Monday, March 21, 2022

Perfect Hats for Winter Dog Walking

As I mentioned in my blog Episode 50: So Much Hue and Me, I knit a crap ton of patterns in Lion Brand yarn over the last year or so, mostly designed by Alexandra Tavel. Why so many? I have a few reasons. The obvious one is that I like her designs, and when you see one that you like from a designer, you often see another to queue, etc. Aside from that I like approachable, affordable designs. The samples are all knit in the same yarn most of us who make them will use. It is easy to source and easy on the budget. 






I also like that she offers so many of her designs for free on her blog. I know that it's a smart business move to have freebies, but it is also making crafting accessible for everyone. And wether I was recycling old sweaters to get yarn or choosing from a stash, I've always appreciated designers who keep that in mind. 



So the first one I made was a Seafarer's Cap in the Hue and Me Shadow color and size US 10 needles. It's a favorite color in that collection because it's not quite grey and not quite brown and almost has a plum look to it. I had one skein of it left after knitting Alexandra's Keaton Vest, which I have yet to blog about. I have so much to post about! Ugh that's why all of these posts may seem listy and sparse. 

I wore that Seafarer's Cap in Shadow some of last winter and most of this winter to walk my dogs in the evening. It is the right weight for when it is cold here and if it gets sweaty or falls on the car floorboard, becoming coated in chocolate and white fur, it's washable. 

In Episode 50 I share the story of how I became neighborhood comic relief in my cap. It is my hat of choice for neighborhood romps, as exhibited below.



The next iteration I made was in Arrowwood. It was a leftover ball from my Harvest Throw, yes another Two of Wands pattern, to get the depth I like I used just over one skein. 



Arrowwood is probably my very favorite Hue and Me color, which means I save it for fancier dog walks. Ha! not really, but sort of. I'd wear it to go out too. It looks really good with my peacoat and black wool blazer.  I  can see making more of these whenever I have leftover Hue and Me skeins. I am so glad Lion Brand started selling a wool blend bulky yarn, sort of like Wool Ease Chunky, but in an updated palette!



The last walking hat I have to show you is my Sophie Bucket Hat. It already has the Go for Faux fake fur, so no need to lint roll it before heading out. It's very trendy, with the bucket shape and the faux fur going on, but I'm not sure it's very me and that's okay because I planned to give it away. I used size US 10 needles and two skeins of yarn in the Bear color to knit a size 3, but I didn't swatch. The resulting fit wasn't too tight, just too tight for me. I have this thing where I get headaches if I feel even the slightest weight or pressure on my head by a hat or headband... or sunglasses... sigh. So I only tried it on for a fake dog walk. 



Fake walks are what I do most of the time with my little, old cow dog. He can't really handle a lot of walking on his joints, but is heartbroken if he gets left behind. So I walk him for 10-15 minutes slowly down the street then back. I then walk the big one for 30-40 minutes. I can attest to it being super warm. It seemed almost like the real thing. 
I'd say I knit each of these hats in two or three sittings, maybe in the time it takes to watch a movie. Not bad for a gift or last minute wardrobe necessity. 


(more images on my flickr)

Check back for posts on the Harvest Throw and Keaton Vest I mentioned. I am super pleased with both of them.
More details about my Seafarer Caps in my Ravelry and on the My So-Called Handmade Life channel in Episodes 50: So Much Hue and Me

And a striped version in this blog post.

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