This Irish Crochet cap is surprisingly simple to make. If you have long hair, the almond shape provides room for a low bun on the occipital bone. The sleek style also lends itself to bridal veils with added tulle to accommodate function. It’s a hat full of possibilities like colored thread, lace and beadwork.
The original pattern is available here: http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/pub/PDF/DevereRichardsonsIC.pdf
The vintage pattern calls for two (2) spools of Richardson’s Perfect Silk and a size 8 hook. This is best substituted with DMC Perle size 8 with a No 8 hook. I used size 20 mercerized cotton and a No. 10 hook. For convenience, a styrofoam head is recommended for pinning/shaping and assembly. I also backed mine using an inexpensive felt cloche since it required no shaping, but you can shape felt and/or other fabric to line the hat. Finally, sewing thread in a similar color and a sewing needle will be needed. Ironing/starching optional, I didn’t but it would improve the neatness of the net.
Instruction begins with a chain of 100, depending on the size and type of thread used as well as the hook and targeted size, the chain length may vary. The goal is for the chain to fit over the head above the ears. I worked a ch of 110, measuring about 12″ in.
sl st in 10th ch from hook to form first mesh.
Repeating pattern: * ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch to form picot, ch 7, sl st in 4th ch to form picot, ch 2, skip 6 chs on foundation row and sl st in next. At end, make one extra * then turn and sl st in the middle ch of prev row.
For shaping, the goal is to create an almond shape. I struggled with this and ended up accordion folding the ends and sewing those down to bring the ends to a point. For decreases, drop stitches at either end or work up to end and omit extra at row’s end, rather, turn and sl st up to the middle of first mesh (to avoid the 1st picot, ch 1, work behind and resume sl st.) If increasing, make 2 attachments to the 1st mesh or use the ch2-section between.
The instructions say to work 48 rows, however, I think it’s a pattern error. If you count the rows in the vintage photograph, there are about 16. I worked 18 rows measuring approx. 7 3/4″.
Once the Irish Net is complete, work a row of 2-tier Irish Roses and attached to the long sides. Then fold these over the net and sew to the surface and onto a backing of felt cut to size. I used a felt cloche, cut to size, no hem and lined the net to the edge, whip-stitching across. Extra shaping is achieved by ruffling the ends so the long sides meet closer together.
Once the hat is sewn, try it on and make any additional sewing adjustments before adding the side flowers and drop dangles. Then work the motifs and sew on to finish. The pattern calls for a 4-tier Irish Rose and 5 or 7 balls spaced to mid neck in length (see vintage photo). I added my Deviation with Drops pattern available here: https://crochetthread.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/crochet-irish-rose-deviation-with-drops/