So my daughter wanted an owl hat for the winter this year. I’ve seen lots of lovely ones out and about, so I had a good idea of what kind of look I’d like to create. Most important for me was the ‘sticky up’ ears bit.
I came across this lovely Rowan Baby Merino Silk Double Knitting yarn in my local yarn shop and decided I’d try out Tunisian crochet, which I’d been hankering after playing with for a while. I stole borrowed a set of Tunisian crochet hooks from Jo (these ones have a long plastic ‘tube’ attached onto the end of a traditional bamboo crochet hook, so they’re ideal for wider projects), and set about learning this lovely style. I followed an excellent tutorial here on The Purlbee website, which is super clear and simple to follow. The texture this basic stitch creates is really rather lovely. I love the look of the vertical lines, and it’s dense without being rigid.
Version one didn’t work out to be quite what I was looking for – so I wrote it off as good Tunisian practice and went back to square one with this much chunkier Rowan yarn, Felted Tweed Chunky and I love it (although I have a feeling that Rowan have discontinued this specific yarn 😦 )
The pattern is very basic and goes something like this:
- Yarn of your choice – I used 100g of this Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky
- Tunisian crochet hook which is 1.5 – 2 sizes bigger than that suggested on the yarn band.
Measure the head of the soon to be occupant of the hat and add on an inch to allow for some wiggle room. I found that the finished article tightened up a bit from the length of the base chain, so keep measuring before you get too far in, or make yourself a handy swatch.
The hat I made was 21inches long and 16 rows (forward AND return) high.
Once finished, I had a lovely rectangle measuring 21inches long by 7.5 inches high. The height here includes the small ‘curled up’ section at the bottom. At this point, it was simply a matter of joining the two short edges together using slip stitches to create a cylinder. I then re-shaped the cylinder and squashed it flat so that the join would be in the middle of one of the sides (which would become the back of the hat) and then slip stitched along the top.
At this point, I added the ears, or tassels.
They’re very quick to make – there’s a picture tutorial here on Pinterest that shows you how. I’ve just pulled the strands of the chunky yarn apart to make the tassels more fluffy, and then sewed them in place.
Making the owl features
I’d already tried some smaller eyes, but Jo rightly pointed out that owls eyes are supposed to be big (doh!) – so version two of the owl eye was born. It goes like this (make 2!) – using UK crochet terms:
Round 1 – Using a black / grey yarn make a magic circle and make 6 double crochet into the ring. Join with a slip stitch (6)
Round 2 – Chain 1, then 2 double crochet into each stitch from the round below (12)
Round 3 – Change to a white yarn. Chain 1, then *1 double crochet into next stitch, 2 double crochet increase in next stitch*. Repeat from * to * five more times (18)
Round 4 – 2 DC *2DC inc, 2 DC* repeat from * to* 5 times, 2DC inc (24 DC in total); (24)
Round 5 – *2DC inc, 3DC* repeat from * to * 6 times (30 DC in total)
Round 6: 3DC *2DC inc, 4DC* repeat from *to* 5 times, 2DC inc, 1DC (36 DC in total)
Round 7: – Change to orange yarn – *2DC inc, 5DC* repeat from *to* 6 times (42 DC in total)
(You’ll notice I haven’t used the traditional flat circle system for these eyes, as I find that it makes for more of a hexagonal shape – for more details on staggering where the increase goes, see Jo’s Twercle tutorial here).
Sew in ends
Row 1 – Chain 8
Row 2 – DC in 2nd chain from hook and DC in each, chain 1 and turn (7)
Row 3 – DC in each, chain 1 and turn (7)
Row 4 – 2DC decrease, 3 DC, 2DC decrease, chain 1 and turn (5)
Row 5 – DC in each, chain 1 and turn (5)
Row 6 – 2 DC decrease, 1 DC, 2DC decrease, chain 1 and turn (3)
Row 7 – DC in each, chain 1 and turn(3)
Row 8 – 3DC decrease (ie. hook through, yarn over into first, second and third stitches, until you have four loops on your hook, then yarn over and pull through all of them together.
Now DC all the way round the triangle you have created, inserting 3D at each corner.
Sew in ends.
Now it’s simply a case of sewing all of the features in place and voila – such a quick and easy hat to make. I’m delighted with it.
Let me know any thoughts you have. Happy hooking.