All About Knitted Hats
All About Knitted Hats
Quarantine has sparked plenty of new at-home hobbies. Maybe you picked up a paintbrush and tapped into your inner artist. Or, you might have transformed your kitchen into a bakery. For some, perfecting their knitting and crocheting skills even led to a business — which is why you're likely seeing the knit hat trend unexpectedly taking off on Instagram.
For Delsy Gouw, founder of Brooklyn-based label Its Memorial day, crocheting started out as a fun activity. "[It] originally started as an online Depop vintage shop [in 2019] but when Covid hit, I wasn’t able to source any goods," she tells TZR. "I also lost my job and found myself with a lot of time on my hands." Gouw picked up the old hobby of hers and began making items for friends, and then her friends' friends were requesting pieces, too. She then began crafting knit hats because she believed the demand was there. "I started with bags but when I posted them so many of my friends and followers asked when or if I’d be open to making hats and taking customs for hats," Gouw tells TZR. While trends typically fade away and come back later on, Gouw hopes this style will stay long-term. "[I] can’t speak for knitting, but the way crochet is done is truly so intricate, unique, and is made to last," she explains. "Crochet can only be done by hand so I think there is something special about having an accessory that is unique and handmade." Fans of Gouw's emerging brand include influencers like Reese Blutstein, Jo Rosenthal, and Ella Emhoff.
Who knows when the first person decided to put something over their head to keep it warm, but knitters know that knitted hats for women are some of the most fun and easy things to knit.
When they’re worked in the round there is little in the way of shaping, except when you get to the crown.
Most hats are worked from the bottom up, with stitches cast-on and worked in a snug stitch pattern such as ribbing, or in stockinette for a rolled bring hat, using a smaller size needle than is used for the head portion of the hat.
In many hat patterns, the hat is worked straight for the desired length of the crown, then nearly all of the stitches are evenly decreased over the course of just a few rounds.
The yarn is cut, the tail threaded through the remaining stitches, pulled tight, and fastened off to the inside of the hat.
The hat can be topped with a pom pom, i-cord, tassel, or whatever embellishment strikes your fancy.
A great book for learning to make hats is Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Patterns, from which some of the material on this page is excerpted. There are chapters on basic hats as well as the type of hats called “tams.”
There are several types of hats, but the most popular knitted hats for men are beanie-type caps, tams (sometimes called “berets”), slouch hats, earflap hats, and tuques.
Beanies: These hats can be super simple or dressed up with a lace or cable patterns. In cooler climates, they’re wonderful gifts for knitters to make.
Tams/Berets: There are so many different stitch patterns to use in this style. Tams and berets can be plain stockinette or intricate Fair Isle. This style of hat is really flattering on just about every face shape, too.
Earflap Hats: These hats are popular in cold climates. They’re great for keeping ears warm and they’re fun to knit. The knitters of Peru specialize in these hats, as shown in the photo at right.
Often a knitted hats for children will have a finished size that is smaller than the average adult head. That’s because hats meant to fit closely at the brim need a bit of negative ease to help them fit snugly and keep them on the head.
The amount of negative ease refers to the difference between the finished size of the object and the size of body part on which it will be worn. A hat that measures 19″ (48.5 cm) around and is worn on a 22″ (56 cm) head has 3″ (7.5 cm) of negative ease.
A beret-type hat might have negative ease at the brim, but a few inches of positive ease in the body of the hat. The extra fabric is what creates its loose, flowing shape, while the tighter brim keeps it fitted to the head.
Hats are a natural for circular knitting (or knitting in the round). This project for circular-knit adult hats offers three brim styles: hemmed, ribbed, and rolled stockinette. Whichever brim you choose, the directions call for shaping the top. Work this hat in plain stockinette stitch in a colorful or fashion yarn, or customize it by working the colorwork pattern included here. But don’t feel tied to those two options — use this hat as a canvas to express yourself.
If you knit the hat on one 16-inch circular needle, you’ll need to switch to double-pointed needles (or one of the other methods) at some point during the crown decreases because the stitches will no longer reach comfortably around the needle. It is easiest to knit hats using the magic-loop method with one long circular needle.
Choose a size
Determine the circumference you want for the hat. Most hats should be knit with negative ease (. Measure around the widest part of the intended wearer’s head and subtract 1?2 to 1-1?2 inches from that measurement to calculate the hat circumference.
A hemmed brim is not as stretchy as a rolled or ribbed brim, so it’s best not to include too much negative ease when using this hem.
Choose yarn and determine the gauge
Yarn for adult hats can run the gamut from practical to frivolous and fun. If you want a warm winter hat, for example, choose a yarn that is warm and durable, and knit it at a tighter gauge than recommended on the ball band. This results in a denser fabric that better retains heat. If, on the other hand, you are creating a fun accessory, you might choose a fashion yarn that adds a little flair. Because this hat is such a simple shape, it’s a great way to show off variegated or self-striping yarns.
To keep cool but stay warm during winter, you can’t skimp on great outerwear or outfit-making boots. The same goes for cold-weather accessories too: Because for the majority of the season, coats, boots, and, in this case, winter hats do most of the talking when it comes to bundling up while keeping things stylish. In order to break free from your standard winter-outfit formulas—and to keep your looks from looking like, well, everybody else—consider accessorizing functionally and fashionably this season. Here, find four headwear trends not to be missed, and shop 24 of the best winter hats, inspired by the most stylish women on the streets, from New York to Paris.
Buckets and Beyond
After runway debuts at Fendi and Loewe, the winter-ready hand knitted hat took over the streets last February—and this season the ’90s trend has continued to gain momentum. From shaggy faux furs to fuzzy angoras, from shearling to sherpa styles, the winter bucket hat is one of the cutest and coziest accessories of the season.
The ribbed-knit beanie has earned its place as a winter style staple for everyone from downtown urbanites to alpine skiers. New Yorkers might prefer sleek styles in a neutral color palette like black and speckled gray. Meanwhile, a pop of color would bring the perfect amount of joyous street-style-inspired Scandi chic to any drab winter look. And for those who wish to channel a bit of après-ski flair in their daily commute, look no further than one with a floppy, fluffy pom-pom.
The trapper hat is no longer just for the rugged outdoorsman or Elmer Fudd. Not convinced? The trapper has been deemed stylish enough for even the Parisians—in fact a black faux-fur version was spotted on the streets topping off a geometric-print coat, leather pants, and blue ankle booties for the ultimate in warmth and style. Et voilà! Not to mention everyone from classic winter-weather brands to It labels are backing the trapper trend—Heurueh, Kule, and R13 to name just a few. You heard it here first: The trapper is the ultimate winter hat for women this season.
On the tiny Peruvian island of Taquile, a man's worth isn't measured in his ability to hunt or fish, but in his ability to knit.
Alejandro Flores Huatta was born on the 1,300-person island, which is located on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, a three-hour boat ride from the nearest city of Puno. The 67-year-old learned how to knit the iconic chullo (a tall, floppy Andean hat) as a child, with his older brother and grandfather teaching him by using the thorns of a cactus as knitting needles.
"Most of the people learn by looking, watching. Because I don't have a father, my older brother [and grandfather] taught me to knit. So by watching, I learned little by little," he said, speaking through a Quechua translator.
Taquile is famous for its textiles and clothing, and while women weave and tend to the sheep that provide the wool, men are the ones who exclusively produce the island's knitting cap for baby. The chullos are seen as culturally significant, playing a key role in the island's social structure and allowing men to show their creativity while also displaying their marital status, dreams and aspirations – some men even use it to show their mood. It's a tradition that islanders are working hard to preserve.
Residents were relatively cut off from the mainland until the 1950s, and the island's isolation has helped to keep its heritage and way of life intact. Locals abide by the Inca code of "Ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla", (Quechua for, "Do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy"). Taquileans are farmers traditionally; the six island communities take turns to rotate crops of potato, corn, beans and barley in terraces on the mountainsides. They raise sheep, guinea pigs, chickens and pigs on the land and fish in the lake. Tourism kicked off in the 1970s, giving locals a source of income with tens of thousands of visitors drawn to the island annually to tour the villages and surrounding lake. Visitors typically stay with locals in humble, family-run accommodations; lend a hand-harvesting crops; try local specialties like fried trout and potatoes with rice, beans and mint tea; and purchase the island's famous handmade textiles.
Hats reveal men's marital status, dreams and aspirations
In 2005, Taquile's textile art was deemed so valuable that Unesco deemed it an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Alejandro is one of the seven men on the island recognised as a Master of Textiles, along with the island's president, Juan Quispe Huatta.
The tradition has been around for the better part of 500 years, with roots in the ancient civilisations of the Inca, Pukara and Colla peoples. The Inca in particular, used their headdresses in a similar way to the Taquilean chullo, to display the specific insignia of their particular province – but that’s where the similarities end. The Taquilean chullo and the Inca headdresses look vastly different. The elders of the island tell of the chullo design arriving with the Spanish conquest in 1535, and Alejandro's grandfather passed on stories of the early conquerors wearing similar hats that were white with ear covers, "but not the same patterns or symbols," Alejandro said.