Switching Brims for Your Own Tastes
I had this epiphany this morning over brims and crochet hats. I know what you are thinking. “Gee Mikey, that hamster in your head took the long route to ring your bell!”
So I am on this kick of making crochet hat tutorials for our Mikey Magazine. Many of the latest hats I have had to work from the brim to the top. Typically, I do hats that work from the top to the brim.
So what I am seeing with these latest hats, the brim has to be done first and then the top builds onto the brim. Usually, and I am just being honest here, I’ve not been a fan of these types of hats but have changed my opinion based on the latest versions of hats.
Last night, I was working on a tutorial sample and it’s yet another style of brim that I haven’t done before. The advantage to doing the brims separately is that the work allows you to do ribbing and elastic type brims verses crocheting around and around from the very top.
In the past few weeks, I have done the following types of brims.
- Slip Stitching Brims – Takes a while and the elasticity is fabulous and looks like knitting.
- Single Crochet Brims – Back loops only to create the ribbing.
- Half Double Crochet Brims – Using the horizontal bar.
- Double Crochet Brims – Back loops only to create ribbing
Two Commonalities I’ve Noticed
- Not all of the brim lengths are the same size for length for the same size hat. What’s up with that?
- All of the brims says to work in a particular number of stitches around the side of the brim when you are ready to do the top.
The different types of stitch techniques have different elastic properties. So therefore, your finished unstretched brim has to be different lengths. Crocheters know that once you stretch a non-stretch crochet project, it won’t come back. So the ribbing allows the project brim to maintain an elastic property.
Head Size Reference Guide
According to our Jeanne, we have a reference guide of head sizes for the human body.
Examples of Different Types of Brims
You can click on the pics to get the free patterns.
According to our guide, the average woman’s head is about 22″ in circumference. Each of these types of brims have there own elasticity so you need to stop at a certain length so you don’t make your brim too large.
From left to right.
- Houndstooth Hat – Uses Single Crochet Back Loops Only. Crochet a non stretched brim of 19″. It’s 3″ short of the typical 22″
- 5 Star Beanie – Uses Slip Stitching Rows for Maximum Elasticity. Crochet a non stretched brim of only 18″. It’s 4″ short of the typical 22″.
- Going Dotty Hat – Half Double Crochet on Horizontal Bar. Crochet a non-stretched brim of 21″. It’s 1″ short of the typical 22″
- Do the Twist Hat – Uses Slip Stitching Rows for Maximum Elasticity. Crochet a non stretched brim of only 18″. It’s 4″ short of the typical 22″.
So crocheters write me, complaining about the type of brim that they don’t want that type of brim that is assigned to a pattern. So I came to realize this morning that the brim can be switched easily as long as you understand the stretching properties.
This new thought in my brain, which I know may be old school for some of you, is a great idea for those crocheters who would like to change up something. Usually it’s the body of the hat that attracts a crocheter and the brim is secondary. So if you find a pattern of a hat where the body is like solid gold but the brim is road kill, you can use this knowledge and switch your brims out so that you have a hat you absolutely love.
For example, I could give the Going Dotty Hat the same brim as the 5 Star Beanie. I just have to ensure I get the correct number of the first round of the body of the hat correct for stitch counts. All of these patterns say to equally space a set number of stitches to the brim. This means the brim is interchangeable.
If your brim is too big for you before you do the body of that hat, it’s going to be too big once you are done. So the trick is to have a secure brim without being too tight and not too loose that the hat will slip down as you wear it.