If you watch Disney’s Robin Hood you would know that that fox says “oo-da-Lolly!” Speaking of that version of Robin Hood, did anyone else find themselves with a crush on a cartoon fox? It’s okay if you don’t admit it. I won’t judge you.
So why am I thinking about foxes? Well a few of my mommy friends asked if I can do animal hats. Well I’d never tried animal hats yet, but I was certainly up for the challenge. I’ve admired animal hats for a while. I also like the look of an earflap hat, so this was a win all around.
My first attempt was an owl hat. That animal had been specifically mentioned and I do remember seeing them around a little bit. So I searched through Ravelry’s pattern database (love that website) and ended up here, on Repeat Crafter Me’s blog. This lady is pretty much what I’d like to be if I ever grow up, just judging on the little I’ve seen.
So these hats start off easy enough. You just work through the basic beanie, add the earflaps, and then go onto the face. I decided to go with a newborn size. That way it uses the least amount of yarn if I don’t like it, and I have to pull out the least amount of stitches if I mess up. I also have a nice teal that I thought would be a cute accent color. It came together easily enough, earflaps included, but I don’t have a pic of just the basic hat. Bear with me.
I got the eyes all done and realize I only have huge black buttons here. So of course I had to try them out. Nope. Never. Not a good idea. It looks like my owl is a little delayed.
But he has potential!
Do you see another problem with this picture? That hat is absolutely tiny! That is my little fist in that hat, so you can see that that probably won’t fit a newborn anytime soon. So I left him be (because it was bedtime and I was wiped out) but promised I’d get him better fitting eyes the next day.
That’s better! Now the owl actually looks pretty good, I think! I showed him off to my mommy friends (they’re my sounding board right now and get to see all my stuff first) and someone asks about a fox. I have always loved foxes. I think they are one of the most beautiful animals and love how they are always the cunning, clever animal when they are portrayed. I figured it can’t be too hard to put some ears, eyes, and nose on a hat.
Since all of these were new to me, I really wanted to try them in different sizes. This time I went back to Repeat Crafter Me and found her child size. Now, I take that to mean a kid anywhere between 6 and 10. I have quite a few nephews in this age range that I thought I could use as models.
Going right from the owl to the fox was easy. It’s the same basic beanie, just a bit bigger. I got a really nice orangey brown and used white as the accent color. Now that’t I’ve finished it, I can see that I won’t be doing as many rows in the white next time.
But all in all, I think it looks great and I’m really happy to proceed with the face. But before I get to the eyes and snout, I want to tackle the ears. I need an outer ear and an inner ear. The toughest part for me is going to be getting the ears the same size. It took ear number 2 and 3 to get a good matching pair. I did the same basic concept of the earflaps, using a half double crochet stitch, decreasing every other row until it got down to 1 stitch, and then sc all the way around. I did the same for the inner ear in white, just started with 2 less stitches than the outer ear. I stitched the ears together using the orange yarn and set them aside to finish the face. I used the same eyes as the owl and chose a green for the irises. I loved the contrast between the green and orange. After adding the buttons to the eyes, they are ready to be sewn onto the hat.
The nose I’m just figuring out by trial and error, since I knew the basic of what I wanted, it took me 2 tries. I did a magic circle of 10 sc in black to start. Then I did 2dc in each stitch in the orange and stayed with that width. I did try bigger, but it was starting to look like a bear nose.
Getting the face all done took me a few hours. I was at my sister’s house so James could play with his cousins and the kids she watches. If I had sat down by myself with no distractions, this face would have come together in much less time.
The first things I sewed on were the ears and nose. I wanted to get the ears on with nothing hindering, so they went on first. As you can see in the picture, having the inner and outer ears made them thick enough to stand up on their own. The nose went on next and i tried to get it as centered as possible. I kept a hold on one spot of the nose and hat while stitching to make sure I didn’t inadvertently pull the nose to one side while stitching it on. The eyes were the last and easiest. Since I could use the ears and nose as positioning guides, I had no problem getting them centered to each other and the other features. After sc around the entire hat and getting the braids put in, he’s all done.
The only problem is that he fits my son, who is 16 months. That hat is not going to fit a 6 to 10 year old! And do you see the top? It’s a little pointed. At this point I go back to Repeat Crafter Me, but here, to her penguin hat pattern. She had been having problems with a pointed hat top and said that she had fixed it. I also decided just to go up a hook size in the hat pattern to see if that would fix my size problem. With all this in mind, I start the penguin.
He was definitely easier than the fix. There was much less to put together. I could also see that the hat size was bigger than the fox and should fit a child’s head.
The face was the easiest since it’s one big piece of white with 2 button eyes and a little beak. I got it all done, put together and on the hat. Only after I had taken pictures did I notice that this hat was looking more owlish than penguin. And I had stitched the face onto the back side of the hat. That was so frustrating. I’m pretty sure hubby thought I was going to blow a gasket and maybe throw some things around. But I unpicked it all, gave him smaller eyes, and put his face on the front of the hat. Much much better. Doesn’t the second face look much more like a penguin? And to be honest, those big button eyes were freaking me out!
So that is my tale of the animal hats. They took a lot of energy to get done right. I’m so glad I got the hat sizing figured out. I think maybe the next time I do a yarn run to the store, I’ll pick up a light brown to do a dog. And I’m always up for custom orders! But for now, it’s going to stay these three.
All in all, I’m please with how they turned out. Maybe when I’ve got my blanket done (which I have also been working on) I’ll make an animal hat for me. I do think that penguin is pretty adorable!
Thanks for reading!