Saturday, February 7, 2015

Little Hats

Have you heard? Taci of TaciStudio has sent out a call for hats - baby hats to be precise. She's going to Brazil in July, and would like to bring 200 hats to a village where there is a great need for baby clothing.

Baby hats are so quick and fun to make - a little yarn, a little time, and before you know it you've got a little piece of love to give away.

I've made three so far:

Left to right:
1) Crochet, Deborah Norville Serenity Garden Yarn, colour Crocus, size G/4.00mm hook
2) Knit, Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted, colour Purple Mix, size US 6 needles
3) Knit, Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, colour Winery, size US 5 needles

I'm calling them the Abraço Hats (patterns can be found below). "Abraço" is the Portuguese word for cuddle, hug, or embrace - a good name for a baby hat, don't you think? :)

The Abraço Crochet Hat is easy-peasy - nearly all double crochets, worked spirally to avoid troublesome round joins. I love the way the colour changes fell out on this hat - totally unplanned:

The Abraço Knit Hat starts with a beginner-level lace pattern for the brim, which is highlighted by a few rows of garter stitch, then finished with a stockinette crown. The hat is knit flat, then seamed. I got lucky (again) with the colour changes on the pink Abraço:

The lavender Abraço came from a skein of ombré yarn with very long, very abrupt colour changes. For this hat, I cut the yarn into sections of the same shade, joining when needed at row beginnings so the hat could be mostly one colour:

For more baby hat inspiration, or if you'd like to participate in Hats for Brazil 2015, see Taci's post, where you'll find links to other simple hat patterns (one knit, one crochet). Teresa Kasner has also designed an easy, pretty hat for the project - you can find her pattern here. And of course there's always Ravelry....

Now for the patterns.

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Note on Sizing Baby Hats: There are lots of measurement charts floating around the web. Just google "baby hat sizes" and you'll see what I mean. Some charts give head measurements, and others give suggested hat measurements, which may include extra length for a foldup brim. I looked at several charts to come up with a kind of average for my own chart below.

Crochet Abraço Hat

Use fine, dk, or worsted weight yarn with the appropriate size hook.

Skills used: magic ring, sc, hdc, dc, sc2tog, invisible join

Hat is worked in increasing spiral rounds until the crown is the desired size, then worked in even rounds to desired length. Below is a chart for suggested measurement combinations. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest half-inch for simplicity, which means your hat may not exactly match the measurements given. Allow extra height if you want a fold-up brim.

Note: Each normal increase is 12 stitches, which can cause a big jump in size between rounds, especially if you're using heavier yarn. If you have trouble getting the circumference you want, you can always frog back to the crown and change the number of increases on your final increase round. To size down, try skipping every other increase (this will remove 6 stitches from your total count).

Make a magic ring, chain 1.
Round 1: sc, hdc, 10 dc in ring = 12 sts. If desired, place marker in the final dc of round, and move it up with each round.
Round 2: 2 dc in each stitch = 24 sts.
Round 3: (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next) 6 times = 36 sts.
Round 4: (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 2 sts) 6 times = 48 sts.
Round 5: (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 3 sts) 6 times = 60 sts.
Continue increase pattern until desired diameter is reached, adjusting final increase round if necessary (see Note above).
Start even (cluster) rounds: Still working in spiral, (2 dc in next st, skip 1 st) around, ending with 2dc in space just before first 2dc cluster of this round. You should have an even number of clusters, which will equal half the number of stitches in your final increase round.
Following rounds: 2 dc in each space around.
Work spiral cluster rounds until the hat is 1/4" to 1/2" less than desired height.
Final round (shells): Inserting hook in next 2 spaces, sc2tog. Then *(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next space, sc in next space. Repeat from * around, ending with shell in last space. Join with invisible join to sc2tog. Weave in ends.

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Knit Abraço Hat

Use fine, dk, or worsted weight yarn with the appropriate size needles.

Skills used: cast on, knit, purl, ssk, k2tog, k3togtbl, seaming

Important: swatch before you stitch to determine finished hat size! Cast on 16 stitches and work first 6 pattern rows (this will give you 2 repeats of the lace pattern, ending with k2 on RS rows). Measure one repeat, and divide the measurement into the hat size you'd like to make. (Example: 1 repeat measures 1.5". You want to make a 14" hat. Divide 14 x 1.5 = 9.33. Round it down to 9, and that's how many repeats you'll need. This is only an example - your measurements may be different.) Multiply the number of repeats you need by 7, then add 2 stitches for the seam, and cast on that many stitches.

If this sounds hopelessly confusing, just use trial and error. Try casting on 65 stitches in dk weight yarn, OR 58 stitches in worsted weight yarn. Work a few lace pattern rows, then measure to see if it's the size you want. If it's not, frog it; add or subtract multiples of 7 to your original number, and cast on again. One repeat of 7 stitches will take you up or down a size.

Hat is worked flat, then seamed. To knit in the round, cast on over 3 or 4 needles and eliminate the starting and ending stitch of each round (and the seam).

Cast on multiple of 7, + 2 stitches for seaming, allowing for a 10" tail after cast on.
Note: I used the longtail cast on; if I could start over I would use a purlwise longtail cast on to help prevent curly hem.
Row 1 (RS): K2, *yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k2; repeat from * to end.
Note to beginner knitters: be careful that your yarnovers don't twist around and disappear while you make the ssk. If necessary, put your finger on the yarnover and hold it while you make the ssk. I'm a beginner knitter myself and had to learn this the hard way!
Row 2: Purl. (Watch your stitch count! If you are short a stitch, one of your yarnovers probably went astray.)
Row 3: Repeat Row 1.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: K3, *yo, k3tog through the back loop, yo, k4. Repeat from * to end, ending with k3.
Note to beginner knitters: same as before - watch the yarnover just before each k3togtbl, and hold it in place while making the k3tog.
More experienced knitters - if there's a better k3tog to use here, could you leave me a comment and let me know? Thanks!
Row 6: Purl.
Rows 7-10: Knit.
Row 11 (WS): Purl.
Continue in stockinette (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) until hat measures 1½ - 2" less than desired height (see chart above for suggested circumference/height combinations). End with a purl row.
Begin decreases:
First Decrease Row (RS): Knit across, decreasing evenly by whatever multiple of 7 you used to cast on. (See the chart below for some sample starting decrease rows. The extra stitch at the beginning and end are for the seam.)

Next Decrease Row: Purl.
Continue decreasing evenly on each knit row, working 1 less knit stitch between decreases, until you are down to 16 stitches in your row. Don't forget there will be an extra knit stitch at the beginning and end of each row.
Work 1 purl row between each knit decrease row.
Optional: on final decrease row, switch to a smaller pair of needles.
Final Recrease Row: K1, k2tog 7 times, k1.
Cut yarn, leaving a 6" tail. Thread through darning needle and pass through final row, starting at the opposite end and coming out where you started. Slip stitches off needle and draw final row closed.
With starting tail, seam hat closed from bottom to top. (For an invisible seam, use mattress stitch on lace and stockinette rows; use invisible garter stitch seam on the 2 garter rows. Click here for an excellent tutorial on both techniques.) Weave in ends. Block hat.

Note: If a bump forms in the center of your hat when you draw the final round closed, see this excellent post by Tech Knitter (including comment section) for some ways to avoid it.

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You may do whatever you like with the items you make from these patterns, but you may not sell the patterns or reproduce their text without permission. Links are always welcome.

If you have any questions or comments, or find mistakes in the patterns (believe me it happens on a regular basis!), do please leave a comment below. You can also email me (click Profile in sidebar for address) or contact me in Ravelry as MrsMicawber.

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting AND knitting! Let's send some warmth to needy babies in Brazil....

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  1. Beautiful hats and I just know Taci will love them. I'm amazed at how many are making hats for her to take to Brazil. It was sweet of you to go to so much work posting the patterns for everyone to use. You do such pretty work.

  2. I love your hats! I made a red shell one today for my #7 hat! I have a feeling she will come pretty close to her goal with all of us helping out. I do love the thought of the hat I'm making will make a new mother happy and warm a little baby's head. You are an amazing pattern writer! Bravo! I might have to try knitting one.. all mine are crochet. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. They are beautiful Sue, I'm making hats for Taci too, I must try your patterns thanks for sharing. :) xx

  4. They do look so warm and cuddly. What a wonderful project. Thanks for the patterns.
    Have a lovely Sunday.

  5. Wow, that is such a great thing!
    And I love your charts for sizing! I have used the following to help me size a baby hat: 1) a Teddy bear's head (the ears get in the way!) and 2) my knee!
    So, you can see I am grateful for this! :-)

  6. They're gorgeous, and going to such a very good cause. I've seen quite a few popping up here and there, Taci will have a good supply to take with her I think. Well done for contributing. CJ xx

  7. Thanks so much for sharing the patterns, Sue! I love what you have made and am hoping I can make at least one hat for Taci to take. xx

  8. You are so good to make and donate these hats!

  9. Nice hats! And the thought behind them equally nice.

  10. Great patterns, and such a wonderful cause! Love the yarns you used; the colors will be so perfect on Brazilian bundles of love!!!

  11. Your hats are lovely and thanks for the patterns and sizing help. I have started a couple of hats but one of them seems to be very big. Think it will have a circumference of 18". Do you think that is too big for a baby?

    1. Some of the charts out there say that 18" will fit a 6 to 12 month old baby. If you're not too far in, you could always frog back and do one less increase round on the crown - otherwise just go ahead. Someone should be able to use it! :)

  12. Hi Sue, I'm so excited I can't even start to tell you ... I'm ecstatic ... And so very happy.
    Your hats are absolutely gorgeous and your pattern are such a great contribution.
    I'm so happy and you are so generous for doing all this.
    My heart almost feel to my feet when I read the word abraço ... That is Such a perfect word and the fact that you know that makes me feel so close to you.
    I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you are doing and to show you my gratitude.
    Thank you my dear friend.
    Ps: Teresa said that you didn't get my email response with the address to send the hats so I will try to send it to you again.
    Thank you - "obrigada querida" 💜💕

  13. Sue, you are the best, the very best!!!! Look at what you have done to help Taci, she is going to meet her goal and more because of you!

    I have five on my way to her right this second!
    Hugs to you,


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