New Favorites: Earflap hats

Earflap hat knitting patterns

I know nobody feels sorry for me when I complain about being cold. I see your web pics of your ice storms and blizzards; I know it’s colder where many of you live. I also see your Bean boots, woodstoves, down coats. My point being: You’re equipped for cold. We, my friends, are not. While it’s perpetually arctic in my studio (year-round!), it’s generally much nicer outside. But lately it’s just bloody freezing everywhere. 32-degree nights; 38-degree days. I’ve become a person who wears a hat all day, every day. Even to bed! Which I thought was rather funny until I remembered the grand tradition of the nightcap.

I’ve always thought earflap hats seemed like overkill in our climate (however cute they may be), so I have shockingly few of them marked anywhere. And yet suddenly they’re all I can think about, so please point me to your favorites!

LEFT: Basic Hats for Everyone, with garter brim and ear flap variation, from Purl Soho

RIGHT: Cozy Ear Flap Hat from the Purl Bee (free pattern)

See also: Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Hats for All from issue 8 (the current issue) of Taproot. The earflap variation wasn’t knitted or photographed in an adult size, apparently, but the pattern covers all variations in all sizes.

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The yarn makes the hat

Purl Bee Simple Rib Hat in Worsted Twist

I don’t have much to say about this hat other than it’s the most purely pleasurable knitting experience I’ve had lately. You know how sometimes your days are so fast-paced and jam-packed that all you want to do before bed is cast on some stitches and knit mindlessly in a spiral for a little while? That’s me at the end of last week. A stockinette hat was sounding like the knitting version of a long, hot bath, and I’ve had my eye on the Purl Bee’s Simple Rib Hat pattern since it first posted.* I also have a nice little stash of Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist, which they sent me a few weeks ago, and I thought this hat would be the perfect “swatch” to try it out with. Man, was that a good idea.

This yarn is magnificent: soft but structured, beautifully plied, and so well behaved you can hardly believe it. (The photo above is of the unblocked hat.) I’m eager to see how it takes to cables and such, but the thing about a plain hat like this is that all of the pressure is on the yarn. The finished piece will be exactly as dull or special as the yarn is, and the Worsted Twist is way over at the special end.

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*I hadn’t knitted this particular hat before, but I did borrow the tassel for a baby hat last year.

New Favorites: Undulating brioche

Brioche stitch sweater and cowl patterns

Honestly, I’ve never been able to work up a lot of interest in brioche stitch — to me, it seems like a lot of extra knitting fuss for not a lot of payoff. I readily admit this is likely shortsightedness on my part, and am sure someone will make a compelling case for its unique merits in the comments! In any case, I always figured sooner or later a pattern would come along that would challenge my views on that, and suddenly there have been three in a row. First was Oshima, which I’ve become increasingly preoccupied with since trying it on, although even there I’ve found myself wondering if you couldn’t just do it in twisted rib or heel stitch, or something less fussy but similar looking. But then along came these two, and it’s the undulating brioche that’s really captured my attention:

LEFT: Brioche Vest pattern from The Purl Bee — I love the way the deep trenches of the brioche look as they trace the outlines of the armholes (free pattern)

RIGHT: Windrow cowl pattern by Bristol Ivy — she’s right that those twisting, turning rows of brioche look like “the lines and furrows” of farmland, but it also just looks like a lot of fun to knit (portion of proceeds going to flood relief; see the pattern page for details)

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In keeping with yesterday’s news, the ICYMI post for this week is Knitting in Code, my Morse Code Cowl.

Don’t forget today is the last day to enter the Anna yarn giveaway.

I also want to note that I got a big box of the Bento Bags on Saturday afternoon (talk about speedy!) so if the size or color you wanted was sold out last week, go get it! Back orders are being filled this morning, and big thanks to everyone who wiped me out of those so quickly!

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