Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Braided/woven slouch hat crochet tutorial

I designed this hat to match the braided infinity scarf in this pattern.

The set was a Christmas present for my wonderful best friend of 13 years. The hat was pretty complicated and weird to make, but I was happy with the end results!

This is going to be more of a tutorial than a pattern, because if I wrote any instructions down, I can't find them. They tend to become more and more unintelligible the longer I wait, anyway, and I made the hat several weeks ago.

Basically, I started with a round crown - wider than I would make a snugly-fitted hat - then made these weird, octopus-like tentacles, then wove them together and made them match up at the ends, then crocheted around several rounds for the brim. Don't worry, I'll break that down as much as I can.

Yarn: Some sort of Wool-Ease - if you are looking at yarn weight, it was probably a 6.

Hook: Whatever you use for thick yarn. Probably an N?


St - stitch
Ch - chain
Sc - single crochet
Dc - double crochet
Sl st - slip stitch
Rnd - round
Rep - repeat

Rnd 1 - Make a magic loop (here is a good tutorial.) Ch 2, dc 9 in magic ring, sl st to close (9)
Rnd 2 - Ch 2, 2 dc in each dc around, sl st to close (18)
Rnd 3 - Ch 2, *2 dc in first dc, dc in next, rep from * around, sl st to close (27)
Rnd 4 - Ch 2, *2 dc in first dc, dc in next 2 dc, rep from * around, sl st to close (36)
Rnd 5 - Ch 2, *2 dc in first dc, dc in next 3 dc, rep from * around, sl st to close (45)

Now is where it might get a bit confusing, but try to stay with me. You are going to crochet a bunch of strips that hang down off the brim. You will want to use a foundationless single crochet (read about this here - scroll to the end for sc instructions.) I can't remember how many stitches long I made the strips, but they ended up being too long. A foundationless chain of 18 sc should be plenty. 

Your first strip should look like this:

Repeat around, one strip for each dc of the hat crown. This will take FOREVER. There is a reason I made this hat for my best friend only and didn't list it in my Etsy shop!

Try the hat on - realize you look like a mutant yarn octopus. Text multiple pictures to your best friend so she can appreciate your weirdness and creativity.

Now comes the confusing part, and although I think I might have taken one picture, I can't find it anywhere.

You will need to find something semi-round to set the hat on while you weave the strands. I used a small-ish bucket. You are going to be weaving them over, under, over, under at a 45 degree angle. 

This diagram might help, or it might possibly make things more confusing. There is a reason I don't sell my patterns...

Mentally divide your strands into A strands and B strands, at least until you get the whole thing going. Every A strand weaves from left to right, every B strand weaves from right to left. 

It is best if you start this with a small section. When you get far enough along, you can just work around the hat, weaving one strand at a time until you run out of room. (Just try it, it makes more sense while you are working on it.)

Take your A strands and cross them over your B strands. Then start weaving over, under, over, under. At first you will only be able to cross over and under a few times, but as you add in more strands, you will be able to gradually weave towards the end of each strand (although the ends will probably be different lengths - you can even them up later). You will want to secure the strands with sewing pins as you work around the hat.

After everything is woven as far as it can go, you will want to start 1.) evening up the ends and 2.) crocheting the hat brim. You can do these simultaneously or one at a time. If you do them one at a time, carefully unravel each strand till it is even with the next, then re-knot and pin in place. Otherwise, just even each one up as you crochet around.

To crochet the brim, you will use the single crochet stitch. If you crochet one sc in each strand, the hat will most likely be too small. I think I did 2 sc stitches in the first strand, one in the second, and repeated that pattern around the hat, then used a sl st to join.

For the last several rounds (2 more rounds should work, add another if it looks like it needs it), just ch 1, sc around, sl st to close.

If you need further assistance, please leave a comment and I'll try to help!

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