Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hill Country Hat

I'm trying to catch up on unfinished business here at 52 hats, so today I bring you the hat equivalent of plaid flannel, Carhartt pants, and work boots:

AKA hat 10

This is just the thing for a man who would feel prissy in a plain watch cap. This hat could star in Marlboro ads.

Eat your heart out, Don Draper.

The recipient doesn't know I made him a hat, nor that I'm projecting gender archetypes onto him. I just hope he wears it-- the last time I saw him he was hatless in below-freezing temperatures. Not acceptable, even for a rugged individualist.

Project Notes

Pattern: Hill Country Hat by Clara Parkes. This comes from The Knitter's Book of Wool, but is also available for free. I should warn you that the book is fabulous-- I want to make almost everything in it.*

Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky (say that ten time fast). Each color is named for the sheep breed that grows it-- this one is Steel Gray Suffolk. No need for namby-pamby dyes here. It also has a straight-from-the sheep texture-- dense, bouncy, a bit rough... you would never mistake it for merino. One of Ms. Parkes' major points in the Book of Wool is that we overvalue softness in yarn and miss out on the full range of textures produced by our sheepish friends. That said, I don't find this remotely itchy-- and no real man would admit that he did.

Techniques: I found myself without size 10.5 DPNs, so I finally broke down and learned to Magic Loop-- what fun! Since this was another top-down hat, I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off again, and reveled in the pure genius of it.

The Bottom Line: I have a very deeply ingrained tendency to fiddle, so it's really refreshing to knit a pattern exactly as written, using the called-for yarn. It doesn't leave me much to talk about, which is also a pretty good thing once in a while, eh?

*My phrase of the moment seems to be "perhaps when these hats are finished..."


  1. Love this hat! so Sheepy looking which I, a knitter and wool lover, mean as a compliment.

  2. I think I need to pick up a copy of that book. The more I knit, and especially the more I spin, the more interested in breeds I become.