It’s knitting time again, and these ones are some rare birds: gift knits!
Before Christmas, I told my girls I would knit them both hats in a super bulky yarn color of their choice. They could also pick the pattern, but I had the option to veto anything I wouldn’t enjoy knitting. That sounded good to both of them, and so began the project planning!
After looking around at yarn options a bit, I settled on Malabrigo Rasta. It’s a hand-dyed, single ply, nicely squishy Merino wool, and has a decent amount of yardage (90 yards) compared to other super bulky yarns. For a hand-dyed yarn, it’s also on the less expensive side at $23 a skein. It’s not cheap, but a lot of hand-dyed super bulkies have less yardage and higher prices. Each girl picked her favorite: 687 Aquamarine, a tonal mix of light blues for one, and 177 Blueberry Cream, a pink and purple speckle with an ivory base for the other. We ordered them both from Wool & Co. in Illinois, which has free shipping and lots of beautiful options.
After that, it was on to the patterns. I have made a couple of Big Wool Basic Hats by Sara Heckman in super bulky yarn over the years, so one of my daughters went for that. This is a fun and easy free pattern, and a good first hat pattern if you’re a beginner knitter.
It’s basically a tube with ribbing at the bottom that you gather in at the top. Easy! Now that I have a little more experience under my belt, I decided to knit it 6.5″ long, put in a lifeline, knit 2 together all the way around, knit a round, knit 2 together all the way around again, knit the next round, and then follow the finishing instructions. I could try it on my daughter as I went to make sure it was a good fit for her, adjusting if necessary since it doesn’t take long to reknit in super bulky. With my additions, the hat was a little more shaped to her head rather than only gathered at the top.
My other daughter chose The Looking Glass Hat pattern by Jill DeMarco/Yarn It All by Jill. You can make The Looking Glass Hat in a single color or using two colors, and although it looks complicated, once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard. In fact, it’s really fun.
The method she describes for making the textural pattern is interesting, and while you have some long bits of yarn, they don’t ever feel floppy or unsecured.
I went down one needle size on both patterns because I’m a loose knitter, and that worked well. I did not knit gauge swatches. I’ll do that for larger projects, but not for hats.
I made each girl a pom pom with their leftover yarn, and I also bought each of them two different coordinating McPorter Farms faux rabbit fur pom poms from Coveted Yarn in Gloucester, MA that they could change out whenever they wanted. Since I had giant snaps that were the same size as the ones on the faux fur pom poms, I sewed one onto each yarn pom pom so those could also snap on, rather than having to be tied on. I love the option to snap a pom pom on because it makes it easy to take off when you want to wash your hat.
Thanks to the magic that is super bulky yarn, I finished these with time to spare and, while they weren’t a surprise, it was nice to know that both girls had hats they really liked, made by me…and I loved the process of making them.