This is less a pattern and more a way of life. The viking way. The only way I know how. haha.
In all seriousness, there isn't actually a pattern. There are a number of patterns, some requests and requirements, a bit of imagination and a fair bit of reworking. But I needed to focus on this because it took my life in its grubby little mitts for two whole days and I am thrilled. I wish it wasn't a commission, I wish it was mine. But alas and alack, it's gone, never to return.
So, starting from the beginning. Weeks ago I got an e-mail from a guy called Nick requesting a viking hat for his skiing holiday with his mates. Maybe the mates would want one each too but maybe not. I warned him that it probably wouldn't be as cheap as he was expecting. He was okay with that so I started asking him for photos. All of his photos, apart from one, were crochet so I knew he liked the look of that (even if he called it knitted...). I told him that I wouldn't be able to follow a pattern exactly that if he found me a few photos I'd be able to cobble something together. There are lots of ideas on rav...
Making stuff to sell from patterns is a grey area. I actually read a publication from the Intellectual Property Office of the UK government not that long ago about this very issue (actually knitting, crochet and sewing patterns that is rather than design plans or whatever...). But I've forgotten everything that they said and I can't seem to get back to it! I was reading it at the pub just before I went to salsa dancing and that takes every bit of brain power that I have... So, I revert to my original position - a thought out one that I've pondered and agonised over. I choose not to make stuff to sell from patterns (unless I've bought the pattern with the express permission of the designer to make it to sell). What I will do is read a number of patterns - free or paid - take what I like and use my knowledge and skill to make it without looking at that pattern. So, the horns:
The shape that he liked came from a sewn pattern:
Which a quick google search shows me comes from EinavIzack which you can get to by clicking here.
He liked the shape of the horns and and size of them. I was worried that they'd be too big to stand on their own and that the shape would make them fall over their own weight and nobody likes a floppy horn ey..... (snarf).
This was the closet I could find in a crochet pattern:
Which is a free pattern that you can find on rav here.
Now, I liked this but I thought they were too little and too pointy out to the side-y. So I had a good old root through the pattern, then deleted it and tried on my own. What I liked about this pattern but completely forgot about what that it was grey at the base, I knew my hat was going to be grey on the main part, Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky in Grey to be precise, and it just seemed right that there would a casing for the horn to go in. But I forgot that the first time I started making it and just went about making a horn. I did a circular base, then started up the sides, increasing a little, and then vaguely decreasing with some short row shaping to make them bendy. It wasn't right. But as soon as I looked back at the pattern I was like ahhhhhhhhh - it's the grey bits! As soon as I did those it all went as it should. Lovely.
Anyway, I used different wool and a different hook from the patterns in the hope the would be a bit bigger, but I never actually measured them to check... I'm not sure that you can tell but because I never wrote down my 'pattern' (I just thought I would remember the chain amounts/rows because they made sense the first time...) the two horns are actually slightly different sizes.
Haha. How are you going to tell when there's only one horn on the bloody picture?!!? I really wish I'd been here when he collected it to take a photo of the final thing in position.
Anyway, once the horns were done it was time to do the hat. He had no opinions on what it should look like so I did my own thing. I liked the look of the braid-y bits coming down the centre of the hat. So I started with my standard 12trs at the top and did and inc then two fptr all the way around. On the next round I did a fptr into the fptrs and an inc into every other stitch. After that I did an inc at either side of the fptr and fptr into the fptr. Until I got to about the width that I wanted where I started just trebling into the trebles and fptring in the fptr until it was the length that I wanted. If I'd have really thought about it I'd have put a bit more effort into not allowing the twisty effect that you get in crochet. If you know what I mean? I didn't think about it though.
When I got to the band at the bottom, I decided, for some reason that it should be worked horizontally around the bottom of the hat rather than just carried on in the normal way. So I chained some, worked trs back over the chain and sl-std to join to the bottom of the work a few stitches along, then chained some, sl-sts to the bottom of the work a few stitches along and trebled back over the trebles that I'd worked in the chain. I carried on back and forth like that all the way around putting a bobble in every now and again. It looked shit. So I ripped it all out and did bobbles on a background of dcs going around the right way like I should have done at the beginning with a little bit of bptr to create a ridge before I started. What a tit.
Now, the beard. In my head I was going to crochet a whole beard and then fringe the whole beard. Good thing I checked with this pattern.
Which gave a pattern for the beard. It looks something like this:
Only not like this because she gives very precise instructions, including gauge, about how many chains and different stitches including htrs, trs and dcs. So basically, I took the rough shape, chained as much as I needed to and made it up with a little hole in the middle. I'd say I made it too wide which was a bit frustrating because the next bit was time consuming... The fringing:
I didn't even bother reading the instructions for this. I cut lengths that ended up being like 28" long of Seriously Chunky in Russet and Cygnet Aran in Mustard, I used a hook to thread one strand of the former and two of the latter around the sticky bit of whichever stitch I was using and then I knotted them together roughly in half. Now I'm trying to describe how I fringed them and I just can't do it without some of my beautiful artwork:
I did the bottom bit first, the red line, all across from right to left. I did the blue bit next, just in the aran from right to left, split them in half and french plaited them out towards different sides. Then I did the green but by this time I was running out of the Seriously Chunky so I worked from both sides in so that I could use just the Aran if I needed to... I didn't need to... And finally, I french plaited the moustache-y bit. I then used some black that was hanging around to crochet ties to put around the knot in all of the plaits - just a few chains and some dcs.
I sewed the horns on next, carefully. The vertical braid-y bits helped here to make sure they were on straight and then I sewed the beard in position using the horns as markers. The beard was really too wide which meant that I had to sew some of the beard coming from the inside of the hat. But by the time I was putting it together it was nearly home time on Saturday and I just thought 'bugger it'. Then...
IT WAS DONE! This is when I tried it on and took the photos above.
I then tried to take photos of the thing without it being on me but it was so bloody huge is was impossible. One of the reasons I'm so pleased to have seen the pattern for the beard was that there was so much wool in that beard that if I'd have done a full beard and tassled it there would have been SO MUCH BEARD! Too much beard even for me. Anyway: here are a few shots of what that photoshoot (in the loosest sense of the word as you'll see...) produced:
So, I hope that whilst this isn't a pattern of the week as such, you can see that you can take many brilliant patterns and cobble together whatever you want. If you're making this for you or a loved one than go ahead and follow the pattern, it just makes me feel uncomfortable that I would be making money out of somebody else's pattern writing skills. I'm pleased with the decisions that I made - in terms of making up the hat so it suited what I wanted, reading the horn pattern so I thought about the grey bits and finding the beard bit so that I did the beard in a completely different way. You could totes do this too!
Love Eleanor. xxxxxxx