The best things in life are free…
Updated: Jun 12
I was on a mission to find a secret Santa gift for a work colleague. Now, I don’t know about you but secret Santa should be the silliest gift you can find and stalking should be made legal for at least one day a year. Facebook is good for discovering more about your…well, shall we say, victim? If they have it and if they post regularly. I also had a language barrier.
But, apart from all that, I am useless at buying gifts, I make as much as I possibly can if I can’t find it in a charity shop. I also can’t just buy something, it has to be useful, or suited to the recipient and I will trawl charity shops for weeks before I will finally settle on the right thing…or, I’ll make it. Time was not on my side, I had a week to discover more about my victim and find the gifts I felt were suited to her, but what about the silly thing?
My very first thought when I pulled her name out of the hat was a silly hat…I know she’s game for a laugh but I didn’t want to offend her, I also wanted something she would wear, from time to time. I searched, scrutinising every hat, particularly those with bells or eyes, I came across, wrote a mental list in my mind, and a mental picture, could I see her wearing it?
I needed to make something, quick. I was already in hat knitting mode as I’d been knitting frantically for my sister’s family. I didn’t really want to write a pattern, but I couldn’t find anything suitable, writing it would be easier.
And so here it is: The Secret Santa Strawberry Hat.
It combines knitting and crochet. I would say it’s suitable for beginners, there are a few lessons which will be linked to YouTube videos.
Long Tail Cast On. This is the more elasticated cast on and is great for ribbing, hats, gloves, socks etc
Weaving Yarn. If a yarn is carried for more that 4 sts it can pull and leave long strands in the back of the knitting, so weaving the yarn resolves this.
Icords. For the stalk.
Single Crochet. For the hat brim.
The hat is knitted flat, though an advanced knitter can arrange it to knit in the round, whichever you find easier. Personally when I’m knitting with speed I find working flat easier.
Size 4mm needles and a yarn to suit, usually a DK. Mine is done in a cotton, but a wool or acrylic is good. You will need Red, Yellow, White and Green. You will also need 2 4mm DPNs and a sewing needle for wool.
For the Hat:
Using the long tail cast on and Red, CO 95sts.
Gt st 2 rows.
Begin st st, starting with a K row, adding a Yellow ‘seed’ every now and then on a K row, weaving the yarn in the back of your work.
Continue in this way until your work measures 10cm.
Begin decrease: (K8, K2tog) across your work, K any remaning sts.
Purl every alternate row.
(K7, K2tog), repeat across
(K6, K2tog), repeat across
Continue decreasing in this way until the (K3, K2tog), change to white on this row.
(K2, K2tog), repeat across
(K1, K2tog), repeat across
Break yarn, with a wool needle, gather all of the remaining sts by taking the yarn through the centre of the stitches, pull tight and fasten off.
Sew the side seam.
For the Brim:
With Green and a 4mm crochet hook, pick up 90sts from the 2nd gtst row on the inside of the hat. You do this by inserting the hook into the knitted stitch and pull the green thread through, as if you were working from a foundation chain in crochet.
Using a single crochet st, make 2 rounds.
decrease by (sc 8, sc 2tog) rep to end.
(sc 7, sc 2tog) rep to end.
sc for another 4 rounds or until you reach the desired length.
For the Leaves:
Using Green and 2 4mm double pointed needles,
CO 2 sts
P1, M1, P1
K1, yo, K1, yo, K1
and every alternate row P
K2, yo, K1, yo K2
K3, yo, K1, yo, K3
continue in this way until
K7, yo, K1, yo, K7
K2tog, K6, yo, K1, yo. K6, K2tog
work this row 2 times more, remembering to Purl alternate rows.
(K2tog)x2, K9, (K2tog)x2
(K2tog)x2, K5, (K2tog)x2
(K2tog)x2, K1, (K2tog)x2
K2tog, K1, K2tog
Leave the final st on a spare needle.
Repeat this pattern 2 times more so you have 3 leaves.
Place all 3 leaves on a dpn, you will now work an I-cord to create the stalk. If you are not sure how to do this, there is a YouTube link above.
K3, do not turn work, simply slip the 3 sts to the other end of your dpn and K3 again.
Continue in this way until your stalk is the desired length.
K3tog. Fasten off.
I found it easier to press my leaves before sewing the on to the top of the hat.
If you have any problems with any part of this pattern, please feel free to get in touch.