UPDATE 12.14.15: Congratulations to winner, Kathy W! Kathy, check your email. ---------------
Close your eyes, hold hands, have a bit of a kumbaya moment, take a deep breath and say it with me now, dear readers... Knitted hat weather.
It's here. I love knitted hat weather. Love it.
Mornings are insane for everyone, no matter what your career is, what your commute is like, if you have children, pets or significant others to wrangle, but I always take a moment to dig through the giant pile of knitted hats in the front closet and choose one that will make my morning a bit brighter, a bit warmer and a bit less crazy. Knitted hats can set the mood for the day. Feeling blah? Grab the gray cabled one. Having a happy day? Go with the bold rainbow stripes. A good rule of thumb is you can never have too many hand knit hats.
With that in mind, I'd like to introduce you to the Botanist Hat. With 2 stunning shades of Mrs. Crosby's Steamer Trunk and a Victorian-inspired ginkgo leaf fair isle design, this hat brings a bit of warm weather delight to your noggin on a chilly winter's day.
Knitting up on US 6 needles, this hat flies off the needles. A 100% superwash merino wool, I love the crisp ply on this yarn, which really made the fair isle stitches stand up on their own and look their best. At 164 yards, you'll need a hank of each color and Mrs. Crosby does not disappoint. I chose one of my favorite color pairings of cranberry and turquoise using Hollywood Cerise and Sunset Regatta, but with so many wonderful color offerings, the choice is yours. One of the best things about fair isle knitting (and I see this time and time again since I teach it so frequently at my LYS) is even though a group is knitting the same exact project, by choosing the colors that suit you or your lucky recipient, you can completely change the look. What about Winter Wheat and Red Kind Radish? Golden Butter and Midnight Aubergine? Try something out of your comfort zone!
Starting with corrugated ribbing then going directly into the fair isle ginkgo design, this slouchy hat comes together quickly at the end with spiral decreases. Designed to be unisex, ginkgo is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta (all others being extinct) and is recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years! Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history and has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. There's something elegant about the ginkgo leaf and I've been wanting to turn it into a fair isle design for a while.
Hats are the perfect knitted gift because they fit everyone. You don't have to worry about bust size or arm length, everyone has a head and that head can get cold once the cold weather sets in. They're perfect for last-minute knits and always appreciated.
Let's give a copy of this pattern away, shall we? Answer the below trivia question correctly and automatically be entered to win! Contest open to readers worldwide and you'll be contacted by me via email. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, December 14th.
Where is the largest ginkgo farm in the world?
Download the Botanist Hat here.