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It's hat knitting season!

Nov 12, 2010

Brattlboro Hat by Melissa LeBarre

Hats are so fun to knit. They're short projects, and they usually just take one skein—always a bonus.

I recently knit  a fun pattern from the fantastic book New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. The pattern is the Brattleboro Hat, and I love it so much I can see myself making it for all of my friends with winter birthdays! (Not to mention adding one to my  grab bag Christmas plans.)

This little hat packs a big punch. Let me count the reasons:

1. It uses just one skein of Malabrigo Worsted, which is softy mcsofterson and so great to knit with!

2. The ribbed band stretches quite a bit vertically, which I love—you can pull it down over your ears when you need to.

3. The hat gives you a great opportunity to go through your button jar!

4. The moss-stitch crown is really pretty, especially with a lightly variegated yarn.

Kathleen's Brattleboro Hat

5. Brattleboro is a really fast knit—mine took about five hours. How's that for instant gratification?

I did make a couple of modifications (photo at right). I knit the moss stitch portion for an extra inch before I started the crown shaping. I have a big head (runs in the family; we take turns calling each other "basketball head"), so I usually do need to add an inch or so in length.

I also skipped the buttonholes and just attached one button through the tab and the brim. I figured I wouldn't need to actually use the buttons, so why bother with the buttonholes?

I love my hat! I'm keeping this one for myself—after all, if I start now, I can make another one by the end of the day.

It swims with the fishes...the Whale Watch Hat

This is the second hat from New England Knits that's on my list. Designer Kate Gagnon Osborn's inspiration was the outrageous whale-embroidered khakis worn by Martha's Vineyard vacationers and the enduring combination of navy and white.

Whale Watching Hat
by Kate Gagnon Osborn

What I thought about when I saw this design was a pod of whales I saw frolicking off the coast of Honolulu. What a magical moment that was; I can't wait to knit a hat to commemorate that memory.

The Whale Watch Hat isn't going to be a super fast knit like the Brattleboro—it's stranded knitting, which takes longer—but it'll be an enjoyable knit. I get sort of addicted to stranded knitting in the round; it's so fun to see the pattern emerge.

This one will be for me, too. I'm kind of greedy lately with the hats, aren't I?

I think you should get greedy with me! Grab your copy of New England Knits now and get going on your hats— get New England Knits at and we’ll ship it right to your doorstep!


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on Dec 30, 2010 5:51 PM

where I can get the pattern for the brattlboro hat

on Nov 15, 2010 1:17 PM

Hi Llani. I would try Ann Budd's generic hat pattern from *The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.* It's a great one--simple and you can use any yarn, you just have to knit a gauge swatch and fill in some blanks on Ann's worksheet.

You can make lots of hats masculine with just a yarn color change. I use brown and gray tweed yarns a lot for men's hats, and they always look great.

Check Ravelry for men's patterns, too. There are lots out there.


on Nov 14, 2010 9:04 PM

Acho maravilhoso e prático este modelo, mas não tem gráfico? grata

Llani wrote
on Nov 13, 2010 9:36 AM

I always enjoy your posts Kathleen! Thank you!

There are an abundance of knitting patterns for hats for women but very few for men. I'm not an experienced knitter and while I can knit any pattern of something long or short and flat, like a scarf, no matter how complicated, i can't pick up the needles and knit a hat (or a sweater) without some serious help. I would love to knit a hat or two for my son, do you have some patterns you could share? I'd rather knit one for my son than buy him yet another one. Thanks.

chris@59 wrote
on Nov 12, 2010 7:42 AM

Enjoyed your post today Kathleen.  I love the brattilboro hat with your modification and color change!   I have a large stash that I want to use up for charity and that would be a beautiful hat to knit.