Edward Hopper Inspired Portrait Cloche Hat Designed by Lady Violette de Courcy
I created this Edward Hopper Inspired Portrait Cloche Hat to attend an art museum opening of Edward Hopper’s paintings. I wanted to make a hat in the style of the ones the women in his paintings wore. I also wanted it to look like a proper 1920’s – 30’s formed felt cloche hat, rather than a knitted cap so I made it very thick and sculptural with a turned back rim and graduated shaping. I made a very thick sculptural bow to cover the right side seam of the hat. It comes down over the right ear and has the added benefit of being like a very warm ear muff!
This hat is very thick and warm, but I may have to try making one with a bow earmuff on both sides now! I’m thinking of ways to keep even warmer on my 4th day of being completely snowed in! And it is still snowing out! We are in the middle of a huge snowstorm in Seattle and I am taking advantage of using this time to post my recently knitted stuff on Ravelry! You can take a look at my Lady Violette Ravelry project page here .
I’m really happy with the way this hat turned out. The construction was an experiment that fortunately turned out perfectly and is exactly what I had in mind. I am writing the pattern so I can offer it to other knitters who would like to make one. I am making this pattern available to you as a free pattern ~ a kind of Happy Valentine to all you knitters out there. I hope you enjoy it.
I wear this one with a vintage navy blue 1930’s coat in wool gaberdine and a purple wool dress. The outfit is totally inspired by the women in Hopper’s paintings who are always dressed in strong clear distinctive colors. I get a lot of inspiration for my clothing from painters. I like to recreate the moods of the paintings in the way I dress. I can also wear this hat with a purple wool wrap coat with a big ruffled collar. This is more of a 1970’s look, but also very successful.
Size: This hat is made with slight negative ease. I made it to fit myself with a 21 inch head but it fit a 22 inch and 23 inch head just fine as well because it stretched, comfortably, to fit. Note: When you fold the brim back you should try on the hat and adjust the amount of fabric you fold back to the individual wearers preference and your opinion as to what amount of fabric turned back looks the best. Based on my knitting experience I do not think you will find it necessary to adjust the number of stitches or the gauge to fit people within the above size ranges for a comfortable and attractive fit. That is between a 21 – 23 inch head circumference. Please note: I am very finicky about patterns being written clearly and correctly. I have tested this pattern by making it twice myself. I have finished knitting a brown one as well and will photograph it to add to this post within the next few days.
Yarn: Use a BULKY weight yarn. I used Baby Alpaca Grande Hand Dye from Plymouth Yarn in the color way of Blue/ Purple. This is a Bulky weight yarn. The hat and big bow took 2 skeins. Thus the yarn for this hat cost $40 plus sales tax! Each ball retails for $19.95. Rather expensive for a knitted hat but soft, warm and really beautiful so well worth it. The hat itself takes well over 1 skein of yarn and with the bow you will use about 1 and 7/8 skeins. These skeins are 110 yds each. If you are substituting another bulky yarn with the same gauge you should begin with 220 yds.I plan to use the small amount of left over yarn to make small bows like the one on the hat to decorate a pair of purple gloves I have made. There is just the right amount left over to accomplish this.
Needles: sizes: US 10.5 – 6.5mm, US 10 – 6 mm, US 9 – 5.5 mm, US 8 – 5 mm, US 7 – 4.5 mm. ( Yes! You will need all 5 sizes of needles to create the sculptural shaping required for this hat!) I used 10 inch long sets of straight needles for the brim of the hat and a set of longer size 9 needles for the crown. I think they are 15 inches long. They are the long old fashioned straight needles and I found it really helpful to have the extra length to handle all the stitches at the beginning of the crown section.
EDWARD HOPPER INSPIRED PORTRAIT CLOCHE HAT
Using 10 inch long straight needles as I did or your choice of alternatives:
Work the BRIM:
1) Begin by casting on 42 stitches on size US 10.5 needles
2) Change to size US 10 needles to work the brim:
Mark wrong side with a small safety pin to help you keep track of your work:
Row 1: (Wrong Side) *K2, p1,: repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3.
Row 2: ( Right Side) Work stitches as they appear.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until fabric measures 14 and 1/2 inches from beginning edge;
Change to size US 9 needles and continue in ribbing as established until fabric measures 16″ from beginning edge;
Change to size US 8 needles and continue in ribbing as established until fabric measures 17.5 ” from beginning edge;
Change to size US 7 needles and continue in ribbing as established until fabric measures 20″ from beginning edge.
Bind off all stitches in established rib pattern still using the size 7 needles.
The Crown will look like this from the top when finished !
Work the CROWN:
Using long set of straight US #9 needles, Right side facing, begin at Cast On edge and Pick Up and Knit 68 stitches evenly divided along the selvedge to the Bind Off edge.
Rows 1,3,5,7, and 9 : ( Wrong Side) Purl.
Row 2: K1, *k4, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, k1 = 57 stitches total.
Row 4: K1, *k3, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, k1 = 46 stitches total.
Row 6: K1, *k2; k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, k1 = 35 stitches total.
Row 8: K1, * k1, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, k1 = 24 stitches total.
Row 10: K1; *k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1 = 13 stitches total.
Row 11: P1, *p2tog; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2 = 8 stitches total.
Break the yarn, leaving a 10″ tail. Weave tail through remaining 8 stitches twice, then tie off on inside.
SEW SIDES OF HAT TOGETHER:
Thread yarn on a large eye yarn needle and sew sides of hat, including the sides of the crown, together in method of your choice, being careful to match the lines of ribbing together.
FITTING AND FOLDING BACK EDGE OF BRIM:
Try on hat. The seam should be on the right side. The narrower portion of the graduated size ribbing should be in the front of the hat. Turn edge of brim back approximately 1.5 to 2 Inches. It should be turned back the same amount all the way around. How much is a matter of desired preference. I turned the brim back so that the edge rested on the lower portion of the 6th ridge of ribbing. Make sure it is evenly turned back all the way around and the hat and brim are adjusted to your preference. Thread yarn needle with yarn and starting on Inside of hat, under the folded back brim, insert needle all the way through the brim inside of a ribbing channel. Then insert needle from front to inside so that you are making one invisible stitch through all the layers of the brim to tack it down securely and hold the folded back brim in place. Tie this single tacking stitch down, then cut the yarn and repeat the process about 4x evenly spaced inside of the hat to keep the folded brim securely, but invisibly in its folded back position.
Using US #8 needles cast on 18 stitches. Work in Stockinette Stitch until piece measures 12 Inches in length. Bind Off. Sew the two 18 stitch long edges together. Fold so that the seam is inside and underneath and in the middle of the piece. Take a generous length of yarn and wrap this piece in the middle cinching it together to form a stylized bow. Secure on the wrong side under the seam. Place this bow over the side seam of the hat vertically and sew it down firmly to completely cover the seam on the turned back section of the brim and the side seam of the hat above it. Sew it down firmly all the way around. It should be worn placed over your right ear.
I have added a Part 2 to this pattern, The Knitted Bow Tutorial
The bow sewn into place covering the right side seam of the hat. Bow is placed over the right ear when hat is worn.