I was scrolling through the new patterns on Ravelry when this hat jumped out at me - it was so cute, and I knew I had the exact same yarn colors in my stash - so I had to make it! Plus, I was feeling a little adventurous after my success at knitting some baby hats that used the stranded knitting technique, so I thought I'd give this one a go. You guys. I was so happy with how it turned out! And, even though I overthought the colorwork section a bit (seriously Shelley, just do what the pattern says), it ended up being one of my most favorite hats that I've knitted! Here it is:
Pattern is Branta Hat, yarn is all Madelinetosh DK in Tern, Grasshopper, and Antler colorways. Shown with the full brim/slouchy look, but you can also fold the brim over and give it a closer-fitting beanie look.
How about that pompom? That thing makes this hat POP!
I love the pompom, even though it's a mental challenge for me to make one - not because it's hard (I use a Clover pompom maker, easy-peasy), but because it uses so much yarn. But this hat needed the pompom, and I can always get more lime green yarn. What can I say, I might have a little problem with hoarding pretty yarn...
This hat drew me in because of the top - you finish it completely different from normal hats, plus when you block it, you use marbles to hold the space open, which I fell for hook, line, and sinker. I even ordered the exact yarn used in the pattern, which conveniently came with marbles. Check it out:
Blocking, with marbles. I'm sure you could use something else, but the marbles were a throwback to my childhood, so that's what I used.
Pattern is Keepsies, yarn is Lemonade Shop DK, colorway is Stormy Day.
THE TOP! I love it.
The pattern designer is a big proponent of swatching, which means to knit a sample using different size needles, and seeing which swatch produces the fabric feel you prefer. She had a recommended gauge, which is amount of stitches per inch, and I kept hitting it with a variety of needle sizes, but I was trying to get this yarn to stripe, and I had issues with that - the fun colors kept not meeting to make the nice stripes. I ended up trying it out with three different size needles before finally hitting on the right one - good thing I liked this yarn, because I had a lot of interaction with it before I really got started knitting the hat!
My dad spends a decent amount of time outdoors in the winter, and I've knitted him a variety of hats - some are more beanie-style, some with heavier yarn, but for this one, I wanted to knit a hat that could either be a bit on the slouchy side, or worn as a beanie if you folded the brim over. Because of that, I could use a pretty yarn and let that be the star of the show, so to speak:
I used the Branta pattern but didn't do any of the colorwork - it's such a nice-fitting pattern that I knew it would work out for this hat. Yarn is Madelinetosh DK, colorway is Plaid Blanket.
The funny thing about these three hats is that I finished them all in about three weeks. I'm not a fast knitter; I'm a "thrower" which is a slower way of knitting to begin with, plus I just don't speed through things. So I was shocked when I ended up with all of my Christmas knitting finished in October - maybe all of the baby knits I did made me a faster knitter? I don't know for sure, but it was nice to have everything finished and wrapped well before Thanksgiving for a change!