Tutorilal: How to crochet a baby gnome hat

I want to start by welcoming all the readers that have come over from Made, where this post is participating in "Celebrate the boy". 
Dana has giveaways and a wonderful collection of tutorials for making all kinds of cute boy stuff, so if you haven't already, go and check it out. A wonderful group of bloggers will be contributing tutorials. Not to mention the lovely tutorials Dana herself will be posting as well! It lasts all month, and into march a little too, so keep going back to see whats going on over there! :) 
I decided to share crochet instructions for a baby gnome hat!  If you want to read about my inspiration for the hat and what not, you can read it over on Made. :)
I only used one skein of "Charisma" by Loops and Threads, a bulky 5 weight acrylic yarn. I chose a thick yarn for warmth, and acrylic for wash-ability. This was my second time using this yarn, I am really happy with the way it turned out and will probably use it again in the future. It is really soft and doesn't itch like some acrylic yarns. I have made this hat using a lighter weight yarn and it works fine, the spaces between stitches are a little larger though.
Most of the hat is crocheted in the round and is worked almost entirely using the double crochet stitch. The pattern I am sharing is for a 12month old - 3 yr old size head.

The hook I used was US I 9 / 5.50mm.

Gauge
3 rows of 6 dc = 2in x 2in

Here is a key for all the abbreviations I use.
dc = double crochet
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
rep = repeat
sk = skip
beg = beginning
rnd = round

Lets get stared,

Ch 4, join with a sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: ch 2 for first dc, 8 dc in ring, sl st to top of beg ch. 
(9 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 2: ch 2 for first dc, dc in each dc, sl st to top of beg ch. 
(9 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 3: ch 2 for first dc, dc in 1 dc, *2 dc in 1 dc, dc in next 2 dc, rep from *, sl st to top of beg ch. 
(12 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 4: same as rnd 2.
(12 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 5: same as rnd 3.
(16 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 6: same as rnd 2.
(16 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 7: same as rnd 3.
(21 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 8: same as rnd 2.
(21stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 9: same as rnd 3.
(28 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 10: same as rnd 2.
(28 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 11: same as rnd 3.
(37 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 12: same as rnd 2.
(37 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 13: same as rnd 3.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 14: same as rnd 2.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 15: same as rnd 2.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 16: same as rnd 2.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 17: same as rnd 2.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

Rnd 18: same as rnd 2.
(49 stitches counting the ch 2.)

After round 18 is finished fasten off and thread extra yarn into the hat.
You should now have a cute little gnome hat with no ear flaps.  If you don't want ear flaps you can stop here and call it good. If you do want ear flaps keep reading. :)

If you look at your hat you will see a "seam" of stitches where you joined each round and started the next one.  Lay the hat flat so that The "seam" is in the middle to make counting stitches easier. (Like in the photo below.)
 To add the first ear flap; Start working in the 10th stitch from the "seam". (see top photo above) Work the first row of the flap with the wrong side (inside of the hat) facing you.

Ear flap row 1: ch 3 for 1st dc, (working to the right) sk 2 dc, sl st,
(working to the left now) 7 dc (8 stitches total counting ch 3) in the same stitch that the ch 3 is coming out of, sk 2 dc, sl st. (See photo above.)


 Flip over and work the next row on top of the row you just made. Work with the right side (outside of the hat) facing you.
Ear flap row 2: ch 3, (working to the right) sk 2 dc, sl st, 
(working to the left now) 2 dc in every 1 dc (16 stitches total counting ch 3), sk 2, sl st. 
Fasten off and thread the extra yarn into the hat. (See photo above)

For ear flap 2 rep Ear flap row 1 and 2, starting on the 10th stitch from the "seam" on the opposite side of the hat. (See top photo above.) 
The "seam" should end up being on the back of the hat.
To make the ties cut 2 long strands of yarn. These should be three times longer than the length you want the finished ties to be.
Fold a strand in half and loop hook in the center fold of strand.
In the middle stitch of the ear flap (see bottom photo above) and pull strand of yarn though stitch. 
ch as many chain stitches it takes to run out of yarn. (Or as many ch stitches it takes to tie a bow under the chin of the person it is made for.) Fasten off and Trim excess.  
Do it again on the other flap.

 You hat should now look like the photo below.
Yippee You're done!!Put it on your little one to keep their little ears and cheeks warm and cozy.
 (Or just to see how cute they look in it.)  :)
If you want you can change it up a bit you can add pom poms or tassels to the ends of the ties.  Or you could change the color of yarn every row to make stripes. The possibilities are endless.
Happy crocheting everyone!!!
EDIT: I noticed that I forgot some details in the ear flaps. If you needed some clarifications there just read the red text.  I just added it. :) hope that helps.

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