At the end of last year, Giles chose some yarn to be this winter’s new hat. Rowan Pure Wool Aran in grey was both soft and well, grey, enough for the hat he’d like. It was perfect for a Woolly Wormhead hat that I’d been wanting to knit ever since I first saw it in her book, Twisted Woolly Toppers (my review here). Luckily, Giles thought the pattern was great too, as I’m not one to foist unwanted knitwear on people. Honest!
Chevron Beanie (ravelry link) starts with a wide brim comprising a striking chevron design, knitted by using a cable technique. The fabric that it produces is a lovely double thickness without much stretch. Very warm over the ears! I’d strongly advise knitting a tension square for this hat (even if you’re *sure* that it will fit just by the measurements) as there is very little give in the fabric produced and no ribbing to help with the fit if it’s a little big.
The crown of the hat, as written in the pattern is knitted in reverse stocking stitch, and so I knit it thus. It was a quick, easy knit and came out beautifully, as the pattern dictated. The only thing was… on completion we found that not only did Mr Hat Recipient’s head not really fit the hat’s crown; this hat being a good bit shorter than he those he usually wears, but also that he thought the reverse stocking stitch looked ‘a bit too lumpy’, and he likes his knitting smooth. Fair do. Out it came.
I knitted it up more than a few times using stocking stitch and played with the placement and length of the shaping to get it just right. Wow, that sentence makes it sound like it was a breeze. Really, it was my nemesis for a good few evenings.
Finally the fit was good: a smooth knit with the brim landing just where he wanted it. Knitting the hat took about three quarters of a ball of the aran wool, and I used 4.5mm needles to make the second size with alterations to the crown. I used more yarn in the final version than I did knitting it straight from the pattern, but still had around a quarter of the ball left over at the end.
I took good notes on this one, so that I have a bespoke Giles-hat-crown-in-aran recipe to work from another time. I find that with any alterations that I make to a pattern, it is always worth doing taking a note and keeping it handy, as (especially with chaps) you will end up knitting something very similar again and need to refer back.