May 31, 2015

Quick Gift: The Beard Face Warmer and Beanie Hat

While browsing various crochet patterns online one day before Christmas 2014, my son-in-law glanced over and spotted some beard face warmers.  He said, "Oh, wow!  That's cool!"

It's a happy time to learn of something that someone really likes.  What-to-gift problem, solved!

The thing was to find one that fit his personality and that met my criteria:   it needed to look "beard-y", but be practical enough to actually be wearable and would fit right.  It also had to be a free pattern because it was a lean year - I was cash poor, but fortunately, yarn-stash rich!

Sifting through all the ones I could find via Ravelry, Pinterest and Google searches brought forth a lot of cute, and even quite elaborate ones, but none were quite "it".

Different ones had a particular element or look that I liked, so I put them together and came up with this.  And, shame on me BIG time, I didn't write it down!  But you can probably scrumble up one of your own with these notes - they're easy to do!
  • Check out some of the free patterns graciously offered by a number of kind folks:
    • If you belong to Ravelry, pattern-search there for "beards", and check the "crochet" box under the "Personalize" heading.  (If you don't belong to Ravelry, for goodness sakes, sign up; it's free, no spam and oh my, so much wonderfulness)!
    • Do a web search for "free beard crochet patterns".
  • This beard does not attach to the hat.  It has a loop on each side that goes up around the ears.  However, one with a button on it, that buttons onto the hat would also work.
  • Using a pattern that is basically the way you like, begin with the stitch counts it offers.
  • If your giftee has a full beard already (like mine did) you can make it cup out more by adding more stitch increases in the rows.  Add more length as necessary to cover under the chin/neck.
  • I used 2 strands of Caron Simply Soft yarn held together, as it is a fairly thin worsted, or you can use a bulky weight yarn for the "fullness" look.
  • Add enough width to the beard to go up into sideburns; the sideburns help cover the yarn chain that goes over the ears to hold the beard on.
  • Use a yarn needle to thread yarn through next-to-bottom row; pull yarn to gather the bottom to “cup” the beard inward and shape to the face.
  • Attach the ear-chain-loop about two rows down from the top of the side-burn, and then close to the bottom of beard; this holds and pulls the beard weight even so it will stay up and not ride down with movement/talking.
  • To get the texture, work totally random throughout beard:
    • (sc in st, dc in next st) repeats, with 
    • (tr in st, hdc in next st) and 
    • (tr in st, sc in next st) and 
    • (tr in st, sl st in next st) mixed in.  
    • When working from the right side, push the bobbles these stitches make to the right side.  When working from the wrong side, the bobbles come out on the right side, so they're okay.
    • When working the mustache, use sl sts to make the "dip" under the nose.

Use any hat pattern you like.  The one I used is a free pattern, the Northern Stripes Beanie.

He was surprised that I made this for him - my daughter says he wore it constantly!

And THAT makes me a happy crocheter!


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