Friday, December 16, 2011

A Review of 30s Cloche Hat

Have you ever looked for that hat that was "just the right one?"

I began a search for hats over on Ravelry a week ago after my craft show. I got an order for one hat I had. The story the woman told was touching - I wanted to send along a second hat with her order. A bonus hat.

The color she requested was "somewhere between blue and green" followed by her pointing to a crazy lime green ornament on a nearby wreath. I don't know about you, but lime green has never been somewhere between blue and green. When I went out that night to grab yarn for the order, I held lime green in hand - but I knew that hat she ordered would not look good in lime green. I knew it. So what do I do?

I made an executive decision to make her hat in a more blue-green color available in Lion Brand. The hat she wanted was a solid color slouch and I knew the yarn would be soft enough, thick enough, and just the right color for the pattern. I also knew that I was going to send her a second hat to accommodate for the lime green request - I just didn't know what.

I came home with 1 skein of each color. I finished off her ordered hat quickly and knew it looked good. She would enjoy it. But the lime green - ugh!

Off to Ravelry I went when I found the 30's Cloche Hat by Ilse Dethune. The locations of the pattern are as follows:

- Ravelry Link:
- Ilse's Blog Link:

Once I laid my eyes on this pattern I knew it would work for the lime green I had sitting on the table next to me. The white would be the perfect balance and the bow would break up the color wonderfully. I got to work.

Since originally finding this pattern 6 days ago, I have made THREE. Yup, that's right - three! I am really enjoying the pattern.

As I said, the balance of white and the alternate color really play well for this hat. Overall the pattern is very easy to read; however, I'm not a fan of how the color changes are written into the pattern. The first time I made the pattern I was hesitant and questioned when to do my color changes. By the third, I was more comfortable working my way down to the first stripe without the pattern. Granted, if the color change was distinct between the rows rather than noting it at the end of the last row of the working color, I think the pattern would be a little more "beginner friendly" than it is now.

In addition to when the color changes are written into the pattern, the pattern on the blog does not share what type of yarn should be used and what hook size. This is an oversight, I'm sure, as the information is found on the Ravelry summary page for the pattern. Like all patterns, because I am a tight crocheter, I had to use 1 hook size larger than what is recommended to get an adult size. I did flub on the second cloche and made it with the recommended size H hook. I am a tight crocheter and it came about sized for a child. OOPS on my part. I knew better. This was my fault.

The use of the white at the top striping down into another color allows for more color options, especially for those who like bright, vibrant colors ... like lime green. A hat made in a solid block of a vivid color can be hard visually; however, the white breaks it up nicely and really allows the brighter color to take front stage. Having the splash of white in the bow was a smart move as well - breaking up that bright color asymmetrically, making the hat more visually appealing. I do not think I'd push the limits in making the top color anything but white or off-white. Perhaps the top color could be anything if the bottom part was made in black - I don't know. I may play with that one later, but right now I'm enjoying just having the white on top.

The last piece of the pattern is the bow. While the bow portion of the cloche works, it is not the best bow that I've made. I defaulted to my standard bow for the second and third and like them much better. I prefer a more 3D bow rather than the 2D option offered in the pattern. I can also make my bow a little larger. This, of course, does not go against the pattern review simply because I did make the one provided in the pattern and it turned out fine. My personal preference has nothing to do with how this pattern was written.

Overall I really enjoy this pattern and can definitely say I'd make it again - because I have! I will be making more in various colors (white + another color). I think there are several modification possibilities to spice up each cloche made - such as my weaving a white strand of yarn around the base of the hat (top of the brim) to make the brim pop a little more visually. I think this hat could be embellished with several items outside a cute lil bow and still look classy and brings back memories of the 20s and 30s.

I would recommend this pattern to anyone from level 2 beginner and up.

My rating? 4.5 balls of yarn.

So what did the customer think? She LOVED both hats.


florencefrazier2002 said...

Cool!  I make a lot of cloches for my cancer center.  They make a nice cover for someone who has lost their hair.  Thanks for the review, may have to go try that one out.

Cris said...

That was the exact reason for these hats - someone going through chemo - I really do like making this one and it works up relatively quickly.

vikki hooks said...

Wow..I like this hat..I am going to have to make one or two..thanks for sharing..and you do lovely work by the way..

Cris said...

I really do like this hat (and already have another on the hook!) - and thank you for the compliment!

Anonymous said...


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