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.”

Utility Cloth Comparison

My mother requested a set of cotton dishcloths for her birthday. She picked out the yarn, and I got to work. My goal was to make the maximum number of utility cloths out of 4 balls of cotton (12 oz total).

All of these utility cloths (dishcloths and washcloths) were made with Lily brand Sugar’n Cream Cotton (worsted weight) and a 4.5 mm crochet hook.

Of all of these projects, my favorites for texture and size were the Sylvan Star Washcloth, the Ladder Stitch Dishcloth, and the Scrubby Bumpy Facecloth. These particular projects also required very little blocking: they were immediately a good size and shape when finished.

Pattern Name Yarn used Finished Size
Reusable Cotton Rounds by Heidi Bringhurst 0.45 oz / 22.5 yds 2.25 inches across each (Set of 4)
Small Hex Scallop Dishcloth (from Crochet Hexagon Dishcloth by Mary Ellen Wells) 0.69 oz / 34.5 yds 7 inches across
Granny Square Washcloth from 4 Crocheted Washcloths by Amy Dorr 0.79 oz / 39.5 yds 7 inches square
Sylvan Star Washcloth (membership required to view Lion Brand pattern) 0.96 oz / 48 yds 9 inches across
Ladder Stitch Dishcloth by Brian McGaunnn 1 oz / 50 yds 7 inches wide x 6 inches high
Granny Stripe Dishcloth (pattern by Jaime  DeVries) 1.12 oz / 56 yds 8 inches wide x 7.75 inches high
Scrubby Bumpy Facecloth by Kristin Roach 1.22 oz / 60.9 yds 8 inches wide x 7.75 inches high
Frilly Dishcloth by Myra Ann Shaw 1.33 oz / 66.5 yds 9.5 inches across
Big Girl Dish Cloth/Wash Cloth by Laurie Laliberte 1.33 oz / 66.5 yds 8.75 inches square
Diagonal Dishcloth by Ananda Judkins 1.47 oz / 73.5 yds 9 inches square
Forked Cluster Stitch Washcloth by Oshinn Reid 1.53 oz /76.5 yds 9.75 inches wide x 8.75 inches high

Silky Mesh Scarf

Copyright Statement:

It is my pleasure to share this pattern with the craft community. If you make one of these items, I would love to see a picture of it. This free pattern is not in the public domain.

YES: This pattern is free for your personal, individual use. Print out one copy of the pattern to work with, or save this pattern to disk for your personal use. The finished items that you make from this pattern are yours: feel free to keep them, sell them, donate to charity, or give them away. You may use this pattern more than once.

NO: You must not reformat the pattern for commercial use, and you must not sell or redistribute the pattern. You must not post the pattern or its accompanying photos and/or illustrations on another Web site.

Sharing: Everyone who uses this pattern needs to get their own copy of the pattern directly from this Web site. You are encouraged to share the link to the pattern. Any usage beyond this must be negotiated with the designer. Thank you for your help and your respect of copyright law.

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Designed and crocheted by Carrie Cooper. Please do not repost the pattern on any website; link to this post instead. Thanks!

Download the PDF from Ravelry.

Project Notes

The mesh stitch is an economical way to use one ball of fancy yarn. The scarf can be spread out or scrunched up, which gives a variety of looks. I really liked the scarf by lilibethsgarden, but I didn’t want to do row after row of “double triple crochet.” The Crochet Stitch Bible provided a great alternate gridded mesh. The pattern uses an easy two row repeat with double crochet and chains. It is written with US crochet terms.

Finished Size

About 9.5″ wide x 68″ long

To Fit: One size fits most

Gauge/Tension: Not important

Materials

Crochet Hook: US Size H-8 (5mm)

Yarn: 250 yds fingering weight yarn

  • 1 ball Done Roving brand Silky-Criations (70% baby alpaca [cria]; 30% silk). 3 oz / 85 g. 250 yds. Color: Thistle (purple/green).

Notions: tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends; scissors

Leftover Yarn

None

Instructions

This mesh is a (multiple of 3 sts) plus 1 st, then add 4 for foundation chain. I used 16 x 3 = 48, plus 1 = 49, plus 4 for foundation = 53 ch. Pattern uses the American double crochet (dc) / British treble crochet.

Chain 53.

Row 1: Dc in 8th chain from hook, *ch 2, skip 2 ch, 1 dc in next ch; repeat from * across row to end. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 5, skip 1st dc and 2 ch; *1 dc in next dc, ch 2, skip 2 ch; repeat from * across row to end. Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you are almost out of yarn.

Finishing

Fasten off, leaving a 6-inch tail. Weave in all ends.

Credits

“Large Mesh Ground” stitch instructions adapted from The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden

Scarf pattern inspired by “Crocheted Mesh Scarf” on http://lilibethsgarden.wordpress.com

Photo by Carrie Cooper, https://qctester.wordpress.com

Camo Cotton Cap

Crochet, project #364, completed June 2012

PATTERN: This project is based on a free crochet pattern from Suzetta (link). My changes are noted below. This is an awesome hat pattern that I would definitely make again. The shaping was nice and Suzetta’s instructions were easy to follow.

Project Notes
Hat worked in soft cotton for a friend who just had brain surgery. She really liked it.

Finished Size
Head circumference: 18″ (will stretch to fit 19″ head). Hat is 7″ long.

TO FIT: Teen/Adult Small
To make a larger hat, work increases in round 10 as follows: Ch 2, [dc in each of next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc] — 72 dc. Join round. Then work rounds 11 through 15 per the full pattern and finish as desired.

GAUGE: Not important: worked top-down to a specific diameter (6″ across)

Materials
Crochet Hook: US Size H-8 (5mm)
Yarn: 1.68 oz, 84 yds worsted weight cotton: from 1 ball Lily brand Sugar’n Cream (100% cotton); 3 oz/85 g; 150 yd/138 m. Color: Renegade
Notions: tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends; scissors

Instructions
Start at the crown and work until the hat has a 6-inch diameter. Work even rounds without increasing until the hat is the desired length (at least 0.5″ / 1.25 cm longer than the diameter).

IMPORTANT NOTES:
a) This hat is made in joined rounds (not spirals). Work rounds without turning.
b) Starting with round 2, work in the back loops only.
c) Ch 2 at the start of each dc round does not count as a double crochet or a hdc (just as the ch 1 turning chain does not count as a single crochet). The ch-2 just provides the right height for the round.
d) The square brackets [ ] denote a set of instructions to be repeated all the way around. Each increase round adds 12 sts.
e) Join each round with slip stitch at the end.

Start with the EASY MAGIC RING technique (link) from freshstitches.
Work 5 sc into the ring. Join – 5 sc.
1.    Ch 2 (REMEMBER, THIS IS NOT A DC). Work 12 dc evenly spaced into the 5 sc — 12 dc. Join.

Note:    From this point on, work stitches in the back loops only. This will create a ridged effect.

Work rounds 2 through 9 per the full pattern.

10.    DO NOT INCREASE. Ch 2, dc in each sc around — 60 dc. Join round.

Work rounds 11 through 15 per the full pattern, but with 60 sts per round.
At the end of round 15, the hat is 6.5″ long

16.    Ch 2 (not a hdc), hdc in each sc around — 60 hdc. Join round. Slip st in next st.
Fasten off, leaving a 6-inch tail. Weave in all ends.

CREDITS

  • Photos by QC Tester Hobbies blog, https://qctester.wordpress.com
  • Adapted from instructions by Suzetta (link)
  • “Easy Magic Ring” by Fresh Stitches (link)
  • Thanks to “Crochet abbreviations” article for language about brackets (link)
  • Written instructions were edited with standard pattern language suggestions from Kim Guzman and the “Crochet on Ravelry” group (“Pattern Grammar” post)

ABBREVIATIONS
American crochet terms are used in this pattern.
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
sc = single crochet
slip st = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)

Crocheted Produce Bag

Crochet, project #363, completed June 2012

Copyright Statement:

It is my pleasure to share this pattern with the craft community. If you make one of these items, I would love to see a picture of it. This free pattern is not in the public domain.

YES: This pattern is free for your personal, individual use. Print out one copy of the pattern to work with, or save this pattern to disk for your personal use. The finished items that you make from this pattern are yours: feel free to keep them, sell them, donate to charity, or give them away. You may use this pattern more than once.

NO: You must not reformat the pattern for commercial use, and you must not sell or redistribute the pattern. You must not post the pattern or its accompanying photos and/or illustrations on another Web site.

Sharing: Everyone who uses this pattern needs to get their own copy of the pattern directly from this Web site. You are encouraged to share the link to the pattern. Any usage beyond this must be negotiated with the designer. Thank you for your help and your respect of copyright law.

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Notes
I crocheted this produce bag as a gift for a co-worker. The big hook turns single crochet into an interesting mesh. The bag is made from sturdy cotton-acrylic blend yarn and should hold “about a pound of apples”.

PATTERN
Pattern adapted from instructions by ScrapJam (link) — sadly, its last update was May 2011

PROJECT DETAILS

Finished Size
About 16″ long and 9″ across (when flat)
GAUGE: Not important. Keep it loose enough to get the big hook through the stitches!

Materials
Crochet Hook: 11.5 mm (P)
Yarn: 3 oz, 176 yds worsted weight yarn

  • From 1 hank Berroco Weekend (75% Acrylic, 25% Peruvian Cotton), 3.5 oz. / 100 g, 205 yds. / 187 m. Color: 5960, Cherry.

Notions: tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends, scissors, and 1 yard leather thong (72″ boot laces cut in half)

ABBREVIATIONS
This pattern uses American crochet terms.
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
slip sc = slip stitch

INSTRUCTIONS
IMPORTANT NOTES:

  1. This bag is made in joined rounds (not spirals) until all increases have been completed.
  2. Once you have either 48 or 50 sts, start working in a continuous spiral without joining rounds.
  3. Whether you are working in rounds or in a sprial, crochet without turning at the end of a round.
  4. The square brackets [ ] denote a set of instructions to be repeated all the way around. Each increase round adds 6 sts.
  5. My increase to 50 sc was accidental, but it makes a nice size bag. So now it is a design element 🙂 Round 9 has directions for making the bag 50 sc on purpose.

MAKE THE BAG:
1. Ch 2. Work 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook – 6 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
2. Ch 1, [2 sc in each sc] – 12 sc. Join round.
3. Ch 1, [sc in next 1 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 18 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
4. Ch 1, [sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 24 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
5. Ch 1, [sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 30 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
6. Ch 1, [sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 36 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
7. Ch 1, [sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 42 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
8. Ch 1, [sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 48 sc. Join round with slip stitch.
9. Optional: Add 2 more sc in this round. If you want them evenly spaced, then ch 1, [sc in next 23 sc, 2 sc in next sc] – 50 sc. Join round with slip stitch.

Continue to work rounds of sc in a spiral (no need to join rounds) until the yarn runs out: sc in each sc around.

Finishing: Fasten off, leaving a 6-inch tail. Weave in all ends tie off, weave in ends.

Thread the cord in an out of the second row of stitches from the top, secure in any way you like.

CREDITS

  • Photo by https://qctester.wordpress.com
  • Thanks to THE “Crochet abbreviations” article for language about brackets (link)
  • Written instructions were edited with standard pattern language suggestions from Kim Guzman and the “Crochet on Ravelry” group (“Pattern Grammar” post)

FO 2012 Q1: 11 crochet items

In the first quarter of 2012, I finished 11 crochet projects. Most of these were samples for the yarn shop I work for on weekends. I did learn one new stitch: the linked double crochet stitch, used to make a great little washcloth.

For the shawl and blanket samples, I used one skein of yarn and determined how much yarn you would need to complete the project. This is more efficient than making a full model, and it gives people enough information to judge the whole project. It’s not a gauge swatch, but 1/3 or 1/4 of the final project, depending on yarn requirements. And I did enjoy the calculations and the process of figuring it out.

Other project highlights: The Mobius Cowl was a birthday gift for a friend. The Shell Edge Dishcloth was made to show Crochet 101 students what single crochet looks like. The two hats are looking for homes: I like them, but I don’t think they’ll stay with me.

Brigitte’s Mobius Cowl
Mini Baby Blanket
Shell Edge Dishcloth
Sample: Chunky Yarn Blanket
Sample: Lattice Shawl
Sample: Unisex Scarf
Sample: Simple V-Stitch Shawl
A/C Metrical Hat
Waffle Cone Hat
Linked Doubles Dishcloth

Not shown: Finishing job for a client: Add a border to hairpin lace blanket

Projects in August 2011

These are my completed knitting and crochet projects for August 2011, 13 in all, including the flower embellishment. I’m working diligently to create warm items for the “12 Days of Christmas” charity project in Baltimore. The “All-American” hats went to my friend E for his birthday. The rose hat I’m keeping. All the remaining hats here are going to the charity.

Projects in July 2011

I’m going to try something new, starting with July 2011. Instead of posting all my finished objects (knit and crochet) here, I’m posting them on Ravelry, where the people who care most can find them.

I’ll put pictures here, for my non-yarny friends who still like to see photos of my work.

Here’s the gallery for July 2011:

Amigurumi Owl

Crochet, project 305. Completed 7/18/2011

PATTERN
Adapted from instructions from the awesome “Owls Two Ways” (knit or crochet) pattern by Ana

SIZE
About 5″ tall and 10″ around

MATERIALS
Yarn:
Main color: 1.2 oz, 61.7 yds worsted yarn

  •     1 ball Kraemer Yarns: Tatamy Tweed Worsted (40% Cotton 60% Acrylic), 3.5 oz / 100 g, 180 yds / 165 m. Color: 1202, Walnut Tweed. About $6.25

White yarn for eyes: 0.05 oz, 3.1 yds yarn

  •     1 ball Plymouth Yarn Company: Jeannee Worsted (51% Cotton, 49% Acrylic), 1.75 oz / 50 g, 110 yds. Color: 00008, White. About $3.99

Yellow yarn for beak: Small amount (less than 2 yds) worsted weight yarn

  •     Partial ball: 3.3 oz from Cascade 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool), 3.5 oz / 100 g, 220 yds. Color: 824, Pale Yellow.

Crochet Hook: US Size G-6 (4 mm)

Other: 100% polyester fiberfill for stuffing. Safety eyes (as shown: a pair of 15 mm “doll joints”) or buttons. Stitch marker, yarn needle, and scissors.

NOTES
You could make almost 3 owls from 1 ball of the brown yarn (the third might be a little shorter).

For children under 3, do not use buttons or safety eyes, which could be a choking hazard. Use sewn-on eyes instead.

304. My Heart Washcloth

Crochet, project 304. Completed 7/14/2011

PATTERN
Adapted from instructions by Janelle Schlossman, 1989, archived pattern

Picot border: Instructions in knitty

SIZE
About 8″ tall by 10″ wide

MATERIALS

  • Main: 0.9 oz, 45 yds yarn: 1 ball Lily Sugar’n Cream (100% cotton). 3 oz / 85 g. 150 yds / 138 m. Color: 19535, Damask Ombre.
  • Border: 0.4 oz, 20 yds yarn: 1 ball Lily Sugar’n Cream (100% cotton). 4 oz / 113 g. 200 yds / 184 m. Color: 18046, Rose Pink.

Crochet Hook – US Size F-6 (4 mm)

NOTES
Added a picot border. About a 1.5-hour project. Very clever shaping on the heart!