Crochet a Hat for Charity

chartThere are many articles listing charities that take crocheted items, and there are many worthy charities. However, I’ve decided to focus on making hats. For any charity, use a crochet stitch to produce a tighter fabric. Hats should always be handmade, new, and free from smoke and pet hair.

As Red Heart says, “make sure your item matches their guidelines before you send it in. Groups may have restrictions or guidelines on size, color, etc. on the items they can take”. They may only accept items made from an approved pattern list or only those items made with specific yarns.

Tips on better hat making:

  • Seamless hat:  The chain at the start of a round does NOT count as a stitch. Ch2 and hdc in same place [1 hdc]; or ch 2 and dc in same place [1 dc]. Join the last st of the round with slip st to the first st, not the chain. This will hide the seam.
  • Start with a twist: Sloppy Slip Knot adapted from http://www.freshstitches.com/wordpress/?p=19
  • Color Change Join adapted from jogless color instructions at http://needlenoodles.com/home/node/139

Free Patterns by Yarn Weight

These are all patterns worked from the top down. I strongly prefer starting at the crown and working to the desired diameter (see the chart).

Worsted Weight

Alpine Nights Beanie. Crocheted in a waffle stitch with an I (5.5 mm) hook. Pattern recommended to me by someone who uses this to crochet hats for the homeless.

Basic Men’s Hat Seamless Crochet Pattern by Little Monkeys Crochet. hdc stitch.

Beanies for the Homeless. Similar to the Little Monkeys pattern, but with dc stitch.

Better Late Than Never Beanie. A wonderful striped hat pattern that I’ve made at least 4 times. Designer Kathy North alternates rows of dc and sc. I average 1.6 oz total yarn, 91 yds for both colors (52 yds main color and 39 yds contrast color).

Caron Cakes Slouchy Beanie. Worked in a cute yarn that changes color. hdc stitch, H-8 (5 mm) hook.

Cuffed Cutie Hat. For children. Uses K-10.5 (6.5 mm) hook and post stitching to create a turn-up brim. Recommended by Wool-Aid.

Double-Double Crochet Hat by Kathy North. Extra warm; made with 75 yds. each of 3 colors worsted weight yarn (light, medium, dark color) and a K-10.5 (6.5 mm) hook.

Shanti Hat. For children or adults. Uses K-10.5 (6.5 mm) hook and 60 – 190 yards (55 – 174 m) yarn. I’ve made this hat 4 times.Wool-Aid also recommends this pattern. Some of my pattern notes:

  • Medium size: 18″ head size, 5.75″ across and 10.25″ long, will fit a variety of head sizes. Looks better inside out. TOTAL: 2.44 oz, 132 yds (1.4 balls).
  • Medium size, with stripes: Total yarn: 2.64 oz, 143 yards. Work to 6″ across, then stop increasing. Work rounds 6 to 16 even, then add ribbing.

Two Stripe Beanie by KT and the Squid. A cute way to use up leftover yarn. Worked from the top down in a variety of sizes.

Chunky / Bulky Weight #5

Chunky Beanie Hat. This pattern uses a contrast color for the last round. She also provides tips for a neat finish.

Gumdrop Slouchy Hat. Uses a J-10 (6 mm) hook. Author says, “This is a really simple slouchy hat that even a beginner could handle! It’s a heavier slouchy hat that is perfect for colder days and nights. You can make it a solid color or change colors after every round to make stripes.”

Just Like That Hat. A thick and warm hdc beanie.

Lovely Lady Slouchy Hat. Uses a K-10.5 (6.5 mm) hook. Pattern calls for Homespun yarn.

Maia’s Hat. Free download from Ravelry. One of my favorite patterns. Because you work from the top down, you can actually use any weight yarn, not just bulky yarn. Work crown to desired diameter. Using the back loop only (blo) for hdc puts a lovely ridge on the hat and makes in stretchy.

Mama’s Easy Hat. A dc hat that is slightly slouchy. Note that pattern calls for Lion Brand Jiffy, which has been discontinued. Use 135 yds/123 m of any acrylic yarn with #5 weight instead.

Super Bulky #6

Lion Brand Junior Crochet Hat. Free pattern, but you must be a member of the web site to see the pattern. Uses a N-13 (9 mm) hook. One size; will stretch to fit a range of sizes. Finished circumference about 21 in. (53.5 cm). Finished length about 11-1/2 in. (29 cm).

Lion Brand Ridge Hat. Free pattern, but you must be a member of the web site to see the pattern. Uses a N-13 (9 mm) hook and J-10 (6 mm) hook. One size; about 20 in. (51cm), Hat will stretch to fit a range of sizes.

Under the Bridge Hat. Hat is worked in continuous spirals without joining. The author says, “I designed this hat to meet the charity group Bridge and Beyond Project’s specifications for donations, but it’s a great unisex project that works up quickly in super bulky yarn. Crocheting in the round in the half double crochet stitch’s third loop creates a look to mimic to the stockinette stitch in knitting.”

Finding a Charity By Fiber

Start with this section if you want to work through your stash by fiber (such as, “I have a lot of wool hats on hand; where can I send them?” or “Which charity wants washable acrylic only?”)

Wool Only

Generally, these charities serve children and adults in cold climates.

  • Wool-Aid: Fiber used must have 80% wool content. Their biggest need is for children 8 to 12 years old. Hats should be thick and dense, not lacy; consider adding a cuff.
  • Hats and More for War-Torn Syria (wool preferred but not required). Washable fibers preferred.

Acrylic or Cotton Only (Washable and Soft)

Generally, these charities serve cancer patients, who need extremely soft yarn and seamless caps. Hats should cover the ears.

Any Fiber

These charities will accept hats made from any fiber.

  • The Hat Box Foundation collects hats for cancer patients and others in need. They accept hats for all ages and genders. They say, “Hats for children should be at least 18″ in circumference; hats for teens and adults should be at least 22″ in circumference.” They prefer soft yarns (see the approved yarn list from Knots of Love).
  • Operation Gratitude (sends care packages to US military). Items for adults only, 21 to 23-inch heads. Since items sent in care packages are not regulation, they can only be worn by people who are off-duty. They request colors “on the subtle side–blues, browns, olives, grays, maroon, and black.”
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2013 Yarn Projects in Review: 41 FO

41 projects completed in 2013

  • Only 1 project was “frogged” (rip it, rip it)
  • 39 crochet items, 1 knitted hat
  • In 2013, I made 26 hats, 11 utility cloths, 2 shawls, 1 pair slippers, and 1 pair wristwarmers

419 total projects completed since I started keeping track (Dec 2003). So far, that’s an average of 38 projects per year (26 in one year is the least; 67 in one year is the most). I quit my part-time job at the yarn shop this year and no longer do repair jobs or class projects.

Top 5 categories of projects overall:

Hat 203
Utility Cloths 74
Scarf 32
Socks / Slippers 26
Shawl 17

 

In 2010, projects were about evenly split between knitting and crocheting. In 2012, knitting really tapered off, and I almost exclusively crochet now. Overall, projects are now 39% knitted and 61% crocheted.

FO 2013 Q4

My first ever “frogged” project (rip it, rip it): the hat just didn’t work with the selected yarn. Two more hats for charity completed.

417 Timba Hat — FROGGED
418 Autumn Slouch
419 Alex Beanie with Surface Braid

FO 2013 Q3: A quiet summer

Only three projects:

414 Circle Washcloth
415 Basic Blue Beanie (given away; no photo)
416 Bunny Tail Hat

FO 2013 Q2

Trying out new techniques: crochet ribbing, triangles from the center out, squares from the center out, and mitts.

406 Red and Black Slouch Hat
407 Soft Washcloth (Sage and Cream)
408 Seed Stitch Square Washcloth
409 Scott Pilgrim Slouch Hat
410 Confetti Shawl (given to a friend)
411 Challenge Mitts (donated to a silent auction)
412 Primrose Dishcloth
413 Triangle Washcloth

FO 2013 Q1

In this quarter, there are chemo hats for a friend, as well as baby hats for newborns. The kitty hats are for 5-year-old twin girls. The felted slippers are for my brother.

394 Cotton Beanie
395 Baby Beanie
396 TechnoLace Hat
397 Reversible Rib Hat
398 Baby Bear Hat
399 Felted Slippers – Gray and Green
400 Kitty Cap – Purple
401 Kitty Cap – Red
402 Slouchy Hat – Sunset
403 One Ball Simple Kerchief
404 Janelle Star Washcloth
405 Little Star Washcloth

FO 2012 Q4: Mostly Utility Cloths

My mom wanted a pair of bright slippers and green-and-white washcloths for her house. I had fun trying to get as many different cloths as possible out of the cotton yarn. A friend wanted a cowl for his partner who is an ice skater (“the Boyfriend Cowl”). The “Rasta Hat” is named that because of the yarn name, not the style.

378 Boyfriend Cowl
379 Mosaic Weekender (no photo)
380 Serenity Slippers
381 Diagonal Dishcloth
382 Forked Cluster
383 Scrubby Bumpy Washcloth
384 Quick and Easy Ribbed Rasta Hat
385 Frilly Dishcloth
386 Reusable Cotton Rounds
387 Granny’s Remix Dishcloth
388 Sylvan Star Washcloth
389 Granny Square Washcloth
390 Small Hexagon Dishcloth with Scallop Border
391 Big Girl Cloth
392 Ladder Stitch Dishcloth
393 Skullcap with Big Button

FO 2012 Q3: Shop Work

What inspired these projects: Creating an easy baby blanket project, teaching students how to crochet motifs, slippers for myself, and learning to make crochet slouch hats.

366 Shadows Baby Blanket
367 Granny Square set for class: Mitered square
368 Granny Square set for class: One color granny square
369 Granny Square set for class: Solid square
370 Wheel Motif
371 Two-tone Slippers
372 Black and Pink Cotton House Slippers
373 Black and White Cotton Slouch Hat 3
74 Blue and White Barstow Hat
375 Amazing Slouch
376 Strata Slouch
377 Brownie Beanie

FO 2012 Q2: 5 projects

361 Silky Mesh Scarf: a pattern that is available on Ravelry. As of today, it has been downloaded more than 600 times:

  • Added July 7, 2012
  • 681 unique downloads

362 Sample: Eva’s Shawl (6″ long): Made for the shop, to show clients what the full-size shawl would look like. I had a tag on it that said “sample size only”. In the photo below, it is draped on one of my favorite statues.

363 Produce Bag: Cotton with a leather thong tie. Made for a co-worker.

364 Camo Cotton Cap: Made for a friend undergoing brain surgery.

365 Prayer Shawl with Treble Clusters: Another shop sample.

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