My husband Bob loves hats the way I love bags. He owns dozens — ball caps, skimmers, fedoras, more than one straw cowboy hat — and is constantly on the lookout for his next one. We cannot pass a hat store or enter any establishment that sells hats (and bear in mind this could include anything from Target to a Napa winery) without his trying on a few. And yet he owns one knitted hat, and has maintained for the past two years that he doesn’t need another.
That treasured knitted skullcap was made for him by our friend Jo on the same Nashville trip, two years ago, where I learned to knit. Made to his specifications — chiefly that he didn’t want it to cover his ears — it is stockinette with a ribbed edge; it is black cotton; and it has been worn and loved to death. (“Formerly black” would be a more accurate description.) So despite his ongoing protestations (and that recent false start with another yarn), when a colorful bag of Kenzie landed on my doorstep — sent to me by my friend Cirilia Rose at Skacel — containing a ball in his favorite shade of grey, I decided I was making him a new hat.
He agreed it could be ribbed all over instead of stockinette. Then once I was a little ways into it, as he surveyed the other nine balls in the bag — and having liked my Stadium Hat — he asked if he could have a stripe! But even with the ribbing and the stripe, it’s a pretty spare piece of knitting, so I wanted the crown to be very neatly tailored. I bought the Brig pattern from BT, curious to see how the decreases were done, but it didn’t work for me at all. (No doubt the fault was with me and not the pattern.) So in the end what I made is a cross between the Stadium Hat and Brig, with a modification to the decreases.
As for the Kenzie, it’s not a yarn I would have picked out for myself because of the nylon content, which I actually find a little puzzling. It’s merino with a little bit of angora, alpaca and silk noils … and a healthy dose of nylon. But my assumption — and my hope — is that it means this hat will be able to take the abuse Bob will dish out. Although, he’s apparently done being a one skullcap man. He wants several more and has picked out three or four combos from the remaining Kenzie colors. Next on his list is red with an oatmeal stripe.
If you’re wondering how I happen to have this wintery photo of a hat I just recently finished, we were surprised with a freak September snowstorm on our Tahoe road trip this weekend! And yes, I did get a lot of knitting done.
Speaking of real fall-into-winter weather, ICYMI this week is New Favorites: Marie Wallin’s Autumn. I’m still drooling.