Prototype: Mushroom Hat

My general design set-up works as follows:  I sit down with some yarn and a hook and decide I’m going to make something.  Sometimes it’s a purse.  Sometimes it’s a shawl.  Sometimes it’s a hat.  When I do this, I wing it.  I used patterns early on to figure out how to make things, but once I figure out the basics of how to make something, I usually throw patterns to the wind and throw myself headlong into whatever project I’m making.  There’s a lot you can learn from a good pattern, but I learn really well by screwing up and back tracking, so that’s my general way of doing things.

The Mushroom Hat is one of those projects. I had an I-hook, some red heart acrylic, and I wanted to make a slouchy little hat that I could tuck my hair into (as we’re offically in the season of 95 in the shade on a cool day).  Thus, this:

Mushroom Hat -- Side View

Mushroom Hat -- Side View

Super cute, right?  Of course it is!  I worked from the top down, and I made the hat in a spiral (meaning no turns at the ends of rounds), and I alternated between half-double and double-crochet stitches.  I think the basic shape of it is really good.  I can get my hair into it, and it has a place to stay.  The brim is a bit wider than I had intended, but that’s an easy fix if I make the hat again.  I like the little shell stitches on the final round, but I’m very partial to shell stitches anyway.  A couple of more shots:

Mushroom Hat -- Back View

Mushroom Hat -- Back View

It’s interesting to me that from the back, the hat looks a little floppier than it actually is.  Red Heart acrylic is not a soft yarn when you first use it, so it tends to keep its shape pretty stoutly.  If I wash this hat, I know it’ll soften up a bit and probably be about as malleable as it looks in this picture, but for now, it’s a pretty structured hat.

Mushroom Hat -- Brim Detail

Mushroom Hat -- Brim Detail

Last but not least, a close-up on the brim.  Like I said above, this brim is a bit too wide for my tastes, but that’s easily fixable for the next time I make the hat.  I can either take out a round or two of the half-double stitches, or I can switch the entire brim to single crochet, so the brim has the same number of rounds as it does now, but it’ll be a little smaller.

There may be some of you reading this who find the idea of making a hat just to figure out how to fix a hat really annoying.  I like the trial and error process, because frogging can sometimes teach you just as much as following someone else’s directions.  It’s all personal preference, which just reflects the whole point of making things yourself.  You can make what you like, even if it takes a second try.


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