OK, I admit it, I did not design this weeks free pattern.
But I've had several people ask me about this style of construction and it's a technique worth knowing. It uses stitches of varied heights - including our stitch of the week half double crochet. Single crochet and slip stitches are used to create shaping at the crown as well as a thick stretchy brim.
In fact, this free pattern is my most favorite for hats donated to charity, because they are very warm and the brim can be rolled down over the ears.
Let’s take a closer look at the Crochet Seafarer's Cap by Beth Hall for the Seamen's Church Institute. Please refer to the pattern for specific instructions. All stitches are worked BLO.
Row 1 - Worked directly into the chain, I like to use the back ridge loops.
Place a second marker in your last hdc as a reference point. Move these markers up each row until you feel familiar with how the stitches look.
The slip stitch rows can be confusing if you can’t identify the proper loops. be sure to tilt the top edge toward you in order to see the entire last row, and most importantly that back loop.
Work 16 slst - up to your hdc marker, then ch1 and turn, working back toward the edge. These are the short rows that make the brim extra stretchy.
Work the rest of the row down, alternating rows of 6 slst and 3 slst at the crown. Repeat these rows to length.
After several rows, you can see how the stitch changes are going to shape the hat, wide stretchy brim, softer fabric in the middle, and narrowing at the crown so it will be nice and flat.
When you're ready to start seaming, bring the edge with your starting chain up in front of your working row, and slip stitch through both edges at the same time. I like working under both remaining loops of my starting chain, and the back loop only of the working row. I think it makes for a tighter, better looking seam.
You can see the difference between the way the seam looks on either side of the fabric. Turn the hat so that the "right side" or outer side is the one you like best.
I hope you make as many of these fantastic caps as I have... and if you do... be sure to share some with your local homeless shelter or veterans resource center. It will warm your heart to help them stay warm!