With the weather getting colder, handknit hats are certainly a good thing to have. Not only that, they are quick and fun to knit. But I've learned something else about knitting hats. Just because a hat looks cute when you bind it off doesn't mean it's going to flatter you when it's placed on your head.
I've been making a lot of hats lately, starting with a few I thought would be just for me. Unfortunately, I've hat more misses than hits. And in the process, learned that I have a basic, Charlie Brown round head. Who knew? Not me, obviously.
I've already blogged about the first three:
New Caanan Revisited (improvised by me from the cowl pattern)
After I finished Snowlynn and tried it on, I was a little iffy about how I thought it looked. But my friends Hali and Diana came over for Halloween and with their kind input, I decided that it will go into the "sell or giveaway" pile.
Amanda, how I did love thee - until I put you on and Hali burst into laughter. (Don't you love having honest friends? I really do.) Another one for the pile.
The New Caanan was a success, mostly because it was a bit more slouchy, which is apparently the shape I need. Something going on up top that distracts from my round head and face.
Then there was:
Again, just too tight fitting for me. Sadly, made with my new favorite yarn, Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, in a lovely green they call "Apple." But I have more skeins and can try again with another style hat. In the pile.
Then I tried:
Another fun knit, this one is close fitting, but works because it got bigger after blocking and I had to turn the cuff up to wear it. The yarn is interesting. I was at one of those big antique malls and there was a booth selling rustic stuff including some skeins of yarn. I bought two of this orange/coral and two of a greyish hue. It's very rough and knits up as a heavy worsted/aran. I had to fudge the pattern to work with the gauge I was getting. It didn't soften much in the wash process, but I think, like Kureyon, it might get better with wearing. I'll make mittens to match with the other skein.
So, that's my hat saga. Five hats. One yes, one maybe, and three in the "get out of my life" pile. So, how do you determine if a hat will flatter before chosing a pattern, much less knitting it? I really don't mind if the hat doesn't work out, because I usually enjoy the process and know I can always find a good home for it.
I'm now in the process of finishing the last of four hats (and a pair of mittens) I'm knitting as Christmas gifts for my niece and three nephews who live in Connecticut. It all started when the 13-year old niece asked my husband if I would knit her a pair of convertible mittens to replace those I'd made for her six years ago. I decided that I'd include a hat and call it a all a gift. But that made me think that I should also do something for her brothers, and hats were a good answer. Of course, I have no idea about exact sizes, and just getting my sister-in-law to reply about what color the mittens should be was a nightmare, so I forged ahead, keeping in mind that almost everyone's head is bigger than mine.
For the mittens I chose The York Mittens, a free pattern from a local yarn shop (but available on Ravelry.)
It's a very cute pattern, but I think the next time I might try holding the stitches for the flap on waste yarn instead of having those purl bumps across the back. On the other hand, it made picking up very easy! And the pattern includes a few rows of purl to balance the motif just above the ribbing, which I chose to leave off.
The hat to match is Isipisi.
This is a very fun pattern, and I like the way it looks on me, so I'll make one for myself this winter.
For the boys, I made these (the third, Barley, is on the needles, so I'll show a photo of that in a following post.)
This one would work for me, too, because it's so slouchy. This is also a very clever pattern. It's knit outside in so there is less purling, but it's also reversible. Two hats in one!
Another fun knit. This, like the others, is a free pattern and three is a matching free scarf.
In the midst of all this hat frenzy, I also knit a sweater/shrug thingy. Fold and Turn.
The first photo shows the construction. You knit a long, mostly stockinette (sigh), rectangle. Then three-needle bind of a portion of each side when the ribbing is folded together. Sleeves are picked up and knit from the remaining live stitches. The second photo shows how it looks when folded into the shrug shape. It's an interesting concept, and I do think I'll wear this. In fact, the high today is supposed to be around 55, so this will be a good choice for running errands, which is what I need to do as soon as I hit "publish" on this post.
I'm going to try to get some photos this week of Gracie and her new boyfriend, Dillon. He's been rehabbing in the country from a long-term stiffle problem, but now that he's home, he's joined Gracie and Sandie in the front pasture to recover more fully. He won't be able to go out with the gelding herd until the County finishes fencing off the creek (sometime in the year 2047, most likely), because the banks are too steep and would put too much stress on his leg going up and down. So he's living the good life with the girls. Gracie, after some initial mareish attitude, has decided he's the best thing ever and they spend the day grazing and kicking up their heels together. He did, however, become too friendly with Sandie one day, and Mark had to come out and break up the rumble. It's really fun to watch them all together in the pasture. What he'll do when the girls go back in their herd, I don't know. I know he'll miss them. And Gracie will miss finely being with a horse she can boss around!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are celebrating with just immediate family this year, which means five for dinner. No stress here, just lots of good food and family talk. Hope yours is the same.