Baby Hats Part I: The Obsession

This winter I discovered the joy of knitting instant gratification with baby hats. There’s just nothing like a project you can finish in a few hours.

I normally (read: not when I’m furloughed) like to have a large baby blanket in progress to have something to do with my hands while I watch TV or while I’m on conference calls. I usually don’t have an intended recipient, but someone generally has a baby by the time I’m done with whatever blanket I’m working on because these things take months.

I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, so I kind of forgot that you can make smaller projects.

In late November, my daughter was 10 months old and outgrew all her warm hats. I promptly decided I would knit her a hat. Why spend money on a hat when I have a stash of yarn?

I obsessed over finding the perfect pattern. For me, the perfect knitting pattern (for any item, not just hats) is one that requires the least amount of extra steps to make something that looks good. For example,I hate threading needles, so I dislike patterns that require any sewing.

And then I found it. The holy grail of hat knitting patterns: http://stitcheryprojects.com/2011/03/21/basic-baby-hat/. Knitted in one piece in the round with all the math for different sizes already done for me! So many possible variations!

In true Lazy Knitter fashion, I jumped right in. The pattern calls for size 6 knitting needles and DK weight baby yarn, but my local knitting store only had a size 9 circular knitting needle in the 16″ length and I only had worsted weight yarn on hand. If you knit or crochet, you can see where this is going.

My daughter is huge (98th percentile in height, 99th in weight), so I cast on 96 stitches for the toddler size. I was at a drop-in stitch night at my local yarn and fabric store, so I spent two hours working on this hat and was 3/4 of the way finished when I went to bed. My daughter was asleep when I got home, so I tried it on her in the morning. It was huge. I tried it on my head. It was loose.

Time to start again. I frogged* (unraveled) the whole thing and spent the National Day of Mourning for President George H. W. Bush knitting a baby hat instead of doing anything productive around the house.

When I got to shaping the crown, I misread the instructions, despite them being extremely clear. If I had read some of the comments on the pattern, I would have avoided my mistake. But I had jumped right in and I wanted it done. So the first hat I knit came out wonky.


The crown is misshapen and it ended up too long, but I folded up the brim, put a pom pom on it, and my daughter makes anything look adorable, so no one will notice.
Except everyone reading this, since I pointed it out.

Yarns used: Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Medium Grey Mix- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting and Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Kelly Green- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting

I was in love with knitting hats. I had a bunch of yarn scraps from other projects, so I knit three more. Each one has its quirks, but I think each one came out better than the last.

Gryffindor colors – stripe too low if brim needs to be folded up

Yarns used: Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Claret- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting and Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Sunflower- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting

Ravenclaw colors (bronze and gold, per the books) – stripe is too high and looks like Cartman’s hat from South Park

Yarns used: Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Ocean- For Crochet, Knitting & Craftingand Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Sunflower- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting

Actually, this one came out just fine, except that I forgot to check the colors of the matching blanket before I bought yarn and it doesn’t match at all

Yarn used: Caron One Pound Solids Yarn – (4) Medium Gauge 100% Acrylic – 16 oz – Deep Violet- For Crochet, Knitting & Crafting

Stay tuned for Part II: The Pom Pom Failure.

*Unraveling knitting is called frogging because you “rip-it rip-it” the stitches out. A little bit of humor goes a long way when you’re undoing you’re undoing hours of work and easily thousands of stitches.

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