Tuesday 9 February 2010

In search of the warmest hat

You may have noticed that over the last few months I have knit a LOT of hats. Not all of them were for me mind you. In fact hardly any were for me, but I do have quite a large selection of hats now. Unfortunately none of them seemed to be up to the job of keeping my head and ears warm whilst going out on my mobility scooter. The main problem seemed to be that when it is really cold I have a sort of rain cover "thingy" that covers the scooter and me. It isn't perfect in its design but it keeps me dry and quite a bit warmer because it keeps the wind out. The main problem with this cover is the fastening and the hood. When you turn your head to check out oncoming traffic before crossing the road, the hood pulls whatever hat you are wearing back or round on your head. Last week when I went out I was actually in pain because my ears were so cold and the rain was coming down in spades so I couldn't rearrange my hood/hat without getting soaked.

So I hatched a plan, a plan that involved a pattern from Simply Knitting Magazine, April 2009 and two skeins of Rowan Cocoon. The pattern I had selected had jumped out at me when I first saw it and it was in my box of ripped out magazine patterns. I originally bought some blue green Cocoon to make the hat but a few months ago someone contacted me and bought them because they needed the exact dye lot to finish a project. Always happy to help a fellow knitter in need I sent her the yarn. I decided to replace the blue green with a dark slate gray colour that matches my Winter Coat. Even though I knew what I was going to do with the yarn (make this hat) I hadn't got round to it because I have a lot of hats. Last week pushed me into reevaluating knitting up the pattern in to a matter of some urgency. Especially as I saw the weather forecast for the coming week - more snow!!!!!

The pattern is by Amanda Crawford and is called "Darling Buds". It has some lovely cabling and bobble detailing on the sides of the hat, that run down over the ear flaps. The ear flaps were what prompted my desire for urgent hat knitting. I thought even if the hat slid back, my ears would still have some coverage.

It is hard to see the stitch pattern as the light wasn't great yesterday - what with the snow and all.

When I tried the hat on, before the pom-pom and cords were attached, my other half stated that I had a bit of a "crazy frog" vibe going on. Thankfully the pom-pom and cords helped alleviate that "look" somewhat.

I'd just like to state for the record Cocoon makes great fluffy pom-poms but the yarn doesn't like being pulled firmly to hold it all together, in fact I had to tie the yarn twice as the first bit of yarn snapped in my hands. I held it double the second time.

I loved making the cords, as I've never had a reason to make them before. They look so sleek and professional looking. I replaced the small pom-poms on the ends of the cord for tassels as I couldn't be bothered to make another two of them. I know it's lazy but I was on a deadline! I needed my hat before I had to go out in the cold.

I feel my plan was a complete success. I don't think I will get cold ears in this hat, but I have yet to try it out with the scooter cover/rain/cold/hat combination. I'll let you know if the cords hold the hat in place, and if they don't whether the flaps still cover my ears. I think if this hat design doesn't work I'll just take to riding around in my sleeping bag, the hood for that is lovely and snug!


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