Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Baby Aviator Hat

Repeat Crafter Me has some of the cutest free baby crochet patterns out there.  I feel in love with the crochet aviator hat pattern and knew I wanted to create it for my newest little one.  Since I've completed a lot of newborn sized hats already, I decided to make this a 3-6 month hat.  Should my baby be larger than expected, he'll have something special to wear, too.

I had plenty of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in white (11 g, 24 yards) and silver (gray, 4 g, 9 yards) but needed to pick up a brown for the main body of the hat.  Flying blind a bit, I selected Bramble Heather (25 g, 55 yards).  I think the combination will looks sweet together.  I used a size H (5.0 mm) hook for this project.

I almost went back to a newborn sized hat but held firm at my instincts to make a 3-6 month size.  Newborn sized hats fit for a couple weeks, max.  We will still need some cute things to help Boogaloo get through the rest of the winter and early spring.  While this hat will be too big for a newborn photoshoot at 1 week old, it should fit pretty early on in his life for some adorable sleepy baby poses.

After the 11 DC rounds, the hat measures just over 6" crown to brim and 6.5" across.

The loose ends are pointing towards the front of the hat

For the earflap placement, I left 16 stitches free on the front of the hat between the earflaps and 12 stitches free on the back of the hat.  The aviator hat pattern doesn't provide explicit instructions for this placement, but refers you to a photo on the puppy hat pattern which shows that you want more space towards the front of the hat than the back.  I thought this was a good visual way to show it, but figured I'd share my numbers as a reference in case I make this hat again.  I took care to make sure that the seam from working in the round would be located on the back of the head.

Since I wanted the white edge to look fluffy like sheepskin, I doubled up the wool of the andes worsted weight yarn for the sc border.  (I didn't have any white bulky wool in my stash.)

The mask construction is simple but elegant.  I like the asymmetry near the nose piece of the goggles.
The piece is curling a bit but since it is going to be sewn onto the hat I'm not going to bother blocking it.  I used the double stranded white WOTA again to edge the mask.

Now that the mask was edged, it was time to do some surface crochet.  I've never done a surface slip stitch before.  It helps that there is the edge of the mask to follow, so I'll just have to "draw" to finish the circle towards the center.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....  I practiced the stitch for a few stitches with one strand of yarn before going back to two.  I instinctively want to make a SC so it was hard to stay at a slip stitch, but I got the hang of it quickly.

I really appreciate the photo tutorial with this pattern.  I felt like there was something off with my surface crochet when I got to the center part of my eye piece and could see the wrong part of y stitch.  I realized that I should be holding the working yarn IN BACK of the fabric.  Whoops!

Stitching the goggles onto the hat was a cinch and I doubt you could even see it.  I like that there is a clear line to follow just inside the edge to attach it to the hat.

Finally, I just have to make the google strap.  Thankfully I'm a pro a surface slip stitch crochet now.  Circles made me nervous, but I think I can handle a straight line.

Wahoo!  The strap doesn't look perfectly straight from some angles where it joins with the goggles, but I sewed the goggles on pretty straight so at least it meets up on the same place of the goggles on either side.

Part of the adorableness of this hat from the pattern is the fact that the baby is pictured wearing an aviator jacket.  I know that I won't have the jacket to dress my baby in, but I think he'll still look pretty dashing in this hat.  And OH the cardboard box airplane... I'll have to see if Keith wants to help me create one of those for a photoshoot...  But first we shall have to wait for Baby Boogaloo's arrival.