Ishrat is named after the wonderful yarnie who created the yarn used in my sample hat.
A full set of instructions for Ishrat (from casting on the knittted hatband to seaming up the Tunisian Crochet crown) are available below (and for free on YouTube).
Not a fan of video patterns, or need a little more help?
Not to worry! I have you covered.
You’ll get a fully written pattern pdf free by either purchasing yarn from Ishrat over at Fruitful Fusion or by signing up to my mailing list.
Suggested Yarn: Fruitful Fusion Cashmere/Merino/Nylon sock
Yarn Weight: Light Fingering
Needle size: 4.5
Hook size: 6 mm (J)
Yardage: 310 – 330 yards (280 – 300 m)
Head Circumference: 53 cm / 21 in
(detailed instructions are given in pdf for increasing and decreasing hat size)
This Pattern is Perfect For:
1) Absolute Beginners to both Knitting or Tunisian Crochet
2) Knitters looking to upskill
3) Crocheters looking to show off
4) Bicraftual types
5) Anyone with a special skein of sock yarn lying around and a few hours to spare.
6) Anyone in need of a warmer head.
Tension: KNIT Garter Stitch (knit with 2 strands):
30 rows = 10 cm / 4 in
25 sts = 10 cm / 4 in
(Hat Band width = 4.5 cm / 1 ¾ ins)
TUNISIAN CROCHET Simple Stitch (crochet with 1 strand):
16 columns = 10 cm / 4 in
17 sts = 10 cm / 4 in
Notions: Blunt Darning Needle (Bodkin)
Optional Stitch Markers
Crochet terminology available in both US and UK variations
Why I chose this yarn:
When choosing a yarn to go with a pattern, I usually look first for a semi-solid/tonal yarn as I feel that works best both to showcase the gorgeous texture of Tunisian fabric and makes eyelets and more textured stitches really pop.
The tonality of a hand-dye compliments this look well, I feel.
Fruitful Fusion’s colourways drew me in in this respect. I decided to push the boat out a little, though, so I chose a speckled yarn for this hat. My thinking is that a small accessory such as a hat can pull off a more exuberant colourway than I’d select for a shawl.
Second, I look at fibre content.
Here, Fruitful Fusion had just the thing I was after.
I am a big fan of merino wool as it blocks well, wears well and once a piece comes off the blocking mats, relaxes just enough to add bounce to a finished garment. It’s a great all-rounder.
Pure cashmere is a challenge to block; it may look good while pinned to a foam mat, but once released it relaxes back considerably and obscures all your lace-making work. So, on its own, it’s not terribly suitable for lace work. But, choosing a yarn with a little of this fibre included ensures the yarn is perfect for wear around the neck and face. Rougher fibres might cause irritation on sensitive skin, but cashmere is soft as a cloud.
Finding a yarn with a little nylon added too makes sense. Both merino and cashmere can, at times, fluff and bobble, but a yarn blending in a speck of nylon usually wears better. I want this hat to look as good next winter as it will this winter.
Nylon, by the way, is a very common thing to find in sock yarns. In fact, it’s often the case that “sock” really translates as “has nylon in it”. It adds strength to the yarn and resists the tendency for softer fibres like merino and cashmere to wear thin with use.
Thirdly, it’s time to talk about yarn weight
Yarn “weight” refers to the thickness, or thinness of the yarn in question.
In this case, I’ve chosen a yarn that is a “light fingering”. Yea, I giggle at that too. Can’t help myself.
This is a primarily US term, but it is definitely making its way around the globe nowadays. If you can’t find any light fingering yarn in your area, try asking your LYS for a 3-ply yarn instead. It’s a very similar thickness. If all else fails, go in search of a yarn that is recommended for a little more or less than a 2 mm hook or needle.
So, yes, the recommended hook or needle size of this yarn is set at about 2 mm. But as Tunisian crochet can be very dense if you use the hook size on the ball band, and we want a softer, drapier fabric, we increase the hook size considerably to a 6 mm.
Seems like one heck of a leap, but the result is perfect.