Last week: “Well I’m up a creek without a paddle, but thanks to Ravelry, I now have a paddle! It just started snowing & my two nephews are coming up Saturday from Texas without cold weather gear. This is EMERGENCY knitting. All other projects are put aside until I get hats for my precious nephews! So thankful for the Indie Design Gift-a-long and scoring this great pattern! After sending me my nephews’ head sizes, I got a PM from my sister, ‘and just in case you are wondering, my head is 21.5 inches. So all total 3 hats to knit in 1 week!”
Now that my precious boys are gone & I’ve caught my breath (and the 2646 posts in the chat thread on the Indie Design Gift-a-long Group), I’m pleased to review the two patterns I knit – Weathervane by Sara Gresbach and Medici Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton.
Weathervane by Sara Gresbach – 5 stars for pattern writing and an “easy” for difficulty level.
I whipped out 2 of these hats in just 5 evenings (amazing speed for my stitching). The pattern was clear, simple to follow (once I woke up enough to realize I read cm as inches – it was rather late night knitting), and easily adaptable. The detail of ever shortening purl highlight rows adds interest to the knitting process & is gender neutral.
Using yarn frogged from Motoring Vest’s prototype – Estelle Cloud Cotton 100% organic cotton in brown – I knit Nathaniel’s hat and included 7 “manly” bobbles in between two of the purl sections, since he is 7.
Sorry you know boys, he thought they looked best to wear the bobbles on the side rather than front.
Using the same reclaimed yarn, for Micah’s hat, I skipped the bobbles and decreased the cast on by 4 sts due to his slightly smaller head. To finished, I elected to attached a pom pom (left overs from the published Motoring Vest – Classic Elite Yarns Seedling 100% organic cotton in burnt orange) to distinguish the two hats and add age appropriate flare. He loved the pom pom so much – his smile was bigger than the moon as he raced in to give me a huge hug! (Made my aunty’s heart sing with joy)
Micah enjoyed using the hat both functionally & as a toy – inside he used it like it was a bounce back paddle ball toy.
With less than a day before their arrival, I searched for the perfect pattern for my sister. She has rather long hair & wanted a hat that would contain it and look good doing it. We settled on Nina’s Medici Hat. I give Nina’s Medici Hat 5 stars and an “easy plus” for difficulty level. The construction of the hat doesn’t become apparent until after half of the repeats are completed, which confused me at first, so I just knit blindly trusting Nina’s excellent writing skills until enough was knit that I could visualize how it worked. Again, the yarn was the same recycled organic cotton that I used on the hats for the boys. In the end, since I didn’t bother to check gauge (did I mention I was in a hurry?), I ended up knitting 9 wedges for the perfect fit.
The knitting ran slightly over, but I had two nephews who love to learn to knit who enjoyed watching me finish (after hours of romping in the woods first).
I absolutely loved, loved, loved how the final hat had perfect circles rather than jogs as it would have if it were knit in the round.
Come join the gifting in the Indie Design Gift-a-long on Ravelry. We have 293 indie designers and over 11,000 eligible patterns to choose from. The event runs through New Years with tons of fun, games, and both physical and electronic prizes. If you are looking for a super fast, easy to customize hat suitable for all your loved ones, I highly recommend Weathervane, which is sized for baby, child, and adult. If you are looking for a pattern with unique construction specifically for a woman with long hair, I highly recommend Medici Hat. Both are great patterns and pleasures to knit. And the recipients loved them too!