The Shoemaker's Hat
by Clara Parkes

Hats are like pens in my house—they're everywhere until you need one, at which point they all magically disappear. When I remember to look for one, that is.

This week I was away from home, hatless and braving sub-zero windchill when the irony struck me. Just like the shoemaker's children who always go without shoes, this knitter's head was going without a hat of its own.

I suspect I'm not the first knitter to find herself in these circumstances. We don't always have time to luxuriate in finer gauges or fancy patterns. Sometimes we just need to whip up something warm—and pronto.

This hat is my answer. It is made from a single skein of Quince & Co. Puffin, a plump singles that I knew I wanted to use even before I realized I was within a skein's throw of Pam Allen's Portland, Maine, office. This particular grade of 100% American wool has a generous staple length that translates into easy knitting and well-wearing longevity, while the open crimp helps trap still air within knitted fabric—which lends comfort and warmth to all it touches.

The hat is worked in the round from the top down, which gives you extra flexibility for shaping. If you have an unusually large head, simply add more increases to the crown before you begin the sides. Tiny head? Stop increasing early. As long as you always increase your stitches in groups of two, they will always match up with the ribbing at the brim.

Likewise, if you like your hats to have long brims that fold over for extra warmth, simply work the brim until you run out of yarn. I was pressed for time, so I stopped mine before it rolled—but there was plenty of Puffin left to make a longer brim.

I encourage you to customize this hat, move into it, and make it your own.

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