Introduction: "Fantastic Beasts" Inspired Cloche Hat

About: Teacher by day, nerd by night!

Did you love "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"?

And did you love Porpentina's glorious hat!

Here is a pattern for the hat she wore on the streets of 1920's New York. Clearly I cannot give you the pattern for a hat that transports you back in time, or gives magical powers.... but this hat is stylish and warm, which I am sure is a good thing....

You will need:

  • Basic knitting skills and the ability to knit in the round
  • 5.5mm circular knitting needles
  • 2 x 50gm balls of black DK yarn - this needs to be pure wool (or felted wool for best results)
  • 1 x ball of dark grey DK yarn - this needs to be wool, but you don't need a full ball of it.
  • Darning needle
  • Stitch markers
  • Hot water, bucket and spray bottle for water
  • Dryer access
  • Safety pins and regular pins
  • Foam head (or something round like a bowl to help shape the top of the hat as it drys)
  • Towels

Step 1: Step 1: Knitting the Black Base Cloche Hat

Cast on 130 stitches in black on your circular needles (and join in the round).

Row 1: Knit 1, purl 1 in a repeat over the whole rotation. Place a stitch marker at the start of the row. This will be handy later.

Row 2: Purl 1, knit 1 in a repeat over the whole rotation. This creates a seed stitch brim of the hat that lies flat.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 three times (for a total of 6 rows).

On row 7: Knit 2 together, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1. Repeat this process 15 times. Seed stitch the remaining stitches on the rotation (purl 1, knit 1, etc). You should now have 115 stitches on your needles. I actually placed 15 stitch markers over the whole length to do this step so that I didn't have to keep counting stitches.

Row 8-13: Complete Rows 1 and 2 three more times (for another 6 rows).

Row 14: Knit 2 together, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1. Repeat this process 15 times. You should now have 100 stitches on your needles.

Row 15-21: Complete Rows 1 and 2 three more times (for another 6 rows).

You have now shaped the brim of your hat. Now is smooth sailing.

Knit 44 rows in regular knit stitches. This forms a very smooth surface on your cloche.

Now we shape the top of the hat.

45: Knit 3, knit 2 together - repeat over the whole row decreasing stitches.

46: Knit whole row

47: Knit 2, knit 2 together over the whole row

48: Knit whole row

49: Knit 1, knit 2 together over the whole row

50: Knit whole row

51: Knit 2 together over the whole row

52: Knit whole row

53: Knit 2 together over the whole row

54: Knit whole row

Cut yarn, leaving 30cm, thread all stitches onto the yarn, pull to tighten.

You now have a plain black, somewhat unusual hat that looks too big.

Step 2: Step 2: Adding in the Dark Grey Stripe

Knitting on the grey stripe is a little tricky to begin... but you will be fine.

Count 20 rows from the top of the brim, up the knit stitch section.

As shown in the photo, pick up 100 stitches along this row.

Knit 20 rows in grey from this point.

Cast off you stitches.

Now you have a massive looking hat that leaves you uninspired. It will get better from this point on. DO NOT DARN IN ANY ENDS AT THIS POINT!

Next you will do all the things you aren't supposed to do to wool.

Step 3: Step 3: Blocking (and Doing Bad Things to Yarn...)

Okay, this set of steps sounds mental if you do a lot of knitting.........

Fill a bucket with the hottest water your hands can handle. And add wool wash or soap to the water.

Take your hat, soak it, wring it, squeeze it, mistreat it, crush it into the hot water. Rinse the hat off in warm water.

Use a towel and remove excess water.

Now, drape the hat over either a foam head, or an upturned bowl sitting on a stack of bean cans. You just need the round shape. I like to put a handtowel under the hat, and above the foam to dry from the inside also.

Pin your hat down to the form or the towel. Pin the grey section down flat, and pin part of the brim up to the grey area at the front of the hat. Allow the hat to dry. This takes about 24 hours, depending on how dry the air is, how wet the wool is, etc.

When it is dry, you will still have a hat that is too big, but the wool will all be sitting right.

Stitch the grey section down (shown in the photos) to the top of the brim. Darn in your tails at this point.

Using saftey pins (I like coloured ones, but they all work) pin the front of the brim upwards. And take a deep breath.

Now.... take a spray bottle of water. Wet the hat again. Wet the inside and the outside. You want the hat wet, but not dripping.

And..... throw it in the dryer on full heat. If you are feeling anxious about this step, check the hat every 5 minutes. Remember how big the hat was when you put it in, and try to surrender to the process.

When the hat is dry, it will be smaller, and more felted. Feel free to repeat this process as often as you like, or as often as you dare. Eventually you will have a hat that the yarn is felted together, and the hat is smaller than when you made it. Always put it on your head, the foam head or on top of an upturned bowl when it comes out of the dryer, just to help it keep the round shape.

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