Friday, 11 July 2014

Head Turning Hats

Post concepts for this blog come to me from a variety of sources. This post was inspired by a recent hall closet cleaning. I took my basket of seasonal hats down from the closet shelf and discovered that they weren't seasonal because I hadn't switched out the warm woolen hats, scarves, and gloves that were in it for my summer hats back in early May as I should have. So I got out my summer hats and reminded myself to wear them in order to prevent more sun damage and scoldings from my dermatologist, and then ran the winter accessories through the wash. As I was blocking my winter hats on various plates, pots, and bowls in my kitchen, I had an epiphany. I realized I'd been making hats and scarves for myself willy nilly because I liked the patterns and/or yarn without really thinking about what coats they'd go with. I'd never make a sweater without figuring out what it'll go with and where I can wear it, but hats take less time and material and had slipped under my practicality radar. Consequently I had coats for which I had no coordinating hats and hats which went with nothing. I promised myself that in the fall when I do the coat and hat switch out again I would figure out what went with what, do some weeding out, and possibly make myself some new accessories if needed. And that train of thought led to this post.

I got inspired to go through the hats on Ravelry and see if I could find some that had some style so I'd be prepared if I should decide I need to make myself some new ones come fall. There are tens of thousands of hats on Ravelry and I can't pretend to have looked at them all, but I did look at a great many and here are 20 that I liked. The hat pictured above is included mostly because I love the picture. I can't for the life of me make out the hat well enough to know whether I can recommend it or not. If you want to take a stab at making it, it's A Chic Knitted Hat for Spring, which originally appeared in the Australian paper The Western Mail in September 1931, and the pattern is available for free.

This is the Alannah Slip Stitch Hat, which was designed by Kristi Founds, and is available for $6(USD). I love the drape and the detail around the brim.

This is the Felted Fedoras are Fun pattern, designed by Kristi Holaas, and it's available for $5.50(USD). The fedora/trilby style is very popular right now, and you can make this pattern your own by doing it in whatever colour you wish and trimming it to suit your own sense of style.

This the Peacock Tam, by Celeste Young, and with my raging Art Nouveau fetish I immediately fell in love with it when I first happened across it some months back. This pattern was published in Knits of a Feather: 20 Stylish Knits Inspired by Birds in Nature.

This is the Slouchy Beret pattern. One can't not notice the vibrant stripes. It's a Noro Magazine pattern designed by Rachel Maurer, and it's available for $5(USD).

This is the very fetching Newsboy Hat Hannah, designed by Heidi Hennessey. It's available for $6(USD).

So many of the hats on Ravelry are unisex in style. When I'd picked out all the other patterns in this post and found they were all for women, I searched specifically for hats for men and came up with just this one. This is the Dublin Cap. It was designed by Cheryl Andrews and is available for $5(USD).

Here's another felted hat, this time in a vintage style based on the hats of the 1930s and 1940s. The Evelyn Tilt Hat, designed by Jennifer Tallapaneni, is available for $3.75(USD).

After that last distinctively vintage hat, here's a very modern hat, the Ecliptic pattern, designed by Jennifer Elaine. It's a free pattern.

When I was selecting hat patterns for this post, I ruled out many I had initially liked on the basis of how some of the pictures looked once I clicked into the pattern page. In many cases the pattern had a cute thumbnail shot but it turned out that the hat didn't look nearly as good when photographed from other angles. Do be sure to check out whatever pictures are available when choosing a hat pattern. Everyone's going to see you and the hat from all sides rather than at one carefully staged angle. This Sprig Cloche hat, designed by Alana Dakos, is a simple yet distinctive affair that does show well in a holistic viewing. It's available for $6(USD).

I haven't included too many caps in this post, because although caps are warm and wearable, they seldom have much style and I was looking specifically for hats with style. But I had to include this Frostfangs Hat pattern because it was irresistibly eye catching. It was designed by Liz Smith and is available for $3(USD).

Tams really lend themselves to some gorgeously intricate patterning because of their flat top surface. This is the Eomer Shield Tam, designed by KYMaggie based on one of JRR Tolkien's unused drawings for the Lord of the Rings series, and it's available for $4(USD).

The Sunflower Medallion Beret, designed by Anna Al, appears in Vogue® Knitting: The Ultimate Hat Book. That little twist-tied band just adds so much.

Trimming often makes or breaks a hat. Here's a very simple cloche hat made by the addition of an effective bow. This is the Beau Cloche design, by Natalie Larson. It's available for $4.49(USD).

Here's another newsboy cap style, this time with a band and buckle. This Newsboy design, by Sylvie Rasch, is available for €5.95(EUR). The newsboy style can be worn by everyone but always strikes me as a style that is especially cute on women.

The Annie Hat pattern, designed by Kristina McGowan, was inspired by the hat Diane Keaton wears in Annie Hall and uses pipe cleaners to maintain its shape. The pattern was published in Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker.

The Elfunny Beret, designed by FadenStille, has been made 171 times by Ravelry users, and it's easy to see why. It's easily wearable and looks good on everyone, and is also a free download.

Another beautiful tam. There were so many I wanted to include in this post and regretfully had to decide against to keep the post to a reasonable length. This one is the Béret généreux, by Isabelle Allard, and it's a free download.

The Adele Felted Hat pattern, by Laurie Pribbeno, is available for $4(USD). It's really the colour and the added brooch that make this one. Making a hat of this style might be a good use for any vintage/inherited brooches you've got lying around and never wear.

This is the Tiima pattern, designed by Lilja Palmgren and available for €4.00(EUR), and it's another example of the trimming adding a lot. The stitchwork on this cap is very pretty, but I looked at countless textured caps during my research for this post and chose this one because the simple eyelet ribbon trimming adds so much.

This 1940s Patons pattern for an angora hat and scarf set, originally published in Patons booklet #42, Styles by Beehive in Angora, isn't readily available, but I'm including it for your interest and inspiration. It looks nothing like any contemporary hat I've seen and yet I think it's quite wearable and attractive for today. I did find a couple of copies available online in a quick search, so if you really love it you can probably manage to get your hands on a copy.

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