I love hats. Remember when Blossom made big quirky hats popular in the early 90s? I totally wore one.
These days my hats are far more likely to be of the woolly variety, and I have far, far more than I really need. Hats are the perfect project for those single skeins of yarn that find their way into your stash. They're also a delightful (almost) instant gratification project that knits up quickly and doesn't require knitting anything twice (I'm looking at you, socks and sleeves!). And they're an ideal canvas to show off some trickier knitting skills without the time and energy necessary for a more complicated sweater or shawl.
In many knitting pattern books, hat designs almost seem like an afterthought--"Oh, we need a few accessories to round this out, let's slap a stitch pattern on a beanie and call it done." But when you get an entire book devoted to nothing but hats--and from designers like Courtney Spainhower, Melissa LaBarre and Tanis Gray--you know this versatile accessory is going to get the attention it deserves.
The Knitted Hat Book includes 20 hat patterns for beanies, tams, clothes and other hat styles. Hats for women, hats for men, hats for people with long ponytails, hats with cables, hats with colorwork--pretty much any kind of knit hat you can think of can be found right here.
Of course, I have my favorites.
The Timber Cabled Toque is full of squishy cables and is the perfect hat to selflessly knit your boyfriend/husband for the holidays and then steal to wear yourself.
Melissa LaBarre's Scoop Brimmed Cap is a textured newsboy-style cap that will top off the cutest outfit almost year round (ok, probably not in July, but easily fall through spring).
The Frolic Paperbag Bag is a must-knit for the ponytail-wearer in your life--ponies need hats too!
The Crisscross Slip-Stitch Beanie is a fun project for playing with color and texture, and a great way to use up leftovers.
The styling in this collection is very natural, showcasing the hats in ways everyday people would wear them--I know this isn't an important detail for everyone, but I have a hard time envisioning myself in a hat that's being modeled by a goth surfer riding a yak in the Himalayas or whatever. Fashion can be weird.
Using yarns from fingering weight to bulky, there's plenty of variety and a project for everything in your stash. A glossary in the back of the book helps ensure you can finish these hats without getting held up by new techniques.
My only complaint about this collection is the inconsistency in sizing--some patterns include 2 or 3 sizes, some only 1. One hat included just a single size--a rather baffling 14.5" brim, which, in my experience, is not an adult size hat at all.
Buy this book if:
- You love knitting hats
- You usually knit hats in standard adult size (around 19-21")
- You like a variety of hat styles but have a hard time combing through patterns on Ravelry to find what you're looking for at a given moment.
DON'T buy this book if:
- You hate knitting hats (duh)
- You generally knit for babies, kids or adults with larger-than-average heads
- You're all about lacy berets (only a couple in here)
The Knitted Book of Hats is available in paperback and ebook format from Interweave for $22.99 (that's $1.15/pattern!!).
All photos courtesy of Interweave/F+W Media Inc.
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