My love for the Purl Soho's Classic Cuffed Hat pattern runs deep. I've probably knit about a dozen of these over the years for friends and family members and they're always a big hit. This pattern has it all: classic styling, is quick to knit, and works well with whatever stash yarn you have available. Each Christmas, I knit up a stack of these for my nieces and nephews. Sometimes pom poms are requested, and sadly, sometimes they're not, as was the case this past holiday:
I've started using less-expensive, superwash yarn when knitting these hats for little ones and tweens. Many of the hats have been left on school busses, felted in the laundry, or just plain-old lost in the black holes that are their bedrooms. I'm looking forward to the day when I can transition them to the Shelter yarns of this world!
The great thing about this pattern is that depending on which yarn you use, you get a completely different hat. If you knit with a traditional merino wool, you end up with a sturdy hat that is excellent for blocking out the cold winter air. When you use a softer, superwash wool, the hat becomes a little slouchier and relaxed. This time around, I selected Plymouth's Worsted Merino Superwash Wool in the Slate Blue colorway (lefthand side):
This hat is a gift for my Aunt, who is going through chemo; I wanted something that's not only super-soft against the skin, but is also easy to take care of. The fine merino worked up into the slouchiest of all the classic cuffed hats I've knit, so I might go down a needle size for both the cuff and the body next time. (Again-must. start watching.) The Plymouth Superwash is a round, bouncy yarn with a beautiful luminosity and drape. The entire time it was on my needles, I kept thinking about how perfect it would be for a baby blanket or a shawl.
The pattern suggests using a long-tail tubular cast on, which provides a nice, stretchy edge, but the tried-and-true long-tail cast on works just fine. I've done both with equally nice results!
While I truly believe all hats are better with pom poms, I left the pom off of this one so that my Aunt can start wearing it now and not worry about feeling too "wintery". I can always send her one to fasten on once the cooler weather hits! Speaking of cooler weather, Christmas will be here before we know it—it's almost time to start requesting color selections for this year's crop of hats!
Have a great week...