Hats – For Your Baby or for Photo Props

I have a few moms expecting this month, the perfect excuse to dig out the crochet needles and dip into my growing yarn stash!  It’s surprisingly difficult to find the exact pattern that fits the thickness of the yarn you like and the style of hat, so I thought I’d share some of the patterns I’ve used and continue to go back to.

First of all, if you don’t know how to crochet, there are a gazillion free  videos and web pages that will demonstrate the basics and how to do each type of stitch.  I am not super skilled at crocheting, I know how to chain, single crochet and double crochet and that’s about all I need to make a basic hat, but if you are still not convinced, the knifty knitter (available at any craft store) is an excellent SUPER simple tool that pretty much no one can screw up!  Lots of photogs use the KK to make hats for their newborn shoots.   To make a basic hat on the KK is just a matter of wrapping the loops and lifting them over each other, the instructions that come with the KK do a good job of explaining how to make a basic hat, and there is a good tutorial on ILP on how to make an earflap hat.

I really love earflap hats, and I did make one with the KK once, but I do find that I prefer to crochet these.  Here are a few projects I’ve completed and their corresponding patterns.

The lion brand Yarn “Mini Hat Trick” pattern (you have to register on their site to get access to the link) is one of the only ones I found designed to be done with super chunky yarn, which means it goes very quickly!  The pattern also includes instructions for different sizes from baby to toddler to child. The baby one fit Jasper percfectly from 3-6 months which thankfully was before Jasper decided that wearing a hat was a special kind of torture!

The pattern includes earflaps and a brim which you leave off if you prefer.

I also did this one as a birthday gift for a friend’s baby girl for her first birthday using the toddler size instructions:

To make the flower embellishment I just used two different colors of felt and a pretty button in the middle.

I then experimented with the super popular Crafty Rah Rah “Brr Baby Beanie” hat, which I also love:

Unfortunately, Jasper was entering into his “I’ll wear a hat over my dead body” stage and didn’t love it quite as much as I did:

I also made one in white, he seemed to be tolerating it better here (I think he was a bit younger and less anti-hat!)

But for the newborn hat I had in my head I wanted a helmet shape (ie no point on the top) plus earflaps and braids.. so I used this free basic newborn beanie pattern as the basis for the top of the hat and sort of improvised the ear flaps and braids.

I’m not really sure if it’s because my bear model has a different shaped head than a newborn, but it looks a bit long.. wondering if I should have done one less row. Which brings me to the one difficultly about doing newborn hats – not having easy access to a model to test them out on!  I really want to get a cheap doll that has the same proportions as a newborn both for trying out hats and for posing too. When I photographed newborn Madeleine her big sis had a doll that I used to position and check the contour of the light and get my settings before placing the baby in position.. it was so helpful and I swore that I’d get a doll of my own to use for just that purpose. (Does anyone know of one that isn’t too expensive or creepy?)

But more than just for props or for their practical use as an accessory for your baby, I find the true benefit of crocheting (or handwork of any kind) is it’s incredibly calming effect on me – once I start I get totally addicted.  Like a reading a gripping novel, I find myself staying up late and doing “just one more round” before bed!

It also has a nostalgic feeling for me because in Waldorf school we did so much handwork (Steiner advocated for handwork as a way to develop the mind) – something I’m really looking forward to Jasper getting to experience when he goes to Waldorf school.

But even if you don’t believe in any of that, at least your baby will have lots of cute hats to wear this winter :)

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Kristin says:

Hi – your take on the Mini Hat Trick that you did for your friends baby girl is awesome!!! Can you please share the details of what yarn color you used and any changes you made to the pattern? Also, did you use fun fur in there? THANKS SO MUCH! Great job on that hat!

ariana says:

Hi Angie, I really didn’t do anything at all to his skin in that image (no smoothing or anything).. maybe he just naturally has creamy skin :)

Angie says:

the one of jasper in the basket and the cream hat. but all your photos have nice pretty skin

ariana says:

You’re welcome JB, anytime.

Kari, so funny that 12 months is vintage in baby time!

Maria, crochet is one needle with a hook.. so definitely different. But if you can knit, you’ll pick up crochet in no time at all :)

ariana says:

Angie, can you give me an example of a specific image? That way I can tell you what processing and lens I used etc.

I will say that using noiseware does have a secondary nice skin smoothing effect.. I LOVE what it does for adult skin!

Angie says:

Question? How do you get the skin and colors so smooth looking in your photos? Is it the lens? The editing? I want the skin in my photos to look that smooth. Would you recommend the tamron lens you use? I am thinking of purchasing it. thanks

kari says:

adorable! love all the hats.. and the vintage jasper pics! how does the time go by so fast?

Maria says:

Awesome, love the look! I’ve been knitting on and off for a few years. Can I use the same needles for crochet or are they a bit different?

jbhat says:

Oh my, I am in LOVE with the one with the braids. What a cute idea.

Thanks again for yesterday’s Mommy SOS.

Natalie says:

These hats are so cute! :)