It’s hat knitting season!

Brattlboro Hat by Melissa LeBarre

Hats are so fun to knit. They're short projects, and they usually just take one skein—always a bonus.

I recently knit  a fun pattern from the fantastic book New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. The pattern is the Brattleboro Hat, and I love it so much I can see myself making it for all of my friends with winter birthdays! (Not to mention adding one to my  grab bag Christmas plans.)

This little hat packs a big punch. Let me count the reasons:

1. It uses just one skein of Malabrigo Worsted, which is softy mcsofterson and so great to knit with!

2. The ribbed band stretches quite a bit vertically, which I love—you can pull it down over your ears when you need to.

3. The hat gives you a great opportunity to go through your button jar!

4. The moss-stitch crown is really pretty, especially with a lightly variegated yarn.

Kathleen's Brattleboro Hat

5. Brattleboro is a really fast knit—mine took about five hours. How's that for instant gratification?

I did make a couple of modifications (photo at right). I knit the moss stitch portion for an extra inch before I started the crown shaping. I have a big head (runs in the family; we take turns calling each other "basketball head"), so I usually do need to add an inch or so in length.

I also skipped the buttonholes and just attached one button through the tab and the brim. I figured I wouldn't need to actually use the buttons, so why bother with the buttonholes?

I love my hat! I'm keeping this one for myself—after all, if I start now, I can make another one by the end of the day.

It swims with the fishes…the Whale Watch Hat

This is the second hat from New England Knits that's on my list. Designer Kate Gagnon Osborn's inspiration was the outrageous whale-embroidered khakis worn by Martha's Vineyard vacationers and the enduring combination of navy and white.

Whale Watching Hat
by Kate Gagnon Osborn

What I thought about when I saw this design was a pod of whales I saw frolicking off the coast of Honolulu. What a magical moment that was; I can't wait to knit a hat to commemorate that memory.

The Whale Watch Hat isn't going to be a super fast knit like the Brattleboro—it's stranded knitting, which takes longer—but it'll be an enjoyable knit. I get sort of addicted to stranded knitting in the round; it's so fun to see the pattern emerge.

This one will be for me, too. I'm kind of greedy lately with the hats, aren't I?

I think you should get greedy with me! Grab your copy of New England Knits now and get going on your hats— get New England Knits at and we’ll ship it right to your doorstep!


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