Why Knitting Hats Is Awesome

Hats are the shoes of the knitting world—one can never have too many. Unfortunately, it took me far longer than it should’ve to figure out how awesome knitting a hat truly is. I used to have knitters recommend hat patterns to me and I would always respond with, “I’m not much of a hat person.” Silly me.

Image © Jennifer Adams

A year ago, I was asking a friend if they would like me to knit something for them, and they asked for a hat. I wasn’t super excited about the request, but then again the clause only came with “No socks! Unless you want them three years from now.”

After a bit of searching, I found a pattern that I knew my friend would like: Graham by Jennifer Adams. I cast on, and two days later my friend had a hat she loved and I had leftover yarn. Seconds after I finished the Graham, I ran to my stash and grabbed a coordinating color to go with my leftovers. I had never done color work before and I wanted to try my knitting hands out on some Fair Isle.

A few days later, I had learned something new and my other friend had a hat for his fishing season in Alaska. It was at that moment that I sent out a flurry of emails announcing “I made a mistake! I am a hat person, and my shoes need to free up some space in their living quarters.”

Thanks to the first hat I knit, hats have become the projects I use to learn something new. They are amazingly fast to knit, there isn’t a large commitment when trying out new yarn, and they are the best project to try out a new technique.

Here are a few hat pattern recommendations for those wanting to dive into something new:

Image © Olga Buraya-Kefelian

Roku by Olga Buraya-Kefelian: Simple. A great pattern for the beginner knitter.

Schwimmen by Shannon Cook: Lace. If you haven’t tried knitting a lace pattern, you should take this pattern for a twirl. Don’t be like me and try your first lace pattern using lace yarn.

Image © Melissa Thomson

Jason's Cashmere Hat by Melissa Thomson: Cables. Trying out cables for the first time can seem daunting and intimidating. Stick with a smaller project like this hat instead of beginning with an intricate cable sweater. It will allow you try out cables without committing to eight skeins of yarn to complete a sweater.

Becot by Julie Hoover: Color. Simple color work for a first timer or try Baa-ble Hat by Donna Smith for an adorable Fair Isle hat.

Image © Andrea Mowry

Vintage Prim by Andrea Mowry and Pop Fizzle by Lesley Anne Robinson: Brioche. These two patterns are going to be my trial with brioche and hopefully my gateway into all of Stephen West’s brioche patterns.

Please share any recommendations you might have on great hat patterns, especially those that can teach us something new!

December 15, 2015 by Laura Oriana Konstin
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Anne Morrow said:

One of my favorites is Upper East Side designed by Joji Locatelli.


Laurel said:

Laura, I was hoping to see a picture of the two hats you created! :-) They sound great. Perhaps you have a ravelry link?

Laurie said:

My absolutely favorite project is a hat. It’s usually quick, everyone needs at least one and they can be very soothing and rhythmic to knit.

Laura Oriana said:

Hi Anne,

Thanks for the great suggestion! I love the fan/seashell pattern the stitches make. I will have to give this one a try.

Anne Morrow said:

I should have mentioned the Spoke Hat, too.


Laura Oriana said:

Hi Laurel,

I don’t have a photo of the Graham hat I mentioned in this post, but I do have a photo of another one I made: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/orianalk/graham

The Fair Isle hat was a lot of fun to knit since it involved colors I would’ve never thought of putting together: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/orianalk/fair-isle-hat-l0633

Susan said:

After knitting a gazillion pairs of socks—24 in one year recently—my sock mojo is almost nonexistent. I recently got a new hairstyle and suddenly I love hats because they no longer look stupid on my head. Count me as another hat person!

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