At this time of year the weather is cold, wet and sometimes snowy, and watching the Winter Olympics has got me thinking about wrapping up warm. So this week my thoughts have turned to making a nice cosy knitted hat to keep my head warm without having to spend a fortune on a trendy hat on the high street. You may already have the skills to be able to knit your own beanie, but I’m a novice knitter so I used a plain grey beanie hat that I already had in my ‘winter-wear’ box. Although it does the job of keeping me warm, it’s not particularly on-trend and, quite frankly, a bit boring for me. A light-bulb pinged on in my head that I could just add a little knitted bow or a couple of contrasting pom-poms to my hat in order to funk it up and make it unique – and for a fraction of the cost of a store-bought hat! You could pick up a second-hand beanie hat from a charity shop or car boot sale to work your magic on or ask around to see if any of your family have an old one they no longer need that you could upcycle.
You will need: Wool, knitting needles, darning needle, hat, scissors
To make the bow: Cast on a row of 10 or 12 stitches and continue to knit a length (like a thin scarf) which is approximately the width of your hat. Cast off and fold the length in half. Use the darning needle to stitch the ends together and turn the loop inside out. With the stitched ends in the centre of the bow, wrap a length of wool around the centre to make the middle of the bow and tuck the end in. Use more wool and the darning needle to stitch the bow to the hat. I wanted quite a big bow in a matching colour but you can easily make a smaller bow or recreate it in a brightly coloured wool.
I’d recommend watching a step-by-step video on how to knit this bow, which includes instructions for casting on and off as well as stitching the bow together, which my friend and fellow blogger Laurie’s has made – here’s the link to her knitting tutorial video on YouTube. If you would like to make a smaller bow (just like Laurie has in the video, which can be used as a brooch or hair clip too!) simply reduce the length of the knitting or choose a smaller size of knitting needle.
To make the pom-poms: Wrap the wool around your hand until it is thick and puffy. Slide the loop of wool off your hand and wrap a piece of wool around the centre, pulling it tight and knotting it in the middle, leaving the ends trailing. Use the scissors to cut through the looped ends of the pom-pom and fluff it out. Thread the trailing ends of the central piece of wool through the darning needle and stitch it to the hat, either on the top, or use a second pom-pom on the sides to create ‘ears’!
You can use matching wool or contrasting colours for your bows and pom-poms. Let me know if you have a go at making your own DIY woolly embellishments to make unique accessories – and why not give them as gifts to your friends? They will love to receive a personalized hat that no one else will have – plus the amount of time and love you have put into embellishing the hat will show them how much they mean to you!
I am a volunteer DIY blogger for Oxfam and I’m sharing this step-by-step tutorial over on the Oxfam Fashion blog too – plus there are plenty more excellent thrifty fashion projects by all the other lovely Oxfam bloggers so please check it out!