Hats are the New Cowls

This was one of those patterns that you fall in love with the minute you see it – and in this case, the love was absolutely justified. I’m not even a big fan of hat-wearing and yet look – I knit a hat! A really cool hat.

the lovely star pattern

Pattern: Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Knitpicks Palette, colorways “Fog” and “Eggplant”

Notes: This is a brilliant pattern with clear and simple instructions. Inspired by the beautiful Selbuvotter patterns frequently seen in mittens,  the pattern emerges almost by magic with the decreases creating the distinctive star outline on the top. This is an excellent pattern to try  if you’re new to Fair Isle (like me) with only two colors to think about and little shaping required. And – get this – the pattern is free!

beauty is in the details

A certified Yarn Snob, I was pleasantly surprised by the Knitpicks Palette. It’s very soft yet sturdy (although it is a bit splitty) and comes in a nice range of colors (51). And you simply cannot beat the price at $2.19 -1.99 per ball (I used most of the ball of  “Eggplant” and half of the ball of “Fog”) I’m not convinced that I made the right color choice – I thought the purple would be brighter – but I’m coming around to it.

I did run into one problem with this project, but it had nothing to do with the pattern or yarn. In her notes on Ravelry, Kate had noted that she is a loose knitter and recommended that most people would want to go up one or two needle sizes from her recommendations. I’m a loose knitter too so I stuck with the needle sizes given, skipping that pesky gauge swatch. Even so, the hat turned out too large.  I actually (brace yourself) put it in the dryer – on hot – for about half an hour after soaking it. This worked a treat (although it could be shrunk a bit more yet), making it much closer to human head size. The yarn held up beautifully with no felting and the pattern remained distinct. It also evened out my stitches which were lumpy (typical of stranded knitting pre-blocking)

Best of all, this was so much fun to knit! I got quite addicted to it, working on it when I should have been knitting Christmas gifts or going to bed. I’m thinking about making another one as a gift (but I’ll have to go down to 00 for the ribbing – yikes!) And – bonus – it doesn’t cause hat hair.

Looks like I may be taking up hat-wearing after all!