Saturday, 11 July 2015

Eleanor's Pattern of the Weeeeeeeeeeeek - 4336

I had no choice this week. My hands were tied.

The response to this pattern has just been MASSIVE! It's pattern number 4336 and it's the hat I'm specifically talking about (even though I feel sorry for all the other amazing patterns that are being ignored because of the immense beauty of this hat).

Introducing King Cole 4336.

It's definitely the pattern that made me get this Raffia yarn - not that there was much doubt seeing as it's so different to everything else in the shop I was almost certainly going to get it, but this definitely solidified the decision. And then I got scared. Would I look like a twat?

The answer is almost certainly yes but BUGGER IT! I did calm my colour choice down a little, I was going to go for the Marine (which is just the most beautiful combination of blues, turquoises and navies) but I went for the ... Black... instead. I know, I know. I'm a a scaredycat. Mum says I can only wear it to funerals but I wore it on the bus yesterday and to the theatre (with a long black dress) and nobody died and nobody got buried so I guess I can wear it whenever I want!

So, I really need to talk top tips today. Like really. The crochet it pretty simple. I suggest that you look out for the increases - it's a sneaky bugger of a pattern, making you think you're doing one thing and then suddenly changing to do another but I think I'm probably the only one here arrogant enough to think that I can look at a photo and get it right straight away, I imagine everybody else here would at least cast a glance over the pattern. Haha. 5mm hook and three balls of the beautiful yarn (and it really does have to be this yarn, soz folks). Dead simple. But when it's finished it looks like this:

Which is great, but deffo not the look that we're going for when we choose that hat pattern. Haha.

The key here is steam. I can't believe I'm going to write a blog about ironing - my mum would crease! (Haha see what I did there???). I used to work at a dry cleaners believe it or not, for a good couple of years I cleaned and ironed and steamed and pressed other peoples' dirty, stinking, fetid clothes (including Dawn French's. Hers were not dirty, stinking or fetid). It left me with a deep love of steaming and pressing but a deep loathing of ironing as we know it. The presses that are used in that professional (barely) setting are just so different. But we use what we can.

So I set myself up with a towel over a cupboard - because who wants to bother with an ironing board. That'd be an extra 60 seconds before I got to steam my hat into submission.

I thought I'd start by shaping my hat over a bowl but it turns out the only bowl in my house that was small enough to fit in my hat was far too bloody small.... So I set my iron onto the highest temperature with plenty of water and pressed the steam button lots so it was all flowing through nicely. I didn't touch the top of the hat just steamed around it *pouf pouf pouf*, put the iron down and then put it on my head. It shouldn't be so hot with a domestic iron that it hurts. If it does.... stop doing it?? I can't be held responsible for that stupidity. Ha. Maybe find somebody with lots of hair if you're balding though... ;) I used my hands to pull it down and straight and round. Then I did that again and again until I was happy with the shape (that doesn't take very long).

The brim is the magic bit. Magic.

This is where we start.

So, I began by finding the beginning of my round. You probably won't need to because it will be so obvious but it's good to have a starting point. I placed the iron gingerly on the fabric (no need to be ginger about it, this is Raffia and it's as strong as cotton I've found), pressed the steam button and hey presto! Keep the iron moving - that's a tip from the professionals. Not necessarily fast but get used to keeping it moving then nothing gets burned. Use your free hand to swivel the hat around and with firm but not heavy pressure and lots and lots of steam keep flattening those bumpy bits out.

Can you see where I've been???

Once you've finished all of this it'll look something like this: 

Or even something like this:

Veeeeeeeery floppy. Now I think you could leave it like this actually. It's very seventies and even my mum liked it. But I went ahead and starched the hell out of it:

Spray starch because I'm not an idiot. £1.50 from the market, don't know how much it'd be elsewhere or where else you might get it. Wilkos??? 

I've been asked a lot about how to use spray starch. Basically, follow the instructions. You spray it where you want it then iron it on. Then spray again and iron it on. And again and again. My biggest tip here is to keep the iron moving. If it stops anywhere it will stick and you'll get little white bits - you can get them off by rubbing with a damp cloth but it's better not to get them in the first place. So once I'd done that it looked something like this:

So stiff I could rest my tippex on it. Boom.

Only, I woke up the next day and it was rather.... flopsidaiscal. Hence the video above... So I'm going to revert to the original plan which was to mix half and half PVA and water and brush that on and let it dry. That might need to be redone once or twice but should be a lot longer lasting. I wanted to leave the starch bit on here though just in case you wanted nice crispy pyjamas because it really works for that and I wouldn't recommend PVA there...

Anyway, I went to the open air theatre yesterday to see The Three Musketeers by the Illyria theatre group. It was bloody fantastic! I love open air theatre. If you get the chance to go, GO! Anyway, I was going to get really good photos but we got lost and only just caught the beginning so there was no time before and by the time half time came I was drunk. Obvs. That's the only reason I like open air theatre. I did get some beautiful photos on the stage with the hat and a box of wine though:

Me. This will have to do for the yoga pose today. We call that extended wino position. Very relaxing.

 Heather. Who should totes be a model.

And D'Artagnan (thanks for that Aurelie... my spelling last night was... memorable...). 

And that's that! Since I got it up on t'internet we've sold out of the pattern though. Haha. So I shouldn't really post that today but I'll make sure to get lots more in this week. Don't worry! Once more for the google rankings: King Cole 4336.

I'm off to suffer the consequences of my debauchery in a suitably stoic manner. 

Love Eleanor. xxxx


  1. I love Illyria, must see if they are at Newstead Abbey this year. Now can I make a hat in time!

    1. Ahaha! We should all go and see them with a version of this hat! They'll love it!