yarn to the first petal, fasten off yarn, leaving a looooong white tail to sew onto desired project.

Hope this tutorial makes sense, and if not, you know where to find me!  🙂  Good luck and happy daisy-ing!

How to… Chainless Foundation

Today we’re learning how to make a double crochet chainless foundation.  Once you learn it you’ll be hard pressed to go back to ye old “chain 82, turn and dc into third ch from hook” etc.  Have you found that the first row always ends up being tighter and more puckered than the rest?  So lame.  The chainless foundation 1) gets rid of that tighter first row, and 2) creates the first row of stitches as you go along.  This is also particularly awesome because if you get to the end and decide meh, too short or dang, too long, you just add or rip out a few stitches.  Instead of ripping. out. all. the. way. back. to. the. beginning.  You get the point.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 1: ch3.  My dcs are 2 ch high.  If yours are 3ch high, ch4.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 2: yo, insert hook into first two loops of the first ch.  This seems a little weird at first, but I promise you it’s correct.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 3: Bring hook through loops.  3 loops on hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 4: Yo, draw hook through the first loop.  You’ll still have 3 loops on hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 5: Yo, draw hook through two loops.  2 loops remaining on hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 6: Yo, draw hook through remaining two loops.  Completed first dc.

It can be a smidge confusing seeing all this in one color, so just for demonstration purposes I’m switching to a different color to show how you continue the chainless foundation:

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 1: Yo, insert hook into bottom two loops of the stitch before.  This creates the look of a ch foundation on the bottom.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 2: Yo…

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

…and draw the hook through.  Again, you’ll have 3 loops on your hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 4: Yo, draw hook through first loop.  3 loops on hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 5: Yo, draw hook through two loops.  2 loops remaining on hook.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 6: Yo, draw hook through remaining loops.  Completed chainless dc.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

A quick tip!!  When drawing the first loop through, I like to stretch it out quite a bit.  Otherwise, the first time I tried it, my bottom row ended up being quite tight and I still got that dreaded ch row pucker…

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Pucker.  No good.

Chainless Foundation Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Looser bottom.  Very good.  You’ll notice your stitches are a bit slanted as you first start – just tug on them a little as you go and they’ll straighten right out.

Congratulations!  You’ve mastered the chainless foundation.  Your crocheting will never be the same again!

How to: Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC)

Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC) was a bit complicated for me to pick up at first, but now that I’ve got it down, it’s just as easy as FPDC.  The trick is inserting your hook the right way into the stitch below.

For demonstration purposes I’m using a contrasting color so you can see what’s going on.

You always begin fpdc or bpdc with a foundation row of dc first.

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 1: The white arrows are pointing to the ‘stitch below’ that into which we will be inserting our hook.  The red arrow shows the top stitches that you would normally dc into (yes, I’m technically skipping a stitch, it’s just easier to demonstrate).

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

This photo is from the FPDC tutorial.  Do you see how your hook goes through the stitch below, right to left?

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 2: For BPDC, your hook goes through the back of the stitch below, right to left.

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

I have flipped my piece over so you can see how the hook goes through the back.
Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 3: From here it’s just like dc or FPDC: yo…

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 4: Draw loop through the stitch below (3 loops on hook)

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 5: Yo again…

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Step 6: Draw through 2 loops, then yo and draw through remaining loops

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Flipping the piece back over to the right side, you can see the finished BPDC.  It’s about half the height of a regular dc and you can see where the yarn wraps around the stitch below.

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

If you were to crochet an entire row of BPDC, it would look something like this.  However, it’s almost always used in conjunction with FPDC.

Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy CrochetThis is how a FPDC, BPDC row of ‘ribs’ looks.  I usually repeat it for total of three or four rows for a nice ribbed edge.

Again, the trickiest part is getting step 2 down.  Once you get that, the rest is easy.  Here’s a great video I found online if you want to see it in action.  The lovely narrator has an Australian accent – always a bonus when learning things online.  🙂  Enjoy!

How to: Quick Rosette Flower

Here’a super simple pattern for a rosette crochet flower.  They’re cute and really fast to make, and add a classic or whimsical touch to your finished projects.  You can use any weight yarn and any size hook.  For this tutorial I’m using regular worsted weight yarn and a size I (5.5mm) hook.

This pattern is SUPER adaptable.  Chain any length you want for a bigger flower, go up a hook size, etc.  The sky’s the limit!

Rosette Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

ch25

Rosette Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

The basic premise is, you’ll be crocheting two stitches into each chain. I like to start off smaller, so 2 hdc into the next three ch, then I switch up to 2 dc into each of the next 8 or so ch. If you want to go wild, you can increase even more to 2 tdc into the next 5 ch, then back down to 2 dc for the next 8 ch, then back down to 2 hdc for the last two chs. Your project will curl around like so. Fasten off, leaving long tail to stitch the flower together and attach to projects.

Rosette Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Arrange your curl around so it looks like a nice rosette.

Rosette Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Using long tail, stitch the rosette into place. I like to make sure my stitches go through the foundation ch on each layer (white arrows) so the petals are secure. Fasten off with a long chain to sew onto project.

Rosette Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

If you use 100% wool to make the rosette, they felt up beautifully. You can attach a 1″ pin or 1″ French clip on the back to fasten to projects.

And that’s it!  Awesome flower, done in no time, very versatile… what more could you ask for?

How to: Front Post Double Crochet (FPDC)

Today we’re going to learn how to make a front post double crochet, or FPDC.  It seemed sooooo intimidating to me back in my early crochet days, but honestly it’s so simple I don’t know why I stressed so much about it.  Do you know how to double crochet?  Then you know how to FPDC. FPDC (in conjunction with BPDC) makes great ribs and texture in your crochet projects.  I often like to throw it in at the end of a hat for a nice ribbed brim.  The photos below show a FPDC in the round, but it’s all the same.

For demonstration purposes I’m using a contrasting color so you can see what’s going on.

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Ch2 at beginning of row, YO

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Insert hook through post of corresponding stitch below.

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

YO

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Draw hook through (3 loops)

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

YO

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Draw hook through 2 loops

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

YO, draw hook through remaining 2 loops

Front Post Double Crochet Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Completed FPDC

See, wasn’t that easy?  Basically you’re just making a dc, but instead of into the top two stitches of the row below, you’re sticking your hook AROUND the actual stitch.  It’s awesome.  Grab your hook and go!

How to: Basic Crochet Flower

I’ve been making this flower forEVER and have done a zillion variations on it – hook size, number of stitches per petal, number of petals per flower, etc.  It’s extremely versatile and is fantastic for a last minute embellishment on any of your awesome yarn accessories.  You can sew it directly onto your project, or I have also lined the back with a felt circle and French clip for a removable accessory.  The possibilities are endless!

For this tutorial I’m using just a basic worsted weight yarn and a size I hook.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Row 1: ch4, sl st to form a loop. *ch3, sl st into loop* repeat 5 times for a total of six ch3 loops. This forms the basis for your first row of petals.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Row 2: Sl st, ch1 into first ch3 loop. In each loop: hdc, dc, hdc, ch1, sl st. Sl st, ch1 into next loop and repeat.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Finished first round of petals.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Row 3: ch1, turn flower over. *Insert hook, sl st into middle of the back of the petal. Ch4.* Repeat * five times – 6 ch4 loops.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Finished row 3. The ch4 loops provide the base of the next row of petals.

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

Row 4: Sl st, ch1 into first ch4 loop. In each loop: hdc, 3 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st. Sl st, ch1 into next loop and repeat. If you want to be done at this point, fasten off and leave a long tail to sew onto your finished project. OR…

Basic Crochet Flower Tutorial | Classy Crochet

If you want to go big and keep going, repeat rows 3-4, increasing the ch loop to 5 and dc in each petal to 5. Usually at this point it’s big enough but you can always add another row for extreme flower awesomeness.

Some tips I’ve picked up over the years:

  • When I sew the flower on, I fasten around the loops of the edges of the petals of each row, but in the last row (with the largest petals) I also sew a tiny stitch into the middle of each petal.  This keeps the flower from curling up, and then it looks a lot smaller.
  • I prefer to leave the long tail for fastening at the beginning (before you ch4 into a loop) and work my way out when I fasten, but that’s a matter of preference.
  • If you do choose to attach the flower to a clip, depending on how big the flower to clip ratio is, I tend to attach the clip towards the ‘top’ of the flower in the back.  This way the flower doesn’t flop over and look very sad.
  • If you want to make it bigger, you can just increase the hook size.  I’ve gone all the way up to a K hook on the last row of petals and added a few extra dcs in each petal.

The quick and dirty typed out pattern:

Row 1: ch4, sl st to form a loop. *ch3, sl st into loop* repeat 5 times for a total of six ch3 loops. This forms the basis for your first row of petals.

Row 2: Sl st, ch1 into first ch3 loop. In each loop: hdc, dc, hdc, ch1, sl st. Sl st, ch1 into next loop and repeat.

Row 3: ch1, turn flower over. *Insert hook, sl st into middle of the back of the petal. Ch4.* Repeat * five times – 6 ch4 loops.

Row 4: Sl st, ch1 into first ch4 loop. In each loop: hdc, 3 dc, hdc, ch1, sl st. Sl st, ch1 into next loop and repeat. If you want to be done at this point, fasten off and leave a long tail to sew onto your finished project. OR…

Row 5: repeat rows 3-4, increasing the ch loop to 5 and dc in each petal to 5.