Sunday, November 1, 2009

She Made It All By Herself!

Velvetex Hat No. 212 from The Peter Pan Hat Book, Vol. 5, c. 1940

“Ah, ha!” I exclaimed, when I stumbled across this pattern yesterday. “Here’s the perfect way to use up all those leftover chenille sticks from Halloween!”

Sadly, despite its charming “I made this in kindergarten with used pipe cleaners” appearance, this hat was actually constructed out of Velvetex yarn. And alas, Velvetex’s velvety smooth fibers are now monopolized by mountain biking, guitar heroes with really sore feet. How very selfish!

I suppose, theoretically, you could substitute any other super-bulky chenille yarn for Velvetex. But you are taking a terrible risk. What if your chenille chapeau chafes your delicate skin? Everybody will laugh at you!

What? You think people will laugh at the hat itself?

Ladies who grew up during the 1940s didn’t tolerate that kind of sass. Don’t believe me? Just ask your grandma if anyone dares laugh at her choice in headgear.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Peter Pan Velvetex – 1 Skein (9 yds.)

That’s right, use Peter Pan Velvetex, or Wendy and the Lost Boys will mess you up!
No. 10 Wooden Crochet Hook
Got that? Wood! Don’t try using any of those plastic crochet hooks. They’ll slide too easily through the Velcro-like yarn and you won’t ever finish your pipe cleaner hat... I mean, super-bulky chenille chapeau.
Ch. 4.

Row 1 - 1 s.c. in each of 2 sts., (be sure to pull up each loop from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ins. high). 2 s.c. in 3rd st. Working on other side of chain, 1 s.c. in each of 2 sts., 2 s.c. in last st. (8 s.c. on row)

Row 2 - Work 1 s.c. in each of 8 sts. picking up back half of st. only. Repeat row 2 until all material is used.

Finishing - Put a bow in center of hat.
Okay, so the hat’s a bit silly looking, but on the plus side, the pattern is short. And, other than the fact that you’ll be wrestling with the super-bulky squirminess of chenille, it’s fairly easy too.

But once you’ve made this hat, what will you do with it? No one attending Ladies’ Day at Ascot is going to be impressed. And it’s not going to keep your ears warm either.

Hmm... perhaps I’d better look for patterns that will keep me warm. After all, it’s really important in Canada to be prepared for winter...


Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Wow. That looks like a preschool art project. And wait- if that's yarn rather than pipe cleaners, how'd they get the brim to stand up like that?? I don't see anything in the pattern that could explain that. Maybe the pipe cleaners are trying to escape?

  2. Hey, you know what? It's possible that Velvetex was a wired chenille, which was a material mentioned in other books of the same era.

    Now a quick search didn't turn up any modern equivalents, but has "Wired Color Metallic Chenille Tinsel" which is not at all the same thing, but would be hilarious. And festive!