Monday, 22 October 2012

Crochet Cap

I made this cap for a friend of mine who has suffered hair-loss after chemo-treatment. The pattern is "Operation Marigold: A Hat for a Cause", shared for free by Mrs Micawber on her lovely blog. I loved it as soon as I saw it - I was particularly fascinated by the border at the bottom. Both, the stitch of the body of the hat and the border were new to me, but not only are there a good explanations but also an excellent photo-tutorial on the website.

Here is the hat in indoor light, below outdoors in today's beautiful sunshine - I used a straw hat to model it on.

The material is a yarn called "Tajmahal". It is 70% virgin wool, 22% silk and 8% cashmere. It felt beautifully soft on the ball, but handling the workpiece, I was wondering if there wasn't a bit of woolly scratchiness left, in spite of the silk, that a naked head might feel - still, as soft as real wool can get, I'm sure, so I hope it's alright. The lady at the market recommended it as suitable for a baby's cap. It's washable by hand and I like the shiny autumnal golden colour.

The wool is thinner than the material used in the original pattern, and I worked with a size 3.5 needle. Plus, my friend's head size is a bit above average (57 cm head circumference). That meant I had to have more stitches and rows than in the original pattern. I ended up increasing steadily till row 12, followed by no inc. in row 13, inc. 4 in row 14, bringing the stitch count to a round 100, another three rows without increase, then (just to be on the safe side) another inc. of 4 in row 18. Then I continued down till row 25. 

As I was working with only two colours, rather than three as in the original pattern, I thought it wasn't necessary to cut the thread to start the border, so I did the change of colour and working direction in row 26 without cutting the thread.

Also, I couldn't find a button the right size and colour to make the marigold as in the pattern, so I decided to use the flower pattern I learned ages ago in my very first booklet about doily-making (Häkeln Spezial, Kunsthäkeln, Les Editions de Saxe, 1984). It had the added advantage of using up the gold yarn pretty precisely. After having attached the flower I thought about adding a button after all to cover up and further decorate the middle, but then decided against it and leave it without any hard surfaces entirely.

I'm very pleased with the result - so quick (about 5 hours, all in all, I'd guess) and easy and merry-looking and such an interesting-looking texture into the bargain.


  1. This is lovely, and the yarn sounds wonderful. I'm glad the pattern worked out well for you. :)

  2. And the happy recipient loves it too! It's very light, which is essential when not having hair, and with drug-related temperature fluctuations, so I wore it a lot through the winter while sitting at my desk working. Two small adjustments made: I removed the flower (but kept it carefully for future use), because its weight (relative to the hat's weight) kept sliding the hat forward, and I also took in a tuck at the front so the hat would fit better above my eyes.