November 15, 2010

Yarn Over

Many of you know that I crochet. I have trouble sitting still while watching TV, and it gives me something to do with my hands. Useful, but not so engrossing that I can’t still enjoy Grey’s Anatomy or Project Runway or whatever. It’s something my mom taught me when I was about nine. I spent years and years having only made one hat. Then in college I took up the hook again. Now I pretty much always have a project going.

This is why a trip to Hobby Lobby is much like a trip to Barnes and Noble. I can’t go in and not come out with something. It’s almost a universal constant. My recent trip scored me yarn for three baby hats, a pair of pants for H, and nylon cord to make a bag (super curious to see how this turns out!).

Anyway, my real point is to share with you my downfall in the world of crochet. I have made hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters, afghans, and Christmas ornaments. I can do any stitch you throw at me. I’ve created a few original patterns. But I cannot, for the life of me, make a hat that is just the right size.

What is wrong with me? I measure the head. I make the hat exactly that circumference, and it’s big. Every time. I’m completely baffled here. It doesn’t matter if I’m following a pattern or not. I measure, I check my gauge, and the damn thing is big.

 My latest hat: Yes, it was too big.

I appeal to the other crafty people out there. What am I missing here? Clearly I’m missing something! How can I start my wildly popular and profitable crocheted baby hat line if I don’t get this problem under control?

I’d like to note, that it’s just hats I have issues with. My sweaters seem to come out fine. This is why I’m so puzzled. I know how to follow a pattern. But you make it round and suddenly I’m making hats for giants.

Anyone know a giant that needs a hat?


  1. Try using wool yarn, making it a little big, and put it in the dryer to shrink it up a little. For what it's worth, I can't do hats either.

  2. With knitting you have to make a special kind of swatch when you're knitting in the round, because you knit purl stitches and knit stitches with a different tension...maybe there's something similar for crochet?

  3. This is funny because 1 - I inadvertently did a yarn over last night and only realized it 20 rows later (literally) and had to take it all out. (Okay, that part isn't funny, but it goes with your title.) And 2 - because my mom has the exact same problem in reverse!! I know the patterns she has are right - I made them, and I have no problems - but she always turns out doll-sized hats! NO idea why!! (And it's only hats she has an issue with too. Weird.)

    My suggestion is to figure out how much bigger you're making them, then cut down by that amount. Like in the hat you showed (so cute, btw!), if you wanted it to have a circumference of x, but it's 10 stitches longer, reduce by that amount the next time you make the hat. Of course that suggestion will only work on that hook size... Sorry. :-(


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