With my nephew’s birthday coming up, I knew I wanted to knit him a hat. I always start a knitting project by going to my yarn and seeing what yarn speaks to me and reminds me of the person I’m knitting for. What immediately jumped out at me was a skein of beautiful wool yarn from Wolf Ridge Icelandics, that I brought home from the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. I love the natural brown color, straight from the sheep. I noticed that it paired nicely with the blue yarn I had leftover from knitting that little sweater for Jeff’s grandson.
I pulled out my pattern for the Magic Coffee Baby Hat (the pattern is available for free on Ravelry), which is the one I go back to again and again when I want to knit a hat for a gift. I had seen another hat with only a few stripes recently and liked the way it looked. I decided to knit two stripes in this hat because my nephew was turning two and I wanted two stripes in honor of his second birthday.
I followed the pattern, except for doing the stripes differently and not adding the loop at the top, but simply closing it up as a regular beanie. Since my yarn was an an aran weight, rather than worsted weight like the pattern called for, I went down a size in the pattern. (My Ravelry notes are here.) However, the finished hat still turned out much too big. I needed to get the hat in the mail and didn’t have time to knit another hat and get it to my nephew in time for his birthday, so I decided to try felting it. I knew it was a bit risky because I wasn’t sure how much it would shrink (and if it shrank too much I’d be in trouble), but I stuck it in the washing machine and kept checking it.
I was pleased with the results. Before, the hat would have fit a six year old (I tried it on Bracken to see, and it did), but after felting it the hat looked like it would fit a two year old. Felting the hat gave it a tighter weave and I knew it would make the hat even warmer and more waterproof in our rainy Northwest winters. Once the hat was dry from it’s felting session in the washing machine, I got it in the mail and it arrived just in time. My stepsister told me the good news that the hat fits perfectly. Yay! I’m glad that I was able to come here today with a happy knitting story and that the hat I knit for my nephew will fit him this winter and can keep him warm during his two year old adventures.