Today as part of my continuing effort to work through the stash I purchased from my youngest son’s trumpet teacher, I began work on (and completed) a hat that was in my project queue at Ravelry:
The pattern (Olivia’s Butterfly) is the creation of Olivia’s mother (aka Valerie Whitten). Using a skein of vintage Red Heart lavender yarn and a 6.0 mm hook, I got to work.
Most hat patterns are based on multiples of six, eight, or twelve. All three numbers are even and all have 2 as a factor. Valerie Whitten’s design, however, is based on multiples of 11. Not only is her chosen multiple an odd number, it is also prime.
Another aspect of Ms. Whitten’s design that bears notice is how she handles the first double crochet of the round.
While many patterns use a chain 3 to count as the first double crochet stitch of a row or a round, the pattern for Olivia’s Butterfly calls for a chain 2 (that does not count as the first double crochet) followed by a double crochet made in the same stitch as the joining. This ends up creating a first stitch that is more like a cluster than just a standard double crochet stitch.
I found that this unusual treatment (while absolutely the perfect choice for the design) invited me to make a mistake as to where to put the second stitch. What follows is a brief photo tutorial to help you avoid my mistakes so you have more time to make your own.
Here is the last stitch of round 7 as I prepare to join it to the first stitch of the same round and proceed to round 8:
I start by inserting the hook under both loops of the first double crochet of round 7:
I then join the first stitch to the last by making a slip stitch:
To begin round 8, I chained two:
then I worked a double crochet into the same space:
More than once, I worked the second double crochet of the round into a space that was between the joining stitch and the next stitch of the round. At some point, I would notice my error (usually when I had just finished the round and was preparing to join the last stitch to the first stitch). Here is how it appeared when I inserted the hook into the correct stitch:
and here is how it appeared after I had completed it correctly:
After less than two hours (which, at times, included crocheting with a puppy on my lap) I had finished my first attempt at Olivia’s Butterfly:
Valerie Whitten’s “Olivia’s Butterfly” hat is an easy afternoon project, and the result is a fun and attractive hat. Now that I have gotten past the inertia of making the first one, I am looking forward to making many more.