Saturday, February 04, 2012

Hat Quest 2012

I am of the opinion that there are two types of people in the world - those who can successfully wear hats (any style of hat) and look fabulous (or at least cute) and those who just look like a dork trying to wear a hat.

I fall into that last category.  I mean I look really awful in a hat.  Beanie, beret, baseball cap, garden hat - you name it, I look bad in it - as bad as that fence post above modeling the Elizabeth Zimmermann Maltese Fisherman Hat (a brilliant pattern, by the way)!  To top that off, I have hair that conforms itself to weird, ridiculous shapes the moment I put anything on my head, making it look like I totally forgot to use a comb when I got out of bed.  Do I care?  No, not particularly.  Hats are to serve a purpose in cold or windy weather when I'm working outdoors.  However, not only do I look terrible in a hat I guess I have some odd shaped head that makes it very difficult to find or make a hat that fits me properly and comfortably.  Sadly, the hat that fits me best is usually a purchased acrylic hat.  ACK!!!!

I am a lover of wool.  I raise wool, I spin wool, I knit and crochet with wool.  I'm determined to find a hat pattern that works for me, made from my own hands!

Along comes the knitters friend, Ravelry, and tons of groups formed to knit/crochet or spin twelve of something for the year 2012.  I figured there must be someone planning to work on twelve hats, and sure enough there is.  So I joined the 12 Hats in 2012 group for pattern suggestions and to be quietly working along with over 300 other Ravelry members on hats this year!  I am determined to find a hat that I like, is interesting to me to make yet easy and that fits me well!  Determined, I say again...and I figure that along the way if I make a hat that doesn't work for me, I can donate it to the outreach charity at my local yarn shop.

Phannie was one of the two hat patterns chosen by the group to do in January.  It's crochet, and when I was reading over the pattern I literally had a skein of yarn and the right size crochet hook sitting next to me at my desk!  I decided to give it a try (here is a photo of the "in progress" hat):

I know the basics of crochet, but not a lot.  There were some things in this pattern I had never done before that I wanted to try, like increasing and decreasing in crochet and also the "post stitch".  Can I just say that I am in love with how this looks?!?  I guess I did it right, I followed directions in a crochet book I have and whether its right or wrong I really like how it looks.  You can see the detail pretty well in the photo above. You start at the top with this hat and finish at the brim.  It didn't take long at all to finish.  And though I did the body of the hat in purchased yarn, the brim is handspun Corriedale and Shetland.

It fits great!  It looks - on me - terrible.  Sigh.....

I would definately make this pattern again, in fact I am going to make this hat again in handspun.  I enjoyed the crochet and learning something different.  It only took me three days to finish it, working a little bit at a time.  The pattern is free from the Berroco website (a great place to visit, by the way!)

So now you have endured reading a very long post about hats and my head, LOL!  The posts about hats over the course of the year won't be quite so long, but I will share my journey with you.  I would love to hear about your favorite hat pattern if you have one!

I've already cast on for February, this time I started on the East Falls Hat from Knitscene Spring 2012 magazine.  This wasn't one of the patterns chosen by the Ravelry group, but I had just picked up the magazine because I liked the looks of this hat.  I'm thinking that this type of design, where  you knit the band first and then pick up stitches to do the body of the hat, might work well for me.  I want a snug fitting "band" around my ears, but the body of the hat to be more roomy.  This one is showing great promise and I'm almost finished with it, so will have something to show you soon.

On a side was completely daylight here in mid-Michigan by 7:40 am!  And, today is my baby brother's birthday!!!  I love him to bits and hope I get to see him sometime over the weekend!

ETA ~  Anyone near by (mid-Michigan) who would like to join in on the hat project, I've convinced my local yarn shop, Sip 'n Knit in Ithaca to do a montly knit-a-long, too!  Check out the link if you're interested.


Renee said...

I'd say you got the hang of crochet! It's looks beautiful! I love all the colors in it! Hope to see you again soon!

Kate said...

This is a very cute hat, Cary. My mom loved hats but had a hard time finding hats to fit her head. I just knitted up a hat for my sister. Lots of fun and very quick. Can't remember the patter at the moment. Will look it up when I get home. Take care and hope you have a great time with your brother!