Andrea's one of the monkeys here at ThinkGeek that makes sure you like what you see on our site. (The all edges brownie pan? That's her.)
She's also a very good friend to have. For example, if you want a knit cap for your birthday, she might just whip you up a Leia hat, complete with braided ear muff buns. It's a lot more comfortable in the winter than the slave costume.
Even if you're only a moderately skilled needle ninja, Andrea says you can tackle this one.
Here's how you make the Princess Leia hat:
- Get some comfy, Carrie-Fisher-esque brown yarn. Bulky, wooly yarn works best (especially for the optional felting step below) to make sure the braids are chunky enough, and you'll probably need two skeins.
- Procure circular or double pointed knitting needles. (Andrea used size 10 double pointed needles on her hat.) Grab a big ol' tapestry needle while you're at it; you'll need it for the braids.
- Knit a bit of your yarn see how the stitches add up, find a hat pattern you like, size it to fit your noggin (if you want to felt it later on, make it a little bigger than you think you'll need it!), and knit up a simple hat. Andrea says hers took about 10 hours (but that's with plenty of TV and food breaks).
- Now it's time to make your luxurious hair. Knit 6 tubes (or "idiot cords," which are basically just 5 stitches effed up over and over--see video below) approximately 35" long.
- This step is optional and will only work if you chose wool or another animal fiber, but makes your knitted hair look more like actual hair: felting. After you've knitted the hair and the hat, toss them into the washer for a hot wash followed by a cold rinse. The pieces will lose that knitted look and will feel fuzzy all over. (You can do this by hand if you like, but Andrea used her washer. Hit up Google for some options.)
- Once they're dry, take up 3 cords, tightly wrap and tie the ends off with extra yarn, and braid. When you reach the end, fasten them again so the braid stays put. Repeat on other 3 cords, and shoot for the same length.
- Hold the end of one braid and begin to wrap it in a spiral, using a bit of extra yarn and a tapestry needle to sew it in place as you go. Try not to leave stitches showing on the last bit of the spiral--you want it to look like it's magically holding itself together. Repeat on the other braid.
- Lastly, securely sew the buns to the hat. You'll want the center part of the bun (your spiral's starting point) to point forward on each side, with the spiral going counterclockwise over the left ear and clockwise over the right. (Here's a closeup of Leia's hair for reference.) Flip buns accordingly before sewing them on. Secure the bun at the edge of the hat and at the top, too; otherwise they'll flop over like mouse ears.
- Place finished Leia hat on head, parade around haughtily, tease a droid, take a photo, and send us a link!
Andrea shows us how to knit "Idiot Cords"
Harley, Andrea's pit bull, rockin' the hat.
What craftery have you been up to lately? Link up your work in the comments!