Hats are great projects for knitters of all skill levels. They allow you to try out new stitch patterns and techniques on a relatively small scale and are usually quick, portable projects.
They also make great gifts because heads are somewhat more consistent in size than, say, chests or feet, and the stretch built into most hat patterns means they'll fit a variety of heads.
Cecily Glowick MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre -- the creative team behind New England Knits -- have teamed up again for a book full of hats you'll love experimenting with: Weekend Hats: 25 Knitted Caps, Berets, Cloches, and More.
About the Book
- Pages: 128
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 25
- Skill level: none given, but range from advanced beginner to intermediate
- Sizes: all are for adults, most are just one ("average" woman) size, while others offer 2 or 3 sizes
- Illustrations: full-color photographs; techniques illustrated with black and white drawings
- Knitting lessons: a 12-page glossary includes cast ons, bind offs, increases, decreases and other skills needed in the patterns
- Publication date: October 2011
MacDonald and LaBarre asked some of their designer friends to come up with hat patterns they'd want to knit for themselves or to give as gifts. (The two also contributed an array of patterns.) The results are a wide range of projects, from a simple slouchy hat worked in self-striping yarn (by MacDonald) to hats of all shapes worked with stripes, lace, cables, fun textured techniques and more.
If you're a newish knitter who hasn't tackled a hat before (or only simple designs) you're sure to find something here to expand your skills. More experienced knitters will also find plenty of fun shapes and design elements they'll love to use in hats for themselves or for gift knitting.
There are no fewer than 8 projects in Weekend Hats that I'd love to knit:
- LaBarre's Greenery Beret, worked with a variation of Feather and Fan stitch
- Mary Jane Mucklestone's Chroma Cap, a pretty Fair Isle number with a checkerboard section and floral OXO design
- the Hued Toque by Gudrun Johnston, covered in little peerie patterns for a classic, colorful look
- MacDonald's Lea Cloche, a lovely, simple, tweedy hat embellished with a ribbon and button
- LaBarre's Welted Toque, a basic shape embellished with a series of folds on one side
- the Leave Long Beanie, also by LaBarre, which has a pretty little diamond shaped leaf lace pattern on a background of Garter Stitch
- Natalie Larson's Solitaire Beret, worked in Reverse Stockinette with a big cable on one side
- the Glashutte Hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn, covered in cables that continue up through the decreases on the crown
Weekend Hats is a must for fans of knit head coverings, and it may just convert some knitters who've only made a few hat into hat knitting fanatics. This book has the same feel as New England Knits and the same design sensibility: classic projects with great details you'll want to knit for yourself or others and wear again and again.
With all the good reasons there are to knit hats -- I failed to mention before that they're also relatively economical projects because they don't usually use a lot of yarn and you may be able to find a good candidate in your stash -- putting a few more on your needles can only be a good thing. This book is sure to inspire you to do just that.