Hats. They are taking over my world.
In truth, this hat should have taken me an evening to knit, but the combination of a too-loose gauge and lack of a 16″ circular needle made this project slightly maddening. I chose the Vermonter pattern (free on Ravelry) by Abi Gregorio for its simplicity. Initially I attempted the Amelia Slouch Beanie, but the yarn was so heavy I scrapped that idea halfway through and tried again with this pattern.
The yarn is Malabrigo Rasta, a superbulky yarn that seems to even outdo other superbulkies. It’s almost like knitting with pencil roving (not that I’ve tried that, but I’m using my active imagination here), and ultimately I had to take out 4 stitches from the written pattern so that the hat would fit my head without toppling off. I probably knit this hat about four times trying to find the right stitch count, and all of that knitting time was spent on US 11 and US 13 double-pointed needles, so I can’t say I particularly enjoyed myself during the process, but at least I finally found the magic number (40 stitches around). It is worth mentioning that I have a smaller head and a looser gauge, so that might not be necessary for others. The slightly altered stitch count meant that I had to improvise my decreases at the crown, but it seemed to work out fine (sorry, I don’t entirely remember what I did!).
Making the pom-pom was hilarious; it started out crazy gigantic and I kept giving it haircuts and trimming as evenly as I could, aiming for a reasonable size that was close to uniform, but it’s still pretty enormous. The first time I wore this my husband pointed at the pom-pom and asked “what is that for?” I told him it served no particular purpose and was just for fun, which only encouraged him to bat at it like a tennis ball. Boys.
Having said that, this hat has already gotten a lot of compliments and I love wearing it, especially in the middle of this brutally cold winter (please, can we have some more degrees out here? more than 10 F? also, are you serious with this freezing rain?). Malabrigo colorways, particularly the variegated ones, never disappoint, and this hat screams “handmade” in the best possible way.
More hats to come. Specifically, pink hats.
Meet my new go-to hat. I finished it over the holiday break while visiting my family in California (oh glorious CA weather, how I miss thee!), but it was started at least a year ago, maybe two. While doing a spirited clean-up of my knitting basket, which is essentially a messy pile of yarn, abandoned projects and random objects, I came across two inches of ribbing on a circular needle and remembered starting this hat in the long-forgotten past.
*Also, I really have hyphens on the brain, since I just used them three times in the last paragraph. Mr. A has been doing a lot of work-related writing (hyphen alert!!) and has been obsessing about proper use of hyphens recently.*
The pattern is Cocoon, provided free on Ravelry by the designer, who has many other wonderful patterns here. It’s an absolutely perfect pattern, just the right amount of slouch, knit with chunky yarn, very cool and clever decreases, and excellent for gifts. Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to find knits that toe the line between being stylish in a simple enough way that you aren’t screaming “this is handknit!” but is still enjoyable to make. Not that I’m against screaming “handknit” at everyone who walks down the street, but I think you get my point.
Unsurprisingly, the yarn is quite glorious. I used a skein of handspun 100% cashmere from Lotus Yarns – someday the label will probably resurface, but until it does, I’m pretty sure it’s this one. It’s buttery soft, incredibly warm, and the black/white marl is on point. It was a total beast to do a tubular cast-on with, since the marl and the thick/thin nature of the yarn makes it difficult to see, but it was worth the hassle. I also had quite a bit of trouble getting it to knit densely enough for my taste (again, the thick/thin aspect was to blame, in addition to my reputation as a loose knitter) and I have a smallish head and I like my hats to fit firmly at the brim, so I went down to US 6 and 7 (the pattern calls for US 8 and 9).
I realize now that I have no shots of the hat in detail, but honestly, with the marl it’s pretty impossible to see the cleverness of the pattern.
These photos are all pre-work selfies on my iPhone, and I although I figured the light was good enough to warrant skipping the fancy camera, the quality is definitely not the same. I’m not entirely sure, but I assume that the selfie side of the camera is lower quality than the other side, but I wasn’t about to set up a tripod to take pictures of myself while students were walking to campus. I mean, I’m ok being a weirdo in general, but that crosses the the line. I’ll be back with higher quality photos next time.