This is everybody’s favorite verse, I think. Eddie Izzard certainly thinks so. (a bit of swearing in that link, be aware of who’s in the room before you click.) FIIIIIIIIVE GOOOOOLD RIIIIIIINGS!!! Right?
Anyway, today the rings are around heads, and have tops, because they are hats. And I’m celebrating with a free pattern, so keep reading! (Or scroll to the bottom. Like a punk.)
It all started with the boys’ cowls. Em had requested hats first, then changed her request, but I was already thinking haberdashery thoughts. And I had plenty of yarn left. So, I kept telling myself, I’ll make the hats if I have time… I’ll have time… Sure I will… The cowls were already made, so I procrastinated on their hats to work on other gifts. Another ribbed hat was first in line.
My brother in law was my designated victim in the Osborn siblings’ secret santa. He had intimated that he might like a “hipster hat,” which from what I can gather is a ribbed hat with a long brim that you wear with the end hanging off your head. I don’t quite understand it, but Carina loves hers (though she makes everything look good, stinker), so I complied. I found a manly version and knit it up post-haste in one of my favorite colors of Ultra Alpaca. I confess a not insignificant temptation to keep it for myself.
The body of the pattern, Graham, is knit in a sort of mistake rib that is mostly purling. So the pattern had the extremely good sense to have you knit it inside out. Maybe you think it’s wrong to be prejudiced against purling, but I only am a little bit. Don’t judge me. Anyway, this meant that it looks like this when you’re done knitting it:
But like this when it’s worn:
I like. Here is Jeremy looking masterfully unimpressed. That’s what hipsters do, right?
So did I knit the little boys’ ribbed hats yet? Nope. That’s right, I’m dragging this story out longer than the seventh time singing FIIIIIIVE GOOOOOLD RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINGS!
But little ribbed hats were still on the brain. So much so that when my aunt told me that my littlest cousin could use a hat, I decided to use the same pattern. I asked for coat colors, just in case I could match, and got the shocking response of “pink, purple, light aqua, burgundy, and white peace signs all over it.” I scratched my head at that a bit, but it took only a cursory look through the stash to find a skein that seemed destined to match just this coat! It’s a fingering weight (label long lost) that I held double. This one I knit plenty long, so the brim could fold up.
Anna really likes peace signs, apparently. Hey, there are worse cultural symbols to become attached to. I can get behind the groovy.
Anna’s hat was mostly knit in the dark, in the middle of the night, on the drive to Maryland, less than three days before Christmas. I feel I should get some sort of medal for accomplishing a centered-decrease crown entirely by counting and feel, especially on a 16″ circular contorted into a magic loop. I had to turn the light on for the second-to-last round, though, as something had gotten dropped, but it was a quick recovery.
With so little time left, I should probably have given up on making hats for the boys too. But I had reading to get done, and a couple of long car rides on the 23rd. When traffic turned that into nearly three hours on the road, I ended up cranking out most of both brown hats that day. Jared and I stayed up late that night watching old Trek episodes and working on our respective projects, so I was well on my way with hat #3.
Christmas Eve was a bit of a bummer, though. Jared was sick, so we ended up staying home from church. We managed to enjoy my family’s tradition of finger foods and a movie. Peter’s hat was finished while we watched Holiday Inn, and the last of the gifts were wrapped while Jared tried to sleep it off. Poor lad. Sickness on Christmas is the worst.
It was more than worth it in the end. All five hats (and cowls, when applicable) were donned immediately upon opening and worn for the evening.
Here Peter demonstrates that a properly-sized cowl and hat set can act as a balaclava!
I enjoyed knitting both hats and cowls so much that I wanted to record my “recipe” for posterity. It’s nothing terribly original, but it’s very handy for last minute gifts. Or “crap-it’s-the-middle-of-winter-and-I’m-cold” gifts to yourself. Plain 1×1 ribbing is one of my favorite fabrics; the columns of single knits and purls relax into each other to make a thick, airy, elastic layer. Whether you have a colorful yarn that needs a simple pattern, or your knitting has to look boring because you’re knitting for a man (or a woman of conservative taste), this is an old standby that has heretofore resided only in my head. I ran the numbers so you can use any gauge yarn from fingering up to a thinner bulky, and any size from 6 months to large adult. Instructions for both hats and cowls are included. Click here for the Ravelry page.