Where my stitches at?!

I want to start a series that will probably last for the next few weeks to highlight some basic and not so basic crochet stitches. I also want to talk about some of the different types of fabrics that can be made by combining these stitches. One thing I hear a lot is that some crocheters can’t seem to get the hang of working from pattern. I can seem how a pattern, when looked at as a whole, can seem intimidating and difficult. What I find to be the best way to look at even the most advanced of patterns is to just take it a row at a time (or round) and just follow the stitch. Trying to work from this perspective helps break down to pattern process.
The first stitch I want to show how to accomplish is the half double crochet (or HDC). This is my favorite stitch, especially for hats, because for me I can work it faster. I don’t know why that is, it’s just always had the best flow when working HDC in the round especially.

20140427-112639.jpg
The first step to complete a HDC is to begin with the loop on your hook from the previous stitch or the chain from the previous row and yarn over once.

20140427-112754.jpg
Next you will insert your hook through the stitch you are working in.

20140427-112837.jpg
The third step is to pull a loop back through the stitch you are working in which leaves you with three loops on your hook.

20140427-112940.jpg
The final step is to yarn over one last time and pull through all three loops on your hook.

20140427-113029.jpg
You have now completed your half double crochet stitch.

20140427-113106.jpg

The one thing to remember is that all of those fancy patterns and techniques are really just a combination of the basic stitches of crochet. Don’t let any pattern intimidate you. Happy crocheting!

The Slouch Hat

Hats are about as versatile as any other piece of clothing, and making your own is a great way to go. There are many different styles to choose from and many different options for the different kinds. Beanie, top hat, ball cap, elf hat, Santa hat, the list goes on. One hat that seems to be very popular right now is the slouch hat. There is a hat that I have made many times over the past few years that is very popular among my friends and family. I have given it away to many loved ones in a rainbow of different colors. The most popular is black. I thought I would share the pattern for my most requested slouch hat. One issue I have found though is that the hat tends to get a little heavy depending on the yarn used to make it. It is my go to hat on a cold rainy day, somehow the bagginess helps keep the rain out of my face.

Urban Revival by Vickie Howell over at Caron Yarn Co. and Yarnspirations (which Caron is so light it would be a good yarn choice for this hat)

DSCN0701

Double Yarn Hat

I frequently get requests to make various things for people and right now I am working on making hats for the people in my Dad’s office. Something I know is an issue with crochet, especially hats, is that it leaves holes. This is just produced normally by the technique of crochet and these holes unfortunately allow for air to pass through and doesn’t always keep the noggin completely warm. The remedy that I came up with for this is to make a hat holding two strands of worsted weight yarn together. Doing so seems to allow the yarn to disperse a little better and keeps the old noodle warmer. I am making a hat using this technique to make the hats for Dad’s co-workers. I’m sharing this pattern so that others can also keep their head warm. The yarn I used for my hat is Red Heart With Love in Peacock and Caron Simply Soft Grey Heather. I usually don’t use Red Heart yarn because it is just so rough and I don’t like to use any yarn I can’t cuddle with, but Red Heart has been producing some very nice value yarns as of late. The With Love line is very reasonably priced and is very soft and cozy. I will definitely be using more of their yarns in the future. I normally go for Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn when I want to use acrylic but I actually think Red Heart’s With Love is softer. I would definitely recommend giving it a try. Also, Caron is always a good acrylic choice. It is a bit on the thinner side of worsted but it is also soft and cuddly and they have tons of colors to choose from.

Double Yarn Hat

Double Yarn Hat

Items needed:

Two skeins of worsted weight yarn (either the same color or two different colors) or one skein of bulky weight yarn

Size J crochet hook

Scissors

Yarn needle

Stitch Marker

Pattern:

Start with a magic circle.

Row 1: 5 hdc into the magic ring making sure to put the stitch marker into the first stitch of the row and move to first stitch of each row. Pull magic ring closed. Do not join. (5 sts)

Row 2: 2 hdc into each stitch around. (10 sts)

Row 3: hdc in next stitch, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around. (15 sts)

Row 4: hdc in the next 2 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around. (20 sts)

Row 5: hdc in the next 3 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around (25 sts)

Row 6: hdc in the next 4 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around (31 sts)

Row 7: hdc in the next 5 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around (35 sts)

Row 8: hdc in the next 6 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch. Repeat around (39)

Row 9: hdc in the next 12 stitches, 2 hdc into next stitch, hdc in the next 12 stiches, 2 hdc into next stitch, hdc in next 13 stitches, 2 hdc into last stitch. (43 sts)

Row 12-19: hdc in each stitch around.

Row 20: sc  in each stitch around.

Row 21: sl st in the next 3 stitches and finish off. Weave in ends.

Feel free to produce and sell this hat but if you post this pattern anywhere please reference back to me!