I never thought I’d make a Totoro hat because the ones I had seen looked too complicated. Amazing what your first kiddo’s first Halloween can inspire you to do. ;) I found it interesting that I decided to crochet rather than knit the hat. I learned to crochet as a kid, so I guess I’m more comfortable with it when it comes to experimenting.
All and all, making the hat wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I did a lot of eyeballing and didn’t write the complete pattern down as I created it. (Sorry!) But this long-overdue post is about broad pointers.
My base was a single-crochet beanie from Firebrunette. Thanks Fire.
I measured where the earflaps should go, making them 12 stitches across. I decreased two stitches per row to get the flaps the right height.
For inspiration for the ears, I oggled this hat a lot. I decided more 3D-like ears were where it was at. I followed some amigurumi videos on YouTube. I made more rounded tops than pointy ones, because they remind me of a cat.
I loved the eyes and mouth of this popular Totoro hat. I had no luck single-crocheting in the black pupils, so I glued felt on my white, single-crochet circles. Felt is also good for small kids rather than buttons, which are a choking hazzard. A key pointer: when looking for tips on single-crochet circles for the whites of the eyes, look for how to crochet a circle that lays flat. Also, I found a lot of the hats out there make Totoro’s eyes, including the pupils, too large. Something to consider.
For the mouth, I kept it simple and used a thick chain. And for the nose, I chained two and then crocheted six into the first loop to make a triangle.
I was surprised that most Totoro hats (sadly) don’t include his trademark leaf. I’m rather proud of the leaf I made from scratch. AND I stripped out pieces of green wool from a multi-colour skein I had, which ended up giving my leaf a slightly variegated look.
All and all the hat was totally worth the effort. However, I don’t put it on James on the days I’m feeling quiet. When we’re out and about, it’s guaranteed to get comments from people. :)