So, how do I stay warm and still use my smartphone, mp3 player, or other personal electronic device without having to hold them? How do I keep my necessary information readily available without pockets, purses or other carriers? Enter the I-Hat (pronounced Eye-Hat). The I-Hat is a warm, wearable, cold weather hat that has interior and exterior pockets for personal electronics. A variety of electronics can be carried in the pockets, limited only by your imagination and head size.
The I-Hat starts life as a crocheted hat. An interior pocket is made and attached to store ear buds, Bluetooth headsets, in-ear headsets, microphones, or cables. From this pocket cable plugs can be fed through the hat to the external pockets holding the electronic devices. The pocket can hold the excess wiring to keep it out-of-the-way and hidden. This instructable details construction of the I-Hat using crochet, however, this I-Hat can also be made on a generic knitted pattern, or even sewn from fleece or other material. All the electronic components can also be removed and the I-Hat can be worn as just ... a hat.
Now let's go make your own I-Hat...
Step 1: The I-Hat Materials
Yarn - single color, multi-color, worsted weight to bulky, your choices are unlimited. The amount of yarn needed is based on the weight of yarn that you use, size of hat and number of pockets. For the hat shown, I used approximately 8 oz. of a bulky yarn, with a few oz. of another color of the same type of yarn.
Crochet hook – Size will be based on the yarn. For the hat shown, I used a size K hook.
Stitch marker – This can be a purchased stitch marker or just a 3 inch piece of yarn of a different color laid on top of the last stitch.
Yarn needle, if pockets are to be sewn in.
Half double crochet (hdc) – With loop on hook, yarn over hook, insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook and pull through the stitch (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on hook. Stay relaxed, don't pull yarn tightly. This stitch is between the size of a single crochet stitch and a double crochet stitch.
Single crochet (sc) – With loop on hook, insert hook into next stitch, yarn over hook and pull through the stitch (2 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook. Stay relaxed, don't pull yarn tightly.
Step 2: Make the I-Hat
Make the I-Hat:
Starting Round: Make a slip stitch or magic circle. Chain 2, in first chain do enough hdc to form a complete, flat circle of hdc. Do not join. Place a stitch marker.
Round 1: In the first hdc of the starting round do 2 hdc, then 2 hdc in each hdc of the starting round until stitch marker. Move stitch marker to this point.
Round 2: Hdc in first hdc of previous row, * 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next stitch *, repeat from * until stitch marker, move stitch marker up to this row.
Round 3: Hdc in first 2 hdc of previous row, * 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches *, repeat from * until stitch marker, move stitch marker up to this row.
Round 4: Hdc in first 3 hdc of previous row, * 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 3 stitches *, repeat from * until stitch marker, move stitch marker up to this row.
Round 5: Hdc in first 4 hdc of previous row, * 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next 4 stitches *, repeat from * until stitch marker, move stitch marker up to this row.
Continue rows, increasing one stitch less per section in each row until the circle is approximately the circumference of the head size. This part of the hat should be relatively flat. For the following rows, do NOT increase any stitches. The rows will start to “cup” and will make the sides of the hat. If you find, at this point, that the hat may be a bit too big you can hdc 2 stitches together to decrease the size. Do not do this too frequently or it will distort the hat. Keep trying on the hat to assure it is the correct size. Continue crocheting until there are enough rows to cover the head and to make the brim of the hat. Finishing: At this point, do 1 single crochet, then insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook and pull through, cut yarn leaving about 2 inches of yarn, pull yarn through the through the loopon hook, pull tight to end, weave the yarn through stitches to hide the end. Flip brim up.
Step 3: The I-Hat Pockets - Interior Pocket
There is one main interior pocket. It is a crocheted square that is mounted on the inside top of the hat, covering the starting row and a few additional rows of the hat. This pocket will contain the ear buds, cords, bluetooth headphones and/or other components.
Starting Row: Using the main color/hat color yarn, start with a slip stitch and chain a length that will cover your interior component. I was using ear buds so I carefully folded the cord and plug and ear buds to guesstimate the size. The chain ended up being approximately 3 inches long. Turn. Hdc in 3rd chain from hook, and in each chain across. Chain 2, turn.
Row 2: Hdc in each stitch across. Chain 2, turn.
Continue hdc rows until the length is enough to cover your interior components. If crocheting the pocket in, do not fasten off. If sewing the pocket in with yarn needle, fasten off by cutting yarn approximately 20 inches from hook, pull yarn through last loop on hook and pull tight.
Attaching pocket: To crochet pocket in, position pocket to cover starting rows of the hat itself. Insert hook gently into an interior loop of yarn, yarn over and pull through loop and hook. Continue loose slip stitches around 3 sides of the pocket and across a few stitches of the 4th side. Fasten off. Enclosing part of the 4th side helps keep items in the pocket. If sewing the pocket in with the yarn needle, thread needle with the long length of yarn and whip stitch 3 sides and a few stitches of the 4th side, being careful to only use interior loops of yarn for the whip stitches. A whip stitch is basically inserting needle into interior loop of hat and the pocket, pull through, repeating to end and fastening with a slip knot. Keep stitches loose so the hat does not tighten or bunch up.
Step 4: The I-Hat Pockets - Exterior Pockets
You can have as many exterior pockets as you need or want. Remember, the weight of your electronics adds up. For this hat I wanted to carry an old cellphone, ipod, flash drive, and smart card. I made an exterior pocket for each, following the directions for the interior pocket, adjusting measurements by the size of the component. Position the pockets on the hat, some may be covered by the brim of the hat. If you want to help keep the component in the pocket a bit better your can even partially close the 4th side, as described above. However, no matter what you do, if you have larger, slippery components, such as a cellphone, if you lean over and look down there is a chance of that component slipping out of the pocket. You could even add buttons on the hat to button the pockets closed.
Step 5: The I-Hat - Finishing
Flip up your brim. Load your pockets. You can slide your plug to the outside of the hat and plug into the electronic component that you want to use. Pull down your ear buds, headphones, or microphone and enjoy hands free, head warm comfort. Great job, now make some more for friends and family.