I took a hiatus of 15 years from knitting and took it back up about 5 years ago. I'm comfortable with that now. I'm again taking up crochet. Again, I put that down for 15 years. I never was that good at it then, but at least knew the basics. I'm improving at a tremendous rate right now by watching Youtube tutorials.
This has brought me to the quest for the perfect mitten and hat for 30 below zero weather here in the Frozen Tundra. I want to be able to crochet something up quickly that I can give away to charity. I've read and tried out a lot of patterns. Most have been real duds.
What I've discovered: The double crochet hats are the quickest but also the holiest. Most of the patterns for these I have seen have been done on honking big hooks. The pattern designers' tutorials all say how warm they are. The pattern designers I have watched have all been from places like California, Texas, and Florida. Of course, their hats would be warm there. Not so much in the Frozen Tundra. Mikey from The Crochet Crowd said don't even bother making hats with double crochet. They're too holey and you may as well go out in the cold without a hat. I think he's right.
Then I had one of those Aha moments this morning. When you're thinking crocheted hats and mittens, think knitting. What have I learned from knitting? Mittens and hats done with smaller needles are warmer. What size do I make most of mine with? A size 6-8. That translates to a G, H, or I hook. What stitch is denser? garter or stockinette. For crochet, that would be single crochet or half double crochet. Finished. Done. Why didn't I think of that before? There's no need to scour the internet for fancy stitches. Keep it simple.