Sunday, March 23, 2014

Heirloom Bonnet

My Own Original Pattern - and a work of trial and error at that.

It's been a long time since I've knitted anything out of tiny, #10 cotton crochet thread.  For the past few years I've fallen in love with such a range of fluffy and soft, colorful wools.  And spinning!

It took me awhile to get back in the groove of knitting lace from cotton thread.  My last project was a christening or blessing gown.  It's been three and a half years since I finished my daughter's blessing gown - which I discovered a month ago - still fits her!!  Crazy!  I need to take some pictures of that!

My fingers had some remembering to do.  I started a bonnet, but didn't like my tension, and had to rip and restart it a few times.  Then I got into the groove, and didn't like my pattern.  I decided to bravely create my own pattern- probably a first time for me.  It was a bit scary.

I finished it, and all that was left was to sew one seam up in the spiral back. Hand-sewing is an art unto itself, and a difficult one.  In my woolen knits, seams are easier to hide, but I was so unhappy with my hand seam on this bonnet that I snipped my knot at the bottom in order to rip the seam and sew it again.

Only oops!

I didn't cut my seam.  I cut into my knitting.  Of course, I didn't notice this until I had pulled on the threads for awhile.

I ended up with a big hole.

I had to rip all the way back to my edging and begin again.  Then the thought occured to me, that I could have just knit the back in the round and I'd have avoided that stupid seam in the first place!!!

So, take four or five or six.

I ended up with a better pattern because of my mistakes.  My notes are here in Ravelry but I will probably make another bonnet and write out actual step-by-step directions from my notes.

What I ended up at the end was a shape-less mass of lace.  As always, and most especially with cotton thread, it needed some blocking in order to look good.  Creative blocking can also come in handy, since you are able to somewhat control the size of the item you are making.  I knew when it came off the needles that this bonnet was too big for baby's head.

So, I washed it by hand.  And scary yes, chucked it into the dryer.  It came out great.  Stitches nice and even, and about two sizes smaller than it was before.  I needed to flatten the lace points in the edging, but didn't want to re-wet the whole bonnet and stretch it back out again, so I lightly misted only the lace points, and then pinned it flat to dry.

And Viola!  An heirloom.  My favorite way to give away a lace bonnet is to frame it up as in the top picture. Usually it's not too hard to find a good frame, and the recipient can take it out to use it, and the rest of the time it becomes nursery decor.

I knitted some booties to match.  I figured I'd try my hand at designing my own pattern there too, but alas, that didn't work out, and I followed the directions from a book.  

I love spiral backs in baby bonnets!

And the shadow of lace.  Makes me smile.

Sharing with:

Frontier Dreams Keep Calm Craft On
And Ginny's Yarn Along
And Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday


  1. Wow! Such amazing work and what treasures you've made. (and I so admire your strength to rip out and block to make your hat right!) Thanks for sharing...Aloha, Lori

  2. I'm just getting ready to crochet my first baby bonnet, so when I saw yours on Small Things Yarn Along I had to take a closer look. It's beautiful and you did a wonderful job. Unraveling is, unfortunately, par for the course when designing. I just had to do that with an entire poncho. :( I invite you to share your creation at my Friday link party for all things yarny and crafty at

  3. oh my, that little bonnet is gorgeous! I would love to have any future babies of mine were something like that for Baptism!

  4. Oh, that sounds like so much frustration. I have to admit, I would have given up after cutting into the work. Good for you, for carrying on with determination. The end result is perfection, and in the frame! It will be treasured, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing.