Some of the very first projects that I worked on after I first started knitting were hats. After squares and scarves, anyway. They were my initial foray into knitting in the round, and last fall I proudly knit each of my girls a hat to wear during the winter.
The first hat that I made was strictly to pattern size, mainly to see if I could do it. The hat was from the book, “Big Book of Knit Hats & Scarves for Everyone”, called the ‘Quick & Easy Roll Brim Hat’. It was a one-size-fits-all pattern, intended for adults. I was going to give the hat to Hannah, my 7-year-old, if it fit – thinking that it might be a little bit big.
It didn’t fit – but it wasn’t too big. In fact, it fit my 4-year-old, Becca – perfectly. So that was the hat she wore last winter.
For my second hat attempt, I changed several variables in order to obtain the gauge that I needed for the hat to fit Hannah. I used bulky-weight yarn (as the pattern called for, and which I hadn’t done on the first hat). I also added a couple of sets of pattern stitches. And I tried to knit more loosely – or at least not quite as tightly. In any case, it all worked – the hat fit Hannah. Phew!
When it came time to make a hat for Abby, she picked out another bulky-weight yarn, but of a different material. I was a little unsure as to how well chenille would work for a hat, but I gave it a go. Using the same amount of stitches as for Hannah’s hat, I realized early on that the hat would be big, but since Abby has a large head anyway, I figured it would probably be ok.
I was wrong – about more than just the hat size. Chenille stretches – and the first hat that I made for Abby was huge. It looked like she was wearing a hat meant for a giant. Abby thought it was pretty cool anyway, but I didn’t want anyone seeing her in that hat, so I quickly knitted her up another one – back to the amount of stitches that the pattern called for. And it fit – at least at first…
But within days of wearing the hat, it stretched so much that it lost its shape and looked almost like a beret when Abby wore it. Nevertheless, she loved the hat so much because I’d made it for her and she wore it all winter.
Yes, I think that by the end, only her glasses were keeping the hat from falling down over her eyes! When she lost the hat near the end of the winter, Abby was heartbroken (I, not so much though) – so I promised that I would knit her a new one for this winter.
This week, I made good on that promise. I wanted a break between socks anyway, and we’ve had a few mornings lately that were cold enough for me to consider breaking out the hats and mittens for the girls. I wanted to get Abby’s hat done – before she really needs it. So I headed to the LYS (local yarn store) and found a really nice, soft worsted-weight yarn on clearance. And a new hat pattern – since I can’t find my book that had the previous pattern in it.
I started the hat last Tuesday, and it’s a very, very simple pattern – just round after round of knitting until the decrease rows at the end to shape the top of the hat. It also has a roll brim at the bottom. This time I was smarter about size – the pattern is meant for a 20-inch head, so I measured Abby’s. Her head measures 22 inches, so I figured out the amount of stitches per inch for the correct gauge and added to the pattern accordingly.
Initially, I was slightly worried as I tried the hat on her, once I thought it was big enough to test for size…
But when I got further along, it seemed to fit very well. I finished the hat tonight and it fits her – perfectly.
So for the moment, I think we’re good, hat-wise anyway. Becca’s hat just barely fits now though, so I have the feeling that in a few months I’ll be making her a larger one too. I don’t mind – it was nice to have an easy project where I didn’t have to count stitches or worry about pattern. I could just sit and work while watching tv, at Hannah’s soccer practices, or while listening to music or podcasts on my phone.
OTN: Next up is to make the second sock. I’ve already got it cast on and have done a few rows of the top ribbing. I am determined to finish this pair of socks using dpns – then I really want to learn some of the other sock-making methods that I’ve heard are much easier.