I don’t know about the rest of you but right here in Ireland I am listening to the rain pelting down and the wind howling around my cottage. Is it like this everywhere? It’s a typical wet Irish autumn day and the only difference to a winter day is that the wind is warm! This is the perfect time to introduce you to another finished object hot off the needles this weekend. I feel like I should be jumping with joy as it has been months without any finished pieces to show you and then 3 come along at once. If you are looking for a quick knit that can be worked in a weekend than you are going to love today’s post.
This pattern is called the Herriot Hat by Nicole Montgomery and it is a free pattern on Ravelry. It’s one that I have wanted to knit for a while since Jenny (aka Townhouse Yarns) knit herself one in Herriot Great. The pattern is simple and straightforward and has clearly defined sizes and also includes how to pick the right size hat for your head! After Woolly Wormhead’s workshops in This is Knit I realised that I have a rather small head and while you might laugh it means that in order for a hat to fit me I have to knit the 18″ child size! Yip, good things come in small packages right? This sizing is important as the number one reason people are unhappy with their handmade hats is that they are working a size too big and not allowing for growth. Measure your head and work the size 1.5″ to 2″ smaller and you should be fine.
This pattern is worked with a smocked brim which is really fun and fast to work up. Nicole includes a link to a YouTube tutorial if you haven’t worked a smocking stitch before and it is worth it as you end up with a beautiful and unique brim. The hat decreases are worked as normal and give you a centred crown decrease. I worked my hat with added slouch so I worked the brim for the 18″ size and the length to 7″ (largest size) from the brim and then I started the decreases. This gives me a hat I can wear lowdown on horrible days like today or slightly back with an added slouch. This hat was worked up from cast on to cast off in one day making it an ideal gift knit this winter.
I worked this hat in The Fibre Co.’s Arranmore yarn in Donaghy and it’s interesting to write about this directly after working with The Studio Donegal Soft in the previous post. Arranmore is dyed and spun here in Ireland in Co. Donegal. It has 175 yds per skein and is a blend of 80% wool, 10% silk and 10% cashmere. There really is no comparison between the two yarns as Arranmore is just so luxurious and soft to touch. It’s also slightly heavier and has a lot more drop to it so I expect my hat to grow a lot with wear but it is deliciously warm and I’m still wearing my hat as I type this post!
Working the smocking stitch was fun but a little tricky as the yarn liked to hold onto itself but the smocks really pop on the hat in person. I also worked some cables in a swatch and they really stand out too so this is definitely a yarn that I would use for Aran jumpers but I do expect a full garment will be a tad on the heavy side. After working this in stocking stitch there is a lot of bounce and depth to it and I still have just under half a skein left after making this hat for me. If you are wondering about cables and garments in this yarn pop over to this blog post by Celtic Cast and have a look at her cute little vest she just finished. The yarn was beautiful to work with and I do see a cow in my future as this is something that I would want to be wrapped up around my neck so I can snuggle down into. My one and only issue is that I think my hat needs a big fully cream pom pom. what do you think?
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*Disclosure: I was gifted this skein of Arranmore for free from The Fibre Co. but all thoughts in this post are my own.