Sunday, 23 December 2012

Happy Holiday Hat (and The Importance of Swatching)

Panda hat
In the past few weeks I've made quite a few hats, most of them have been beanie type hats using nice chunky yarns and a K2 P2 rib. So far they have been well received. I gave one to my long suffering partner; I made the first hat for my brother for Christmas and then decided I had been neglecting said partner so made him one too (instead of doing the washing up which is what I probably should have done.) I also made one for me in gorgeous colours but then decided it made me look like a boy so I gave that one to my partner too.

Beanie detail

Lovely colours beanie

Anyway, I digress. This post is to showcase my purple panda hat. I picked up a copy of Rachel Hendersen's '25 Animal Hats' for cheap a few weeks ago and have had my eye on the panda hat from the start. I've been avoiding making a panda hat as there are so many on the high street but they are very cute. I decided to put my mark on it by making a purple and white rather than black and white panda.

Crochet panda hat

This pattern was a good example of why you should swatch. I used a different yarn to the one specified (same weight and fibre, just a different brand) and used the recommended hook size. It soon became apparent that this was a bad plan. However, being stubborn I carried on and tried to convince myself it was fine. It clearly wasn't so I tried felting it, but I'd used super-wash wool and even at 60 it wouldn't felt. So I admitted defeat (sort of, I still haven't actually unraveled it) and started again. This time I used a hook 2 mm smaller and found this gave me about the right tension ( I still failed to swatch but I did measure after a couple of rounds.)

Shell edge detail

Back of the hat

I added a shell edge to my hat as I like little touches like that but otherwise mostly followed the pattern in the book. When I had completed the crochet hat I used felt, buttons and embroidery thread to make the face and made two fluffy pom-pom ears. These waggle in a slightly disconcerting way when I walk but the hat is warm and cosy and I think everyone should have a silly hat at Christmas. And on that note, Happy Christmas Everyone!

Eye detail

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