the dillon beanie – the alterations

July 31, 2019 update: Welcome back to the alterations post for the dillon beanie! Today this post received a much needed revival. I have updated the photos, changed various layout components, and I even did some minor editing of content (because honey, the grammar was terrifying). Enjoy!

welcome back

Today we are going to continue our exploration of the dillon beanie. We are going to focus on the alterations I briefly listed in the pattern post, last week. I listed those babies rapid fire style and I don’t think that gave them enough time to shine. So let’s cut the chit-chat and get straight into it because we have a fair amount to cover.

a brief note

I apologize, I said we would get right into it but this is important. If you are only looking for alterations, skip this paragraph and head to the section directly below this one. I will take no offense.

Alright, time for my note: I have not included a gauge for this pattern. Additionally, most of my patterns in the future, will not have a gauge. As a general rule, I don’t pay much attention to gauges. I know, some of you are cringing and cursing me for even typing such a thing but hear me out. I can think of two times I would seek out a gauge:

  1. I am trying to perfectly replicate a project. Like PERFECTLY replicate y’all. And, I would only do this is someone requested a specific size sooooo it kinda doesn’t apply all that much.
  2. My project consists of making multiple of the same block, shape, or whatever and I am joining all of those pieces in the end.

Otherwise, I feel most of the time, you can tell early on if you are mucking up bad enough that you will need to restart. The same can be said for this pattern, it’s a kids hat y’all. You will know if you are making it too big or too small within the first 3-4 rows.

the alterations

Now that we got that out of the way, let us proceed! The following three changes are pretty standard and are applicable to any crochet project:

  1. Changing the yarn weight will change just about everything about a project so make sure you have the weight you need or an acceptable alternative. I am working on a yarn weight guide so keep a look out for that if you are interested in learning more about weights.
  2. Changing the starting round count controls the overall size of your project. The more stitches you start with, the bigger your project will end up. The opposite holds true for starting with less stitches.
  3. Altering your yarn tension also impacts the overall size of your project but it also has a significant influence over stability. As you tighten your stitches you decrease your project size and you increase the rigidity of the finished piece. As you loosen your stitches you increase your project size and you increase the flexibility of the finished piece.

While it is true that some patterns require a specific yarn weight, the same cannot be said for this pattern. Yes, some weights will not work such as a super bulky or a crochet thread. But any other weight that could be used to make a wearable product will work. So long as you also utilize an appropriate hook size.

the specifics

Moving onto alterations that are specific to this pattern. There is a portion of that is worked in front and back loop only stitches, try redesigning this accent portion of the pattern to create something unique to you.

If you are newer to the crochet game, I recommend picking either the front or back loop only stitch. Don’t switch back and forth on your first attempt. Start easy, and work your way up the difficulties. You’re more likely to continue crocheting if you set attainable goals for yourself and then slow increase the expectations you have for yourself.

Actually, that’s just damn good life advice. You’re welcome!

Maybe, you have a munchkin who isn’t fervently opposed to having their ears covered (lucky you!), add some extra length by repeating round 6. By the by, the only reason you can repeat round 6 as many times as you would like without running the risk of your beanie turning into a bowl is because you are no longer increasing the number of stitches per round at that point. In other words, you aren’t impacting circumference, just the length.

And for our final specific alteration I need you to prepare yourself because it is a bit unorthodox. How many of us have dabbled with different hook sizes within one project? I know I certainly have, in fact the dillon beanie calls for you to decrease on hook size for the brim work. It may seem inconsequential or it may seem crazy but by working with various hook sizes in one project you can create so much additional dimension in a project. A fun way to play with the shape of this beanie is to try working the middle section with a smaller hook and see if you like the band it creates. Alternatively, you could try a larger hook size for the top for a loose, floppy look and then decreasing somewhere around mid-beanie. We are nearly at the end of this post but before we conclude I want to leave you with some helpful insight. Do not with multiple hooks that are more than two sizes apart. This creates a size disparity that impacts the overall design and function of the beanie. Other than that, go nuts kid.

parting thoughts

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the ways you can customize this beanie. There is so much creativity in the world and I cannot wait to see what that creativity brings to the dillon beanie. Please your progress and finished products with me in the comments below. Or, if you are feeling particularly fancy, tag me on Instagram @thewanderinglines so I can see how you made this beanie your own. And friends, don’t forget to have fun with your crocheting. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t like it, and you have to take it apart.

As always, happy wandering.

the original photos

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