The season of hats!

When in a knitting rut, make hats!  Lots and lots of hats!  And when in a sewing rut, make T-shirts!  Lots and lots of T-shirts! I’m all about the instant gratification projects of late!  I’m also trying hard to finish up all of those small projects that have been started or ready to go for ages. I had grand plans of completely clearing out my WIP drawer this month and while that didn’t happen, I did make quite a dent. So I’m starting with hats!  Not all were made in January but all were made in the last few months and really, it is a ridiculous number of hats!

hat fanI’m going to ask you in advance to ignore me in all of these pictures. If we’re honest (and I’m always honest!), I look like complete shit! I’ve been in bed with some virus for the last few days and when I woke up with no fever this morning, I felt grand and decided I should go to work. Well, feeling grand is all relative and I’m far from 100%! That became extremely evident as I scrolled through the pictures we took today!  Onwards, shall we…

I’m going to start with my most recent make and my new favourite. This is the Jul hat from Jenny Gordy. A FAST knit my friends! Instant gratification, indeed! I made this out of my one of my all time favourite yarns (featured in roughly half of the hats I am going to show you here), the Blue Sky Alpaca Suri Merino. It’s is a single ply yarn with a wonderful hand and drape. Seriously, this yarn is hard to believe if you don’t have it in your hands! It’s got a fairly strong halo, which is certainly not for everyone but what I love about it the most is that it felts nicely with wear. Makes for a supremely cozy winter hat. And this colourway (Autumn) is just plain fun.

jul1jul2jul3

Next up has to be my absolute favourite knit of late… Bray from Jared Flood. If my knitting friends have not yet tried a Jared Flood pattern then get on it.  ASAP! His patterns really never fail to delight. He tends to play with cables and texture in his patterns and this is a classic example. Cables, lace and texture! Nothing too complicated but just enough to keep the knitting interesting. I don’t have ready access to his Brooklyn Tweed yarn so I went with the Rowan Felted Tweed. It’s a finer yarn than the pattern called for but I figured that the lace aspects of this toque already prevent it from being a real cold weather hat so a dk yarn was not going to be an issue. I really love the yarn choice! It adds even more texture to the project and gives it kind of an organic look that I enjoy.

bray4bray2

What I love the most about knitting Jared Flood patterns is that I always learn something new.  In this case?  The stretchy tubular cast-on!  I have played with this edge before but tend to be too lazy to use it regularly. However, after this project I am officially sold on it.  Such a lovely detail and it really is stretchy!

bray1

Up next is the Rikke hat and if you spend any time on Ravelry then there is no doubt you have seen this pattern before! Again, nothing too complicated here.  Just a straight up garter stitch hat that uses a nice cast-on (the German twisted cast-on, which is a perfect edge for garter stitch). I’m a big fan of garter stitch over ribbing for hats as I find that it hugs your head nicely without being too tight and it has great recovery.  However, I HATE knitting garter stitch in the round so making these two versions was significantly less fun.  I made this striped version first (again, using my favourite suri merino yarn).

striped rikke 3

striped rikke 2It really is a great hat and has gotten a ton of wear this winter. The downside is that it is just too big.  Anyone else have major sizing issues when it comes to hats?  I can rarely get them just right! Anyway, the up side to a large hat is that I can very comfortably tuck all of my hair into it.  The downside is that this sucker will go flying on a windy day, which we have often in Toronto. So after Christmas, I tried to give this pattern another go and made this version:

blue rikke 1blue rikke 2

Sigh. Hardly know where to begin with this failure! To start, it’s way too small! The combo of small hat and dark colour makes me feel like I am posing for a mug shot every time I put this one on! However, this hat is not a failure! On cold, cold days (of which we have had many this year), I layer my two Rikke hats for a toasty, toasty noggin’!

layered rikke 1I made this next hat last fall using leftover Tomato yarn from my Neon cardigan. It was a new pattern (the Lovejoy Slouch) from the newly minted Nerd Bird Makery and was a lovely pattern to knit up! Not a great toque for winter but I wore this often in the fall. And yes, it really is as garish at it appears!

Thao1Next up is the only hat of the bunch that I was really unhappy with. It was actually a test knit for Shannon and is now included in Journey, a knitwear collaboration between Shannon and Jane Richmond. The patterns in it (including the Swift hat) are beautiful and I think everyone should indulge in the hardcopy of this book if only for the gorgeous photography! It’s like taking a trip home every time I open it up! Anyway, the pattern itself was fun to knit up. Again, not too complicated but still interesting enough to keep from being boring. The yarn is a silk and wool combo that has a lovely sheen and great drape. The colour is vibrant and fun. However, the combo of colour, shape, etc just does not work for me. At all. So sad! But the hat works perfectly on a young summer student that modelled the hat for my Ravelry project page and has been promised to her. Now just to arrange to see Tash so that I can hand it off!

shannon2shannon1

Well, that covers the hats I made for myself. There are more that I gave away as gifts including these ones (the purple one is actually bright blue but was a pure bitch to photograph properly!).

IMG_1037anne 6

sophie 3

That was really a lot of hats so instead of linking to individual project pages I’m just going to say you’ll find all pattern, yarn and project details here.

As for my quick sewing fixes… T-shirts! I know there are already a million versions of the new Deer and Doe Plantain tee on the interwebs but since I happen to be wearing one of my versions today, I have decided to include it.  This is a great pattern, peeps!  Well drafted, a perfect fit (for me) and a blank canvas for all sorts of fabric and sewing fun! Now go and give it a try! I made no modifications except to add a couple of inches to the length of the shirt sleeve. This is actually my first Deer and Doe pattern but it won’t be my last.  I’m a sucker for a well drafted pattern!

plantain 1plantain 3plantain 2

I would normally link to a few of my favourite versions of this tee but I don’t even know where to start this time around. Go google it and you’ll see why!  So many awesome versions already!

I planned to include a January stash diet round-up but since I this is all I have pictures of, we’ll just have to have a running tally. With this shirt, I’m down a whopping yard of fabric! And the hats were all made from Stash yarn! Even better, the hats took a chunk out of my WIP drawer. Just winning all around!

Have a great weekend, Friends!

Sara

16 thoughts on “The season of hats!

  1. SO MANY HATSSSSSS!!!! That’s some serious productivity there. Well done! Now that I’ve made my first Plantain this afternoon, and can tell there will be more on the way!

    • So many indeed! But I think I am done with hat knitting for the season. Certainly I have enough in rotation that I need no more. But maybe I will want more… shall see! Can’t wait to see your plantain! You love it as much as I do?

    • Thanks! I do really enjoy knitting! I find it so much easier to pick up and get into than sewing! I’m amazed at how much knitting I am starting to see from my sewing friends on instagram, twitter and in blogs so it certainly seems to be the craft of the year! Maybe that means it’s a good time for you to give it a try again…? Maybe this time it will click for you. If you haven’t already discovered it on your own, a great knitting resource is knittinghelp.com. This is where I learned how to knit and is still the first place I go when I come across a stitch or a technique in a pattern that I’m not familiar with.

  2. Sara, you have been a knitting machine! I have to agree with you: the Jul hat is my favourite. I like then all, but there is something special about that one. As for Jarrett Flood, the only pattern I have tried by him was the Smokin’ sweater I made for Mr. Stitch and I was impressed. And your Plantain is even better in person – that fabric rocks!!! Finally, great idea to layer two hats. We’ve certainly needed that this winter!

    • I have indeed been knitting up a storm. It’s just so damned easy to pick up. Didn’t help that my sewing machine is currently buried on my desk. I cleared most of the crap away this weekend and I have big sewing plans this week (black jersey wrap dress, a Mathilde with a back variation and the pink wool crepe Chardon). And I have a Minoru to finish. And an Albio to get going for the sewalong. Such plans! Bound to fail! But will have a great time trying!

  3. Wowsers! That’s a whole lot of hats. I really like the Lovejoy Slouch, I’ll have to look it up. I finished a hat the other day, and they are so gratifying!

  4. OK – I too have made a zillion hats this season – gave them all away since I look crap in hats! They really are a great way to knit without becoming overwhelmed. And, today, using my T sloper, I’m going to make a new pattern (Demi Drape cowl top) but it’s a knit so I’m choosing to think of it as a T shirt with diff material.

    I hope you are back to your normal self very soon! Winter bugs SUCK. And you look totally cute in your pics – just a little paler than usual… When I am sick I look like death. It’s so not attractive.

    • I doubt you look like crap in hats but I will agree that a pixie cut can make hats more complicated. Never fun to look bald! I found that a cloche hat was a great shape when I had short hair. And I saw your demi drape top (will comment shortly) and it looked great! Looks forward to seeing it in person!

  5. That’s a lot of knitting, lady! I love the BT one – might have to download that one myself, especially since it has that awesome tubular cast on! You got a ton done this month!

  6. My goodness you are the hat queen! Nice knitting skills. I really like your plantain, love the bird fabric, all things bird, really. I have cut out but decided to serge it on my overlocker and its still in hospital! I took it to Sewing World on Andrea’s recommendation and its been there 11 days!! Did you serge yours or sew it? And if you serged, did you first draft or trim the seams to 3/8″? Not sure what the advantage of that is. (?)

    • Hey Catja! The fabric is just some cheap stuff from Girl Charlee but I’m happy with how it works here. I did use my overlocker for all but the hemming but only because it is faster this way. Could easily do it on the sewing machine though. I would imagine it sucks to be away from your serger for so long but hopefully it will be working like a dream when you get it back! I’m glad Andrea had a repair recommendation for you! And no, I didn’t bother trimming the seams. 5/8″ SA are a bit of a pain on a serger but I went ahead anyways… though probably not entirely accurately!

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