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Adding Braids to Crocheted Hats - Tutorial

Hey everyone! I was adding some braids to my Bolts & Ridges Helmet hat today, and I realized that I should write a tutorial! Adding braids is super easy and can make your hats look extra cute and professional. Use them for earflap ties, or make them to look like hair!

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My daughter, too busy to take a picture.

-A finished hat
-Yarn (Any kind you like, but I think worsted weight works best)
-A hook (size isn't important, but it should be small enough to fit in your stitches and big enough to handle several strands of yarn. I like any sizes H to K for doing braids.)

First, decide how thick you want your braids to be. Cut 30"-36" (or longer) strands of yarn in multiples of 3s.
For thick, hair-like braids, I recommend cutting 12 strands per braid.
For thinner braids (better for ties on earflaps) I recommend 6-9 strands.
Whatever number of strands you choose will be doubled when you fold them in half. Keep in mind that the more strands you use, your braids might be a bit harder to work with.
After you've cut your strands, hold them together and fold them in half evenly.

Next, find the stitch you want to place the braid in. This will usually be centered on either side of the hat. If you're doing ties for earflaps, they'll be centered on the point of the earflap. Insert your hook into the stitch from the inside to the outside.

Grab all your strands in the middle fold, and pull them through, making a big 1"-2" loop.

Pull all the loose ends through your loop...

And pull into a knot. Then, tug on each strand one at a time to tighten it.

Once your knot is nice and tight, divide your strands equally into three parts.

Now, start braiding!

When you reach your desired length, you need to end with another knot. Be sure to give yourself plenty of length to work with. Tighten the knot by pulling on each strand one at a time, just like before.

Lastly, you can trim the ends to make them even, or leave them long. Repeat on the opposite side if you're doing two braids, and you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that it was helpful! Tell me how you use braids in your crochet projects in the comments below.

The pattern for this hat is available in my Ravelry store here: Bolts & Ridges Helmet

Happy hooking!