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My Winter of Knitted Hats

Dec 14, 2011

The hat from the Three for the Road ePattern for men
I think I've knitted five hats in the last month, with two more to go—including the Welted Toque for my sister, who's home now and keeps saying, "Hey, where's my toque?!?

I did give her a couple of my old handknitted hats to tide her over, lest you think I'm letting my beloved sister walk around with a cold head!

My Christmas knitting has taken precedence, and I still haven't started on an R2D2 hat from my nephew, so I actually have three to go! Good luck to me.

I got the classic "Hey, my buddy loves my hat. Can you knit him one?" from my brother, so I need to get a hat on the needles ASAP because I have to get that package in the mail. I've chosen a simple hat that's part of the Three for the Road collection for men: a scarf, hat, and mitt trio.

I love the scarf pattern, but I only have time for the hat.

I need to look in my stash for some yarn for this project; I'm sure I have some. Be right back . . .

Lamb's Pride Worsted in Sable. Pretty!
Found some: Lamb's Pride Worsted in color Sable—see the photo at right; isn't it pretty? I think it's perfect for a man's hat. It's a darkish neutral with some variegation, too. I love variegated yarn and I love brown, so this is—you guessed it—perfect!

This is a really easy knit hat pattern with an interesting construction: top down. A top-down hat is a great idea because, just like top-down sweaters, you can try on the hat to make sure it'll be long enough. I hate it when I knit a hat and I have to keep pulling it down over my ears!

I usually don't knit roll brim hats because they're too loose at the brim and they don't stay snug. I'm going to try something with this hat, though. I'm going to knit to where I want the brim to start and then switch to a size (or two) smaller needle and finish the brim so it's a little tighter than the bottom of the hat. Or, maybe I'll add a ribbed brim. We'll see.

Join me in my winter of knitted hats! Download the Three for the Road pattern (or another hat pattern!) today and cast on.


P.S. Are you knitting hats for Christmas this year? Which patterns are you using?

Featured Product

Three For The Road

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Price: $4.00


Got a few hours? Knit a hat, fingerless mitts, and a scarf.


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Binnie76 wrote
on Dec 31, 2011 4:43 AM

Hi I've also been inspired by all your hat-knitting - when we opened our Christmas presents suddenly everyone was wearing one of my hats !  I live in London so find it hard sometimes to get equivalent yarns and to translate American patterns but a supplier in Scotland is very helpful, so I'm now going to knit something for myself at last.

Happy New Year to all from an English knitter !!


CrystalR13 wrote
on Dec 17, 2011 10:48 AM

You ladies are lucky your immediate family appreciates your talents, it's like a rule somehow in mine not to like what I make. Everyone else I make stuff for seems to like what I make and actually wear my efforts, I get complimented by strangers for what I've made for myself and my children, so I don't think my quality is in my minds eye. Just saying, your lucky, happy  holidays :-)

LouiseM@3 wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 7:50 PM

My solution for the rolled brim (and let me tell you I've knit A LOT!) is, as you said, to knit it on needles one size smaller. Also in order that it not roll so high and become loose after about six rounds I do two garter stitch rounds to form a ridge.  I started doing this for my son's snowboard tuques since they need to fit under a helmet (he also thought a lot of roll "is for girl hats").

on Dec 15, 2011 5:27 PM

Hello hat knitters! I knew it wasn't just me. Thank you so much for the hit about doing a few rows of ribbing followed by the rolled brim. Brilliant. I knew I could count on you, friends!

Regarding knitters being gift machines. I know what you mean, but I really enjoy knitting for my family, and occasionally, their friends. I wouldn't knit for just anyone, only for people who I know will really appreciate it. The last time I knit something for my brother he said, "Thank you so much, Kath. You are truly talented." What more can a knitter ask for?

Take care, Kathleen

Take care,

RobynS wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 4:17 AM

I have just purchased Three for the Road pattern. I would like to knit the hat for my son-in-law in Tasmania. I am not an experienced knitter and I would like to know if a suitable yarn would be 8 ply wool. Also is there a glossary of abreviations that I could access? I will struggle with instructions as it is without trying to break the code.

Looking forward to the challenge.

Marie Kaul wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 1:41 AM

I am working on hat number 6 of "fern glade beret",  using drops alpaca yarn.  I can't wait to be knitting a different hat, preferably one that isn't an intricate lace pattern.

CarolynR@2 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:32 PM

I don't understand. Why is your sister demanding knitted things from you and making you feel so guilty that you give her your own things until you obey her commands? And how does your brother have the nerve to ask you to spend time and money on strangers for no compensation?

This is a major problem faced by handworkers - when family, friends and strangers insist we need to spend our knitting time knitting to order for anyone who asks just because they know we can knit.  Would your sister ask a plumber to come and fix her drain for free? Would your brother think he should take his car to the shop and get it serviced for free? How about if your sister wanted to build a house? Should the architect draw her house plans for free? No! And a knitter is just as skilled a worker as any of these.

No one should ever knit for someone just because it is demanded of them. A knitters time and skill has a value. It debases us to be used as a gift machine for anyone who demands it. Your siblings, of all people, should understand the time and effort that goes into your work and should have some respect for you. If they don't, it's up to you to educate them.

Please, reconsider your position. Your time and skill are worth more than to be an endless gift machine for people who have no conception of why you shouldn't dance to their demanding "gimme, gimme" tune.

Marg wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 8:01 PM

<i>I got the classic "Hey, my buddy loves my hat. Can you knit him one?" from my brother, so I need to get a hat on the needles ASAP because I have to get that package in the mail. </i>

NOOOOO!!! You should not be seen as a knitting machine for one and all. Does your brother's buddy really appreciate the time and skill you put into the hat? What has he done for you in return?

Please just knit what you enjoy for people who value your time and skills and reciprocate appropriately! Come join us at the Selfish Knitters group on Ravelry.

mashetzer wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:05 PM

I knit two of Halcyon Yarn's Alpine Toppers in Noro Iro and Schulana Cortina.  The Cortina "floats" on the back and makes a cozy warm lining.  A great hat!

rosey@3 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 4:44 PM

Darn you Kathleen:  Just when I thought I was done knitting for Christmas, I saw today's post and had to go out and get manly yarn for 3 hats for Christmas!  How come I don't do this earlier in the year?

sandyg1 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 4:04 PM

boy , is it ever the winter of hats...just finished my 8th Clun forest hat from knit and spin ( page 66) Did them all in handspun alpaca from a freind"s critters in Steamboat springs Colorado. Used the natural colors of white brown and black in various mixes. Also made the Ringwood pattern toque- same 2011 Knit & Spin - pge 74 also with the alpaca and the fleece lined mittens from page 58.  I  certainly get my money's worth from the magazine and can hardly wait for the next edition! But maybe I'll make myself a new hat 1st.

AnnR@24 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 3:17 PM

For some reason this was a hat year.  I was inspired by the Weekend Hats book, and have knitted at least four of the hats, some of them several times.  Now it is my turn.  

DonnaW wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 1:00 PM

So fun to read the comments about what everyone is knitting (and the ideas for dealing with roll brims).  I just finished knitting the Monkey Bread Hat and Scarf by Anne Hanson.  It's for my 20something daughter, and I used scarlet mink/cashmere yarn from Great Northern Yarns.  Scrumptious!  The pattern is easy & fun to knit.

on Dec 14, 2011 12:14 PM

Kathleen,  I have been knitting hats lately too.  I live in Chicago where it gets very cold sometimes and I have been thinking about making a felted hat.  Do you have any ideas about that?  



katmandoooo wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 12:13 PM

I knit myself Meghan Jones' "Cloche Divine" and it is divine!

Hands-down the most adorable hat I've ever knit and despite the complicated-looking embellishment, knits up super fast.

Now on to holiday knitting - a mobius cowl for my best girlfriend is 3/4 complete, then a pillow cover for my man's favorite pillow, and some mini Christmas stockings to string up as decorations.

Jen Pen wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 11:49 AM

Since September, I've knit 3 scarves, 2 mug cozies, 2 purses, a spa set, a kitchen set, a pair of fingerless mitts, 4 bookmarks, 3 hats (Bulky Beanie from Knit Simple Fall 2011, Swirly Hat found on Ravelry, Twisted Pumpkin House Elf Hat from Charmed Knits), with 1 hat (Vine Lace Baby Hat from Interweave), 2 pairs of mittens and a hooded scarf on the needless. I have 2 hats (cap 5 from Knit Simple Holiday 2010 & Griffindor Common Room Cap from Charmed Knits) 1 pair of mittens, and a couple anniversary surprises to go. Then maybe I can make something for myself. :)

paulec1 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 11:20 AM

I am almost finsihed with Jared Flood's Turn A Square. for my son JARED who is 28. I love it! and it is easy to do, the Casade worsted weight yarn is perefect for Seattle. Not too bulky, warm with out being too warm ( 30-50's usualy temp). I  may do another one for nephew , Will , who lives with us.

on Dec 14, 2011 11:14 AM

I made three pair of knitted slipper socks for my grand nephews and niece. Bright colors for the boys, pink and lavender  for the girl. Also a poncho for my daughter. This is the third. She weems to want one in every color. Now I'm working on the Lion brand shrug in Tweed Stripes orchid for daughter-in-law who likes all things purple. Hope I get it done by Christmas.

Sent several pairs of the slipper socks and mittens to Native American reservation in early NOvember.

jansch wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 10:11 AM

Yes. I've knitted several hats so far. One is a man's cap  with a large ribbing that is folded.reminds me of a sailor's hat.  Another was called a beanie modeled after a David Beckham hat (soccer player).

I've knitted several rolled brim hats too with the same problem. I single crocheted a cord and threaded it thru the bottom of the hat where the roll started to get a tighter fit. Tied it in the back and tucked the ends into the stitches.

Jan Schindler

firefly@2 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 10:06 AM

Oh, I forgot to mention that I made a dozen hats for that charity and also made others for great grandchildren.

firefly@2 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 10:05 AM

I started a oouple of months ago knitting "KAPS FOR KIDS" to use up small amounts of yarn.  This is a charity and I sent them off before Thanksgiving.  They donate the hats to people who lose their hair from chemo treatments.

cowgirl22 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:27 AM

I have finished 3 hats and have 4 more to go!  Using the basic hat pattern from Last Minute Knitted gifts.  As a breast cancer survivor I loved mcathyt's post!  How dear for her to knit a chemo cap for her daughter's friend.  I am also glad to learn of Bernat's collection.  I will check it out.

Stefanie H wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:26 AM

Windschief by Stephen West in Poppi's Worsted Icelandic Wool from Wellspring Woolens: a small Icelandic sheep farm in SW Minnesota.

mcathyt wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:09 AM

Not knitting a hat for Christmas (not yet...I still have time) but picked up a couple of skeins of Bernat's new Handicrafter cotton in Pinky Stripes for the Breast Cancer Collection.  Just learned that a friend of my daughters lost her hair from chemo and I finished a chemo cap to send out to her to keep her precious head warm.  

rrqt wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:05 AM

In the past year I have knitted 80 hats with all variety of patterns - some vintage WW11 Red Cross patterns, some more modern.  The Blue Star Mothers Chapter that I belong to took on the project of making hand made hats for all the veterans residing in the two federally run veterans facilities in our state.  We were able to obtain approximately 280 hats and are giving them to the vets for their Holiday  Party.  My favorite???  Most likely the one that I am currently knitting, whatever that one is - I like the "Turn a Square" hat, I have sort of made up my own patterns "abducting" information from others  and putting the parts that I like together!!!  Has been an interesting adventure!!!  

Nia wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 9:00 AM

Hi Katleen, I am knitting Norah Gaughan's "soap bubble" hat from the Entreknits emag. It is modular and great fun to knit. I decided to change the colour and am making it from very pale grey, mauve and silver sequenced yarns, like an iridescent soap bubble in sunshine.

BarbaraO@2 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 8:44 AM

When I knit a rolled brim hat I knit the first 3 rows on a smaller size needle.  Works great and keeps it from rolling too much.  Another hint someone told me is to knit a few rows of ribbing after the rolled edge to keep it from rolling more than you want.

Happy knitting.


on Dec 14, 2011 8:25 AM

I knit 3 hats and added another 2 from my collection, then donated them to Occupy protestors to keep them warm. Now I'm starting on hats for gifts, including birthdays in January and February.


Meshanna wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 8:02 AM

Hey Kathleen,

How about am inch or so of ribbing and THEN finish it off with a rolled brim? Ribbing with a rolled edge looks pretty cool and would help the hat stay on better.



JaneD@11 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 7:55 AM

I've knit 26 simple teen/adult sized hats so far this month for charity. They aren't anything fancy - ribbed at the bottom, stockinette the rest of the way with a few stripes knit in for interest.

AnneB@3 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 7:17 AM

I have made 12 butterfly hats ,4 plain ribs hats and 3 rolled brims. So much fun. I think I could knit a ceral box at this point just for the enjoyment of knitting.


Pat@168 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:56 AM

You aked abot knitting hats for Christmas - I am on my 19th hat for family members.  I have 15 grandchildren and the older ones have asked for hats in the colors of their favorite teams - either college or pro sports.  The boys are getting watch caps as that is what they asked for, and the girls are getting slouch hats.  The "extra" hats are for my daughters and their husbands.  I really do need to get these done soon, I want to add hand-warmers or scarves to some of the hats.

muffinmaker wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:47 AM

I decided to make hats for my co-workers this Christmas, so I've been busy mixing them in with other projects since October.  They are getting the Textured Tam by Jacqueline vanDillen, Provence Cloche by Cecily Glowik, the Hat part of Scarf & Hat #4482 by Bernat Design Studio, Classic Silk Lace Beret by Kristen TenDyke, Wuthering Heights Beret by Coralie Meslin, Poppy Beret by Kate Jackson, Runner Beanie by Matt Babcock, #25 Sabrina Tam by Knitscene and Felt Cap AC-08 by Bev Galeskas.  I've had a secondary motive.  I don't think of myself as a hat wearer, so I've been able to model them all and see what kind of hat I like the best :-)  My fav is the Classic Silk Lace Beret.

mmromig wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:40 AM

I made the Frick Frick beret in bright red for my mom (okay, originally for me until my sister said "I love it! Is it for Mom?"), in Neighborhood Fiber Co Studio Sock.

The Windschief hat for my brother in law (thank you, Stephen West) in Linus worsted - excellent yarn for manly colors and texture.

The Speedy Cabled Beret in Malabrigo Rasta for my sister (knits up like a beanie an needs aggressive blocking). This is a free pattern on Ravelry, and a VERY fast knit with bulky yarn.

I had so much fun knitting the hats - so much instant gratification!

aidanward wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:15 AM


I love that hat! Could you send me a copy?


Carol@22 wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 6:13 AM

Hello from the California coast.  I just purchased the 'Weekend Hats" book, grabbed my knitting needles and made the Solitaire Beret in one day.  The hat features a single cable running down one side.  The background is stockinette.  The look is awsome!  I am so excited about this book and plan to knit many of the patterns.  Our weather has turned cool; perfect for all of the hats in this book. I had a stach of deep orange red; Fishermens wool that I hand dyed using Procion dye.  I used this yarn for the beret.  Best Wishes, Carol Ann

kpbeata wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 3:40 AM

krucsaine@arrkhungary. hu

I do not want more than a newsletter, is sent to this address

jspears wrote
on Dec 14, 2011 3:38 AM

Hi, I'm Judy from Kentucky.  I've knit several hats this fall also.  One pattern that I've enjoyed especially for men is the Waffle Hat.  I got the pattern free from Ravelry.  My 20 year-old son really likes it and I've knit three so far.  It knits very quick and easy, but has more interest than just a rib. Seems I always have a hat on the needles to pick up and knit when I have a few minutes on these busy, pre-Christmas days.  Happy knitting!