As it turns out, what really got me back into crafty pursuits was my sister’s need for a woolly hat that didn’t make her look like she was about to go and work on an oil rig for the winter. (Actually, I’d already knitted a scarf – my first – by this time, but that’s another story.)
This was about 18 months ago now. I visited my sister at her home in Austria, where we searched for a headpiece that would do her feminine locks justice. Nothing. Nichts. Niente. Nada. Consequently, when I got back to Blighty, I concluded that the only thing for it was to knit her some stylish headgear she could wear with pride.
I used some chunky wool, the name of which, sadly, I can’t recall, having carelessly lost the label. I do know, however, that the hat was a beret and that I followed the beret pattern in this Sirdar Indie set.
The hat came out very nicely, though sewing it up was a nightmare – mainly because the wool I was using was so chunky that it was hard to achieve a neat seam. I managed it though and, had this trendy topper actually fitted said sister’s noggin, this first foray into knitted noodle warmers would have been a triumph. Sadly, though much appreciated, the beret insisted on slipping repeatedly over my sister’s eyes and has now, I expect, been consigned – at best – to a drawer. It was only months later that a friend from my monthly Meet & Make group at Fringe in Muswell Hill suggested adding elastic – I shall be banking this cunning solution for future application!
Last Autumn, almost a year on from beret-gate, I tried again. By this time, I had a little more experience on the knitting front and I chose a different pattern: the ‘Nuzzle Hat’ in Sarah Hatton’s appealing book of patterns, 10 Simple, Cosy Projects. Like the Sirdar Indie Beret pattern, this pattern doesn’t require advanced skills (the clue being in the title of the book!). It’s a straightforward pattern that produces great results.
This time I was knitting for myself (I had decided that the solution to the conflict between my sister’s head and the cold climate was one she would have to discover solo). The pattern uses Rowan Cocoon, which is soft, not itchy and comes in a great range of colours. I chose Crag for this hat (and have since been working on a jumper in Bilberry, but more on that another time), and had it knitted in no time.
The seam, this time, went like a dream and can hardly be seen from the right side – I was amazed. Since then, I’ve knitted another, this time in Polar, for a friend. Again, great results. I’m hoping that I’ll have enough Bilberry left from the jumper that I’ll be able to knit myself another, new Nuzzle Hat for next winter!
Here is my first Nuzzle Hat then. (Sadly, I have no photo of the Sirdar Indie Beret that does that first creation justice.) Bear in mind that in one autumn/winter it has been worn almost constantly!