Vintage Caps

As you may have guess from my previous post with the simple pattern for the “Canadian Skating Cap,” I enjoy trying out vintage hat and cap patterns. I thought I’d share a few photos of some that I have made—or am making, as one isn’t quite finished.

This is a crocheted cap in progress—the “Flora Macdonald Hood;” I worked it in “Kitten Mohair” by Sandnes Garn. I still have to add the border to it. The original pattern was published in 1881 in the Little Wide-awake Magazine, edited by Mrs. Lucy Sale Barker. Flora MacDonald was a remarkable woman who lived from 1722-1790; she achieved fame by aiding Bonnie Prince Charlie in escaping capture—and in fact was imprisoned in the Tower of London under suspicion of doing so. You can read the The
Autobiography of Flora M’Donald, by Flora MacDonald (edited by her granddaughter and published in 1870), free online in Google Books in 2 volumes.

It is easy to design caps using doilies as the crown motif. I designed this hat for a hat swap group on Ravelry. As my partner for the swap lives in Augusta, Maine, I chose a doily pattern that was first published in Augusta in 1916. I chose this doily because the centre ‘flower’ was similar to the flower on my swap partner’s website–as well, the website inspired the colour for that motif. After crocheting the first few rounds of Doily No. 6, I began altering it to create leaf-like sections and also to draw the hat in a little; then I crocheted a couple of rounds of double crochet with a 3-ch picot every fourth stitch. I dyed the hat after completion, with food-colouring. These doilies (and several other booklets published by the same company) are available at Antique Pattern Library, listed under: Spires, Flossie, et al. Some Interesting Centerpieces and Doilies.

I made two other hats in this series. The White & Yellow Hat, from doily number 1, is white huacaya alpaca; the yellow is suri alpaca dyed with the wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace.

The Orange tones Hat is inspired by Doily no. 5, made from merino I purchased some time ago as dyed roving.
These three hats are meant to for be spring or cool-summer-nights–they are really headbands with some flowers for a little more warmth!

A “Winter Cap” from a pattern first published in 1855; the border is shortest over the forehead, longest over the ears; I used a thrift-store lace weight wool blend that had no label. This is the cap I’m wearing at the top of the post—it makes one feel either quite Victorian, or ready to play the part of Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother–though this cap wasn’t meant as a bed-cap, as it is included with a scarf and undersleeves patterns.

I’ll end this post with another early-20thcentury design, not-quite-finished and also made with “Kitten Mohair” yarn. It is a Motoring Cap, modeled ably by my flower pot, and will have three buttoned tabs along the single crochet front band which will hold a lace weight scarf in place—the scarf is used as a tie, and maybe rolled up or dropped down over the face. It has a cute picot edging on the back.

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Filed under Hats, Vintage Patterns

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