Ushanka and Muff Set

I loooooooove faux fur (and real fur when I can get it thrifted) so I happily bought a lot of Lion Brand’s new Go For Faux yarn when it hit my local hobby store shelves, and have already used it in some of my new fall designs.

The Thick ‘n’ Quick version is so bulky that just one row of it makes a beautiful trim on garments and accessories…. But I mean, I bought lots. So doing a few all-fur pieces was in order. And the best part is, this yarn is JUMBO so you can make this a two-piece set in about half a day!

Here is a totally free pattern for one of my favorite hat styles: the Ushanka. Literally translating to “earflap hat” the ushanka is a classic garment in Russia and other cold northern regions of the globe – because it’s sooooo warm to wear! Additionally I designed a vintage-style muff out of the same faux fur yarn, because who doesn’t love a big fluffy arm sock?

I’m going to ramble a little about my costume here for Discworld nerds but if you’re just here for the free pattern, keep scrolling or save this project on Ravelry for later!

In another recent costume hat pattern, I designed the photo shoot as my favorite witch from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy books, just for fun. At that point I’d already designed this free pattern too, and wanted to make it a set – two of my favorite Disc heroines for two crochet patterns. The ushanka was, after all, so appropriate for Sergeant (later Captain) Delphine Angua von Uberwald.

Angua’s family’s propensity for cruelty and violence drove her out of her home in Uberwald (the cold northern Disc country run by noble Vampire and Werewolf families), so she migrated to the biggest city and was hired into the city watch; her ability to transform into a natural hunting machine made her a formidable detective. She’s a bit haunted by her past, and her character is a vessel for the struggle between nature and nurture, and the balance of laws and chaos – as many of the best Pratchett characters are.

I gave her the warm fuzzy hat but also a look of wariness and mistrust, a vintage military-style buttoned coat, and a pouch around her neck with her essentials (the only thing that stays on when she transforms).If you’ve never read the Discworld books, but like sci-fi or fantasy – I highly recommend them 🙂 Obviously! Ok, now for the pattern 😉

Instructions:

Materials:

Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick and Quick (#7, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% polyester) – 3 skeins (2 for the Ushanka, 1 for the muff). There are several types of Go For Faux – be sure you are getting the Thick and Quick!
11.5 mm crochet hook – or size needed to obtain gauge
Length of ribbon (2 yards)
Scissors, yarn needle (large eyed, for the jumbo yarn)

Gauge: 3 sts and 3 rows = 2″ in dc

Finished Measurements (approximate):
Ushanka Hat: 22″ brim, 7″ tall from brim to crown, 6″ long earflaps
Arm Muff: 7″ x 11″ for the finished tube

Ushanka:

The hat is crocheted in the round, the first 2 chain stitches do not count as the first st. Earflaps are added on after.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, make magic ring.

Leave the tail of the ring long, longer than the normal 6″ for weaving in. Since this yarn is jumbo, we need to leave a bit more so that it’s easier to weave.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 12 dc into the ring. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round. – 12 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 2 dc in the same st. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnd 3: Ch 2 (does not count), 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnds 4-6: Rpt Rnd 3.

For and more stiff and structured hat, I like to slip stitch around the entire brim after Rnd 6.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail.

Ushanka pictured on the right above, before adding earflaps. it makes a really excellent simple fur cap too, if you want to skip the flap part! (but it’s not an Ushanka without the flaps)

Earflaps:

Join yarn at the side of the hat, leaving long tail. I like to try on the hat and use stitch markers to mark off a 6-stitch long section on each side where they should go over my ears before starting this portion of the pattern.

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. (Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches) twice. 1 dc in the last st. – 4 dc

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches. 1 dc in the last st. – 3 dc

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail for weaving in.

Repeat Earflaps instructions on the other side, making sure to align placement properly for your ears.

See “Finishing” under the Muff section for further instructions.

One completed earflap just before tie off

Muff

The muff is constructed by crocheting a flat rectangle, then folding over and seaming down the open edge to form a tube.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, chain 17 sts.

Row 1: In the 3rd ch from the hook, work 1 dc (first 2 chains do not count as first st). 1 dc in ea of the next 14 chain stitches.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts.

Rows 3-5: Rpt Row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving an extra long tail for sewing.

Fold the piece in half width-wise (so that the halves are fatter, not skinner). Using the large eyed yarn needle, thread the long tail and seam the sides of the piece together so that it forms a tube.

If you prefer a larger/wider muff you can always add more rows on to the rectangle, or make extra rounds on the ends.

Finishing

With large eyed yarn needle, thread all remaining ends and weave in. The Jumbo yarn is a little tricky to weave in, just stick to going through the bottoms of the stitches and make sure to turn a few times when weaving . I have found this yarn loves to pop out because it’s so thick so you may have to test the finished piece by stretching, and trim a little if your ends start peeking out!

See the little yarn tail peeking out after a bit of stretching? Snip snip.

Now for the ribbon: You’ll need three ribbon lengths. I used a lightweight specialty ribbon yarn (the ruffling kind) but any soft ribbon will work – cut the lengths long, about 21-24 inches, as they will be doubled up (and you can then trim to preference).

Take two lengths and double them up, looping one through the center bottom of each earflap (working through a space between stitches) to tie on.

This decorates the hat and enables you to tie the earflaps up on top of the head in true ushanka fashion.

Next, take the third length of ribbon and cut in half. String each half in and out of the spaces between stitches on the edges of the muff, leaving the ribbon tails poking out in the same space like a drawstring. Tie & bow the ribbons – now you can adjust the openings of the muff to make sure your paws hands are toasty!

That’s it! Now you’re ready to face any chilly northern winds that may blow your way this winter ❤ Or maybe you’re ready to see Captain Carrot 😉

-MF

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