How to make a BonBon

Hello. Long time no me. Crummy time management skills, I know.

So, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I want to share with you how Eunice has taught me to make the BonBons.

But first –  please be advised : this is not a pattern for the faint-hearted or those who need instant gratification! This is a pattern for those of you who like to throw a bit of caution to the wind, to be adventurous, who do not stress over the exact number of stitches or any precise dimensions, and who can spend more than two evenings working on it.  This is a wing-it kind of a thing (exactly how I make lasagne, come to think of it!) It’s not a problem for me that no two are exactly the same because I sell them, so there is always someone who wants one slightly bigger, slightly smaller, slightly rounder, slightly longer, with a pompom, without a pompom, whatever.

caramel bonbon

The caramel one above was made by Eunice, using Elle Pure Gold DK (acrylic) and a 4mm hook.
The green one below was made by me with the same yarn and hook, but my tension is much looser than Eunice’s.  I also had more stitches so I have a fatter hat with less shaping at the brim.


I’ve just started one using Elle Cotton On DK and a 4.5mm hook. There’s a lot less stretch with cotton, so I’m working more stitches in the round so that I don’t end up with a long, narrow hat that would only fit a long, narrow gnome. It looks like this so far:

cotton bonbon

The first section is the circle for the crown. (I’m using British terminology).

Ch 5. Sl st to make a circle. Ch 2 (does not count as tr), 13 tr into circle. Join to top of first tr.

Row 2:  Ch 2, 2 tr into same st, and in each st all round = 26 tr. Join with a sl st.

Row 3:  Ch 2, tr into same st, 1 tr into next, 2 tr into next, continue all round. Join with a sl st  (39 tr). That is your flat crown part.

NOTE: At this point, it would be useful to count the number of sts, so that if you want to make another BonBon the same, or smaller, or bigger, this will be your guide. (Eunice says she never counts, she just seems to know by instinct when it’s right.)

The second part is the main textured section. This is much much easier than it sounds. Basically, it’s all worked in front post trebles and back post trebles**  so that you get a lovely up-and-down texture.

Row 4:  Ch 2, 1 bptr (back post treble) into same st, 2 fptr (front post treble) into the next st.  Continue with the 1 bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 5 – 8: Same as Row 4, but  work the bptr into the bptr of the previous row, and the 2 fptr into the second fptr of the previous row. Continue with the bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 9:  Same as Row 8 but you need to do a bit of increasing here: to increase, work your 1 bptr as usual, then work 2 fptr into the first of the fptr of the previous row; work 1 bptr into the second of the fptr of the previous row, then work 2 fptr into the same stitch.  This will give you an increase that looks like this:


Eunice makes about 6 increases evenly spaced around this row.

Now you just carry on crocheting merrily away until your BonBon is about the size you want it to be from crown to brim, excluding the brim (which you may want to wear flipped over anyway).

Note:  I did a couple more increases in about Row 11 of the cotton one pictured above because, as I said, I wanted to accommodate the lack of stretch.  It all depends on the yarn you’re using and how big you want the hat to be.

When you’re not increasing, and you’re just going round and round, you’ll start to see the dome shape form.

Work until the hat measures about 22cm in length from the very top (or less, or more, up to you).


Eunice’s brim is simply 5 or 6cm of front post trebles all around. With my green BonBon, I felt the brim looked like it was going to be too wide, so I first worked two rows of double crochet decreasing six times evenly in each row.  Then I did 5 rows of fptr.  End off and weave your ends in.

When you fold the brim over, you get a lovely contrast with the direction of the stitches.

I sold a lot of BonBons on Sunday at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market. Some girls wore a deep brim, some a narrow one, some had no brim.  It’s a pretty versatile hat.  One very stylish and charming lady of 72 has ordered one in dark brown that she is going to wear in a totally different way, that I had never thought of before.  I’ll show you that next time :)

Now, if these instructions really stink, please let me know – I’ve gone over and over them, but I may have made an error or overlooked something.  Fingers crossed not…

** front post and back post trebles

Back (sometime) soon x


31 thoughts on “How to make a BonBon

  1. tgonzales

    Jill, I love the bon bon hat. It is made just like my newsy newsboy hat is for the base of the hat, except there are not as many increases in mine. Oh how I love the texture of the front and back post (trebles) or since I live in America I call them (doubles). ;) Thanks so much for sharing Eunices’ pattern. Love and Hugs, Tamara

  2. yarnchick40

    Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh!!! I am so happy you were able to share this!!! *cartwheels*squees*fangirl jumping*
    OK, I promise to calm down. Thank you for sharing. This one is getting priority over all others on my to do list :)

      1. yarnchick40

        Meh, some days I’m gooshier than others. Today was your day.
        But seriously, I don’t wear hats and I want one of these. Like super bad.

      1. The Snail of Happiness

        OK, I’ve made a start, but looking at your third picture, it seems as if you are increasing at the join on every round… I had been carefully avoiding doing this, but now I look again I think maybe I’m wrong. I’ve got to the end of round 8 and my hat is gently domed, but yours looks flat… any thoughts?

      2. Nice piece of work Post author

        No, I’m not increasing at the join on every round. Your hat will be starting to take on some dome-ness by round 8 (but if you put it down flat and smooth it with your hand, it should still lie and remain pretty flat!). I’ve just checked the notes that I’ve been making while doing the cotton one, and when I was at approx 12cm diameter, I had 75 sts. At 15cm I had increased to 90 sts. If you are working with acrylic (ie. stretchier) yarn, you will most likely have fewer stitches at the same measurement. Does this help?

  3. Jane

    Jill, I think you’re very clever. I’m struggling with the idea of a ‘back post treble’ and immediately thought of a piano. How do you even understand any of that? I don’t know how you do it! xxx

  4. gentlestitches

    OMG!!! I have missed posts and only found out because I was visiting youngatfifty and saw a link to your webpage from snail of happiness!!! Some type of technical error and I am now graded as “followed by email link” Whew! I enjoy looking at your webpage. I too love the BonBon hat and would rather like to have a go ONE DAY! :-D

  5. gentlestitches

    LOL! Nah…… I loves ya! I have your Angel from South Africa on my lanyard key chain and she has seen some sights i can tell you! :-D

  6. Pingback: Bonbon…. or possibly pas bon | The Snail of Happiness

  7. Pingback: Très bon | The Snail of Happiness

  8. Pingback: crochet:: bonbon | yarnchick40

  9. Pingback: Where have I been? | Rainbow Junkie

  10. Sheena

    Thank you for sharing this pattern. What a lovely hat. I don’t tend to wear slouchy hats, but can’t wait to make this and try the post stitches. How much yarn roughly does it use, please?

    1. Nice piece of work Post author

      Hi Sheena, I used approx 130g of double knit. But I make mine pretty fat! I do hope you enjoy making this, they have been extremely popular at the markets I attend so they definitely have something going for them :-)

  11. Pingback: Bonbon hat and mittens | Rainbow Junkie

Thoughts or comments? You can tell me :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s