I guess you could call me an accidental entrepreneur – never in a million years did I think I would start my own knitwear business.
My mom has owned a handmade knit and crochet business my entire life. Throughout my childhood, many weekends were spent travelling from one small town to the next, helping to set up her table and sell at local craft markets. It was during this time that my mom taught me how to knit and crochet, although it would take years before I realized my passion for the craft.
By the time I moved away from home to attend university, the last thing on my mind was starting a business. I had big dreams to fulfill in the big city! A few years after graduating, I landed a job in the federal government and started building my career.
One summer while home for a visit, I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to start crocheting again. Lucky for me, one of the biggest yarn brands in the world has their flagship store in my little hometown of Listowel – Yarnspirations! (Or Spinrite as it is known locally). I popped into the store, bought some new crochet hooks and yarn, and started making hats and infinity scarves for myself. I was hooked (pun intended).
The Brooklyn Beanie is one of my first designs, and one day I was wearing my new hat and a stranger asked me where I bought it. When I told her that I made it, she asked if she could buy it from me. But not a new one – the one on my head. I was in such shock that I mustered out some lowball price, handed over my hat, and walked away. After digesting what had happened, I called my mom to tell her the news. And that’s how it all began.
I launched T’s Crochet Shoppe in the fall of 2015, and recently rebranded to Tuula Collective in May 2019! (You can read the story about the name change on my website.)
While the Brooklyn Beanie is an easy crochet pattern, it has been tweaked many times over the years to perfect it. It started as a “bottom up” construction with joining in the round, to the version you see here today. The Brooklyn Beanie is still my all-time best selling hat, so I couldn’t think of a better design to release as my first-ever pattern!
8.5” wide x 8” tall (without pom pom). The Brooklyn Beanie is meant to have a snug fit – it’s literally a hug for your head.
- Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick (approximately 57 yards)
- 10mm crochet hook
- Large eye blunt needle
- Bernat faux fur pom pom (or any other pom pom of choice)
hdc= half double crochet
sc= single crochet
sl st= slip stitch
7 sts x 7 rows = 4”
The Brooklyn Beanie is crocheted in a spiral, starting at the top of the hat and working down to the brim. This method makes it easy to adjust for size as you go, if required.
Round 1: Make an adjustable ring with 8hdc in centre of ring. Pull to tighten. (8st)
Mark first st with a stitch marker. Note: The Brooklyn Beanie is worked in a spiral so that you do not have a seam, therefore, it is important to mark the first st of each “row”.
Round 2: 2hdc in each st around. Move stitch marker to first st of second row. (16st)
Round 3: *2hdc in first st, 1hdc in next st. Repeat from *. (24st)
Round 4: *2hdc in first st, 1hdc in next 2st. Repeat from *. (32st)
Round 5: 1hdc in each st. (32st)
Rounds 6-10: Repeat rnd5. (32st)
Round 11: 1sc in each hdc. (32st)
Rounds 12-13: Repeat rnd11. (32st). At this point, your beanie should fit snug on your head and sit just above your brow line. Add or remove a row, if required.
Round 14: Loosely sl st in each sc around the brim of the beanie. This last row will help your beanie to keep its snug fit over time. Fasten off.
Pom pom: Attach pom pom to the beanie by pulling the long ties down through the top of the hat, tie tightly and weave in ends. For an extra secure fit, thread a strand of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick yarn through the base of your pom pom, and pull the ends down through the top of the hat. Tie tightly and weave in ends.
I think the thing that I like the most about this design is that it reminds me that you don’t need a fancy or elaborate design to start a business. Start with what you know, continue to learn, listen to your customers and share your story.
I met Jessica from @the.hook.nook for the first time at the first-ever Our Maker Life event in New York City in 2016. She has a powerful voice, an inspiring story, and a love for supporting other knitters and crocheters, and it has been an incredible joy watching her business grow over the years. Jess, thank YOU for letting me be a part of your blog. It has been such a blessing.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to Janine from @capital.crochet for generously testing this pattern for me and providing such valuable feedback. It’s a lot less stressful putting your first pattern out into the world when you have a friend helping you along the way.