More Maria Socha hats

I’ve already accused myself of being obsessed with Maria Socha’s hat designs in another blog post. Apparently I’m out to prove that I’m guilty as charged.

This is Estera. It’s been one of my favorite hats during this early cold Michigan winter. I knit mine in Malabrigo Rios in the lettuce colorway. Socha makes bobbles look amost elegant in this hat. And the strong architectural lines of the body of the hat flowing into those graceful crown decreases? Wow. Just wow.

Next up is Jelenka. It’s knit in a yarn that’s new to me: The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted. Excellent yarn. Great hat. Here’s a close look at the texture flowing back, and forth, and back again in this hat.

It’s an interesting, simple stitch that creates a dense but squishy fabric. Glasshead found it quite cozy. So does the head currently wearing it. The flow of the stitch pattern does a great job of taming variegated yarns,

Socha’s designs often have spectacular crown decreases. This one is more subtle than most but the pinwheel effect works great and looks great.

Klapsa is next. Here’s the pear, a favorite variety in Socha’s native Poland.

Here’s the hat. (I probably should have knitted it in green.)

Klapsa is a wonderful fun knit. Mine is knit in HiKoo by Skacel’s Sueno Worsted.

Socha’s patterns are both charted and provided line-by-line. I worked from the chart. The 22-stitch, 55 round chart is super easy to use because it prints at full-page size. It makes for a comfortable read for my old eyes. The chart is even easier to work than it seems at first glance because every other row is simply working the stitches as they appear from the prior round.

And, once again, a great crown decrease.

For the cold ears among us: Ulena. That’s a very wide doubled brim, with a picot edge. Starting with a provisional cast-on creates live stitches to join to the stitches on your needle. And then it’s off to the races with fun increases and decreases. Plus some well-placed bobbles.

Here’s a look at the interesting effect.

Ulena finishes off with a great crown.

Ulena calls for an Aran weight yarn. I used Novita’s 7 Veljesta Solid. I wasn’t sure how a yarn with 25% acrylic would work up with the tugs of the increases and decreases and bobbles on stockinette, but it did well.

By now, I must seem to be quite the fan girl of Socha’s hat patterns. To me, she’s a major talent in the knitting universe.

Maria Socha’s hats

I don’t get a kick out of this abused word, but I’ll use it anyway: I am obsessed with Maria Socha’s hat patterns. Obsessions are mostly over-discussed by HGTV people talking about patterned tile or brass cabinet pulls so maybe I can be forgiven. In the last few weeks I’ve been knitting Socha’s hats and having a wonderful time of it.

This is Dumka. I wanted the stitch pattern to show very clearly so I knit mine in Plymouth Yarns’ Worsted Merino Superwash. Socha lives in Poland and I was curious about the meaning of “dumka.” It sounds a bit like an insult-word, but I was sure I must be wrong. Indeed. Very wrong. A “dumka” is a piece of music in a melancholy style. In other words, a lament.

Dumka’s brim is double thickness one-by-one ribbing. So this hat will keep ears nice and warm. The wearer will not be lamenting any cold ears. And the topper is I-cord, knit from the last stitches of the crown decreases.

As the pattern directs, Dumka benefits by a good soak and a gentle flat blocking to open up the stitch pattern a bit.

Check out the beautiful crown decreases.

Such an excellent hat!

Socha lives in Szczecin, Poland. She says she’s “just an ordinary woman who loves to knit.” and hats are her “favourite” thing to knit. It shows. Her hat patterns are stunning. This next one is more simple than Dumka, but not simplistic. It’s Jey.

I used the same Plymouth yarn as in Dumka. Jey is an excellent, comfortable, unisex hat. The contrasting cast-on sets off the hat perfectly. And check out the wonderful pinwheeled crown decreases.

Jey is an easy-to-knit easy-to-wear beanie.

This next one is Natka. I decided to knit Natka in the Malabrigo Rios that many of Socha’s patterns suggest. Carrot Glaze is one of my favorite Rios colorways. It’s tonal but not overly busy. There’s a lot going on in Natka and I wanted to make sure my yarn didn’t obscure the patterning.

Those vertical columns are mock cable. Nice beefy bobbles are strategically placed at transition points in the fan motif. That’s an I-cord topper. The body of the hat grows organically out of the unusual twisted-rib spacing. Seriously cool.

The word “Natka” is also of Polish origin and is generally a girl’s name. It means “born on Christmas Day.” But apparently it’s not reserved only for Christmas baby births.

Natka’s crown decreases are…well, I don’t want to act like a goofy fan girl…so you can just check it out and form your own opinion. My opinion is kind of close to a gulp.

One more. Drumroll please. Edzia. Edzia is also a girl’s name, often considered to be a female version of Edward. This particular Edzia is one fine hat. The styling feels architectural in an Art Deco way.

For Edzia, I returned to Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash.

Socha is a new-to-me designer. But she wasn’t hatched just yesterday. I didn’t find her for a bit. She’s a real pro! Her patterns include clear charts that are rendered large enough even for old eyes to read. Line-by-line directions are provided as well in case you want to knit these hats the hard way instead of the easy way. Just kidding. I only became comfortable with charts in the last decade or so. Even I got there, given enough time.

These patterns are so excellent they’ll convince even even those who “don’t like to wear hats” that hats were a pretty good invention.