What’s better than your favorite hoodie? THE BEST HAT EVER!
You guys, I just stopped at the bike shop for a tune-up and I ran into my friends Carly and Candi and they were wearing these SUPER-CUTE HATS. As Carly tooled around with the tires, in her hoodie and her chucks, I followed her around trying to get a better look. With flecks of neon, her green beanie was slouchy and cool and—I grabbed it and tried it on—uber-comfy. OMIGOSH, WHERE’D YOU GUYS GET THESE HATS?? I said.
Okay, that’s not real. Well, yeah, those are my friends and they are in a bike shop. But I brought the hats and asked them to meet me there so I could take some pictures. But they ARE super-cool, that part is true! The hats. And the friends.
This beanie pattern is cool because of the way it uses four colors of hand-dyed yarn. Dyed by MJ Yarns here in Colorado, the Simple Sock yarn is a fingering-weight Corriedale-nylon blend that is washable and as soft as an old T-shirt. You need 4 mini-skeins in different colors to work the hat, which features a spiraling (not a stripe) pattern that uses up the little skeins with great efficiency.
I ran into Jonathan, master dyer behind MJ Yarns, at TNNA in January and just loved all his vibrant mini-skeins, including neons. He showed me this simple-looking ribbed hat, then explained to me how you work with 4 balls, organized in a bowl, spiraling around the hat with each color. I’ll quote the pattern here:
“The hat is knit in the round with a spiral technique. Keeping the balls in a bowl and rotating the bowl as you knit around will reduce tangles. You do not twist the new color around the old as you would with intarsia! One way to think about this technique is that you are knitting only part of a round in a given color when working all the stitches currently on the needle. With four colors, it takes four trips around all stitches to complete one round in each color, bringing each color back to the original position. When you change yarns, you are not just switching colors, but also switching to a lower round in the sequence, which is why the yarns are not twisted.”
This method creates a spiral pattern, which you can see in the orange beanie here. It’s a fun way to mix up multiple colors, and depending on what color sequence you work, you’ll get different effects. I asked Jonathan to make me some kits to play with, and the green and orange beanies are the result! Each kit includes 4 mini-skeins of 50 yards, and the mix is simple: two neons, a dark color, and a multi-color. But the possibilities are endless! Work at a looser gauge for a slouchier hat, like Carly’s green version, or at a denser gauge for a more fitted option, like Candi’s orange one. The hat will fit most adults and the gauge can flex in either direction, depending on your preference. You can follow our color sequences exactly, or make up your own. You just need the kit, which includes the yarn and the pattern.
I like this hat because it’s unisex and it’s wearable in an everyday way—the kind of hat you throw on when you don’t feel like doing your hair, or just because it’s Saturday and you have to ride a few blocks to a barbecue and it’s breezy out. It’s a good spring hat, when you don’t need a heavy headwarmer, just a super-cool noggin-topper.
When I needed someone to model the beanies, I thought of my friends Candi and Carly, who are super-cool ladies. We met for beers at our favorite bike shop, Brave New Wheel in Fort Collins, Colorado, and took some hat pics. A hard day’s work. Thanks, friends!
Knit your own noggin-topper. Get a beanie kit today!
OTHER SUPER-COOL HATS!