As many of my readers already know, I love to crochet hats. They are a fun quick project and a great canvas for experimenting with stitch patterns and new yarns. I seem to also make them frequently for gifts to family and friends.
My favorite construction method is working crown down in continuous rounds. Because there isn’t a join for each round the hat will come out seamless in appearance. This also creates a nice elastic fabric, a handy attribute for a project that will need to fit comfortably on your head.
But what if you want a hat with color stripes and you aren’t using one of the handy yarns with gradual color changes?
You can create stripes of color in your hats by changing the color of yarn as you work, but that can leave you with a “jog” in the fabric when you change colors. Another option in this style of color change is to “step down” your stitches in the first color, then “step up” with the new color. It will look less disruptive to the fabric colors, but it is a bit fiddly and not always ideal for the elasticity of your hat fabric.
What is a crocheter to do?
Fortunately the solution is actually quite simple. Spirals.
This method gives you not only a lovely smooth striped fabric, it also creates a visually interesting crown for your hat. You can work with anywhere from 2 to 8 “arms” in your spiral and use a different color for each arm to get the different color of stripes. Using stitch markers will make this method almost mindless as you work the hat.
The only thing you have to contend with is how many balls of yarn you are juggling. My favorite way to keep the yarn from tangling is to have the balls snuggly secured in a container. Then I turn the container as I work each color. In the photo above I used a small clean waste bin to hold the yarn.
As you see in the photo I also have my yarn inside a large clear plastic storage bag. If needed I can toss the hat, hook and pattern into this bag and grab the whole thing to take with me to work on while I’m on the go.
Today I have a hat pattern for you that some may find a bit challenging. Fortunately my video tutorial for my Whirlwind Afghan Square: “Whirlwind How-To Part 1” uses the same technique as the first 8 rounds of the hat, and may help you understand the construction of the spiral.
Designed by Andee Graves
Skill level: Intermediate
Worsted wt (Sample uses Lion Brand Yarns “Vanna’s Choice” 100% Acrylic (3.5 oz/100g, 170 yd/156 m)
Color A: #105 Silver Blue (used approximately 28 yds/)
Color B: #109 Colonial Blue (used approximately 46 yds – this was my Brim color)
Color C: #099 Linen (used approximately 28 yds)
Color D: #146 Dusty Purple (used approximately 28 yds)
I / 5.5mm
8 Stitch markers in 3 colors (1 in first color, 3 in next color, 4 in last color)
First 5 rounds of pattern = 4” in diameter
Adjustable Slip Knot – Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook shaft. Video on my YouTube Channel if you need help.
Hdc – Half double Crochet stitch
PM – Place stitch marker
FPhdc – Front Post half double crochet stitch
BPhdc – Back Post half double crochet stitch
BPsc – Back Post single crochet stitch
Hat uses 4 colors, follow instructions for using stitch markers so you don’t lose your place.
Color 1 of stitch markers is used to mark last stitch of entire round as well as last stitch/increase point of that color section.
Color 2 of stitch markers is used to mark the other 3 last stitch/increase point of color sections.
Color 3 of stitch markers is used to mark the first increase point in each color section.
When working the first 9 rounds move stitch markers up to 2nd stitch worked in each increase point, For Rounds 10 – 18 you will only be using the markers for the last stitch of each color section.
Crown at End of Round 9
Rnd 1: Starting with color A make an adjustable slip knot, ch 2, (sc, hdc) in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a long loop and remove hook, with color B *insert hook in center/first ch of round, pull up a loop on hook, ch 1, (sc, hdc) in same center/ch, pull up a long loop and remove hook,* ; Repeat from * to * with Color C and D. PM in each hdc w/end of color/round markers (placing single color marker in hdc of Color D), PM in each sc with first increase markers. [4 sc, 4 hdc]
Rnd 2: *2 hdc in next 2 sts, move st marker to 2nd st worked in each st, pull up long loop and remove hook**, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [16 hdc]
Rnd 3: *(Hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [24 hdc]
Note: Measure gauge after finishing Round 5, if your gauge is small and you don’t want to start over work 10 rounds following the increase pattern, if your gauge is large only work 8 rounds following the increase pattern.
Rnds 4 – 9: *(1 hdc in each unmarked st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked in marked st) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook,** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. Stitch count for end of Rnd 9 [72 hdc]
Remove the Color 1 stitch markers – you will not be increasing any further.
I put one of these stitch markers in the side of the last stitch in Round 9, this makes it easier to keep track of the number of side rounds worked.
Rnd 10: * hdc in each st until work in marked st, move marker up to st worked in marked st,** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [72 hdc]
Rnds 11 – 20: Repeat Rnd 10.
Rnd 21: Step down to one color: Decide which of your 4 colors you want to be your brim color,
then with each of the other 3 color segments: Hdc in each st until one st remains un-worked before the marked st, sc next st, slip st loosely in next st, pull up a long loop, remove st marker.
With brim color: Hdc in each st ending in the marked st, place stitch marker in last st;
Go back to other 3 colors: slip st snugly in next st, fasten off and pull end thru last slip st.
Stitch counts at end of Round 21 [66 hdc, 3 sc, 3 loose slip st]
Rnd 1: Hdc in each st around, move st marker up to st worked in marked st. [72 hdc]
Rnd 2: (FPhdc next st, BPhdc next st) 36 times. [36 FPhdc, 36 BPhdc]
Rnd 3 (FPhdc next st, BPhdc next st) 35 times, FPhdc next st, BPsc next st, loose slip st next 2 sts, slip st snugly next st, fasten off and pull end thru last slip st. [35 BPhdc, 36 FPhdc, 1 BPsc, 2 loose slip st]
Weave in tails.
Now have some fun making hats. Play around with the colors you use, make 2 arms of the spiral in 1 color and the other 2 arms in a contrasting color for a 2 color version. Mix it up with using a variegated yarn for one of the arms and pulling solid colors for the yarns you make the other 3 arms with.