It’s warm…time to knit wool hats


This is Breck, by Susan Vilas Lewis of Stay Toasty. She’s Lewister on Ravelry, where you’ll find her designs. The slip-stitch colorwork is meant to evoke the mountains in Breckenridge, Colorado. My red and off white version is knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, a sport weight, which is what the pattern calls for.

breck_blueI was so pleased with the result that I decided to immediately cast on for a second version, this time knit in Plymouth Yarn DK Merino Superwash. In DK-weight, the hat ends up slightly slouchier, which is a nice effect.

Here’s another look at both.



Lately it’s been warm and a bit muggy. Typical August in Michigan. That’s when I often find that my knitting perversely turns to small, cold-weather accessories. And hats are a major favorite because, well, maybe because… you only have to make one. But then my recent knitting of hats has found me knitting two, so that theory doesn’t hold up.

The Thinker is definitely a major favorite Stay Toasty design. Here it is knit in Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in the blue spruce colorway.


The Thinker is a well-behaved hat even at its crown decreases.


And here’s more Thinkering. Another version in the same Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s wool. The garter stitch horizontal bars and the two easy cables keep a knitter interested. But the pattern is totally easy. The pattern is sized from infant to large adult.


This is one good hat! My trusty glass head is pleased to model these Stay Toasty creations. Check out a few more Thinkers here.


Hats for the polar vortex


This is a great walk-in-the-woods hat for hunting season. It’s Alexis Winslow’s Cabled Dad Hat, a free pattern if you’re OK signing up for her Knit Darling newsletter. She doesn’t stuff my mailbox with a bunch of emails. I’m grateful for that and for this excellent free pattern.

It’s a nice rhythmic knit. I used one of the best blaze orange wools around: Briggs & Little Heritage in their hunter orange colorway. It’s a rustic worsted, so if you’ve got that itch-adverse thing going, you’ll likely want to choose another yarn. But I like the feel of rustic wools. What others think is itchy I just experience as warm.

My brother the hunter is wearing this one. Top priority for me…was the top. I eschew hats that have pointy tops. This one has a bit of extra fluff where the crown decreases start, which a softer wool would probably tame, but check out the top. No point!


I was drawn to the this next one, a design by Miranda Grant of Pokitoknits, because pine trees and I are good buddies. Her hat is called Coniferae.


Coniferae, also known as Pinophyta, is the division of plants that include pines, firs, and other evergreens. You know…conifers…cone-bearing trees. And Coniferae is basically the Latin plural feminine of conifer. Anyway, it’s a really nice hat and deserves more attention than it’s getting on Ravelry so far. I used Stonehedge Fiber Mills Shepherds Wool, a worsted, in their blue spruce colorway.

coniferae_topConiferae has an interesting almost whirligig top and, again, no dreaded pointy top. Grant’s pattern calls for an Aran weight, but my hat worked out nicely in a worsted.

This next hat is Diametric, by Susan Villas Lewis of Stay Toasty and The Thinker hat fame.


And here’s the glass head wearing it and showing off the patterning a bit more. The hat is an enjoyable knit. Just enough going on to keep a knitter from getting bored.

diametric_sideThe crown decreases are worked in pattern, giving the hat a nice swirling effect and…you guessed it, no point.

diametric_topThis is Kraemer Yarns Perfection Tapas, a 23% wool/77% acrylic worsted. I was drawn to the pink and green mix, their arugula colorway, and was prepared to not like the yarn much. No knots. A nice soft but weighty quality to it. It won me over.

The Thinker


No. Not the Thinker you’re thinking of. The Thinker, by Susan Villas Lewis.


Susan designs under the name Stay Toasty and her patterns are available for download on Ravelry. Here’s another look at one of my new favorite hats. And then a view from the front and from the top because this hat is great any which way you look at it.



My Thinker is knit in that new favorite yarn of mine: Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. Every stitch pops!

The Thinker pattern is clearly and intelligently written. I’ve found no errors and see none reported on Ravelry. It’s sized from newborn to adult large. Many knitters write that they found they couldn’t knit just one. And I couldn’t either. This is Isaac’s version, knit in the same yarn.