Last week I was thinking it would be fun to make something valentiney, and then while I was working at The Net Loft, I re-discovered the Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted semi-solid colors. This combined with the fact that I’m currently taking a knitting class in designing nordic mittens led me to try out a stranded hat with the new yarn and Valentine theme. I’m considering it a warm-up for the crocheted fair-isle bear sweater I’m about to start. I was out of practice doing crocheted colorwork, and I had to play around a bit with holding the yarn to get a comfortable technique. I ended up holding both colors in the left hand.
I began the hat at the top, and concentrated the increases instead of spiraling them throughout the crown so that I didn’t have to worry about changing colors and increasing at the same time. I also didn’t want obvious increase lines since the color patterning is what should get the attention.
I used the special tapestry crochet graph paper from Carol Ventura‘s More Tapestry Crochet to initially chart the hearts. The slanted graph paper shows what the charts look like in crocheted stitches which don’t stack vertically, especially when worked in the round. I then transferred it to standard graph paper so it’s easier to follow while crocheting.
Then after working the heart chart, I worked even to create the rolled brim. (BTW, the mist on the lake behind me? They call that “frozen fog.” Selma and I think the back yard looks like Narnia under the rule of the White Witch.)
I didn’t write a conventional pattern, but I drew out the chart so if you want to make the hat too, you can.
I used a partial skein of skein of Lamb’s Pride in Creme (M-10) and almost the whole skein of Strawberry Smoothies (M-200). My gauge with a 5mm hook was about 4.3 sts per inch. The hat has about a 23″ circumference.
Starting with 6 sts, I doubled in the sts in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and again in the 5th. In rnd 9, I increased again in every other st, and in rnd 12 in every 3rd st for a total of 96 sts. I increased once more to 99 sts before beginning the hearts.
The chart represents 1/2 of the hat. So, you’ll continue each pattern row as you began to the end of the round. (The rounds are spiraled, but I’d recommend placing a marker at the beginning, so you can keep track.) The x’s mark the white stitches. Clicking on the chart will take you to its flickr page where you can download a hi-res version.
Like I said, I had to fiddle a bit before getting comfortable again changing colors. I made a little (low-quality) video so you could see what I ultimately ended up doing. It also demonstrates how to yarn over with the new color in the stitch before the color change.
Let me know if you have questions. I’d be happy to answer them. We’re taking a trip to Anchorage with the kids for Valentine’s day. It will be my first time on the ferry in Prince William Sound and I’m looking forward to it. We’ll be seeing the new movie Coraline based on the book by Neil Gaiman that Selma got for Christmas and loved, and we’ll be stocking up on chocolate hard-to-find groceries.