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!

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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!

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?)

DSC_0369 DSC_0367

(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

2-DSC_0355

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…

4-DSC_0357

Knit and draw your loop through…

5-DSC_0358

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

6-DSC_0359

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.

7-DSC_0360

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!

DSC_0374 DSC_0373

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!

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: 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: 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.