The nieces have finally been bitten by the Star Wars bug. The last two times I've visited them, they've been marathoning the films on DVD, and are completely enraptured even though they have seen all of the films many (many, many) times now. Luckily for their auntie, so far Original Trilogy films have been on during visits and not anything from the second trilogy. This is a post about crocheting, so we'll leave it at that.
When The Force Awakens was released, Niece the Elder wanted to know why the movie trailer was playing the Angry Birds theme. How times change.
Of course the nieces now want to go out on Hallowe'en in SW costumes. Niece the Elder wants to dress up as BB8, while Niece the Younger wants to be Rey, even though she is also a massive fan of R2D2.
Niece the Elder didn't like the Jetsonesque fascinator thingie that came with her BB8 costume, so she asked if I could make her a BB8 hat. I'm not too fond of it either, so of course I could.
This is Canada, and the nieces are lucky to live below the snow belt and not have to worry about wearing costumes over snowsuits like their auntie and father did. Still, it can be a bit nippy at night by Hallowe'en, so I made the nieces droid beanies.
The instruction for the BB8 hat and related appliques are in two separate Youtube videos, and only in Youtube videos. This was frustrating. The good news is that if you're completely new to crochet and just really want one of these hats, you can probably make it through by watching these videos, maybe with some beginner crochet videos as warm-ups. The bad news is if you already know how to crochet, it's maddeningly tedious to work through them. I wound up challenging myself to finish a step before the narrative/demo was over, just as a way not to go numb. Near as I can figure, the purpose of sharing the pattern on Youtube rather than on a web page seems to be to make you sit through advertisements. Thankfully these don't played if the video is Chromecast.
The R2D2 hat design is by the same person, and is also Youtubed into a hat video and an applique video. Having done the BB8 hat first, I made some execution decisions which were different from what's in the video. Rather than leave floats of unused colour at the back of the work, I cut strands of white yarn and did a sort of intarsia for the one-stitch white bars between the blue areas. I also cut the blue yarn rather than carry it across long stretches of white. I liked the results so much better I unravelled the BB8 hat and re-did it using the same techniques. It made for more ends to darn in, but meh. I'm not one of those crafters who gets upset about darning in ends. The final product was tidier both to work and in finished form.
One thing I learned about my crocheting by making these hats: my double crochets tend to be shorter and wider than normal. To get a tidy start of round, I only chained 2 instead of the usual 3, which made for a distinctive gap at the back of the first version of the BB8 hat. The chain 2s are hardly noticeable at all.
Even with re-doing the entirety of the BB8 hat, these were quick to make and took surprisingly little yarn. All the yarn except for BB8's orange came from stash, which was satisfying. It's also nice to make something for Hallowe'en which the nieces can wear throughout the winter.