January 10, 2014

Hats and Masks

I recently received a very large box of free yarn. Along with it came a request for a few items to be made.

A friend saw a picture online of a crochet Knight helmet and asked for one. I looked around for a pattern on Etsy and decided to buy the Sir Knight Helmet pattern by Martina Gardner. I chose it for a few reasons, one, it looked well written and, two, it came fully written out for multiple sizes.

As my friend is a fire fighter, he asked for one for himself in black, red and gray. He thought it would be perfect to wear on those cold days on a scene of a fire after he has taken off his real helmet.

The pattern itself worked up very quickly. I would say that from start to finish it took about 10 hours, maybe less to get it all done and sewed together. Probably faster for people better at sewing. I had absolutely no problems following it at all, which is awesome. The extra large adult size fit on my husbands head perfectly, as he was my mannequin, and he has a very large head indeed. He was so happy with the way it felt that I have to make yet another one for him, but that will be another post. Overall the pattern was fantastic and the design is perfect for those colder nights.

Finished Sir Knight Helmet
After I finished the Sir Knight helmet for my friend, I moved on to make another base of the helmet in the Child size, for his son, who wanted an Iron Man hat.

After I finished the base from the Sir Knight Helmet pattern, I made up my own pattern to put over it like the mask, but in an iron man mask shape.

I used the number of stitches for the forehead of the child size knight hat as my base measurement so I was sure the Iron Man mask part would fit over it. My initial idea was to use the same button hole attachment idea so that the mask could be raised and lowered over the face like the real mask closes in the movie, but after making the mask part I realized it was just too soft to really work that way.

This iron man face vector by Dotgfx on Deviant Art was really helpful in understanding the shape.
The Iron Man face piece worked up very strangely, but it was the only way I could wrap my head around how to get it done... I used the Mac version of Excel (Numbers) to make a grid the size of the gauge of the pattern. Then I used X's for half double crochet, D for double crochet, T for treble crochet, S for single crochet and s for slip stitch to lay out how my pattern should work.

The top of the eyes is at the fore head line of the helmet since the helmet pattern comes down pretty far onto the forehead and over the ears and a bit of the neck. It's a deep hat!

I started a chain of 22 at the row where you see the #1. The pipe and V is to show which direction I went. Chain 22, then 2 more for a turn and then hdc 22 across. Next row is 2hdc in one, 18hdc, then another increase. Always chaining 2 at the end for turning. I went from that forehead place down since the third row of 26 stitches has taller stitches in the center to give him that ironman eyebrow ridge. At the end of that row I then did a little section of 3 rows of 3 at the end to start moving down around the eye.
Kind of looks like a Ronin helmet right now. Section 1, 2 and 3 done. Not 4.
The next step #2 was to go back to that initial chain of 22 and work up to get the head column shapes. I attached my yarn one stitch in and did a row of 7 hdc. Then I turned and did a total of 6 of those hdc 7 rows. The last row has a few taller stitches towards the center of the face to make the arched shape.
#3 Attached on to the other end and did another in the mirror pattern so the taller stitches were to the center.

#4 I then went back to finish the eye section and added a same section of 3 rows of 3hdc on the other side to match.

#5 section is the rest of the face from the bottom of the eyes down to the top of the mouth. I wasn't sure about how to get the bottom of the mouth done since it sits below the chin and I didn't want to add a chin guard part to the helmet base. So this face ends at the pointy looking top teeth part. I attached on to section 4 and did three hdc and then chained 20 and attached it to the other end of the three hdc. Then I turned and did 26 hdc across to stabilize that chain space. Then decreasing on the end stitches of each row I gradually tapered the face down. The final row of 14 stitches (2 dc in one, hdc, sc, 6 slip stitches, sc, hdc, 2dc in one) makes the two little pointy teeth part.

(#6) Now you might notice a section of DC in the center of the bottom of the chain for the bottom of the face. I did that part next. I went and added it on to give a bit of a nose ridge and to have a space to attached the triple crochet dip of the forehead to. Those broken lines show where to sew up the treble stitches to the nose row of 8 DC. It is important to sew the treble crochet on top of the dc to keep that brow ridge showing.
I tried to mark out each section on this image. 
To finish the face, I did a slip stitch in the tops of the head columns and on the bottom teeth row and did a sc around all the rest of the piece to give a clean edge.

I then decided to sew down the whole top section, so from the brow ridge, down parts of section 3 and 4 and around the top of the head column shapes. So it does not do the cool opening and closing, but at least it looks right.

You cant see in the pictures, but I also added two red circle pieces (flat increase till the edge is 24 stitches) one on either side of the mask for Iron Man's ear thingys...
Finished Iron Man Mask... gotta tuck in the ends though.
The iron man, sir knight, child size helmet base took about 3 hours to make. The face part was a lot of trial and error and I'm still not super happy with how it turned out. It took about 4 hours, but if I had to make another, now that I have a method it would be less. I'm also a little concerned that it might be too big, but it was really tight on me so it might be ok for someone smaller.

It was pretty fun trying to figure this shape out. Now to work on another for my husband... Viking themed! Stay Tuned.