Red hat days

Recently I noticed that I’ve been knitting a lot of red hats. Not that it’s been red red red all in a row. But I looked over my “knits4blog” file and found an abundance of red hats that I’d not yet featured.

This first one is the great Wooly Wormhead’s freebie, Meret, left free to be a beanie instead of a beret. That’s just a matter of not blocking it as a beret. My Meret is knit in Malabrigo Rios in the Cereza colorway. It’s a rich red with undertones of almost black. My apologies if that sounds wine-connoisseur-silly (“woody, with a hint of apricot and mushrooms”). But then lots of us are yarn connoisseurs in this robust knitting universe.

I was a smidge disappointed that the crown decreases turned out rather porous. It’s not beyond the pale though that sometimes we might need an air conditioned beanie.

Next up is yet another version of Jesie Ostermiller’s Portsmouth Beanie. This is such an excellent unisex hat pattern. This time I knit it in Anzula’s For Better or Worsted. 80% merino, 10% nylon, and 10% cashmere. This is the Watermelon colorway. I’m pretty sure it’s the 10% cashmere that keeps me reaching for this hat when I’m looking for cozy.

I’m frugal enough that I very much enjoy knitting multiples of purchased patterns. Six dollars for three hats–with likely more in the future–would please even my rubber-band-saving grandmother.

What would especially tickle Gram is that I knit this version in yarn I frogged from a prior, less successful, hat. I unraveled the hat, wound the yarn onto my swift, tied it in a few places, and then steamed it. That did an excellent job of unkinking the yarn and saved me the trouble of washing and reskeining it.

Here’s another version of Galina Shemchuk’s excellent freebie, Just a Hat. It’s a somewhat new hat pattern that’s drawn a lot of attention with 450 project pages in just a few years. There’s a lot to like about the pattern. Unisex. Very forgiving size-wise. Tidy crown decreases. And free.

 

I knit my Just a Hat in Malabrigo Rios using the Desert Rose colorway. This hat seems to look especially nice knit in a yarn, like Rios, with shading and depth to make the hat’s furrows furrow just right.

This next hat is Hill Country Hat by Clara Parks, the only bulky weight in this post. It’s part of her “Knitters’ Book of Wool” but the pattern’s been released as a freebie.

I’ve knit Hill Country (ahem) eight times and already posted this hat’s predecessors. If you search on this blog you’ll find them all and be able to see the interesting stitch choices that make this bulky-weight a standout. What makes my latest version different is my unusual yarn choice: Lana Grossa’s Fusione. If you want to give it a try in this yarn, I’ll just wish you luck because it’s discontinued. Personally, I liked its 30% cotton, 26% alpaca, 25% wool, 19% nylon mix, for some purposes anyway. Very cozy. But I didn’t like it’s-time-to-take-out-a-mortgage price. And then I bumped into a huge markdown on the stuff and I was all in. This Hill Country wiped out my stash though.

Admittedly, not the best choice if you’re looking for stitch definition. But it will keep some head totally warm.

Last up is another Maria Socha beauty: Rioska. Mine is knit in Sugar Bush Yarn’s Bold, unfortunately another discontinued yarn. It’s a worsted weight with excellent stitch definition. I’ve often knit with solid shades of Bold. This was the first time I used a variegated shade: Rose Garden. I was concerned that the mock cable details would be overwhelmed by a too busy yarn. But I’ve decided that the result is excellent.

So pretty, including Socha’s trademark well-planned crown decreases.

Hundred degree hats

This week is not the week to tuck your sweaty head into one of these hats. Weather predictions say that in a few days it will be 101 degrees Fahrenheit in our neck of the woods. And daytime high temps are supposed to be in the nineties for about ten days. We hope the four Eastern Kingbird chicks who haven’t yet fledged from the cupholder in our dock-chair in the full sun will be able to make it through.

For some reason really hot weather always makes me think of the fun of knitting wool hats. So I’m featuring some here that I’ve knit recently that haven’t made it into the blog, including Suvi Simola’s great beanie “Bobbles & Cables Cap.” Mine is knit in Sugar Bush Yarns Rapture, a 50/50 llama/merino worsted weight that is next-to-the-skin soft. This is a product of Canada, Michigan’s (mostly) to the north great neighbor. The company says that “Sugar Bush Yarn is a tribute to a Canadian inclination to embrace its northern temperament.” Right now I’m working to embrace a southern temperament and not doing too well.

This pattern is included in one of the 60 Quick Knit Books whose errata typically span many pages. You won’t get bobbles like mine following the directions in the book. Simola has put out an errata, available on Ravelry as a note on the pattern page. But I decided to knit a still beefier one: knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one into one stitch. Turn and knit four. Turn and purl four. Pass the stitches over the one closest to the tip. This is the first time I’ve used a Sugar Bush yarn and I’m really liking this one.

What? Crochet? Crochet from this notorious non-hookerr?

Nope. It’s Wooly Wormhead’s 100% knitted Waffle Slouch. I was drawn to it partly because, except for the ribbing, it was knit masquerading as crochet. At least that’s what my eyes see.

My Waffle Slouch is worked up in Fibre Company’s Cumbria, 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. I never heard of a Masham sheep and suspected it was somehow a mashup of more than one breed. That’s what it is. A crossbreed between either a Teeswater or Wensleydale ram with a Dalesbred or Swaydale Ewe. The result is a long lustrous fiber.

As always with a Wooly Wormhead beanie or slouch, she manages a disciplined, non-pointy crown.

I had a bit of difficulty with what should have been some pretty simple lacework in this next hat. Totally user error. It’s Tracey Lambert’s free pattern: Pennyroyal. It’s a keeper for sure.

I knitted mine in Anzula’s For Better or Worsted. It’s 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, and 10% nylon. Great yarn. Great hat. I followed Lambert’s lead and added an extravagant pompom and the light highlights in the yarn really make the pompom pom.

If you try Pennyroyal, and please do, take note of the instructions on how to slip stitches. Slip the stitches knitwise. Ask me how I know that the more common purlwise just didn’t cut it.

This next hat is another Wooly Wormhead pattern: Tebe Slouch. I knit mine in Madelintosh DK in their beautiful nighthawk colorway.

Here’s another look at Tebe:

Great hat pattern and I will make it again. But one design feature doesn’t sit too well with me. You knit the caston together with the live stitches to form the picot edge with a purl row. The ridges just after the join don’t look right to me. I think I’d make the join with a knit row next time.