I love a good winter, but a winter filled with endless snow in a city full of people not accustomed to driving in it? No, thanks. Here it is, April 1 and we got snow 2 days ago! Our backyard is the perfect scene for a mud wrestling competition and all the bulbs and seed packets I bought in anticipation of the elusive season called "spring" look sad and pathetic waiting for their due. When. Will. It. End? Because this winter has been the gift that keeps on giving, I'm offering up a new free hat design, the Miss Rachel hat. I'm wondering if reverse psychology will work with spring, as in, "Here, I knit this hat because I'm LOVING this winter and wish it would never END! I love wearing 54 layers every time I set foot outside!" So then winter would naturally relent and let spring make its way in. Silly? Very much so, but at this point I think we're all grasping at straws.


Cascade recently introduced a new yarn called Elysian with a smooth blend of 60% superwash merino wool and 40% acrylic. Keeping in mind my love of being able to create knits with minimal caring fuss, I can throw this little beauty in the washing machine, then tumble dry. This blend makes for a really springy, nicely plied yarn with the perfect stitch definition for my favorite knitting technique - Fair Isle. I like a crisp stitch when I'm doing stranded color work. The stitches need to be able to hold their own and not look mushy, therefor losing their place in the design. Each stitch plays an important part in Fair Isle knitting and if you use colors that are too similar or mushy yarn, suddenly your great idea will turn into a half knit project thrown into the corner.


With over 30 colors to choose from (thank you, Cascade!) I chose a stormy blue, a hopeful brown that reminds me of digging in the garden, and a crisp winter white. Picking the right shades was tricky, since I had so many I wanted to knit with. I'm a sucker for corrugated ribbing on a hat and having those few rounds of brown going through the middle of the brim keeps things interesting. I designed a Fair Isle pattern that reminded me of plants making their way up from the hard, frozen ground and reaching towards the sky. A subliminal message for spring, telling it to hurry up so I can plant things? Absolutely!

Just shy of 220 yards in each skein means I had a fair amount of yarn leftover and would easily be able to get another hat out of what remained. I topped it off with a happy tri-colored pom pom after doing the crown decreases and voila! My Miss Rachel hat was complete.


If spring happens to come upon us in the next week or so, you can totally thank me for using reverse psychology on winter.

Download the free Miss Rachel hat pattern here.