If you enjoy reading about adventurous hero’s of the past, you will probably know about this famous chap, TOM CREAN…

He was born a short distance from the village of Anascaul, which is in the beautiful Dingle Peninsula  Kerry Ireland in 1877.   He joined the navy as a young boy of 15  leaving his home, for a career on the high seas.  Later, he accompanied Scott to the Antarctic on two occasions, also Sir Ernest Shackleton on his expeditions.  He was a capable, intelligent, strong, quiet man, naturally an excellent choice to have along on such an adventure as he proved to be caring and brave towards his fellow comrades.  Please look him up on wikipedia to read all about this great man.

This a splendid iconic photo of him.  As this gentleman has a special regard with our family for his heroism, I decided to have a go at trying to replicate his hat!


I had no pattern to go on, only this photo so I totally made it up as I went along from some wool I had!   As the photo is black and white, there is no clue to what colour his hat was… I am guessing grey, brown, tawny or one of the natural colours.


I thought this Rowan DK felted tweed looked like it might do very well!


I cast on 100 stitches onto size 3.75 needles.  I was thinking average adult head!


Rib approx. 1  1/2 inches (knit two, purl two)


Then just kept backwards and forwards,  stocking stitch, one row knit, one row purl until the piece measured approx. 15inches… This was a guess…


I gave the whole piece a light steam press to stop the edges curling. Then I stitched  up the long sides together, with right sides together to form a tube shape. Another light press with the iron.  Still inside out I flattened out the tube so the seam was at in the centre, meaning the sides of the tube had no seam. Stitched  along the top, another light press.


In the mean time I had made two little tassels like this:-


Easy to make. Make two. With a piece of stiff card board box card cut a  piece approx. 4″ x 8″


Wind the wool around the card about 20 times.  With a length of wool (double up for strength) thread the wool through the top of the wool while still on the cardboard.  Tie a strong knot.


Carefully slip the wound wool from the cardboard, with another length of wool, wind and tie around approx 1′ down the skein of wool.

SAM_4854Snip the longer loops which instantly will form a tassel!


At the top of the tassel thread the wool length onto a darning needle and secure a tassel into each corner while the “hat” is still inside out, do check to see if the tassel is right in the corner!


Turn the hat inside out, turn up the rib to form a cuff… et voila!


If you want a good book to get really to know this gent, treat yourself to this one by Michael Smith, full of fabulous photo, facts and information.  Another great book is “Unsung Hero” again, superb read.


Should you want to watch a gripping drama – film – documentary, I would recommend this one “Shackleton” (played by the talented actor Kenneth Branagh) … Naturally our man Crean is featured in it.  Shackleton is also a special hero, and is up on the top of our family’s list of  great people  in history.

I hope you have enjoyed this post – craft and a little knowledge!

Thanks for dropping by, do let me know who has inspired you, from the past or living right now…

Jay x

Little snippet for you from Snoo “…. sea otters hold each others paws when they sleep so they don’t drift apart…”








2 thoughts on “TOM CREAN’S HAT

  1. Nice hat. I am sure it will keep you warm. Always nice to have the mixture in your emails. I have said it before and I will say it again, you are the most unpredictable blogger I read. Thank you for that. Maxie

  2. What a wonderful blog post. An excellent pattern and some interesting information to go along with it. Love your choice of wool . Thank you Jay.

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