It was about two years ago when I finally taught myself to crochet. I started off taking some knitting classes. I loved to knit but my wrists didn’t. I don’t know if it was carpel tunnel or what, but it hurt! I also didnt “get it.” I’d knit basic things, like scarves, and I could never count my stitches. I didn’t know where they started, or where they’d ended. And forget about repairing a lost stitch! I would just unravel the whole thing and start from scratch. But that’s not what got me into crocheting. The love of beautiful hats with big petaled flowers is what did. Oh how I wanted to make those! But the task of circular knitting was too daunting, and so, I gave up. My sister told me about the Knifty Knitter knitting loom and I decided to try a hand at that. It was incredibly easy to make a hat using the loom, but I still yearned to be able to make big, beautiful flowers to adorn my hats. Finally, I decided to give crocheting a try. I started watching YouTube videos by a lady named Teresa, who teaches everything you need to know about crocheting. I remember the first time I tried to make a flower. I had no clue what I was doing, and I must have taken it apart 50 times until I got it perfectly right. I found crocheting to be really easy on my hands. With only one needle, it was quick and I understood what I was doing. I could count and “read” my stitches! So as they say, the rest is history. I like to use basic crochet patterns to start myself off, and go from there, unscripted. Adding earflaps, tassels, aviator foldovers, and of course, lots of flowers, allows me to a finish each project off with my own personal touch. I made the following hat this week for my niece Anya. She lives in Florida, and since it’s been kind of a cold winter for the Floridians this year, I figured she could use it. I opted for the beautiful shell stitch, which is more of an openwork pattern, due to the warmer climate.
Shell Stitch Crochet Hat
Adapted from Mckinley’s Perfect Springtime Hat on Ravelry.com
Size: Newborn (approx 16″ around)
Size G (4.25mm) crochet hook
worsted weight yarn in a few colors
In this pattern, unless otherwise noted, the ch2 at the beginning of the round DOES NOT count as the first stitch.
The crochet stitches are worked under both top threads.
Chain (ch), Slip Stitch (sl st), Single Crochet (sc), Half Double Crochet (hdc), Double Crochet (dc), Treble Crochet (tr), Stitch (st), Stitches (sts).
Foundation: ch4, join with sl st in first st to make a ring.
Round 1: ch2, 9 hdc in ring, join to ch2 space at beginning of round with a sl st. (9 sts)
Round 2: ch2, 2 hdc in each stitch around, join to ch2 space at beginning of round with a sl st. (18 sts)
Round 3: ch2, *2 hdc in first st, 1 hdc in next st* repeat from * around, join to ch2 space with a sl st. (27 sts)
Round 4: ch2, *2 hdc in first st, 1 hdc in next 2 sts* repeat from * around, join to ch2 space with a st st. (36 sts)
(at this point, the basic size of the hat is set, if need be, you can continue to make your round bigger by doing 2 hdc in the first st and 1 hdc in the next 3 sts. In the following row you can increase by doing 2 hdc in the first st and 1 hdc in the next 4 sts etc.)
FOR THE REMAINING ROUNDS, CH2 DOES COUNT AS A STITCH.
Round 5: ch2, 2 dc in next st, *skip 2 sts, 3 dc in next st* repeat from * around, join to ch2 space with a sl st.
Round 6: ch2, skip next 2 sts, *3 dc in space between the shell, skip 2 sts* repeat from * around, when you get to the end, do 2 dc in space and then connect it to the ch2 at the beginning of the round with a sl st. (by doing this, the ch 2 and the 2 dc become a shell with 3 stitches.)
Rounds 7 and 9: repeat round 5.
Rounds 8 and 10: repeat round 6
Round 11: change to contrast color. ch1, sc around, join to first st with a sl st.
Try not the crochet the sc rounds too tightly as it will not have enough give around the head.
12-15: change to finishing color. ch1, sc around, join to first st with a sl st.
To Finish: Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in the ends with a tapestry needle.
For the flower:
Round 1: ch5, join into a ring with a sl st in the 1st ch.
Round 2: ch3 (counts as first dc), work 9 dc in ring, join to top of ch with a sl st. (10 sts)
Round 3: *ch2, work 3 dc in next st, ch2, sl st in next st* repeat from * five times.
Round 4: switch to contrasting color. ch2. Going behind the petals, sc around the post of the first sc on round 2, ch3, *sc around the post of the next sc on round 2, ch3, repeat from * 3 times. Join with sl st to beginning sc. There are now 5 ch3 spaces.
Round 5: *sc, 3 dc, sc in next ch3 space, repeat from * around. Join with sl st to beginning sc.
Round 6: switch to finishing color. ch2. Going behind the petals, sc around the post of the first sc on round 4, ch3, *sc around the post of the next sc on round 4, ch3, repeat from * 3 times. Join with sl st to beginning sc. There are now 5 ch3 spaces.
Round 7: *sc, 3 tr, sc in next ch3 space, repeat from * around. Join with sl st to beginning sc.
To Finish: Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in the ends with a tapestry needle. Attach your flower with a tapestry needle and scrap yarn, or glue with a hot glue gun. Top off the center of the flower with a pearl, button, or other embellishment.