Have you ever found a pattern that you don’t get bored knitting? Usually I dislike making the same thing twice (or more) but honestly, I’ve knit this hat 4 times already. I have plans to make at least 2 more (similar to the white long brim one). The first two knits of this hat I thought I might be bias because this is my own baby. But no, after the third, I couldn’t wait to cast-on another. Now, I’m itching to make another, because they are just THAT MUCH FUN.
Why do I love this hat so much?
Let’s break it down.
Have you ever done a tubular cast-on with waste yarn? Neither had I until I made this hat. I watched THIS VIDEO from A-C Knitwear. It was informative, and it worked the first time! It takes a little additional effort than your basic backward loop or long-tail cast-on. But I ASSURE you, how stunningly polished your cast-on edge will look is worth all the effort. No lie- this is my NEW FAVORITE CAST-ON. It is definitely going to make an appearance in future knits (here’s looking at you, fall releases). The cream long-brim sample was knit with long-tail; I don’t love the edge.
Next the short 1×1 option. I don’t like a ton of rib before the main event. It can be tedious. But the tubular cast-on isn’t as prone to rolling, so you don’t need to do inches if you don’t want to. Unless you like that sort of thing, then by all means: YOU DO YOU!!
The body is where the love-fest continues. With most of the body unassuming (and easy) stockinette or reverse stockinette, the rows FLY off the needles. Stockinette hats can get boring and feel like a bit of a slog. But what makes the hat great fun: A cable with a little more pizzazz than a simple repetitive C4F/C4B cable. Its 22 stitches wide, so enough to be interesting, not so large that you lose all sense of your bearings if you look away. I think this would be a nice project for knitters looking to tackle slightly more complicated cables without the commitment of a whole sweater or scarf or some other item will greater than 55 rows. Yeah, the shortest version has 45 pattern rows and 10 decrease rows. SO DOABLE.
When you put all those attributes together, that’s when it comes together visually. The cable is in relief to the reverse stockinette flanking it on either side and the smooth texture stockinette fades into the background. Allowing you to focus mainly on the cable. Or someone sees the hat from behind and is all, a ho-hum hat, then BLAM a sweet cable jumps out at them when they adjust their viewing angle! I like to imagine they are speechless for a moment while they catch their breath from being so impressed.
I tested two different crowns: a basic “swirl” decrease and a quartered decrease. I found the basic swirl decrease to be a bit easier to execute with less laddering at the decrease points. I remedied the laddering by stitching closed the ladders with the waste yarn at the end.
Did I mention that the pattern is UNISEX? Just by changing the yarn, the length, the color, or pom-pom status you have a hat suitable for anyone you know who will wear a hat. It also looked hecka cute on my little kids- albeit extra slouchy. SO VERSATILE.
Let’s Talk About Yarn!
Do you have too many shawls and don’t want to stuff a $35 hand-dyed skein of cashmere blend yarn into your shoes? Now you have another option! I used less than 400 yards of fingering held double for both of the hats I made using fingering weight. If you made an extended brim AND the slouchy version, you may need upwards of 460 yards (estimated I don’t have a version with this parameter).
Don’t have any sock weight floating around? I got you covered. You can use a heavy DK or a Light Worsted too! The cream colored one is Lion Brand Wool-Ease. It worked up awesome.
Lets talk about alpaca. My dark, almost black, version is a worsted weight alpaca blend, worked to a tighter than normal gauge. Alpaca has a tendency to “grow” because it lacks the springiness/bounce of wool, or rigidity of acrylic fibers. This is great for shawls- not always the best for hats. The achieved gauge is a bit on the large size- if you are a female with petite proportions, I suggest a sock or DK weight. It will fit you better and you will be more satisfied with the finished project. Conversely, if you are knitting for a man with large proportions, go ahead and use a worsted. Be sure to gauge swatch to make sure you like the finished fabric if you are not using an alpaca blend. A hat that can stand up on its own is not a comfortable hat.
WHERE CAN I GET THIS MAGIC HAT PATTERN?!?!?
I would LOVE to see your version! Use the hashtag #UnassumingHat on Instagram, as a project on Ravelry, are the two easiest ways to show off your work where I’ll see them!