Unicorn Beanie – mane tutorial

Unicorn hat side2

I often start crocheting with an idea in mind and then find a free pattern for something similar on Pinterest to use as a place to start from. But even when I intend to follow the pattern because it’s already awesome, I almost always end up changing something along the way and creating my own version of it.

This beanie was different. First of all, the pattern sparked the idea rather than the other way around, and secondly, other than switching up the colours, making the horn longer and using a slightly smaller crochet hook, I pretty much followed the original pattern for this adorable unicorn beanie right to the end!If you are interested in making a super cute beanie like this, go check out the pattern at http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/10/crochet-unicorn-hat-pattern.html. She’s written the original pattern in all sizes from newborn to adult – and all for free. I would also highly recommend checking out the rest of that site as it’s the same place which brought me the patterns for an awesome penguin beanie, and this cute fox!

Beanie fox child small adult

I was inspired to try out this unicorn pattern (which I’d already ‘pinned’ on Pinterest due to it’s adorability) when I found a beautiful blue/purple/neon green multicolour yarn in a nearby store recently. The colour combination made me think ‘galaxy’ and as I stood there in the shop looking for an excuse to buy it, I suddenly thought a galaxy-coloured mane on a unicorn would be super cool. So I tried out the pattern (which was nice and simple to follow) and made a unicorn hat in a toddler size figuring that was the age group for whom a unicorn hat would be most appropriate.

Then early this month the hat was in a basket of crocheted beanies at our local market stall, and lots of people walking past picked it up and oohed and ahhhed over how cute it was but didn’t have anyone to buy it for. Right before we were due to pack up and go home, a woman who I’d noticed looking at it earlier came back again and was showing it to a friend/family member saying how perfect it would be for her daughter. I went over to chat with her and discovered the issue: her daughter was an adult, so of course the toddler-sized beanie would never fit! When I offered to make one in a larger size she was super excited – it turns out not only does her adult daughter love unicorns, but the galaxy-themed mane would match her purple/blue/green dyed hair perfectly!

So I got busy crocheting when I got home and now have a small collection of galaxy-maned unicorns in my house of various sizes to make sure there’ll definitely be one of the perfect fit for the next markets!

When I made my first one following the pattern, it was the mane bit that took me a couple of reads to understand. And looking at the comments I found the mane had been a difficult thing for many who have attempted this beanie – not because it’s actually difficult, nor because it wasn’t well written, simply because it’s difficult to describe. So when I made my third one I decided to take some extra photos of the process along the way which I hope will be of use to you if you are having any trouble 🙂

Unicorn Mane

1. Cut lots of strands of yarn. I made mine each about 20cm long. To do this efficiently, I wrapped the yarn about 90 times around my 20cm wide laptop (just because it was sitting next to me – I would recommend using a 20cm piece of cardboard!). Then when I had enough yarn (feel free to do more wraps if you want a longer or denser mane), I simply cut the wrapped loops along both sides.

I used my galaxy multicoloured yarn and some of the plain blue yarn I had bordered the beanie with, to make sure that bright blue border colour linked in with the mane colours. After cutting you should be left with a big pile of 20cm yarn strands. Naturally, you’ll also need a unicorn beanie ready to go.

Unicorn hat process yarn cut

2. Take 3 strands of cut yarn (I used 2 multicolour and 1 bright blue) and fold them together in half so that there is a loop of 3 strands at one end and 6 tails of yarn at the other. Put your crochet hook through one of the double crochet stitches at the base of the unicorn’s horn and then hook onto the 3-strand loop.

Unicorn hat process 3 slip knot

3. Pull the loop through underneath the double crochet stitch.

Unicorn hat process 2 slip knot

4. Put aside the crochet hook and put your fingers through the loop.

Unicorn hat process 1 slip knot

5. Grab the 6 tails of yarn with your fingers and pull them through the loop. Tighten the knot pulling in a downwards direction. Don’t worry if the strands are uneven as you will trim the fringe and mane when it is finished.

6. Repeat steps 2-5 in every double crochet around the horn. This becomes the ‘fringe’ of the unicorn.

Unicorn hat fringe

7. Now for the mane, repeat this knotting process in every double crochet stitch between the ears. Go back and fill in any gaps between this row and the horn with extra knots hair until you are happy with the amount of hair at the front.

8. Start the back mane with knots in every double crochet in the row just behind the ears – start and end this row about the middle of each ear (although my rows were a bit shorter).

9. Moving down, I then skipped a row, and crocheted in every second double crochet along the next row – about 8 knots in total. You will probably have 10 knots if you make your mane width reach the middle of each ear.

Unicorn hat process3

8. Moving downwards, I continued to skip every second row and only knot in every second double crochet stitch along the other rows. Make sure you keep the same the number of knots in each row and the mane is centred. I did a total of only 4 rows of knots down the back once I started skipping rows because I was running out of yarn, but I would probably do an extra one next time. However, the rows do not need to go to the bottom of the beanie because the yarn hangs down and covers about 9cm below each knot.

9. Choose which way you would like the hair behind the horn to go – it can be brushed down and around as part of the fringe or back over the head to start the mane. Then spend some time ‘brushing’ the fringe and mane with your fingers to make the yarn sit nicely. Trim the fringe and mane if desired.

Here’s what mine looked like from the front, side and back (you can see I hadn’t yet done any trimming!)

Again, check out this pattern and many more at Repeat Crafter Me, it’s an amazing blog with brilliant crochet ideas and patterns, all for free!

And if you are interested in purchasing a completed unicorn beanie in any colour (or a zebra, horse or My Little Pony… all of which I think I could do from this pattern) or other crochet items, feel free to visit my Facebook page Cacti & Crochet! If you live in Adelaide, South Australia, also check out the FB page to find out where and when we are next at the local markets 🙂

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