Can you believe it? Two projects on my Fall list complete! I am on a roll. I have decided that I officially like knitting hats- they are such quick, satisfying projects and I am learning so much from them. The one thing I dislike is that they need a person's head in them to be shown to best advantage so I've become my own model. Though I am on the upper end the selfie generation, I DO NOT like attempting selfies. Gives me the bad kind of goosebumps just thinking about it; but the hat deserves to be shown at its best, so I am trying my best to do it justice.
I love the feminine flair this hat has. It is a retro-style cloche, with one side of the brim folded up and sewn in place. The contrasting color band is worked in a subtle woven stitch, which is a nice detail. I call this one the "Lady Detective Hat." I do not know why, I just feel like it would be a good hat for sleuthing. I do not sleuth, nor do I know any sleuths, but that's what popped in to my random little head when I put it on.
This is a great pattern for anyone wanting some practice with short rows. The folded flap is worked in short rows, but the directions are easy to follow and it is not complicated shaping. It would be a great way to get one's feet wet in the world of wrap and turn. I have a tutorial on the method here. I used a sport weight yarn, which is ever so slightly smaller than the DK weight yarn in the pattern. To compensate, I kept with the size 6 needles but made the larger size hat with a 22" circumference, even though the smaller hat would be my sister's size with a 20" circumference. I think this might have been unnecessary, as my hat landed somewhere in the middle. The hat is a little loose, not having the negative ease that I feel the designer had created in her cloche. However, it still fits on my head without feeling too big, so I think it is okay.
The pattern is very concise. It is easy to follow and short. It employs a k2tog decrease at the crown, so you get a swirly star shape as the hat comes together at the top. You can work using 16" circular needles comfortably until the decreases, then you need to switch to the double points. This hat took hardly any time to finish, it's a great quick gift to knit while watching your favorite show. You would probably be able to get it done within a week without stressing yourself over it.
I enjoyed working with the Lambs Pride. It is a superwash wool, so it can be machine washed and there is not a worry of felting. I did not machine wash it to block it, however. After soaking the hat, I rolled it in a towel and then moved it to a mat to lay flat to dry. I shaped it while it was flat, keeping the short row flap down. After the hat was dry, I turned the flap up and stitched it in place using the main color yarn. I am very happy with how the hat turned out. Time to tackle my third and final hat on the Fall Project list.
Summary: This was a quick knit with a lovely result. It has a little more flair than a traditional beanie, but is not overly complicated. With the contrasting color band, you can have a lot of fun making a hat with a little punch. The pattern instruction is clear and concise. This project is a great way to practice short rows, too.