by Donna Smith
Pattern available on Ravelry- $3.89
(The weird price is an approximation from the pound. This pattern used to be free, but as the designer explains on the pattern page, that promotion has now ended.)
Skills Needed: Ribbing, decreasing, stranded colorwork
Donegal Tweed from Studio Donegal in Teal
Lettlopi in Purple and White
(The black yarn is a mystery to me, I just used some in my stash that was chillin' without a label.)
What an awesome hat. It is so simple, but so adorable, it has captured the hearts of at least the nearly 7,000 people who have posted projects of it on Ravelry. It must be a wonderful feeling to Ms. Smith to know she has created something that has inspired so many people to pick up their needles and knit. This was the last hat on my Fall Project List, and I must say, this one is probably my favorite. I was going to keep this one for myself, but now I think I will include it in the knitted gift-haul I am making my sister. I have no idea what she is going to do with so many knitted hats and gloves, but hopefully they all feel like warm hugs from her baby sis.
A couple of things I figured out as I went along with this hat is that using a dark color for the ground (bottom of the hat) makes it very difficult to see the little sheep's legs. Also, the hat is a little on the big side, so I probably could have gotten away with using at least a needle size down. Those two points aside, I love the wintry scene this hat suggests and I was ecstatic I was able to use yarn my sister brought back for me from her travels in Europe. (It makes this an extra special project.) I thought using the wooly, extra grippy yarn gave way to wonderful definition in the sheep while adding that charming "halo" of fiber to them.
The hat is worked from the bottom up with a traditional k2tog decrease to the crown. It is knitted in the round, and comfortably fits on circular needles until well in to the decreases, when it is necessary to switch to the double points. This hat is knit in the fair isle tradition and the carries in the back really add warmth to the hat itself. Genius...except I live in Alabama and my sister lives in Georgia and we will likely never need a hat quite this warm. However, travel to colder climes is always a possibility, best to be prepared.
The hat is topped with a pompom, which I have a tutorial for here. It is great to be able to make a pompom that exactly matches the hat. And really, pompoms just make me happy. There are so few places in which to put them in a reasonable fashion. Having an excuse to make an obnoxiously large pompom was a lot of fun.
Summary: This a an adorable hat the knits up very quickly. If you happened to have come across and downloaded this pattern in the past, you likely got it for free, however it is well worth the money it now costs. This fun project is highly recommended by me, and if you don't want to take my word for it, go ahead and check out the nearly 7,000 completed projects on Ravelry. It's wonderful. It's one of those projects that helps bring the global knitting community together. Because really, who doesn't love sheep?