Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free Slouchy Hat Crochet Pattern, Chain Stitch Tutorial, Pattern Reading Tutorial

I am very excited to present both my first free pattern and first stitch / pattern reading tutorial. I would love any comments or feedback about the tutorial, the pattern, or anything else you'd like to comment on.

Just a Chain Away Slouchy Hat

This is a unique pattern to create a slouch hat using only the chain stitch and slip stitch, this pattern is written to give you the choice of what size of yarn you prefer to use. Pattern instructions are given for (size 1) size 3 crochet thread, (size 4) worsted weight yarn, or (size 6) super bulky weight yarn.  In this blog I will demonstrate how to check gauge, create a chain stitch and slip stitch, and how to read some simple pattern reading concepts.

The two-tone hat was created using size 3 crochet thread, the yellow hat
was created using worsted weight yarn, the green hat made with super bulky yarn.

For this tutorial, we will be creating the hat with worsted weight yarn. If you would like to just skip the tutorial or get the pattern for the other weights of yarn you can scroll down to the bottom of the post and download, view, or print the 4 page PDF file of the written pattern with no demonstrations or tutorials.

Now if you still want the tutorial, with photos and diagrams, but don't really want to be sitting in front of your computer screen with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook, you can download, view or print the 11 page PDF file with a minimized version of this posted tutorial and pattern. This can be found at the bottom of this post.

Let's begin by taking a look at the material needed for this project:
Okay, you don't need to use the exact brand or color of yarn
that I did. And the size of ball I used had way too much yarn (it's
okay, I was able to make a lot of other projects too).

Just choose any color and brand of worsted weight yarn
that you like.
Checking your gauge for this pattern is very important so that you're hat turns out to be the right size to fit.

We will begin to learn how to create a chain stitch (ch)
in order to check our gauge.
First create a slip knot.

Insert hook from front to back through slip knot just made.

When you see "yo" in a pattern, this means "yarn over"; which actually means, grab the working yarn with your hook.

yo, pull the yarn through the loop on the hook.

To create another chain, yo, pull through loop on hook;

This is what it will look like after 4 ch's.
Continue making ch's by yo and pulling through loop on hook until you have 12 ch's.
Measure this length of chain, it should measure approximately 4 inches long. 
If your chain length measures less than 4 inches, chain 12 with a larger hook; if your chain length measures more than 4 inches, chain 12 with a smaller size hook. Keep trying different size hooks until your chain 12 measures approximately 4 inches.

Now that we've checked our gauge, it is important to check for any Pattern Notes or Special Stitches that we may need to know to understand the Pattern Instructions. This pattern does not have any special stitches, but there is some information in the Pattern Notes.

These instructions are very important to remember. Brackets like above
are used to indicate multiple instructions, usually used when a pattern
is written to create multiple sizes. I've included my instructions in the Pattern Notes,
not all patterns will have these instructions here, but it's important to look
for them when creating a pattern that offers multiple options for the project
being made.
Now that we've checked our gauge and went over the Pattern Notes, we can begin to create our slouchy hat.

We are going to break down Rnd 1, don't worry about the whole row,
for now we'll only focus on what's inside the [ ].

Let's make our slip stitch (or sl st)

We have just completed one [Ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hk].

The use of [ ] indicates that we are going to need to work the instructions inside the [ ] a certain number of times. The number of times the [ ] is to be worked will be stated directly after the [ ].

Continue working on your slouchy hat by working the instructions inside the [ ].

We have now completed to sets of [ ].

Since we need a total of 40 of [ ], you only need to work 38 more, work those now.

All the pattern instructions given inside the [ ] are now complete, but rnd 1
is not quite done.

I like to lay my project flat, then carefully have the ends meet.

We have fully completed Hat Band - Rnd 1, but before we move onto Rnd 2 let's take a look at one more thing that we see at the end of rnd 1.

Now onto Rnd 2:

Notice we have instructions in ( ) that are not meant to indicate multiple
size instructions. These brackets ( ) indicate that you do all the instructions
inside the ( ) in the stated stitch.

Go ahead and work 38 more [(sl st, ch 3, sl st) in 2nd ch of next ch-3 sp], then join
with a sl st to finish off the rnd.

Rnd 2 is complete, notice there is no stitch count at the end of this rnd. That's because it has the same number of stitches as the previous rnd (which was 40 ch-3 loops). Go ahead and count your ch-3 sps now to ensure that you have 40.

Since we are working with worsted weight yarn, we know we need to follow
the count written in blue, or in the first position inside the bracket.
We will follow the pattern instructions for Rnd 2 to create 2 more rows.

This is what the pattern instructions would look like if the above was written out separately.

This would be 1 repeat of rnd 2, work this rnd now.

This is the 2nd repeat of rnd 2; work this rnd now.

The hat band is complete, count your rnds they should look like this.

It's time to begin working on the Crown

I'm not going to walk you through the Crown rnds step-by-step as they follow the same concept as the Hat Band, I will point out any differences as we work.

Notice this rnd is very similar to Hat Band - rnd 2, with one difference:
you will not be working ch 3's, you will make ch 5's.
Do this rnd now.

Crown - rnd 2 follows the same concept as before, you will still be working
ch 5's, and since we are now working in ch-5 sps that part of the pattern differs from
the Hat Band.

Work Rnd 2 now.

Here we have a repeat again. This time you only need 1 repeat. This means
word Rnd 2 one more time.

This is what your project should look like so far, you will have 7 rnds in total.

It's time to begin the Increase Rnds, to give your slouchy hat a little extra "slouch":

We are still following the same concept as before, take note that this
time a ch 1 is added just prior to each ( ) instructions.

Continue working the [ ] to complete the Increase Rnd.

You will now have a total of 9 rnds: 4 rnds of the Hat Band, 3 rnds of the Crown and 2 Increase Rnds.

You may be thinking it doesn't look like much of a hat yet so let's begin our Shaping Rnds.

Since the instructions inside the [ ] have a significant change, let's walk through one set.

Take note that there is not stitch count at the end of this rnd even though the stitch count will change. Why?
Later on in the pattern there will be instructions for a repeat of this rnd; which would again make a different count.

If you want to figure out your stitch count for yourself, you know that in the previous rnd you had 40 ch-5 sps, since you are only working a ch 5 loop in every 2nd ch-5 sp of the previous rnd, you can divide your original number in half, so by the end of this rnd you will have 20 ch-5 sps. This is just a note for future pattern reading, you don't need to worry about it for this pattern as I will walk you through the count after each row. 

As well, in the written patterns that I create, I typically add a stitch count table or make a note of how to count the stitches for repeat rows to make it a little easier (less math) when your trying to count your stitches.

Complete Shaping Rnd 1 - you will now have 20 ch-5 sps and 38 ch-1 sps.

You can now complete Shaping Rnd 2

You will now have 20 ch-5 sps and NO ch-1 sps.

Let's take a closer look at these repeat rnds. Remember we're working with worsted weight yarn,
so you will work 1 repeat.

This is what the repeat would look like if it were written out.

At the end of the first rnd of the repeat (or Rnd 3) you will have 10 ch-5 sps and 18 ch-1 sps.

At the end of the second rnd of the repeat (or Rnd 4) you will have 10 ch-5 sps and NO ch-1 sps.

We are almost done ... just a few more steps to go.

Don't forget about the "tail" or length of yarn that was created at the beginning of the project, when you made your slip knot.

Your Slouchy Hat is now complete!!! Trying making one with size 3 Fashion thread or super bulky weight yarn.

You can view, download or print the basic pattern instructions, without all the pictures and tutorial. Or you can download a scaled down version of this tutorial, pictures and all!!!!

Here is a 4 page PDF of the Pattern only

Here is an 11 page PDF of the Tutorial

For a little fun, I created this extra long slouch hats by increasing the number of Rnd 2 repeats on the crown and alternating between red and white.

If you liked creating an entire project using only the chain and slip stitch, check out these other patterns available for sale using only the chain and slip stitch. Click on the picture to be directed to a slide show of the pattern as well as ordering information.

Just a Chain Away - Lacy Scarf Pattern

Just a Chain Away - Lacy Shawl Pattern

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