When you want to look like Chuck Norris...

...wear a beard hat. And learn how to roundhouse kick.

A co-worker asked me to make a beard hat for her son right before Christmas. I didn't think I'd finish it in time for Christmas, but I told her I'd try to have it done the week after, so I've been scrambling to finish this. It turned out okay, but I'm dissatisfied because:
1. It's crappy Red Heart acrylic worsted yarn, which is awful and not pleasant to work with.
2. The hat is a little snug and not very stretchy due to the yarn.
3. The beard is a little too big and engulfs the face somewhat too much
4. I put sooooo much time and energy into this project that I really wasn't motivated about, so the money that I'm being paid is an insult when you look at the hours of labor it took; however, if I were the customer, I wouldn't want to pay much for it because it's low quality (cheap materials and meh construction). 

It's not all bad, though. About a year ago, I made a few beard hats for a friend. The first one I made turned out great, but my friend had a stalker who stole the hat; I mailed it while my friend was out of town, so his stalker stole his mail--true story. I'm still miffed. I tried again, however, and the second attempt was okay, but not as nice. I used a different pattern for the beard and didn't like it, so I made a third beard. That one was not ideal either. My poor friend still doesn't have a good beard hat, but at least I got lots of practice and discovered that the first beard pattern I used was my favorite: http://madmim.com/crochet-beard-free-pattern/ I highly recommend it. So anyway, I didn't have to waste time testing patterns for my current project. 

For the hat, I didn't use a pattern. I just winged it. My customer wanted a specific color scheme, and luckily I already had yarn that would work. I have a lot of yarn that was given to me, so at least I didn't have to pay for materials. I actually got rid of most of the crappy Red Heart Yarn, but I knew I should keep some handy for projects like this. I did, however, buy a new circular needle. I got a basic Boye size 7, 16" for a few dollars. I typically use double pointed needles, but circular needles are convenient for hats. I cast on 88 stitches, made a few rows of ribbing, then stockinette knitted the rest of it. All in all, I probably spent about 6 hours on this project, both the beard and the hat.

Finally, I sewed a small button on each end of the beard. The buttons slip between stitches to attach to the hat. Thus, the beard can be unbuttoned so that the hat can be worn by itself. Unfortunately, the beard is a little too long, so I buttoned it high up on the hat instead of in the ribbing where I wanted it. 



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