A “Cottonish” Topee


We’ve been making topees (topis?) for various family members. These are the Muslim prayer hats for men, also called kufis or perhaps skull caps. The headwear for me can be any kind of material or style really, lots of cultural influences so you can have the Fez or Turbans Or Keffiyehs depending on which part of the Muslim word you’re representing. In the tropics the light topee is typical since we don’t need to keep the head warm. So although there may be some beanie styles and woolen looking topees, more often than not you see topees made of crochet cotton in doily like patterns. (That’s when you don’t see the retro stand-by of a knotted handkerchief!)

I will post some of the crochet cotton doily ones soon, but wanted to record this topee made with Bernat Cottonish yarn. I love this yarn. It’s soft, very light and seems woven into a flattish thin ribbon of fabric. As the name suggests it is part cotton so it is cool and soft and has a wonderful texture. I would love to make clothing from this!

The recipient of this topee wanted a closer weave look. So I just did a basic DC beanie pattern for the top, then After a row of sc all around in the contrasting colour, I did some X stitches all around –

  • skip a st, DC in next st, DC in skipped stitch (see photos below)

My sister suggested switching colours, so that’s what I did…in every DC I switched colour in the last pull through of the stitch, keeping the other colour strand to the back.


It makes a really nice edging actually, or an interesting coloured texture detail in the body of any crocheted piece.

The colours used were –

  • main colour – Turquoise Terry Cloth
  • contrasting colour – Lemon Twill

More info about the yarn is available from the manufacturer’s website or from Ravelry where you can browse other projects.

This lightweight cotton blend is available in a rich, saturated shade handpicked by designer and international spokesperson Vickie Howell. Bernat Cotton-ish by Vickie Howell is great for a wide range of projects including home décor to warm-weather garments.
Content: 55% cotton, 45% acrylic
Ball Size: 70g / 2.4 oz, 258 meters / 282 yards
Care: Machine wash and dry delicate
Gauge: 3 – Light
Knitting Gauge: 22 sts and 28 rows with a 4 mm (U.S. 6) knitting needle
Crochet Gauge: 16 sc and 18 rows with a 4 mm (U.S. G/6) crochet hook
Use for: Knit and crochet home décor, garments, and accessories


Experiment in Plaid

75442b50-5704-4395-aa85-5815e50a48f5I’ve been wanting to try Crocheting a plaid pattern ever since I saw the Whistle and Ivy beanie pattern. She’s done a number of other things with the plaid, like pillows etc and it’s really simple but looks great. Her pattern uses 3 colours, black and 2 shades or red.

Plaid patterns are really a woven fabric technique. You get the plaid designs from the mixing of various colours of strands vertically and horizontally, which then create stripes and blocks that appear to be different colours, or grades of colours. For example, in what Whistle and Ivy does, the darker red mimics the look of plaid when red and black cross each other in a plaid weave. So to get a plaid effect rather than just a checkerboard, you have to use some ccombination of colours  that are graded or look like they are mixtures of the other colours. I suppose you could also do multi strand blocks for a more elaborate plaid effect, and then also weave lines of contrasting colours to mimic more complex plaid patterns.

There are these free vintage patterns for pot holders and placemats etc that show different ways of achieving a plaid effect in crochet. And a collection of some 10 plaid patterns on Moogly.

d3ebf4b2-a357-41d0-8230-d2c1ed148f5dI chose red, orange, yellow and Aran and kept it simple i.e. only 2 colours per row! And I didn’t want to do any weaving of chains through the pattern. I made a drawstring beanie for this, for a 12 year old who likes bright colours. Drawstring so it can be worn closed, or opened up for a ponytail, or bun, or even folded over for an ear warmer.

How did I do it? (Not quite a pattern!)

I started with the Aran and made enough dcs to fit around the head, joined than continued in the round. I did the colour rows alternating 3 dcs in each colour as follows:

  • Aran, yellow
  • Yellow, orange
  • Orange, red
  • yellow, orange
  • Aran, yellow

( and repeat until it is as long as you want)


img_0485– when you are switching colours, carry along the unused strand on top of the row below and crochet over it, switch colours in the last pull through of the 3rd dc.

– I didn’t want too many ends to weave in so I carried the unused strands of yarn up each row, by keeping the strands behind the first stitch of a row when I joined and then making the first stitch over the unused strands. It does mean you can see som of the strands on the wrong side, but not on the right side (see photo on the right)

– at the top, I did hdc, ch, hdc all around, switching colours every hdc!

– drawstring is a chain with a simple circle at the end.

this would make a cute purse…either flat or with the drawstring at the top!5125f520-a6ff-4183-aa15-80e267676d6a Continue reading “Experiment in Plaid”