Despite having crocheted for a few years now, I have always had a problem with hats. I don’t know what I do wrong but, despite gauging a swatch, paying close attention to hook size, tension and yarn, my hats always seemed to be doomed to failure. They came out too big or too small or just a really strange shape no matter how hard I concentrated. *I would get so far in, realise that the whole thing had gone horribly wrong again, unravel like a maniac and sulk.** I repeated this sequence from * to ** on a semi-regular basis whenever I ran into a pattern that I thought would look great on my head.
This winter I decided that I had to break the cycle. Hats are recommended to newbies as a step up from scarves for heaven’s sake! I could follow any number of more complex patterns so I was determined that I had to crack the headwear problem. This determination, however, then coincided with a dearth of patterns that I actually liked. I has already made a shell scarf from a pattern in Inside Crochet so my choice of colour and wool was already set and that made finding the right hat even harder.
Eventually my inspiration came from the brilliant Crafty Tardis – I lurk here a lot, enviously eyeing people’s Doctor Who creations. Someone had posted a plea for a pattern for the crocheted tam-o-shanter that Martha wore during Family of the Blood. She only wore it in a small number of scenes so you will have to excuse the screen-cap below but it gives you the general idea.
That was the hat I wanted – only not in pink and not quite so big and without the pom-pom which adorned the top of it. A couple of people on the web had had a stab at patterns but I hit the same problems with hats that I had always had. One hexagonal version I tried came out looking like a crocheted crown. This time, however, I really wanted the hat in question so I threw the patterns aside and decided to free-hand one in treble crochet rounds… and added a tassel because I had only recently learnt to make them… and made it in green not pink… and so I ended up with
In my head it’s a Martha Jones hat and it makes me very happy. In reality I think it’s akin to the philosopher’s axe. I might look back in a few years and shudder to think I ever wore it out in public but the joy of having created my own hat hasn’t worn off just yet. Now, if only I could learn to follow a pattern.