Did you ever read this book as a kid, Caps for Sale?
Hats are like potato chips...or M&Ms...or other easily poppable snack foods. They're quick to knit, low-commitment, and a satisfying way to try a technique, style or color you don't want to commit to in a sweater. My coworkers and I were talking recently about how many hats we have. No matter how many we knit, there are still more hat patterns in our queue! I decided to photograph my hat collection today and I felt like the man in the illustration above when I pulled them out of their drawer.
I decided to take things one step further and lay them out in order from oldest to newest, starting at the top row and moving from left to right. Let's meet the gang!
Top Row, L to R
- Gretel by Ysolda Teague in Malabrigo Worsted: Ysolda was one of the first designers I found online once I learned how to knit, and Malabrigo was the first 'cult' yarn I'd ever read about. I hadn't discovered any local yarn stores at that point, so I ordered it from the internet not realizing how the hand-dyed color would look knit up. I was also too lazy to block it over a plate for a beret shape like Ysolda suggests, so it's a sad, awkward beanie instead.
- Grace Lace Beret by Loop Knits in Adrienne Vittadini Martina (I think): I found this yarn in the warehouse at Webs. Like Gretel, I failed to block it properly so it's a weird and unflattering shape.
- Acorns by Melissa LaBarre in Madelinetosh Vintage: I made this right after I started working at Webs. Melissa worked there at the time and I remember being awestruck that I knew a famous designer! She gifted me this pattern which I thought was so cool of her. This was at the beginning of my Madelinetosh craze. I had just bought enough Tosh DK & Tosh Vintage for two sweater projects but wanted a smaller Tosh project right away. I purposely didn't block it because I love the nubbly texture.
- Brambles Beret by Amanda Muscha in Berroco Ultra Alpaca held with Rowan Kidsilk Haze: I started noticing my coworkers knitting 'normal' yarns held together with Kidsilk Haze and I loved the soft halo effect. I chose my favorite shade of pea green!
First Middle Row, L to R
- Ida's Kitchen by Kirsten Kapur in Madelinetosh Sport: I had started to get really into Ravelry at this point, and joined a Madelinetosh group. We wound up doing a swap for this hat where each person bought a skein of sport, broke it up into mini skeins and sent it to other people in the group. I got to try all kinds of colors I had never seen in person before!
- Little Whiskers Hat by Kirsten Hipsky in Valley Yarns Greenwich: My very first pompom :) This hat got famous in the Sh*t Knitters Say video!
- Free Cecily Hat by Emma Welford in Cascade 220 Sport: Ah, the beginnings of my design career. I was so proud of myself for making up my own cable panel for that hat.
- Striated by Emma Welford in Malabrigo Chunky: Another early design. This was the first pattern that I worked with Lindsey on (my current & forever, ride or die photographer), and the first time I did my own pattern layout. I've tweaked my layout style a little since then but it's still the same basic format!
Second Middle Row, L to R
- Wolfbait by Alex Tinsley in Schachenmayr Bravo Big Color: Free yarn, free pattern, enough said. Alex looked SO COOL in her hat photos but I looked SO DUMB wearing this myself, so I don't actually wear it.
- Rhinebeck Bus Hat in Berroco Lodge: I knit this on the bus to Rhinebeck one year and made the pattern up as I went. I wear this one a ton, even though it's plain. The color goes with a lot of my wardrobe and the amount of slouch is perfect.
- Goshen by Amanda Keep Williams in Berroco Brio: Technically I did not knit this exact hat. My best friend Kerry and I did a hat swap. She knit this Goshen for me, and I knit her Goshen in the colorway of choice, then we swapped! But since I don't have a photo of her hat, this is the closest we're going to get.
- Tamborim by Emma Welford in Gynx Merino DK: From my yarn & pattern club collaboration with Gynx Yarns. I love Laura's yarns, they're so great to work with. My only regret on this one is that I didn't do a bigger pompom. Maybe some day I will make a new one for it!
Bottom Row, L to R
- Random made-up hat in handspun from Etsy: I bought this handspun before I learned how to spin. I tried making legwarmers from it and that didn't work out. I frogged and made this hat, but I was so impatient I didn't really do a proper gauge swatch and the hat got super big when I blocked it. I need to rip this out, un-kink the yarn and give it the respect it deserves!
- Shock Star Slouch by Emma Welford in Spun Right Round Squish DK: I love this hat. One of my current favorites.
- Equal Measure (hat only) by Emma Welford in Anzula For Better or Worsted: Sensing a trend in my hat making as of late? All designs!
- Fidra by Gudrun Johnston in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Bulky: So this was a not-on-purpose knit. We were doing a Superwash Bulky review video at work and wanted a hat to be worn in it, but there weren't any existing store samples. I volunteered to make Fidra since I secretly wanted to make it, but needed an excuse! I know, boo hoo hoo, life is hard. Forced to knit ;)
Of course, there are more hats I've knit over the years that aren't pictured. My first ever hats, hats I've given as gifts, or hats I've lost in some box somewhere and forgot about. And I know my little hat family will get bigger...there are always more hats to knit!