I think my hat-knitting phobia is finally over. Have you seen my Ravelry projects recently? There’s hats galore, and I also have one other that hasn’t made it to the web yet. As with other successes in knitting, the key was to start with well-written, thoughtful patterns, and to use quality yarns I’d love working with. With those elements and a little swatching, you literally cannot fail.

My hat knitting projects are going so well, that I’ve actually made two of these Master Charles hats. This purple isn’t normally a color I’d choose, but the project was a commission from Kate Oates of “Tot Toppers,” who needed a knitted model for TNNA. It’s nice to knit projects planned by other parties sometimes, because it draws you to try yarn, patterns, techniques or combinations that you might not ordinarily experiment with. I had never used O-wool Classic before, and now I’m in love with it. It’s such a nice, sturdy wool yarn, it really is a “classic” and I’ll be on the lookout for the chance to make a garment out of it.

The first hat went so swimmingly that I almost immediately started another, this time with my favorite yarn, Malabrigo Worsted. I’d had this skein in my stash for a while after using only a few yards for another project, and I knew I’d love working with it, so I just went for it. The Malabrigo makes a delightful version of this hat. Super soft, yet it still shows the cables nicely. This hat is the toddler/child size of the pattern, even though it’s a nice fit on the lady styro-head. (These are just way too small to model adult hats, maybe it’s the lack of hair?)

I modified this version of the pattern to have a crochet, instead of a ribbed, edging around the face, ear flaps, and neckline. I like the look of the ribbing on the purple hat, but working all the way around a hat’s edging in sewn bind-off took way too long, and involved way too much tangling of the long tail of yarn around the rest of the hat as I worked. The crochet edge was quick, and the effect is similar enough. You know what? I really liked crocheting with the Malabrigo, too. I’m incorrigible!