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Yes, I got caught up in the “pussyhat” craze. The brouhaha surrounding the Women’s March on Washington seems to have died down somewhat, but I keep telling myself, “It’s not a march; it’s a movement” as I knit and crochet yet another pussyhat. And I’m still getting requests for them, despite the approach of warm weather.
I decided to pull together a collection of patterns that I’ve used to make them.
The Knit Pattern
This is the pussyhat knit pattern that started it all, and I have to say, it’s a well designed hat that’s easy to knit, even for beginners. You simply knit and purl a 11″ x 17″ rectangle that’s composed of three parts – the beginning ‘k2/p2’ ribbed edging, the stockinette (knit the knit rows, purl the purl rows) body, and the ending ribbed edge.
I used #7/4.5 mm needles for the ribbed edgings and #8/5 mm needles for the stockinette body. I also reduced the size of the ribbing to about 3″ instead of the 4 1/4″ edge the pattern calls for. The smaller needles gave the hat a slightly snugger fit.
But honestly, I am getting tired of using the mattress stitch to sew the side seams together. So I’m going to try circular needles on the next one I knit. A fiber arts buddy on Facebook recommended casting on 96 stitches total instead of 100 the pattern calls for (each side has 50 stitches). Those extra four stitches are used for sewing the side seams, a task which the circular needles get rid of. You have to add an extra 1 1/2″ to the stockinette body to ensure the entire length of the hat measures 17″.
She also recommended a three-needle bind off for the seam at the top.
Some Crochet Patterns
While the knitted hats came out beautifully, if I must say so myself, I have always preferred crochet because the piece works up a lot faster. So I went searching for some crochet patterns and found these that mimic the knit pattern.
For the hats that are crocheted in the round, I recommend turning at the end of each round. This way, your stitches will more or less sit on top of each other instead of slanting to one side which happens when you don’t turn at the end of the rounds. The hat below is an example of that.
Kim Werker’s Crochet Pussyhat
Kim Werker’s hat-making process is the most complex of the crochet patterns I found. She creates a ribbed band composed of single crochet stitches that are made in the back loop of the stitch. Then she crochets across one edge of the band in half-double crochet to start the body of the hat and crochets until it’s time to add the second band. She crochets this separately and hand sews it on to the hat body.
I had to make my band a little longer than Kim’s to accommodate my head’s 23″ circumference. The band is going to stretch about 2″ so you simply take one half your head circumference, subract 1″ and crochet enough rows to make your bands that long.
I decided to make a band that stretched around the entire head. Once I sewed up the seam, I crocheted around one edge to start the body and then crocheted the rest of the hat in the round. As you can see from the slanting stitches, I didn’t turn at every row. The two seamless crochet hats pictured below illustrate how the fabric looks when you turn at the end of each round.
The only other seam I had to sew was the one at the top of the hat.
Vertically Crocheted Pussyhat
Sonia Blackstone’s Kitty Cat Hat pattern is crocheted vertically. It had the most intriguing design and the end product fit well. Sonia alternates a row of “extended half double crochets” with a row of regular half double crochets, to create a wide-ribbed fabric. All stitches are crocheted in the back loop only. This stitch pattern creates a soft, flexible fabric, more akin to knitted fabric.
The seams are very easy to sew as you are working with the top of each stitch instead of the sides of the stitches. I used a simple overhand stitch to close the seams.
Seamless Crochet Pussy Hat
This Seamless Pussyhat Pattern is by far my favorite because, like the hat knitted on circular needles, this one is crocheted in the round, but from the top down. There are, as a result, absolutely no seams to sew! Starting at the top eliminates the need to sew a seam at the top of the hat. And since you are crocheting in the round, neither are there side seams to sew.
The Best Yarn for Crocheted Hats
The one big recommendation I would make with these crocheted hats is to use a lighter weight yarn than worsted weight. Crochet stitches are thicker than knitted stitches which means crocheted fabric created with worsted weight yarn will be a bit bulky (unless that’s the look you’re going for).
One way to compensate is to use a lighter weight yarn, like DK- or even sport weight.. That’s what I did with this hat. The yarn is King Cole Baby Big Value DK, a soft, 100% acrylic yarn. It creates a flexible fabric that feels wonderful next to your skin.
You’ll probably have to do a gauge swatch to make sure you get the right fit for your head.
Determine how many stitches there are per inch and multiply that number by – the circumference of your head minus 2 – to get the number of beginning chains. Divide that number in half if you are crocheting a straight rectangle. You don’t need to worry about row gauge. Just crochet until you reach the desired length.
Don’t Feel Like Crocheting?
And if you don’t feel like crocheting or don’t know how, I’d be happy to knit or crochet a pussyhat for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
So there you have it. Four patterns to choose from. You’re going to make (or purchase) at least one, right? Remember, it’s not a march; it’s a movement! that’s here to stay.