With the best part of a skein of Malabrigo Rios sat in my lap after finishing Kitty’s Momo cardigan, a hat was the obvious choice for my next project. You can never have too many hats, at least not in our house where they double up as dolly beds, mittens, and useful pots to put things in (usually Duplo).
But while any hat popped into our bag of winter hats and mittens will always eventually find a wearer, even if it’s Pip, I have also learned my lesson on the pattern front and sat Kitty down with Ravelry to some extensive hat pattern searching. As a result of which I have a long list of hats she would like, a few that Elma would like and one for me, none of which will work with this yarn, or at least not in the amount I had.
70 ish grand of Aran weight is not an awful lot for a hat for a little girl whose head isn’t that much smaller than mine. Nothing poofy (not enough yarn), nothing cabled (cables are beautiful, warm and eat yarn like no tomorrow), no doubled up ribbing, and with a little reluctance I had to concede, no pom-poms.
Which narrowed us down to one perfect pattern, the Cabernet hat. I held my breath because if this one got a no, the only answer was me making something up on the fly and right now my knitting designer magic is being used for other things, like staying awake. Kitty looked at it, clicked on another couple of pictures (mostly I think because she likes clicking), turned her head to one side and said:
“Mummy, I think that one!”
And aside from fitting all of our criteria it’s actually a great hat. There’s lacework and the occasional giant cable but they balance each other out so it stays stretchy and after knitting miles upon miles of stocking stitch it was fun to have something a bit more technical to knit.
The pattern describes itself as hard and from the description of the cable you’d think you were about to defuse a bomb while wearing mittens but it’s not actually that hard. In essence you have eight stitches, you’re swapping the first and the eighth and leaving the others in their place. I usually cable without any cable needle but I did find a spare DPN useful to hold those end stitches while I shuffled the middle six back and forth.
As soon as it was finished it was lifted out of my lap and carted away. Kitty both loves it and finds it a bit fidgety; the love because it’s pretty, soft, warm and matches her cardigan, and the fidgety because the size medium (child), while a perfect fit on the circumference, is probably a centimetre or two short on the height. She keeps trying to pull it down a bit more to cover the bottom of her ears. The pattern is written to bring the cables up to a beautiful point so there isn’t really anywhere obvious where I could have added more length. If I were to make another one I think I’d use the ribbing brim and add a few more rows, they could always be turned up if it was too much. It’s a great fit on Elma (my back up plan) but somehow I think she’s only going to get the chance to prove that when her sister is out!
After a while Kitty forgets about the fidgeting though and then it looks very perfectly autumnal; the purple against the deep blues skies or the green gold of our trees, and there’s something about a hat that matches your cardie that can only be for a half way to winter kind of stage, the time of year when you don’t need your coat, your waterproofs and layers of thick woolly cables to keep you snug and warm.
Which gives me a very good idea for a little Christmas knitting, at least the version of Christmas knitting in my head in which I whizz cheery jumpers off the needles while simultaneously making all the Christmas magic, being a fully engaged and present parent to my little trio, an attentive wife, oh and holding down a full time job. I think I may also have invented a time machine. But surely, even in reality there might be space for a little knitted cabled winter hat for Kitty – anyone got any good ideas for a pattern?