Crochet Pattern: Mesh Summer Hat

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.Crocheted hats aren't just for cooler weather. If you choose a lighter (non-wool) yarn, it's easy to make a breathable hat that's perfect blocking the sun on warmer spring and summer days.

This hat design is really a recipe that can be made to accommodate any size with just about any yarn. I used a skein of Bernat Cotton-ish Yarn which is a 3-light weight yarn.

Gauge is not important (Hooray!) and you can use whatever hook feels comfortable as long as the top piece of the hat lays mostly flat when you work it.

Materials

  • tape measure
  • ruler
  • yarn
  • crochet hook
  • stitch marker (optional)

Measurements


Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your head. Use a ruler to measure the vertical distance from the top of the ear to the top of the head.

Abbreviations


ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch

Directions


Top

For the top of the hat you will create a circular piece (technically, it’s a hexagon) that has the same circumference as your head. If you notice the top piece does not lay mostly flat, you will need to start over with a larger or smaller hook.

The top of the hat is worked in continuous rounds, like a spiral, so do not turn the piece at the end of each round. It may be helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the rounds so you don’t lose your place.

Ch 3, sl st into beginning ch to form a loop, ch 1. (You can use the Magic Loop method to get started if you prefer.)

Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop.

Rnd 2: *2 sc in next sc* 6 times. (12 sc)

Rnd 3:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc* 6 times. (18 sc)

Rnd 4: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc* 6 times. (24 sc)

Rnd 5: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc* 6 times. (30 sc)

Rnd 6: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc* 6 times. (36 sc)

See how the repeated pattern for each round has 1 additional sc? Since you repeat the pattern six times, you are increasing the top of the hat by six stitches every round.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same manner until the top piece is the desired head circumference.

Write down the repeated pattern for your final round and the number of stitches in the round because you will continue increasing in the same way once you get to the brim.

Fill in the blanks:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next _________ sc* 6 times. (_________ sc)

Mesh

There is no increasing in this section. It is still worked in a continuous spiral, so there is no need to turn your work at the end of each rnd.

Rnd 1: *Ch 1, skip 1 sc, dc in next sc* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round.

Rnd 2 - end of Mesh: *Ch 1, dc in next dc* repeat until the mesh section is the desired length. If you want to be precise, mark your piece so your work is exactly a full number of rounds, but it’s ok if you end this section mid-rnd.

Since the mesh is very stretchy, the length of the mesh section should be at least ½ to 1 inch shorter than the measured distance from the top of your ear to the top of your head.

Brim

Rnd 1: Ch 1, *sc in next dc, sc in next ch 1 space* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round. There should be as many sc in this round as the final round of the top section of the hat.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same way you did for the top of the hat.

For example, my final round on the top of the hat was:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 14 sc* 6 times. (96 sc)

So my next round will be:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next 15 sc* 6 times. (102 sc)

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round until the brim is your desired width.

Sl st in next st. Finish off.


Embellishments

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days. This hat looks just fine without any additional embellishments. So it's just fine to weave in the ends and wear it as-is.
However, if desired, you can create one or more crocheted flowers in contrasting yarn to brighten up your hat. I made two Button Carnations and two leaves from the book 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trim by Claire Crompton.
Another simple embellishing option that I think would look really cool, is to make a long chain in a contrasting color and weave it through the mesh section of the hat.

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.

Happy crocheting!

Book Review: 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments and Trim

Book Review: 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments and Trim by Claire Crompton

They say that April showers bring May flowers, so it seems appropriate to start the month off with some pretty crocheted flowers and a great resource for some simple flower designs is 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trim  by Claire Crompton.

This is a nice reference to have on hand if you want to quickly add a pop of color or dimension to your project and take it to the next level.

The book begins with some yarn guides that describe the characteristics of different fibers, colors, textures and weights of yarn and is followed by some basic crochet instructions. And then the real fun begins, an assortment of flowers and leaves with both written instructions and stitch charts which can be useful to those of us who are visual learners.

As implied by the title, this book is not just about the flowers. There are also instructions for some pretty edgings and motifs as well as some all-over stitch designs for fabric. Again there are both written instructions and stitch charts.

If you are still not sure how to incorporate trims and embellishments into your own work, you'll be delighted by the inspirational project photos throughout the pages.

Two designs I like are the Button Carnation and Leaf which I'll be using to spice up a basic bucket hat. Stay tuned because I'll be sharing a recipe for my Summer Mesh Hat in my next post.


Want a peek at what's inside the book?


Happy crocheting!


Saving Time on Social Media

4 ways artists, crafters, bloggers and Etsy sellers can save time promoting their handmade business on social media.

When I started blogging and selling my handmade items online almost five years ago, I envisioned making a modest living by crafting and writing, two of my favorite activities. At the time I was not on any social media, and was quite naive about the art of self-promotion online.

I quickly learned that the idea of "if you build it (or write it, or craft it) they will come" is only true in the movies. I was getting a handful of visitors to my blog and sporadic sales in my shop. It became clear that if I wanted my business to grow, I needed to get the word out to more people than just my immediate family and close circle of friends. So I began my journey onto social media.

Gradually, I started spending more time each day promoting my blog and shops than crafting or writing. YUCK!!! I'll be totally honest with you. I would much rather be crafting.

So how can an artist, crafter or blogger save time on social media so they can get back to what they love?

1. Start Small

You do not have to tackle every social media platform at once. Do a little research and choose the one or two that work best for you. You want a place where you will be able to tell your creative story.

Let your followers see the passion and effort that you put into your work. Celebrate successes. Don't be ashamed of failures, or as I like to call them "learning experiences". Enjoy everyday life. Your social media followers will likely be more engaged if you share your process and progress not just the finished product.

2. Make a Plan

Decide what, how often and when you want to post something on social media. Then, make a simple weekly posting calendar. Again, it's okay to start small by posting two or three times a week on your social media platform of choice.

I love lists and spreadsheets, so I use this type of Social Media Posting Schedule as a template to help me plan my posts each week.


3. Pre-Schedule Your Posts

Once you have a weekly calendar planned, you may be able to write and schedule many of your social media posts in advance.

Facebook has a built in feature so instead of publishing a post immediately to your Facebook page you can schedule it to be published later. There are also services available online where you can write and schedule posts on other social media platforms. (Search for "social media scheduling tools".)

I like the free plan on Hootsuite. It can be used to schedule posts for up to three social media platforms in one place.

4. Get Back to Work

Hurray! After your social media posts are planned, written and scheduled for the week you can relax and get back to doing what you truly love.

Happy crafting!


Tutorial: Recycled Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

DIY a hummingbird feeder with recycled glass bottles and wire from the hardware store.A couple years ago I shared a tutorial about making wine bottle hummingbird feeders. It's a really simple and fun DIY project for the yard, but if you don't have a lot of hummingbirds in your area, it can take a long time for the hummers to finish off a bottle.

The good news is, you probably have lots of smaller bottles in your pantry right now that would make perfect hummingbird feeders. So here's your excuse to go clean out the fridge and pantry in the name of crafting.

Materials


  • glass bottle
  • 2-4 feet of 6 or 8 gauge copper electrical wire
  • wire cutters
  • pliers
  • electrical tape
  • hummingbird feeder tubes

Directions


Head to the kitchen to find your perfect bottle. Think hot sauce, vinegars, oils, soy sauce, soda or even small liquor bottles. I'm using a Patron Citronge bottle. The only requirement is that the hummingbird feeder tube needs to fit into the opening.

Wash the bottle and remove any labels, caps, safety rings, stoppers, etc.
I'm kind of a wimp, so I need a pliers to bend the ends of the copper wire. The only problem is that the grippy grooves on the pliers can mar the copper. So, I wrap a couple layers of electrical tape over grooves to prevent scratches.
Use the pliers to bend one end of the copper wire into a loop that fits over the neck of the bottle.
Slide the loop over the bottle neck.
Wrap the remaining wire around the bottle until about 6-inches remain. Give yourself some space for this part so you don't poke anything around you with the length of wire while you work.
Use a pliers to bend the end up into a hook so you can hang your feeder.
Finally fill your feeder with the nectar of your choice.

Please note, this type of hummingbird feeder can be prone to leaking if it is not filled properly. Luckily, I have some quick tips on how to fill your feeder as well as a video to show you exactly how it's done.

Once it's filled, you can hang your feeder outside and wait for the hummers to start snacking!

DIY a hummingbird feeder with recycled glass bottles and wire from the hardware store.


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