We’ve all seen those adorable-animal pictures circulating the internet…you know, the ones with bunnies in sweaters, or dogs in little hats? I’ve even taken some myself (each of those is a link.) But it hadn’t occurred to me to put the Calico Critter Top Hat on a guinea pig…and I’m so glad I did!
You can check out the original pattern here. Since I’ve made a few adjustments to the pattern, and now it’s being modeled on a guinea pig! – I made a tutorial so you, too, can make a top hat for your guinea pig (or rabbit…or hamster*…or whatever!) I’ve also included more information on selecting yarn, in case that’s helpful. *For the hamster top hat, use a 3 MM crochet hook and follow the same pattern, but do double crochets in the bow instead of triples. It’s hard to crochet so tightly, but the sizing is more accurate.
- Red Heart Soft yarn. You can try using other kinds of worsted-weight too, but if you’re making several of these hats, it’s best to use the same brand so you have the same gauge. Some worsted-weight yarns seem to be a lot thicker than others (for example, Caron Simply Soft is on the thinner side while Red Heart Super Saver and I Love This Yarn are on the thicker. Red Heart Soft seems to be in the middle.) There are two kinds of Red Heart Soft, the normal type and then “Red Heart Baby Soft.” I used mostly Baby Soft for the color palette (pastels.) You need the hat color and then white for the bow (or whatever color you like, but I find white is nice and clean-looking.)
- F (3.75 MM) crochet hook
- Stitch marker (yarn scrap, paper clip, safety pin…)
- Yarn needle (if you have a sharper one rather than a dull tapestry needle, it makes the sewing easier)
- Guinea pig! (optional)
I use US crochet terms in all of my patterns. Here are the stitches used in this pattern with their abbreviations. Chain (ch) = Chain Slip Stitch (sl st) US Single Crochet (sc) = UK Double Crochet US Double Crochet (dc) = UK Treble Crochet US Triple/Treble Crochet (tr) = UK Double-Treble Crochet I also used an Invisible Join at the end of the top hat, to keep things neater. I learned it from Mrs. Micawber’s excellent tutorial, which you should definitely check out!
Make a Magic Ring, ch 1. (If you’d prefer to not use a Magic Ring, then you can ch 2 and make 7 sc in the 2nd ch from the hook, but I like magic rings because they leave no center hole.) Make 7 sc into the ring, do not join. We’ll be working in a spiral, so put a stitch marker on the loop on your hook and keep moving it at the end of each round. Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sts.) Rnd 3: *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st.* Repeat around (18 stitches.) You’re going to slip stitch to the next stitch, indicated in the above picture. Then chain 1. The purpose of this is so the back-loop ridge will appear in a straight line, rather than staggered because of the spiral. So the next round will be single crochet in the back loops, starting in the next stitch, then we’ll continue in the spiral (until the brim.)
Rnd 4: Sc around in the back loops only. Rnd 5-8: Sc around in both loops. Rnd 9: *Sc in next st, sc2tog* around. (12 sts) Slip stitch into the next stitch, indicated by the helpful arrow above… …and pull the slip stitch tight. Just yank the yarn until the sl st disappears, which will make it invisible (or nearly.) Rnd 10: Ch 2. Starting in the same st, 2 dc in each st around, through front loops only. When you get back to the beginning, we’ll be working in a spiral again, so skip the ch-2 and start in the first double crochet, which is indicated by the arrow – I can’t even draw a straight arrow! 🙂 Rnd 11: Don’t join or chain or anything; just do *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st* (so increasing in every other stitch around.) Then use an invisible join, skipping over the next stitch and joining to the following one. That keeps the stitch count even. Thanks, Mrs. Micawber, for your fabulous Invisible Join tutorials! 🙂 Then you just need to weave in the final end, if you crocheted over the first one as you went. I weave mine through the base of the dc row, for about half of the hat. If you turn it around and weave back the other way it makes it sturdier. Realistically, though, you don’t have to make it too secure – it’s a guinea pig top hat! (Unless you have a sumo-wrestling or super-hero guinea pig that needs a really sturdy hat.)
The Bow (because bows make everything better!)
Using the same size hook and yarn, make a magic ring and ch 4. Make 3 triple crochets into the ring, ch 3 and sl st into the ring. Ch 3, make 3 triple crochets into the ring, ch 3, sl st into the ring. Ch 1 and fasten off, leaving a 2-foot-ish tail. Then wrap the ends around the center about 5-6 times. I tie them in a double-knot at the back and then weave one of them in, leaving the other one to sew the bow to the top hat. Then you’ve made your own guinea pig top hat! Yay! The last thing I do is to cut a 9-ish-inch piece of round elastic and tie it to the hat. It’s easy if you use the spare loops you created while making the brim. I fold it in half so the bow’s at the front so I can easily see where to attach it. Just a single knot will do the trick; then it’s adjustable too. My next mission is to write a pattern for these guinea pig bunny ears! Congratulations if you made it to the end of this very long post. Are there any other tutorials that you’d like to see? Happy crocheting!