Project of the Month: Chain Hat
For our March Project of the Month, we have turned our hands to crochet! Our knitting and crochet teacher Rebecca fell in love with this pattern on first sight, due to its stylish design with a focus on wearable texture. Not only will we focus this month’s POTM on this great pattern, Rebecca created a ZOOM class around this beyond-basics crochet pattern, which will be on offer for anyone who wants some guidance on how to work together to complete this project from beginning to end!
The Chain Hat is designed by Svetlana Kochkina. It’s part of a collection of 28 modern, stylish crochet designs, and specializes in easy-to-wear textured pieces ranging from socks to sweaters.
The designer didn’t choose to add a pompom on her finished hat, but Rebecca just couldn’t resist! Using a Large Snap Faux Fur Pom Poms this hat really packs a wow factor! Yarnboler is one of our lovely local suppliers from the North Shore creating hand-crafted animal-friendly pom-poms. If you can’t choose which colour pompom you add, these come with snap fasteners which allow you to change the colour depending on your mood! And as a crochet hat it is firmer than a knitted hat, so it holds up a pompom on the top exceptionally well too!
Rebecca teaches the Crochet Chain hat class over two 2-hour sessions. the first session covers all the stitches required to complete the gauge swatch, and the second covers measuring your gauge, confirming size and refreshing on any techniques. Whilst there are 8 videos that accompany the Chain hat pattern unfortunately the videos come without verbal instruction. They are indeed helpful, but as everybody learns in a different way, so for some the interactive class that Rebecca offers is the perfect option!
Rebecca’s students found the trickiest part of the hat to learn was the winding around stitch. This is where you insert the crochet hook a few rows down to pick up the yarn. It can be helpful to use a removable marker while working the 3rd row below to mark where you insert the hook for the winding stitch. The winding around stitch creates a beautifully textured effect and if you choose to use a semi-solid yarn the variation in the colour really shines with this stitch technique. Once you have learned to read and count your crochet stitches it gets a lot easier; practice makes perfect (ish)!
Is crochet is faster than knitting?
There is the belief that crochet is faster than knitting – but this isn’t always the case! Chain hat is made using the yoslst (yarn over slip stitch) technique. It creates a beautiful fabric ideal for rib, but at a slower pace than regular double crochet. However, if like Rebecca, you get addicted to this design and end up making it again and again you will get quicker!
Look after yourself whilst you craft
If you are not an avid crocheter, or the yoslst technique is new to you, this stitch requires looking down at your hands a lot. It is important to be mindful of our body and make sure we do not strain our necks, you may find that placing a cushion on your lap to hold your crochet closer to your head/ eyes will reduce neck strain. …also not crocheting for 3+ hours at a time probably helps too!
Chain hat number #1: 150g/ 377y of Estelle Double Knit.
Estelle DK is a 50% acrylic/ 40% wool/ 10% nylon blend available in many colours and is an affordable option. If you choose to make this hat in a darker colour too, as you can imagine, good lighting is a must. Rebecca had to shine her ring light directly onto the project to be able to make this in the evenings!
Requires: Crochet hook 4.5mm & removable stitch markers.
Chain hat number #2: 150g/ 337y of WildWestDye’s DK weight pure merino in SunSling.
WildWestDye’s Naturally dyed DK weight yarn is a 17 micron pure merino soft to skin wool. Available to purchase in quantities of 25g so you can buy what you need.
Also requires: Crochet hook 4.5mm & removable stitch markers.
Chain hat #3
Included in the pattern is a table so you can calculate how many stitches are required if your gauge does not match the designer’s gauge and also means you can make this hat on a worsted weight too. Rebecca loves the design so much (disclaimer… yup, it’s probably because it looks a lot like knitting) she’s even making a third one! This time in a worsted weight yarn from her stash by Lichen & Lace using a 5mm hook. See how flexible this pattern is?
Whether you fancy making this hat in DK or worsted there is a wide variety in-store and online for you to choose from. Happy hooking!
Rebecca was an avid crocheter throughout her teens and early 20’s but graduated towards knitting once the first baby of the family was due. Back in the 90s, crochet patterns were quite dated – a lot of 70’s style (which you know, are probably quite cool now but we digress). There were lots of modern knitting patterns but not so many crochet ones. Fast forward to present-day and the breath of crochet designs and designers today is like chalk and cheese. Chalk and cheese, Britishism, meaning you are suggesting that the two are very different from each other, have nothing in common.