This will be a somewhat feeble attempt to explain how to crochet an Inuit Hunter’s Hat. I am embarking on this project at the request of a few people who were interested to learn how to crochet the hat. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert in crotcheting. This is the only thing I crotchet. The instructions below are for a newborn hat. To make a bigger hat you will need to increase the crown of the hat by adding extra rows.
Yarn: I use a medium weight acrylic yarn easily found in craft stores. The original Inuit Hunter’s Hat is done in wool but as most of the hats I make are for children, acrylic yarn washes easily and doesn’t shrink.
Hook: 3.5 or 4
Stitch: single stitch
DISCLAIMER: If you decide to attempt this project, you do so at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for bouts of frustration and uncharacteristic cursing. I will do my best to present the material as accurately as possible. Enjoy the journey!
The Crown of the Hat
Now we get to the tricky part, the part that confuses everyone at first. I know, I know. And here you thought everything was going tickity-boo. Well bare with me and try to follow the next part. Unfortunately my close-ups were too fuzzy to post. So we will be going at this blindly.
You will begin the next series of stitches with a loop already on the hook. In each of the nine stitches you will put your hook in the middle of the stitch (a mini hole in the stitch), wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the 2 loops on the hook to create a single stitch. Place your hook back in the same stitch and repeat. You are putting 2 completed single stitches (I call this the 2 in 1 stitch) in each of the nine stitches. Once complete you will have 18 stitches in the next row.
Begin the next row by doing a single stitch in the first stitch and then a 2 in 2 stitch in the next stitch. You should have a total of 27 stitches.
Begin the next row with 2 single stitiches and one 2 in 1 stitch. Continue to repeat this sequence until you have 36 stitches. By now you must have realized that you are crocheting in a spiral. For this reason it is very important to keep your stitch count accurate.
After each completed row begin the next row by adding a single stitch to the sequence (3 singles & a 2 in 1 stitch, then 4 singles & a 2 in 1 stitch etc.). You should always end up with 9 more stitches than the previous row. For a newborn hat stitch 8 rows (row 1 being 18 stitches) with a total of 81 stitches in row 8.
For a toddlers hat stitch 10 rows. This is a hit and miss as it depends on the weight of the yarn. I have taking hats apart a number of times because it was too big or too small. I now try to use the same wool for all my projects so that my hat sizes are consistent.
The Base of the Hat
When you have completed your 8 rows, begin crocheting single stitches only. Within a couple of rows you will notice you hat will begin to curve creating the sides of the hat.
When you have your desired length (approx. 3 in./7.75 cm) turn the hat right side out.
The Brim of the Hat
This is the part where you can get creative. Use 2 or more colours to create an interesting design. Recount your stitches. You should have 81 stitches but if you discover you only have 79 because 2 stitches disappeared in the process, DO NOT PANIC! This will not overly affect the look of the hat. Using graph paper draw out your design using one square of the graph paper for each stitch. Remember that when you follow your design ALWAYS follow it from the bottom of the paper up or else you will discover that your design is upside down when you put flip your brim up. Trust me. I have done this more than once. For some designs it may not matter but if you decide to put the child’s name on the hat then you will find the name crocheted upside down. When you have completed the brim, knot it off.
If you would like to add ear flaps, skip this part and go the the Ear Flap part.
At the seam where the brim and the hat join you will crochet one row of single stitches all around. This keeps the brim from rolling down. Knot off at the end of the row. Now skip to Tassel part.
You may wish to add ear flaps. I particularly do this for all of my children’s hats. Find the back of the hat. This will be where the designs are off a little because of the spiral effect. Begin with the left side of the hat. Begin your row of single stitches at 9 stitches from the centre back of the hat. From this point stitch 14 stitches. Once you have completed the first row flip your hat to stitch the next row. Each row will automatically decrease. Continue to flip the hat as you finish stitching each row until you are left with one stitch. Put your yarn through the last stitch. Cut leaving a long enough tie.
To do the right ear flap count 23 stitiches to the right. Begin crocheting the first row if 14 stitches. continue as with the left ear flap flip the hat at the end of each row. Once both ear flaps are completed you will crotchet a row of single stitches all around the hat and ear flaps. You will find that it is not straight forward to stitch around the ear flaps. Do the best you can spacing the stitches evenly. I find there is a sequence of stitch and a hole/space, stitch and hole/space. I use each the stitch and the hole to introduce a single stitch as I go around. I know. This sounds as clear as mud. However it is neccessary to give the hat a nice finished look.
Hooray you have completed your hat. Now on to the tassel.
No Inuit Hunter’s Hat is complete without a tassel. Cut four pieces of yarn approximately 14 in/35.5 cm long. Using your crochet hook, thread 2 of the yarns at the top of the crown in one direction and then the other two in the opposite direction so that they are perpendicular to each other.
If you have ever made bracelets with gimp at summer camp (I might be dating myself), it is the same principle except that your braid will appear circular rather than square. Using the illustration above you cross strand A & C and then strand B & D and repeat until you have the length you require. You may need to get assistance from another individual to do this. It also helps if strands A/C are one colour and B/D are another colour. Once you have reached the desired length add your tassel.
To make the tassel, wrap yarn (you can use as many colours as you want) around a piece of cardboard the desired length of the tassel. Cut the yarn at one end of the cardboard. Join strands A/B together and strands C/D together. Place the middle of your tassel yarns in such a way as you can tie them with the braid strands. Then using a separate strand of yarn, tie everything together.
Trim yarn of the tassel to the desired length or to simply clean up the ends.
For the ties you may choose to do a 4 strand braid or you can do a regular 3 strand braid.
And there you have it, your very own Inuit hunter’s hat. Enjoy the journey!