Welcome to a Year of Hats!
I am so excited that you’ve signed on for this yearlong journey of hats. I think hats are such a fun project; they are quickly made, small, portable, and a perfect canvas to play with new techniques.
Kelbourne Woolen’s has designed these 12 hat patterns for their Germantown yarn. If you haven’t tried this yarn yet, we think you’ll love it. It has great stitch definition and a bouncy, traditional feel. You can read more about the yarn’s history and the effort to bring it back from extinction in Redesigning a History on the Kelbourne Woolens blog. And while you’re at the Kelbourne website, check out the “tips & tricks” section. It will come in handy for our hats.
The January Hat:
This will be a bobble filled adventure. How many bobbles, you ask? 235 bobbles! That might be a record number of bobbles on a hat, but don’t let it frighten you. Bobbles are fun and we will get through them together. Plus, it will be January in Minnesota. What else is there to do but bobble the month away?
Besides a plethora of bobbles to entertain you, this hat features cables that are perfect to hone your “cabling without a needle” skills. Most of the cables are three stitches and are easily done without a cable needle. A few cables, however, are five stitches and I found a cable needle helpful with these. Come prepared to give both techniques a try. Bring a cable needle or a double pointed needle of a similar size to class or purchase one at the shop.
A few other techniques in store for us this month are reading a chart, shifting the beginning of round, and decreasing in pattern. All in all, this hat has a lot going on!
We suggest you knit the brim of your hat for homework this month. Let me first say that this is not a requirement, just a suggestion. If you have your brim done before class, you can dig in to the cables and bobbles during our time together. If life gets the best of you and you haven’t had time to knit the ribbing before class, don’t fret. Come ready to work on your brim and learn about the fun ahead of you.
A word about needle size:
The January hat is written with suggested needle sizes of US6 and US7. I noticed that quite a few knitters on Ravelry said their hat finished up too small. In thinking about what needles I would use for the hat, I decided to go up to a US7 and US8. My knitting can be a bit tight and I like a hat that doesn’t completely flatten my hair. My choice of needles worked for me and I’m happy with the size, but we all knit differently. I suppose swatching is the ultimate answer to the needle size question—and you are welcome to swatch—but it seems an awful lot of work for a small project. I suggest you think about your typical knitting tension and how you like your hat to fit then choose your needle size accordingly. If you want to chat about it before class, stop in to the shop! My hat is there so you can check that out too.
I hope this has whet your appetite for our first hat of the year. Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you on Monday, January 13.