I exaggerate when I say “protips.” I hope I haven’t raised any expectations too high >_<.
I’ve said many times before that I really enjoy crocheting for my dolls, particularly hats! They make for quick projects, and unless I am trying out a new pattern, I can make the doll hat by memory. There are many resources for crochet patterns for dolls, but even so, sometimes it’s hard to find a pattern for exactly what you are looking for in a hat. Although there are tons of hat styles for people (newsboy, baseball cap, bucket hat, beanie, tam, beret, skull cap, etc), not all of these have been translated to pattern or scaled down to fit Blythe dolls. I’m not an expert at crocheting, or pattern adjusting, but I do have a few tips that I think might be helpful for fellow blythe-loving crocheters. Most of my tips will have to do with playing around with gauge.
Technical definition for Gauge as provided by Lion Brand website:
Gauge is usually defined in the pattern by a ratio of stitches and rows to a given measurement such as 16 stitches and 14 rows in single crochet = 4″. You should always work a swatch of fabric (approximately 4″ x 4″) in the stitch pattern of the piece you are making.
A pattern will instruct you to use a certain weight of yarn and a specific hook size to achieve a set size for the finished product. Sometimes, the pattern may recommend the user to create a swatch to make sure the correct gauge is achieved, and if not, the user should adjust their hook or yarn until the recommended gauge can be recreated.
Who has time for this???
My approach to achieving the gauge I want is more trial and error and may even cost me more time. Lol. Mostly, if the pattern I am using is for a hat that would be slightly too big for a blythe, I will use a smaller hook, or a smaller hook and slightly thinner yarn, as opposed to adjusting the number of stitches in the pattern. I find this to be more simple than dissecting the pattern and making changes to the stitches and rows. I want to reiterate that this type of adjusting works best on hat patterns that are slightly too big for blythe dolls. I wouldn’t try this on a hat pattern for an adult human, and expect it to fit my blythe doll (at least not without struggling first).
American Girl hat patterns will fit Blythe
I say this with relative certainty, though I believe that the circumference of American Girl doll heads are a bit bigger than Blythe heads. I’ve made several Blythe sized hats for a coworker’s daughter’s American Girl doll, and they fit well. The beauty of crocheted hats is that they have a good deal of stretch to them. When testing an American Girl doll hat pattern to create a Blythe sized hat, I might suggest a slightly smaller hook to achieve a snugger fit.
American Girl dolls are more prolific than Blythe dolls in America, and they have a stronger presence in the media, being very popular with kids and adult collectors. There are many hat patterns out there specifically for AG dolls.
Take advantage of baby hat patterns
The two hats on the right were both made from baby hat patterns. The number of baby hat patterns dwarfs the number of Blythe hat patterns, no contest. Of course, a baby’s head will most likely be considerably bigger than a Blythe’s head, so this is where I suggest being experimental with gauge. To be quite honest, using smaller hooks or thinner yarn isn’t a guarantee that the baby hat pattern will translate well as a Blythe hat. I’ve run into quite a few problems with proportions, because let’s face it, I can’t think of any baby whose head is shaped remotely like a Blythe’s head (wide face, yet very flat head…). However, when the hat comes out to be a success, you have a pattern you can add to your repertoire! And, you’re able to add variety to your Blythe doll wardrobe.
Note that you may have to do some technical adjusting by shortening the hat (maybe cutting out some repeat rows in the middle of the hat). A Blythe’s head is not as long as a baby’s.
Subtopic protip – Preemie hats!
Sometimes baby hat patterns will also offer instructions for several sizes. For preemie baby hat patterns, the pattern will often segregate the sizes by baby weight or by head circumference. Blythe dolls would fall into the 3-4lb baby sizing. This takes a lot of the guess work out of making adjustments.
Make sure to have a volunteer(s)
By this I mean, have one of your girls handy for intermittent fittings while crocheting. I usually place the would-be hat on my doll’s head after every row past the 4th or 5th row. I can generally tell if a hat is going to be too big, and sometimes I try salvaging my efforts by strategically placing some decreases. Also, the frequent modeling can help with determining hat length.
I hope this helps anyone looking to crochet hats for their Blythes. In my opinion, Blythe dolls’ heads are practically made for hats with how oversized they are compared to their bodies. Crocheting for my dolls is a big part of how I enjoy this hobby, and I know how frustrating it is to have limited pattern resources.
Happy crocheting ^^.