And Knitting: A Marauder's Hat for a Knitworthy Friend
I’ve started knitting.
Hence the new series here called And Knitting.
In April a friend of mine offered to teach me to knit. Erin is the pattern designer behind Vint Hill Kints and an incredible sewist (and, I should say, a very, VERY patient teacher). She cast on a simple twenty five or so stitches and showed me the basic knit and purl stitches. I knit a few rows, she told me I was a natural, and I knew I was going to be a knitter someday! It took me a few months of fits and starts to actually get going with the craft. And then after a few weeks in September sitting at swim lessons and nap time with a “how to knit” book in my lap and a terrible plastic size 5 set of circular needles and I figured out the basics.
After that I knit a hat. And another hat. Then a cowl. Then two more hats. I have a scarf in progress but I find knitting back and forth the same stitch over and over again incredibly boring so that’s just for car rides and doctor’s appointments when mindless knitting is the most I can handle.
Don’t I sound like a life long knitter already? I feel like one. Like knitting has always been in my fingers.
So I recently picked out this free pattern from Ravelry called The Marauder’s Hat and decided to give it a go. It had an interesting popcorn stitch in one of the sections that I thought would teach me some new skills but it otherwise seemed fairly simple. The yarn is a worsted weight 100% wool called Shepherd’s Wool and I purchased it from a fellow knitter’s destash. I do love that it’s a wool from Michigan because it feels sort of local in a way. It’s extremely soft and squishy and the color was the perfect gray/beige. Greige, if you will.
Naturally, I decided to make this hat for my dear friend, Loni. I thought of her the entire time I was knitting it. I thought of how she’s always chatting with me online about sewing and regular life, bringing me into interesting conversations with new friends, and encouraging me in my making, no matter the craft. She gifted me one of the most thoughtful things I’ve ever received this year for my birthday—a paper pieced panel of the word “MAKER” inside a heart. I could tell she really thought about me when she was making it, and I wanted to channel that same energy into making this hat.
I knit it in about 4 days. The popcorn stitch was very challenging to actually create as it required making five new stitches and then knitting them altogether back into one stitch. I had to use a smaller needle and sheer force of will to pull them together through the stitch but I got them done in the end.
Seeing as this was a free pattern, I had low expectations for it but I really am delighted with the results. I’m making another of this pattern already but I went down a needle size from what the pattern recommends for the ribbing. I prefer a snug ribbing to really hold the hat onto my head. That may just be a personal preference.
I did make my very first yarn pom pom using an extremely cheap plastic pom pom maker that I ordered from Amazon. It gets the job done but the spelling errors (resulting from the translation to English, no doubt) in the directions on the back of the packaging are as much comical as off putting. Thankfully it’s not a difficult craft to figure out.
Naturally I modeled the hat just before sending it off to Loni as an early Christmas present. She sent me a picture of herself wearing it in front of her “famous” greige wall and it’s a perfect match! I hope it keeps her ears warm because it is already frigid here in Ohio!
If you are a knitter, you should definitely grab this pattern! I would recommend it to beginners like me.