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Winter weather is so much more enjoyable with the right clothing! And a crochet balaclava is the ultimate accessory to keep your ears and head toasty when the temperature drops! Our curated list is packed with free crochet balaclava patterns suitable for toddlers, kids, and adults alike. Make one for yourself, or whip up a few to share the warmth!
Free Balaclava Crochet Patterns
As the colder months creep in, there’s no better way to stay warm and stylish than with a cozy, handmade balaclava. Whether you live in a frosty region with biting winds or simply enjoy outdoor winter activities, you can never have too many balaclavas on hand.
But what exactly is a balaclava? Even if you aren’t familiar with the term “balaclava” before, chances are you’ve seen or worn one. Essentially, a balaclava is a face covering that goes over the head and protects the neck and head from the cold and wind, while leaving an opening for the eyes or face.
Balaclavas can be tight-fitting or loose, purely practical or fashionable. Not only are they perfect for outdoor sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding – a stylish balaclava can dress up your winter outfit while keeping you warm at the same time. Balaclavas also make a fantastic present for anyone, especially for those hard-to-shop-for guys who love spending time outdoors.
Can beginners crochet a balaclava?
If you can crochet using basic stitches, increase and decrease, you can make an easy crochet balaclava pattern! Many of the balaclava patterns included in this list are suitable for beginner crocheters. The most popular stitches you’ll need to know include the chain, single crochet, and double crochet. While some patterns are crocheted all in one piece, some also require simple seaming.
Supplies You’ll Need for a Crochet Balaclava
Here’s what you’ll need in order to crochet your balaclava:
What is the best yarn for crocheting balaclavas?
Superwash wool is an excellent choice for crocheting balaclavas. Wool is warm, wicks away moisture, and doesn’t felt easily. Choosing a superwash option allows you to easily throw your balaclava in the wash when it gets dirty.
You don’t have to use wool for your balaclava, though. Nearly any yarn that’s soft and easy to wash will work well. Since balaclavas are worn directly on the face, it’s important to find a yarn that’s not scratchy or irritating to the skin.
You’ll find suggested yarns for each pattern listed below. Some of our favorite yarns to use for balaclava crocheting include Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash and Red Heart Soft Essentials.
Tips for Crocheting a Balaclava
Here are some helpful tips for how to crochet a balaclava – no matter what pattern you choose!
Select the right pattern for your skill level.
The list below includes patterns for crochet beginners through intermediates. Before choosing a project, it’s helpful to check the author’s intended skill level. It’s always a great idea to read through the stitches used and the instructions before getting started to make sure you’re familiar with all the needed stitches and techniques. This helps to avoid any surprises!
Make sure you understand any new stitch patterns.
While most balaclava patterns are made with common stitches, such as the chain, single crochet, double crochet, and half double crochet, some include special stitches or techniques. Crocheting in the back loop, working granny squares, and Tunisian crochet are a few of the less common techniques you may encounter within this list.
Choose the right yarn.
If you don’t have a lot of crochet experience, choosing a yarn that’s easy to work with can be a big help in avoiding frustration as you work. Choose a yarn that clearly shows your stitch pattern, rather than a fleece or another fuzzy option.
Measure for the proper fit.
Most of the patterns below are available in multiple sizes. If you want to get the best fit possible, check the measurements for each size rather than just choosing the size that sounds best. This is especially important for children’s balaclava patterns. Kids grow fast, and sizes aren’t always the same across different pattern companies.
Make a gauge swatch before getting started.
Choosing the right size will only matter if your gauge is correct! For wearables like balaclavas, it’s really important to make a gauge swatch before getting started to ensure the proper size. If your gauge is too small or too large, you can size your hook up or down or change your yarn weight. The extra few minutes it takes to create a gauge swatch will be well worth it when your project fits!
More Crochet Patterns
If you liked these free crochet hat patterns, you may be interested in these other crochet articles:
- 25 Free Crochet Hat and Beanie Patterns
- 25 Free Easy Crochet Scarf Patterns for Beginners
- 25 Crochet Headbands and Ear Warmer Patterns
- 25 Free Crochet Shawl and Wrap Patterns
- 25 Free Crochet Poncho Patterns You’ll Love
- 25 Adorable and Free Crochet Baby Hat Patterns
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.