My first (knitted) hat

posted in: Finished projects, knitting | 16

I really like hats, and enjoy wearing them. Unfortunately formal hats are rarely worn these days and nearly everyone struggles with them. But weather hats are a different matter. You can wear warm ones in winter and sun protection ones in summer. So if you like dressing up a little bit hats can finish off an outfit.

If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember me saying how, while I love the look of a pull on beanie type hat, I find them worse than useless. Because they don’t keep my ears warm! I have wimpish ears. All chilly breezes drive through them and result in a bad pain that prevents me enjoying the English countryside, for at least nine months of the year. Many is the time I have improvised, mid-walk, with a scarf tied in an ostentatious turban, or bits of tissue plugged into my ears. But most days I just reach for a range of items that serve the purpose including a nice, rabbit skin lined leather German hat with flaps. Here I am, close to the Arctic Circle, with my ears warm and protected.

Fur hat
Finish holiday

I have been planning to knit myself a warm winter hat for ages, “with ear flaps!”.


I enjoy Karen Templer’s Fringe Association blog which focuses on knitting. She featured a great free pattern – the 1898 Hat. The innovative and elegant design came about as a result of a competition, launched by the Seamen’s Church Institute, to design a hat to explicitly cover the ears, especially essential at sea. Karen  recently mentioned she was making the 1898 Hat herself;  which was a coincidence as I too was having a go at it.

This was my first attempt at a hat.

While this pattern by Kristine Byrnes is free,  it is published in the hope that knitters will donate to the Seamen’s Church Institute, to keep Seamen warm. They specifically request no pink or lavender yarns to be used!! But I made mine for me. There are so many versions and variations – nearly 3000 – on Ravelry – some more inspirational than others.

The pattern was not perfect for me (and Karen found the same thing) – the decreases on the hat occur too slowly, creating a bit of a point. I expect I could steam this out, but I am partial to the pixie look. Next time I will adjust the shaping. The band, which is knitted double worked perfectly; it cups the wearer’s ears in a comforting way.

I got Nick (and George) to try the hat on and, while he was reluctant to stretch it, it fit him too. So don’t worry too much about the size.


You may remember I made a green jumper for Gus and one for myself. I accidentally bought too much of this yarn (can you have too much dark green cashmere DK? – maybe you can!). Once the hat was completed I only have about 130 grams left.

His n Hers


I do put comfort over style, but I like style too. I wasn’t sure about a stylish ear flap hat. But I think it is OK! I got Nick to take a photograph of me with his camera (he is doing the photography course with me). I think the picture quality is amazing. I will write up my photography progress soon. I haven’t cracked it yet,  but I have made a few breakthroughs.


New ear flap hat


16 Responses

  1. Helen

    I downloaded that hat pattern a few weeks back and plan to give it a go.
    My ears get cold to in a standard shaped hat / cap.
    It looks great on you and that last photo is really wonderful. I love the colours of the greens, the hat, ring and jumper and the lipstick finishes it all off.

  2. ceci

    Hats are about all I knit and I have made many many (including one with ear flaps from an Elizabeth Zimmerman book that I can’t find at the moment – its a bit zany but was very popular with my kids as older teens, go figure). The most recent hats I made were very simple and donated to a local homeless shelter. MY favorite hat for the last two winters has been one that I sewed from boiled wool scraps – blissfully comfortable and warm!

    The green sweaters are lovely!


    • fabrickated

      That’s interesting Ceci, about EZ having a flaps hat. I will have to seek it out – especially if it is so uncool it is cool. I also love the idea of sewing boiled wool scraps together for a hat. I have been thinking how to make it warmer and wondered about stuffing the band in the over ear area with sheeps wool that we sometimes collect on our walks. Or even using it for a couched design.

    • fabrickated

      It’s funny, isn’t it, what we learn first? I met a woman on the train who only knitted socks – just not interested in anything else. My first dressmaking was trousers – my first knitting was a jumper. One day I want to make socks.

  3. The Demented Fairy

    Somewhere I have an insane 1980s pattern for a ‘Peruvian’ hat with EXCELLENT earflaps. I never bothered with one myself, as I don’t really go for woolly hats, but I have made them for friends in the past.
    Yours is cute, but are they ear FLAPS or just ear COSIES? lol

  4. Elle

    Yes, a quality photo! That hat is the first non-dorky knitted ear flap hat I’ve seen. It actually looks great–comfort and style too.

  5. Kim

    I found a reference to this pattern on another blog where it had been used as a headband as well as a full hat. I’ve marked it for later on Ravelry but seeing your version may have just bumped it up the list.

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