I would hate to just make blankets, or just socks or just scarves. For me, crafting is about trying everything out there.

Here's a new one - crocheting with Raffia. Not just any old raffia, this is a strong material made specially for crochet because it does not break. For my Minerva make this month, I thought I would try it out.

I am making a summer hat. I am not good at wearing a hat in the summer, I have thick hair, but one with a good brim would be fabulous for sitting in the garden to read, stitch or crochet.

I got stuck on row 24 but realised I had a pattern reading error with brackets and sorted the problem by searching Ravelry and finding out that somebody else had done exactly the same thing!

As I made it I kept trying it on. It looked like a floppy, wobbly, child's hat. I was getting disheartened but persevered.

I tied it off and decided I needed to really block it well.

I blocked it and sprayed it with laundry starch. It was better but still not right. As a last resort I painted it in PVA glue and put it in the sun to dry. YAY! it worked...

I made a plaited braid to add a finishing touch. I am really pleased with the final result even though it required some problem solving to get it to the shape I wanted. 

My Top Three Tips

- Crochet one or two rows at a time - the raffia is hard on your hand muscles to pull it through the crochet loops.

- Stiffen the hat with PVA Glue on the upper and lower brim only (not the crown which remains soft and comfortable).

- Add a plaited braid to complete the hat.

 I love to learn new things and crocheting with raffia was a useful skill to learn. It even travelled well inside my suitcase to take on holiday popping back into shape on arrival.

Jo xxx