Hats for People Who Don’t Like Hats: The Chunky Hat Solution

Hat hair—I hate it. I’ve never been a hat wearer because of it. For me, hats exist for two purposes:

1. Bad hair day
2. Warmth

Luckily, bad hair days don’t happen to me often, but when they do it’s usually because I was wearing a hat. It’s a vicious cycle. The only time I deliberately wear a hat is if it’s freezing and the hood of my down coat is no longer keeping my ears warm.

Flash to my recent holiday trip home to New York. Winter is my favorite season, and I sure got a heavy dose of it during my trip, starting the moment I stepped out of Newark Airport into the late December night. Freezing temperatures slapped me in the face as I relished in the frosty air amidst the swell of people and car horns. The traffic was typical for a crowded New York–area airport during the holidays, so I had to wait a good while for my ride to creep up to the front of the line. By the time my dad pulled up to the curb I couldn’t feel my ears anymore and all of my body heat had escaped out of the top of my head, leaving me feeling like a meat popsicle.

For two weeks I traveled around Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Lower Hudson Valley without anything to protect my head from the cold. With envy, I eyed all the cute chunky yarn hats adorned with pom-poms; one day, my ears were so cold I wanted to pluck a knit hat off an unsuspecting woman’s head on the subway.

My impulsive thought (which I did not act on) got me thinking about all the warm chunky hats I could have brought with me. Here are a couple of my favorites that I’ve made for myself during the recent cold snap, because if I’ve learned anything from my trip home, it’s that one can never have too many warm hats.

The Morgan Hat by Michele Wang

Any Michele Wang design is a design I want to make, so naturally, her version of a knit hat with chunky yarn is at the top of my list. I love the deep garter-stitch brim that hugs my head just enough to stay in place but doesn’t squeeze (and doesn’t leave an indent in my hair). The subtle cables undulating out from blocks of intermittent garter stitch make this hat visually compelling but not complicated to knit. Top it off with a fluffy pom-pom for a chic, modern take on the classic chunky hat.

The Powder Hat by Allison O’Mahony

Brioche stitch is addictive and fun but daunting for many novices. The Powder Hat features fisherman’s rib stitch, which looks identical to brioche and acts as training wheels for anyone gearing up for a brioche project (or anyone looking for a fun knit). The Powder Hat uses a soft chunky yarn that shows off the puffy fisherman’s rib stitch, and much like the Morgan Hat, the elasticity of the rib stitch leaves hair relatively unmarked, even after long periods of wear. Find a furry pom-pom for the top or use the remaining yarn to make one; either way, you’ll have a reliable, wearable chunky hat that will keep your ears warm all winter.

My box of winter accessories now includes several chunky hats, so I have no excuse not to pull one on the next time the temperature dips below freezing. Do you hate wearing hats, too? Or are you one of those people I envy who wear cute slouchy hats all year long? Let me know in the comments!

The reluctant hatter,
Meghan Babin

Chunky Yarn and Knit Hats – A Match Made for You!


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