Felted Witch Hat

“Your wretched little lives have all been cursed, ’cause of all the witches working, I’m the worst.”

Winifred Sanderson

My love of Halloween is no secret (Heck, I picked a spider to represent my brand), but I’m always trying to mix it with my love of all things fiber arts.

Let me take you a few years back. I was served an ad for an adorable felt witch’s hat, on Wish I’m pretty sure, and immediately fell in love. I couldn’t buy this hat, especially from such a sketchy source, though. Oh no. If I was going to have such a cute witch hat, I was going to make it myself.

Never mind that felting is literal witchcraft. Never mind that I was determined to crochet it because it gave me more freeform control of the shape, and the stitch size in crochet makes it a wee bit harder to felt than knitting. No. I was going to make a felted witch hat. I would go on to let these fears push off that goal for a year or two (or five), but defeat was never an option.

This year, I picked up some good ol’ classic Brown Sheep wool from the Yarn Barn over the Kansas City Yarn Crawl. Don’t let this confidence fool you. I bought two balls because I figured I would mess it up enough to merit that many chances. Time went on, as it often does, until I realized if I wanted to have this hat for the Halloween Faire weekend, it was now or never.

I sat down to swatch (talk about scary), and decided on a single crochet fabric, in the round, at a slightly larger gauge than I normally do. These choices (short of in-the-round, that was a construction choice) were made because they hypothetically made felting easier. I threw it in the washing machine with a tiny bit of soap and crossed my fingers.

Disaster. It barely felted at all. It looked like lattice it was so filled with holes. I became disheartened, thinking I was running out of time for any other swatching experiments; that it just wasn’t meant to be this year.

Then something hit me the next morning. I became possessed with a bit of of my old “it’s just crochet/a hat” energy, and I decided to go for it without any more swatches, for better or worse. I did take a few more cursory glances at some other felted hat patterns online, but short of that, I was flying pretty blind.

It ended up pretty basic: a half-double crochet fabric at a gauge I would consider normal. I did make it just a bit bigger than I hoped the finished hat to be. Again, this was based on no math whatsoever, but it’s a cone shape. I figured it would just sit on my head wherever it fit. Once more, I threw it in the washing machine with bated breath.

finished (wet) hat

This time, it was perfect!! I couldn’t be happier with it. Not only did I finish this hat in a day (which was just the crafting mojo boost I needed after months without a single Finished Object), but I realized I how much I actually learned from that failed swatch. I learned what fabric didn’t work, which made it easier to pick one that might. I learned that even though I poured in the tiniest bit of soap in my first experiment, I needed even less than that. I learned that my crochet fabric doesn’t shrink as much in size as my knitted fabric, so I didn’t make my hat too much bigger. I didn’t need a perfectly felted swatch. I got all the info I needed from my one failed experiment, and I am over the (full) moon about the whole thing.

You know I’m wearing this every chance I get, so look for me on my broomstick all HalloWeekend, if you dare!

2 thoughts on “Felted Witch Hat

  1. All right, Miss Witch, now write up the pattern and publish that sucker so that the rest of us may benefit from your knowledge!

    Like

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