Hat-for-Me Month!

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I’ve come to the conclusion that January is always “Lisa Knits a New Hat Month”:

I think, most likely, if I were satisfied with any one of these hats, the others probably would not exist. It’s just, every January I get the urge to have a snappy new hat. And every January, I look for the perfect pattern, buy the perfect yarn, and spend a few days knitting the perfect replacement for last year’s hat. Only, for some reason, I am rarely pleased with my results, and I either revert to the previous year’s pattern or wear it unhappily.

This year, I’d hoped to break the curse with Tin Can Knits’ Tofino Surfer pattern. I think slouchy is the way to go for me, and I love cables, so… match made in heaven, no?

15 hat 03

15 hat 01

15 hat 02

Well, maybe not heaven. But I do like it. Mostly.

I knit too tightly. This is abundantly clear to me by the stiffness of the fabric on this hat. The pattern calls for two strands of a DK wool/acrylic/nylon blend yarn held together, or bulky yarn. I opted for bulky 100% wool, and as much as I love this yarn, I am thinking it may not be the right stuff for this particular project.

I had trouble with gauge. Using the suggested needle size, my gauge was too big, so I went down a size. At that point my stitch gauge was fine, but I discovered later that my row gauge was crazy. The slouchy variation of this hat should repeat the 10-row cable pattern essentially six times. I got to four and already had several inches. I decided I’d better quit. The fabric of this hat wasn’t slouching at all – it was sticking straight out. A few more cable repeats would leave me with a hat that looked more like a wind sock than a slouchy hat. Um, no thanks. Not really a fan of the windsock look.

So, as long as I nudge the back of the hat in the right direction when I put it on, it has enough of a slouchy look to it to make me happy.

And I do like that I can wear it three different ways:

  • down on my forehead, bangs not showing
  • a little further back on my forehead, bangs out
  • brim folded up, worn far back on my head like a beanie

That’s versatile enough to keep me happy for this season. I can’t guarantee, though, that I won’t try again next January. My quest for hat perfection continues!

By the way, I found the cables slightly annoying on this hat at first, but the more I did them the more they grew on me. Not only that, but they helped me to understand the mechanics of cables a little bit better. This is way cool, because that puts me one step closer to designing my own nifty cabled designs.

The details

Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky in #10 Gold

Pattern: Tofino Surfer by Tin Can Knits

Size made: 24″

Needle: #9 dpn

Modifications: Left off last two cable pattern repeats on slouchy variation


Slouchiness achieved! Thanks to Emily of Tin Can Knits for pointing out on Twitter that a good blocking might do the trick. It has, and now the hat is just the shape I wanted it. (It’s a little loose on my head now [I managed to also stretch out the part that’s supposed to be tight], but I think I can live with that.)

12 thoughts on “Hat-for-Me Month!

  1. Cute hat. I wish I looked good in hats because I see so many cute patterns, but I hate myself in hats. I think that gauge problem is really common, I can often get the stitches right but not the row. I’m a tight knitter too, so maybe that it part of it.

    • It’s funny, because you’d think as a tight knitter, your rows would also be tight, wouldn’t you?

      I only recently decided I looked ok in hats. But only *certain* hats. Hence the five-year ongoing quest, LOL!

    • Kat, I am the same! I keep making hats and keep being dissatisfied. I finished one yesterday, put it on and looked at my husband. He looked at me for a bit, then shook his head and said, “Um, no…”

      • Maybe some of us are not meant to wear hats, and are just too stubborn to admit it, LOL! More likely, though, we’re too hard on ourselves. They’re just hats, after all. As long as they keep our heads warm, we should probably be happy.

    • Thanks for the link. There are some nice patterns there, but mostly too beanie-like for my taste. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this hat-making, it’s that I detest any look that clings to my head.

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