Monday, October 3, 2011

Botanic Hat

Over the last few months you’ve seen and heard about several knit items made for the new baby.  It’s so easy to get sucked in to small, quick projects.  Babies are so little that anything you make for them can be finished in the blink of an eye.

Feeling a bit guilty that my knitting had shifted from making things for Squishy, to making things for Lovebug, I thought I should focus on Squishy a little bit.  I have a couple long-term projects on the needles for him, but I needed something quick and easy.

I’ve been perusing Ravelry for a hat pattern I really liked.  I wanted something more than just a basic beanie.  Squishy always loves wearing Mr. Man’s hat when they’re finished, so I thought something a little more grown up would be fitting. 

And every time I would pick a pattern and get ready to knit, it didn’t feel right.  I picked out so many hat patterns.  It shouldn’t be this hard!  But you know how sometimes you have a certain look and feel for a project in mind and you can’t move past it until you get exactly what you want?  That was me and my quest for the perfect hat.

In strides Botanic Hat by Stephen West.  The pattern is written for adults, but several people had modified their version to fit children, specifically toddlers.  Perfect!  So following the notes of several other Ravelers, I cast on exactly as the pattern directed, but with US 5 needles, instead of US 6.  And after the ribbing, I switched to US 6s instead of US 7s.  So by only going down 1 needle size, I got great gauge for my little boy’s head.  Other knitters had knit for 5.5” before starting the decreases so I followed suit.  As it turns out, my little man has a somewhat large head.  Although the circumference is great, the length, is not.  The pattern says to knit for 6” before decreasing.  Since I had left everything except needle size the same, I should have listened to Mr. West.  The bottom of Squishy’s earlobes stick out so this won’t work as a winter hat.  C’est la vie!
Aside from my own mistake, this hat is perfect.  It’s a reversible pattern.  Side A is a 2-color slip stitch pattern that looks much more complicated than it really is.  Because of the construction for side A, side B is a simple 3x1 rib.  I knit this with the same yarn as the Coffee Bean Cardigan for my friend’s son.  Cascade 220 Superwash Wool in Cordovan and my own Woodland Fairies Superwash Wool.  I have a tiny amount of brown left and enough green for another project.

Pictures of Squishy in the hat will have to wait.  At the moment, he won’t leave it on his head for more than 10-15 seconds at a time.  He’s always like this before the cold weather.  But once those winds start blowing, I know he’ll leave it on. 

I’d recommend this pattern to anyone looking for a quick gift, whether it be a child or an adult.  I imagine if you have a child older than a toddler, the adult size pattern would be okay – but I suggest reading others’ notes!  


  1. It has such a neat, visual effect. Your ohana is so lucky to have you knit for them. Hope you're feeling well and doing well.

  2. This hat looks a bit difficult to knit. But you've done an excellent job!

  3. @Kepanie
    Thanks, Stefanie! Doing pretty good thus far. Almost to 35 weeks!! The time is starting to go quickly and I'm getting impatient. :)

    Thanks for the hat love!

  4. @Lucy
    Lucy - this hat is actually VERY simple. I know you've got the skills if you ever wanted to knit one. It's just striping and slipped stitches. The effect is really neat though!

    Now, the art you've been creating lately...that to me looks hard!!