Not a hat

In the last weeks before Christmas (and before New Years, I was running late) I knit eight hats, and the hats were all I knit. Morning, noon, night, hats, hats, hats. I’ll show you pictures another day when I can stand to look at them, but the important thing to know about that little streak is that now I am so tired of hats that I’m feeling the occasional urge to slap them off the heads of strangers.

During the last of the hats, I comforted myself by lining up two projects I was going to start the minute it was all over, and when I say that I lined them up, I don’t mean that I sort of thought about what it was going to be and kept them in my mind.  I mean that I took the yarns out of the cupboard, got the needles, organized the patterns and put it all right next to me so that it was literally lined up. I’d knit a hat for a bit, then reach over and pat the reward yarns, quietly mumbling eloquent things like “^%$#%ing hats.”

I started too look forward to the reward knits so much that I worried that maybe I was making too much of it. I wasn’t.  I started both of them, and I love them – Wild Wolves –  I had a kit that I bought at Knit East. It’s entirely charming, knitting up quickly and delightfully not hatlike at all.

wild wolves 2018-01-03

Also not a hat?  Bonfire.  I’ve been dreaming of this one for a while – I ordered the yarn ahead so that I’d have it, and I’m so smitten.  It’s Freia Fine Handpaints in Flare, and a solid to go with.

flare ombre 2018-01-03

It’s not often that I use the yarn a pattern calls for – I’ve got a big stash and I like to use it, but this yarn is so perfect for this pattern that I couldn’t imagine anything else. My hat free life is so perfect.

bonfirestart 2018-01-03

I am never knitting another hat.


98 thoughts on “Not a hat

  1. After tackling brioche, you may rethink hats. Ask me how I know.
    I do love the bit about fighting the urge to smack hats off the heads of strangers.
    Your reward knits are quite lovely and well deserved.
    Can’t wait for you to share your brioche adventure and tips.

  2. I, on the other hand, am knitting a hat – the 1898 hat. Or at least I would be if it wasn’t so hot: 31 degrees (Celsius) yesterday, and dropping to 28 by 8pm. Definitely not knitting weather. Swap?

  3. You do know how to reward yourself! Both projects are beautiful!
    You describe the feeling so well! I am 1/4 of a mitten and 2 seams away from a similar reward opportunity! Or 3…

  4. I knit a bunch of hats and should do one more but…
    Love the brioche. I have that yarn and now am feeling inspired. I have resolved to only knit from the stash this year.

    Loved “As You Mean to Go On…”

  5. I just finished a sweater for my little grandson. Then I started on a matching hat, fusing two separate patterns to get the pattern I wanted. It was too little for any baby’s head, so now I’ve frogged that and am working on the same pattern, just a little bigger. And am rejoicing because it doesn’t have to be seamed up when the knitting is done. But 8 hats in a row is a lot, and I don’t blame you for not wanting to look at another one. You do know how to pick your rewards.

  6. Ooh, Brioche. I should add that to my list of things I want to learn this year. On that list: intarsia, double-knitting.

    I like hats but I always get bored of knitting the main head bit at least an inch before I should start to decrease.

  7. I have two hats to finish. Sigh. And then on to finish the long list of wips. 🙂 And the car project, a scrap afghan. 🙂 I love the wolf pattern! And Bonfire is gorgeous! You will enjoy them both after all the hats! Knit on!

  8. I too have reward projects lined up, unfortunately I still have one Christmas knit to finish and it’s a scarf. Why I thought a scarf with it’s infernal length was a good idea for a gift knit for my brother is beyond me, but I am past half way and committed. Good thing I won’t be seeing him to exchange gifts for another week yet. And then, I cast on all the things!

    Love that bonfire pattern, I might be in the mood for some two colour brioche as well! Happy knitting!

  9. As my little black cat purrs on my chest, I’m reminded of Millie. Have you added a new cat to your household yet, Stephanie? Regarding hats, I finally made myself (after weeks of gift knitting/sewing) a pink cat hat last night in time for the first anniversary of the women’s march. It’s made from #6 thick & thin wool/acrylic in not-babyish shades of rose/pink/white and I LOVE IT!

  10. Love Bonfire. I recently knit it using Malabrigo. The colors pooled in an amazing way. I love wearing the finished project. I’m actually working my way thru Leafy Brioche and couldn’t be happier with the patterns.

  11. You have such a way with words! “I am so tired of hats that I’m feeling the occasional urge to slap them off the heads of strangers.”!! Made me laugh out loud!

  12. OMG! I so love this! So perfect! I’m feeling that way about socks right now. I got it in my head that I needed to knit Christmas socks for a couple of people. I decided this on Christmas Eve, while I was busting butt to finish an Arne and Carlos Christmas Ball by Christmas day. One pair is done, and I’m flying through the second. But I would rather be knitting anything else except these particular socks. Horrible! But true! I can’t say I’m not knitting socks anymore, but they’ll be selfish, no deadline socks.

  13. I knit a bunch of hats from my stash for Christmas, too! Doing one thing over and over can get boring, but those stash hats saved my Christmas! Yay for hats!

  14. I knit hats for charity: it uses up the small amounts in my stash, but it also honors the memory of my brother who was a Vietnam vet with PTSD who was, for a time, homeless. He died six years ago from complications of Agent Orange exposure. Last year I made 24, every year my personal quota gets a little larger. Other than that, no one else gets a hat: I will gladly knitt scarves, cowls, socks (well actually I kind of burned out on socks too) mittens, baby sweaters, blankets…but the hat quota must be served. In January, i start knitting for myself: right now, its all about me.

  15. Both projects are off to a fine start, and neither is so big that you’ll be cursing them by the time you’re through. And, you’ll get them finished before Elliot needs new sweaters (or hats)!

  16. I feel that way about Maine mittens. Knit 9 pair this xmas. Glad I did, but no more mittens, fingerless or other wise!

  17. Look at Woolly Wormhead’s hats; you may change your mind! Especially the sideways ones are so clever, they are irresistible!

  18. Oooh, Bonfire .. so gorgeous! Maybe I do need to learn brioche after all, my current 3 (ehem, 4) WIPs can just wait a little while I tackle it right? And I do have some cakes already in stash which would be perfect so I’m saving money …

  19. Hat-making must be going around — kinda like knitting flu! Since Cheistmas, I’ve made one adult hat, two adult earwarmers, two baby hats and one in progress, with more to come. Middle Niece’s third son is due in March. In Kansas. Kansas isn’t Canada, but it’s cold in March.

    His big brothers were spring and summer babies in warmer areas, so she has no little hats tucked away. The newest hat, smaller than the others, has earflaps and will have ties. i’m considering braids, not endless icord for those. There are at least two more hats planned for him, plus a coordinting hat apiece for his brothers. But at least when I’m doing those, I’m not working on his (very basic) matching blanket in his parents’ uni colors. Their uni and mine are arch-rivals.

    When I’m done being the Mad Hatter, it’s time to dig out the sweater WIPs for Ravellenics. You’re fnishing Joe’s gansey then, while watching Canada’s Olympians, right, Stephanie?

  20. A couple of years ago the stars aligned and I had to make 23 hats in one winter!! I didn’t make another for quite some time.

  21. Never knitting another hat until you hear the forecast for tonight, though with eight hats, you may have those you love covered.

  22. Lovely hats Steph. Eight hats are a lot for a short knit time. Hope you are keeping warm and not going to get the snowstorm heading our way today and tomorrow. Best wishes.

  23. The book that Bonfire is in, and the appropriate yarn, was purchased. Man, that is gorgeous. Brioche is my new obsession.

  24. I made both of the curious cats and the deer for gifts and my friends just loved them. Next going to do the bunnies and red fox. I love ALL of the little animals. So cute and were really fun to knit.

  25. I have knit a lot of hats for charity (so many that I don’t need a pattern for a basic hat in anything from DK to bulky). They are socks are to you.

    And then I realized that I only had 2 knit hats myself (and one of those was a gift).

    Hats are my usual go-to reward knit. Everything else takes forever.

  26. I need 33 scarves by 1/13. Then I thought I can crochet faster than knit and I can make a hat faster than a scarf… needless to say, ya’ll know what I’m working on at the moment. Two are already in the making… I’ll have to make three per day hmmmmmm…

    • That’s doable. My neighbor brought me a plate of Christmas cookies, so I gave her a hat. She decided hats were the just the thing to finish out her Christmas list, so she paid me $20 each to knit several hats in a few days. I needed the money, so I did it. we were both happy.
      Julie in San Diego, where we are praying for rain

  27. The opposite – I love making hats! They’re made each year with great yarns in different colors and different patterns, and they’ll always fit SOMEone…but then, there IS always a second (or third) project going, that needs to stay home and be given proper attention. Brioche is on my list of techniques I’d like to learn – and that pattern is luscious.
    Happy reward knitting, Stephanie!

    • Me too! I learned color stranding this hear and have made at least a dozen hats. They’re almost instant gratification unlike a sweater…..trying to finish a Color Fade Cardie (sigh)

  28. I can so relate! I knit 15 pairs of double soled granny slippers! It will be a long time before I do that again! I also had projects lined up but my first one is a fair isle hat.

  29. I have enough yarn and patterns in my stash to last me the rest of my knitting life – so why is it, almost every time I come to your blog, I see patterns and yarn that I just have to have ?!
    Also, I’m knitting a hat. I’ll bet good money that you’ll end up knitting another hat at some point in your life.

  30. Hats hats hats…we all seem to knit a lot of hats!
    Tell us that, really, you will let that adorable grandson hatless?!
    My “done with” pattern is Monster Pants.
    Since I knit for a “Hat for Sailors” group on Ravelry…
    For me: this year is the year of sweaters…FOR ME!

  31. Well, never say never…. Elliot is growing wicked fast and you can’t possibly let the wee one got without a special hat knit by his Nana can you? His poor little bald head and frost bitten ears….

    • Yep, that’s what it is. There was an explanation in the comments of the previous post, if you’d like to know more.

  32. My friend is designing a brioche hat pattern. It might go nicely with that cowl. Just saying. I said I’d never learn brioche – too slow and fiddly. Now I want to knit her hat. Doh!

  33. I’ll see your “no more hats” and raise you a “no more socks and mittens.” This was my first-ever, knitted-gifts Christmas, and while I got nearly everything done, including four hats, I’m about ready to knit a little something for me.

    All this to say, thank you. For enabling the yarns purchases. For the inspirational photos. And for the generosity and kindness and sharing that makes your writing such a treat. When I was feeling bereft in Nov and Dec, I went back and reread your Christmas posts, starting w the Spreadsheet of Joy. And then *A Stash of One’s Own* appeared under my tree, so thank you for your excellent essay there, too.

    Hope this new year brings all and only good things to you and yours.

    (I get to touch the light bulb. Apt, since this blog is always a bright spot in my day.)

  34. Hi, I hate to ruin your non hat buzz but over the years I have made a few of your Lorne hat and my kid was in Montreal this past week and called to praise me for his and that of his friend. My brother also called to praise me. So very cold outside and I did these in Icelandic yarn. In fact my kids luggage was filled with my work. Kept him safe and cozy. Thank you.

  35. I have also been knitting a lot of hats. A couple of them will get donated to a veteran’s group or homeless shelter, they ended up rather large. I love the Wolves. I went to look at her other patterns as well. I may need to knit a few of them Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  36. Somebody told me that knitting hats was like eating potato chips: you can’t stop with just one. Five hats later, I am rewarding myself with a baby blanket. Then back to hats, because they travel well on public transportation. One of our local fiber artists posted a link to a ravelry hat that will make wonderful charity knitting. I LOVE the patterns you are working on, and have bookmarked them for my projects.

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  37. I just finished a shawlette with Freia shawl ball Flare and it is gorgeous. I plan to purchase another as soon as our LYS reopens from their relocation, maybe tomorrow. Great choice for a reward.

  38. Just looked at the Bonfire pattern on Ravelry, it’s beautiful. Looking forward to seeing your finished article. It’s nice to have the Yarn part of the Harlot back.

  39. Ten hats for charity… but saw them snatched up on this so cold day by some of the ladies who needed them. So may knit another hat but not soon.

    LOVE the cowl pattern.

  40. I know exactly how the “no more hats” thing goes…I knit beanies for my church’s charity and, boy, am I bored of hats. I was so desperate to knit less of them I taught my husband (a fledgling knitter) my pattern so he could help. I probably only do one a week (I’m not very fast and I don’t have a lot of knitting time…sadly), but I figure any help for the homeless is better than none. Especially since we have some very cold weather for where I live this year.

  41. I so feel your pain and your relief. My gift knitting was two adult male navy sweaters. All I knit for 3 months were navy sweaters. I am done with navy sweaters for a while. (I have some gorgeous navy-ish sport-weight wool/silk stashed for a sweater for me, but it may be a year or two before I can knit another navy sweater.) Currently working on a Hitchhiker in a lovely colorway and some stripey socks. Thoughts of the reward knitting at the end (and petting the yarn, printing the patterns, etc.) pulled me through.

  42. Don’t say that Steph! Don’t say that you are not knitting another hat. That comment all by itself, will come back to bit you….on the head!

  43. I have not knit multiples of anything lately, but I did finish off three or four pairs of fingerless mittens needing nothing except thumb holes and ends woven in (from last Christmas). I think that I may avoid multiples in the future… too tedious. Have fun with your non-hat projects!

  44. The bride wore my shawl ! ! ! Partly, I’m sure, to help her keep warm because it was an outdoor wedding in December. As the new grandmother-in-law, I didn’t want to dictate, or even ask, but as the couple were exchanging rings, I could see the ends of the shawl dangling at her wrists. She’s a lovely girl, and I’m happy to have her in the family and I’m wondering what else I could knit that she would appreciate owning.

  45. I would like to follow you but I found nowhere to put in my info so here it is. I enjoy your name of your blog!!!
    I enjoy the blog.

  46. LOL! I can picture a frustrated knitter walking down a crowded street smacking other peoples’ hats off while mumbling @#$%^&*hats! I think your resolve never to knit another hat will crumble though–just as soon as Elliott outgrows his lumberjack hat. 🙂

  47. Ooooh, can I relate. I’m still stuck in hat purgatory. 5 more to go, then I flat-out refuse to knit another one. And fingerless mitts are right behind the hats…

  48. Dec 31st was the 5yr anniversary of my Dad’s passing. My “like a Dad to me” passed away on Christmas day. Suffice it to say the holidays have been bittersweet to be sure. My heart goes out to you. I too have been trying to remember the what I have as well as grieve what I’ve lost. Some days it’s easier than others… for what it’s worth (((hugs)))

  49. Oh, sure you will… as soon as one of the kids, or your granchild, or a friend, or someone close to you, looks at you with big eyes, and tell you their head is cold…. Otherwise, the rewards are lovely. So, lets just hope, you knitted enough hats to keep the wolves (khmm, the cold) at bay just as long as you can finish them.

  50. You know, I knit a slew of hats for Xmas too. Ok, four, but it was gonna be three. I got gauge on one, but it was still too small and is going to my little one, so I had to knit another (adult large!) for the 8-yr-old. Anyway, after all that I was looking forward to finishing socks for the 4-yr old (finally) and a mystery shawl and maybe getting back to a sweater for myself. But this week I saw one of those self-striping cakes for hats that comes with the pom-pom(!) for the top and I was enamored. So I’m knitting another hat (for myself this time); but Bonfire looks pretty cool and everything else my get pre-empted while I learn two-color brioche so I knit this lovely thing!

  51. Bonfire almost makes me want to try knitting again. Almost. Knitting needles and I have a tortured relationship. Give me a crochet hook ANY day. Am presently hooking a shawl from handspun silk I finished a little while ago.

  52. So I’m clicking over here, as I do, and I thought, gee! I’ve been doing this for over ten years now! And I thought of how your blog is so special to me, and I thought, I feel like I know her when I’ve only ever smiled at her in person twice. The thinking happens while the page loads, and I see the title of ths post. And my brain extraplolates so quickly: Only hat has been that one for Elliot, but a raft of hats? Something different… Matching? Noooo, that’s what I’d do, that’s not the Harlot’s game. Scroll, scroll….SHE DID IT!!!
    Pretty out of character and pretty great!!!

  53. Hilarious – that’s how I feel about %$^&*()ng SCARVES that go on for 7 FEET! UGH…..but then I do love to hear how the recipient wears it ALL the time :-)…….and I get sucked into doing another one for some other envious person who also wants to have the loving warmth of a hand knitted scarf……it’s a vicious cycle this knitting life!

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