Spirals! Spirals appear throughout the universe in spectacular displays of mathematics and science. Also, they're really cool-looking. And spirals are very nifty to crochet in multiple colours.
This hat starts with a two-colour spiral at the top, and I designed it in part to showcase this neat technique. I also designed it in the wake of the incredibly powerful visual impact Pussyhats made at the Women's Marches in January. The Hat for Science is a simple craftivist project just in time for the worldwide Marches for Science on April 22, 2017.
A chilling report that major U.S. news shows spent a combined total of less than an hour reporting on issues related to climate change in all of 2016 means we need to get seriously loud about the importance of scientific enquiry and fact-based decision-making. Those words may not sound sexy, but ignoring our dire need to address the impending devastation of life on earth isn't sexy either. So.
Grab your hook and make a statement! Better yet, wear that statement to a March for Science near you. Phone and write to your elected representatives (no matter where you live – this is not only an American issue!) and tell them you expect them to support funding for scientific research and to consider solid, peer-reviewed scientific findings when making decisions that affect our environment, education, food safety, medicine and more.
Find the free Hat for Science pattern below, or download it as a print-friendly PDF:
Note: A small mistake in the pattern was corrected on 29 March 2017, indicated in bold text. Another was corrected, again in bold text, on 12 April 2017. To make sure you have the corrected version of the pattern PDF, check to make sure the file name has "v3" at the end.
Hat for Science
To fit a medium/large adult head.
Finished brim circumference: 22" (56 cm).
To make the hat smaller or larger, work fewer or more increase rounds before working even (and adjust the number of work-even rounds). If you want to learn more about sizing hats of all sorts, you’ll enjoy my class, Crochet in the Round: Basics & Beyond!
Yarn: Worsted weight, about 75 yards colour A and 85 yards colour B. Shown here in: Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 220 yards [200 m] per 3.5 oz.) [100 g], 9452 Summer Sky Heather (blue; A) and 2429 Irelands (green; B).
Hook: 5.5mm (US I/9).
Notions: Removable stitch marker.
14 sts and 9 rows = 4” (10 cm) in alternating rounds of dc and hdc.
American terms are used.
A = colour A (shown here in blue)
B = colour B (shown here in green)
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
tch = turning chain
Hat is designed to have each colour worked in a different stitch (A in dc, B in hdc), so that one colour is slightly more dominant than the other. Choose whether you’re, say, more inclined to advocate for land-related science (green) versus water-related science (blue), and make that colour your dominant colour A. The other will be colour B. (Obviously, you can make this hat in any colours you want, not only in blue and green!)
You will not join each round at the end, but rather work in a continuing spiral.
Use a removable stitch marker to indicate the final stitch of the round; move the marker up as you go.
With A, begin with an adjustable ring.
Round 1: Insert hook in ring and pull up a loop, ch 1, work (2 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc) in centre of ring, remove hook from A (pull the loop long to prevent unraveling); leaving a 6” tail, join colour B by pulling up a loop, ch 1, work (3 sc, 3 hdc) in centre of ring, place marker in stitch just made (this is the last stitch of the round) — 12 stitches total.
Round 2: Continuing with B, [2 hdc in next stitch] 6 times, remove hook and reinsert in loop of A; with A, [2 dc in next stitch] 6 times — 24 stitches. (Note that a pattern has been set up: You will always work B into A, and A into B.)
Round 3: Continuing with A, [dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch] 6 times; remove hook and reinsert in loop of B; with B, [hdc in next stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch] 6 times — 36 stitches.
Round 4: Continuing with B, [hdc in next 2 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch] 6 times; with A, [dc in next 2 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch] 6 times — 48 stitches.
Round 5: Continuing with A, [dc in next 3 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch] 6 times; with B, [hdc in next 3 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch] 6 times — 60 stitches.
Round 6: Continuing with B, [hdc in next 4 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch] 6 times; with A, [dc in next 4 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch] 6 times — 72 stitches.
Continue in colour pattern as established, without increasing, as follows:
Round 7: Continuing with A, dc in next 36 stitches; with B, hdc in next 36 stitches. (Bold indicates corrections to mistakes in the original pattern. It's all good now!)
Rounds 8-16: Continue to work even without increasing, working A stitches into colour B and B stitches into colour A.
Now smooth out the jagged end-of-rounds and begin the brim, as follows:
Round 17(ish): (This is really a half round, for reasons that will become clear.) Continuing with A, dc in next 27 stitches, hdc in next 3 stitches, sc in next 3 stitches, sl st in next 3 stitches, fasten off A, move marker to final sl st (this will be the new “end” of the round).
Rounds 18-20: Continuing with B, sc all the way around (do not join your rounds); at the end of Round 20, sl st in the next 2 stitches, fasten off.
Weave in loose ends.
When you share your finished hat, make sure to tag me (@kpwerker) and #hat4science!
Want to Totally Ace Crocheting in the Round?
The second time I learned how to crochet, I was a resident assistant in a dorm in college (the first time, I was sixteen, and I didn't know that what I was doing was even called crochet). My hall director's wife taught me, and she sent me to A.C. Moore to buy an afghan's worth of yarn and a pattern book.
The yarn I chose was truly hideous. The book was a collection of patterns I had no idea how to assess.
Which is how it ended up that I started in on a project that would be described by people inclined to rate the difficulty of patterns as capital-I Intermediate. It was like a 12-row repeated pattern that involved post stitches and crossed stitches and all manner of shenanigans like that.
I got the hang of it eventually and ended up making about two feet of blanket. I moved with the bag of yarn several times before realizing I'd never finish it, then I chucked it.
It was a few years after I parted ways with that beast that I learned how to crochet for the third and final time – the time that stuck.
Since then, I've written books about crochet and taught thousands of people how to do it, and I've made a few blankets. I've always preferred simple, repetitive, meditative projects, though. The kind I can relax into at the end of the day. The kind I can use odd balls for, both because I love using odd materials and also because this way I don't have to plan my colours in advance.
A few weeks ago, though, I stumbled onto a blanket pattern that – twenty years after I started the ill-fated project in college – led me to come full circle.
Not only does Sophie's Universe involve loads of post stitches and popcorns and clusters and all manner of complicated shenanigans, it's worked in the round then squared up.
The pattern was first released for free, in parts of several rounds at a time, over several weeks back in 2015 as a mystery crochet-along, and it became so popular that just recently the designer published the whole thing as a book. I ordered the book the same day I ordered my 4200 yards of yarn (I'm using Knit Picks Comfy Worsted). The book hasn't arrived yet, but the day my yarn got here I started working from the pattern online.
Above is the completed first part of the pattern. The first 25 rounds are a mandala; after that, you square it up and continue from there. I'm totally in love with this blanket already. Every round is different from the ones before it. The math of it is gorgeous. The cleverness involved in engineering such a thing is quite something to experience.
Here's the palette of colours I'm using – weighted heavily to the ivory colour. When I'm done, I should have a bed-size blanket.
I'm posting my progress somewhat frequently in my Facebook group, where some members are talking about joining in to make a blanket of their own. Come on over and crochet along with us!
And here's my project on Ravelry, if that's more your style.
What a thing, the Women’s Marches, eh? What a day. What a force. What a feeling. (My photos from the Vancouver march are below.)
I first learned about the Pussyhat Project right after it launched in late November, 2016, and though I cast on for a knitted hat right away, it was only when the project reached its tipping point in the couple of weeks leading up to the marches that I felt compelled to do way more.
The crocheted Pussyhat pattern I released was downloaded a few hundred times before the march, and a few hundred times the actual weekend of the march. As of the time I’m writing this, it’s been downloaded well over 700 times.My blog traffic has nearly double over the last week. As far as I can tell, the Pussyhat is more popular than any crochet pattern I’ve ever published.
There was a time when I felt I had to be very, very subtle about my feminism in my crochet work, and I’m proud, relieved and downright excited that those days are over.
Don’t get me wrong – my work isn’t going to stop being about the fun of creative exploration and turn into 100% activism all the time.
It’s just that I may bring activism – which is a big part of my personal life and has been for a long time – into my work a bit more than I used to.
But also separately. If you’d like to get occasional emails from me about simple steps to take and about the intersection of art/craft and activism, sign up right here.
Anyway. It feels simultaneously like the worst of times and the best of times. I have so much to make, and so much to do.
Updated 1/13 to add a video on how the hat is constructed (see below!)
And again on 1/19 to add a troubleshooting video. And this link.
Perhaps you've heard about the Women's March on Washington on January 21st, with solidarity marches planned in hundreds of cities around the world? And perhaps along with that you've heard about the Pussyhats people are feverishly making to wear?
The official Pussyhat Project site offers patterns both for knitters and crocheters, but I don't love the look of the crocheted hat. I'm not a big fan of post-stitch ribbing, see. So I made my own using my preferred kind of ribbing, and I figured I'd share the pattern here in case you, too, prefer a ribbing that's good and stretchy (I've offered to send a PDF to the official project, too). Find the text version below, or download the PDF by clicking here:
If you have questions about your ribbing curling at the corners, or your edges coming out all wonky, watch this (and feel free to ask me for help!):
To fit an average adult head. It’s very stretchy, so will fit a range of sizes. And it’s easy to adjust: make the ribbing sections shorter or longer than 8” to fit smaller or larger heads, respectively.
Yarn of any weight in a sufficient amount to complete the hat, and an appropriately sized hook. Shown here in worsted weight yarn (Cascade 220, about 180 yards), worked with a 5 mm hook.
Varies based on the yarn weight you use. Just work to the dimensions specified.
Single crochet through the back loop only (sc-blo): In next stitch, insert hook through back loop only and pull up a loop, complete single crochet.
Sc-blo ribbing: Work sc-blo in each stitch of every row.
American terms are used.
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet
sc = single crochet
sc-blo = single crochet through the back loop only (see above)
First Ribbing Section
Make a chain slightly longer than 4” (10 cm). Work in sc-blo ribbing as follows:
Row 1: Skip first chain, sc-blo (see sidebar) in next chain and in each remaining chain across, turn.
Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sc-blo in first stitch and in each remaining stitch across, turn. (Note: The final sc stitch can be hard to see – be sure to dig for it and not skip it!)
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures about 8” (20 cm) from foundation-chain edge. Fasten off and set aside for now.
Second Ribbing Section
Make as for First Ribbing Section but do not fasten off. Without turning at the end of the last row, begin working Middle Section of the hat as follows:
Ch 2, rotate work 90 degrees to crochet across the ribbed edge. Placing your stitches consistently as you go, hdc in each row-edge across, turn.
Hdc Row: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), hdc in first stitch and in each stitch across, turn.
Repeat Hdc Row until piece measures about 13” (33 cm) from bottom edge of ribbing, fasten off.
Note: The hdc section of the hat will be wider than the ribbing section. It’s supposed to be that way!
Layer First Ribbing Section behind Middle Section, lining up one long edge of the ribbing with the last row of hdc.
Holding both pieces together and working through both thicknesses at the same time, with a yarn needle sew the two sections together using whipstitch. Use stitch markers if needed to distribute the narrower ribbed fabric across the wider hdc fabric as needed if the stitches of each piece don’t line up perfectly. Don’t sweat it! When you get to the end, fasten off. The total length of the rectangle from one ribbing edge to the other should be about 17".
Fold the hat in half so the ribbing sections are lined up. Whipstitch the two sides of the hat together (or use whichever seaming technique you prefer), keeping the bottom edge of the ribbing open – that’s where you’ll put your head!
Weave in loose ends.
If your seam is on the outside but you want it on the inside, turn the hat out, et voila.
Wear your hat with pride!