Thursday, May 10, 2012

hooks + needles: how to resize a beanie.

hello there!
today i would like to share how i pretty easily resized the Urban Revival Beanie pattern by Vickie Howell to crochet a sweet spring slouchy for my little miss...

i really love this pattern and the colors of Vickie's new Sheep(ish) line for Caron. as you may have noticed from my instagram feed (i'm the_art_of_everyday if you'd like to follow me!) i started out by making this slouchy for myself and i learned a few things about the yarn in the process...

1. it's a blend (obviously, hence the "ish" part) and the blend of wool and acrylic makes this yarn STRETCHY. there were a lot of complaints? comments? on the ravelry page for this pattern that the slouchy was coming out way too big and rather than the pattern being super flawed i'm thinking that the stretchiness of the yarn wasn't really taken into account. regardless of why the slouchy comes out so big i suggest resizing the pattern a little by taking out one or two clusters (meaning subtract a multiple of 3 from your starting chain) even if you are making the adult size. also a tighter band will help!

2. this yarn is slippery and a little snaggy. now this second revelation might just be my own perfectionism rearing it's ugly head but i found that if you weren't careful about pulling the first dc of each cluster nice and tight a little bubble formed which on the next row would either snag or look a little ugly. again, it could have just been me but i thought i'd share in case you were going to give it a go and didn't like the loose dc messing up your pretty fabric. the slippery bit really comes into play if you have to wind back up a frogged project... i just about threw my winder out the window because it was slipping so much.

so needless to say my slouchy did come out too big. it was fine at first but after wearing it for a day i wore it to the park with little miss it would fall off my head every time i had to bend over. not good. so i frogged mine for another day... i'll probably knock it out this weekend because it really is such an easy pretty pattern... and pretty mindless to once you get in the groove.

the whole reason i made the slouchy in the first place was because i wanted to try out the pattern and make one for little miss... babies in adult style slouchies... omg. too. cute. so, i resized the pattern down (and then a little further down to account for the stretch) and now i can share my process!

i will not be writing out or sharing the exact pattern and construction here so please download or check out the Urban Revival Beanie Pattern so that you can better understand what the heck i'm talking about!

first step... measure your head. or your kids head. or whoever's head you want it to fit on. or if your kid is like mine and freaks out whenever you try to measure their head... use a hat that you know fits them nicely around the brim and measure that lying flat and double your measurement for the circumference. 

then find your gauge!

if you read the first row of the pattern it says something like... chain 3, dc, chain 2, sc into first stitch and then skip next two chains. then you keep repeating that 3 chain sequence (2dc, ch 2, sc into same and skip next 2 ch) across the first row. therefore your starting chain is a multiple of 3. 

so for your gauge swatch you should chain a multiple of 3 (i think the one pictured is 30) then you want to start you pattern keeping in mind that the last 3 chains count as your first dc of your first cluster. so you will start by dc'ing in the 4th chain from your hook. if that makes no sense i'm sorry, i'm still new to this whole teaching/tutorial aspect of my yarncrafting life... ask me your questions in the comments and i promise i will answer them promptly!

it really makes no difference what your gauge looks like. it does not have to be a perfectly blocked little square. what you want to do is get into a good habit and be comfortable with the cluster pattern so you can see how big each will be to get the information you need for your calculations.

*sidenote* there were some questions on ravelry about where your clusters go once you've finished the first row. it isn't explicitly written in the pattern so i thought i'd clarify. each cluster is stitched into the space left by the 2 chains of the previous row. so you don't crochet into the dc spots... you crochet into the 2ch space (or hole). 

as you can see from the above photo... 3 of my clusters turned out to be 2" which was a perfect round number to use for my resizing equations!

please click on photo to see larger!
so here is how i used my gauge to calculate what my starting chain should be for the toddler sized beanie. when i actually sat down to stitch it up i subtracted 3 from my result so that the circumference would end up a little smaller than 16" to account for the stretchiness. so i chained 69 total.

for the body i took the pattern to about 7 inches long. i probably could have gone to 8" or 11" for a bit older child... to be honest i can't tell you exactly how long i made the body because i closed the top before finishing to judge the size and length on my little miss.

for the band i also sized down from the pattern a little bit. i did 6 stitches across instead of 9 and made it about 15 1/2", again to account for the stretchiness.

and that's all there is to it!

like i said, if you have any questions at all please leave them in the comments and i will answer as best i can or point you in the direction of someone who can. if you are new to crochet (then you really have no clue what i'm babbling about) check out the great tutorials at Lion Brand's Learning Center, FreshStitches, and Crochet Geek on YouTube!

thanks for stopping by!

p.s. i can't stop looking at these photos of my two loves. there is nothing sexier than a strong man holding his adorable babe. ♥


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