Apricot Puff Stitch Crochet Beanie

Gorgeous wool deserves to shine and a simple beanie was the perfect project for this lovely apricot acrylic I picked up at the start of winter. I was getting a little weary of all the wintry black and grey in my wardrobe. Besides, it seems the coldest of weather may skip Japan this year and I’m keen to welcome spring.

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I’d never made a beanie before though… Would I get the sizing right? Would it look polished when I finished, or droopy and miserable? If you’ve read any of my other posts, you might have noticed that I just jump into a project once I’ve chosen it. This beanie was no different – here goes!

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I can happily report that I got this far without any struggle. You might be wondering how far exactly is ‘this far’? I finished the ribbed band. It was so easy, a simple single crochet. Crocheting only into the front loops of each stitch gives it the ribbed texture. Be careful though! When I say ‘front loop’ I mean the front of the project, not necessarily the loop facing away from you. To achieve the ribbed texture, always crochet into the front of the project. Okay? Ok. Once you’ve crocheted your band, sew it together and you’re ready to challenge the puff stitch. How hard could it be right?

* The pattern gives two sizes, I made the larger. I don’t have a huge head, one-size-fits-all hats fit me in stores, but I wouldn’t have wanted this beanie any smaller.

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This is where I stumbled… The first time.

Around the top of the band, the pattern said to complete a set number of single crochet stitches (to puff stitch into next). Well I did that. Twice. My stitches weren’t evenly spaced the first time, so I redid it. If I had one complaint about the pattern, it was having to space these stitches freehand. I had no idea how far apart would work, so I simply had to guess and alter it. Boo!

I got over it though.

Oh nope. I didn’t. Not that I realised it at the time…

Finally happy with the spacing of my stitches, I began my first row of puff stitch. It was so much fun! The pattern explained puff stitch clearly, and I had no trouble learning it. Here’s a YouTube video in case you’re a visual learner. YAY – it’s Jessica from The Hook Nook! She recommends crocheting your puff stitches into the big space between the previous row of puffs. I did mine into the single crochet in each gap. I’ll definitely try her method next time, it looks so much neater and easier!

Carried away with this new stitch, I completed row after row. Finally I stopped to check my work…

Sadness.

The front of my puff stitches were opposite to the front of the ribbed band. Waaaaaaaaaaah. From the start, the flaw was in the row of single crochet stitches. I needed to crochet them in the other direction.

Whaaaaat was I even doing!?!?? Well, fair enough it was my first attempt at puff stitch, how was I to know which way the stitches would turn out… Still, logic didn’t stop me from dropping my beanie in a puddle on the floor and leaving it there for a solid week.

I’d look at it each day though, and think how it was such a lovely pastel colour… Not to mention the beautiful beanies that kept popping up on my Instagram feed, guilting me about my own unfinished project. I shouldn’t say ‘guilting’, I was inspired really. If you’re looking for beanie inspiration check out the work of @beaniefabrik and @the.hook.nook. I could browse their feeds all day!

Eventually, after sufficient sulking, I picked up my beanie to continue my project. And ran into a few snags… Literally. Adorable a few days earlier, the tangles my trio of bunnies had made frolicking in the loose wool were not as much fun to untangle…

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Dun dun dun! Once I had my stitches all lined up and facing the right way, completing the beanie was straightforward.

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I’m still calling it a beanie, but my husband now calls it the ‘bunny snuggler’ and has a laugh because it sounds so much like ‘budgie smuggler’… My littlest bun is super cuddly, and somehow or other she made her way (I may have helped) into the beanie and there she sat curled up just like in this picture for at least ten minutes all on her own. She stayed so still and quiet I eventually peeled it off her face, wondering if she had passed out from lack of oxygen. Nope, just napping.

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If you want a puff stitch beanie of your own, check out the free pattern by Vickie Howell on Ravelry. For a little more guidance, Stephanie from All About Ami has shared step-by-step photos of her project. Overall it was an easy project, relatively quick (minus my tantrums), and wearable!

Go on, give it a go.

{ Wren }

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