It’s rare for me to have two new pattern releases so close together, but this one is perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day! This is the Full Heart Hat.
Named for its heart-shaped ribbed cables, this is my idea of the perfect winter hat, one that you’ll reach for every day to keep you warm without sacrificing style. And, speaking of winter, we shot the photos on a sunny, freezing, February day in our yard. But between the glossy evergreen leaves of our laurel bushes and the “bokeh” effect that we played with in the photos (intentionally blurring the out-of-focus parts of the image), it might be hard to tell that there is a foot of snow on the ground in these pictures!
The cable that dances all around the hat is also the central cable that I used for Jackson’s 6th birthday sweater a few months ago. I love the shape and movement of this cable, so I wanted to use it in a hat for myself. By distilling the hat down to just that cable, with a single rib to set each cable apart from its neighbor, I got the simple but classic fabric that I was aiming for. (Especially the way the ribbed transforms into the cables. It’s the little things!)
As you can see, this combination of plump cables and plush ribbing appears best with a solid or mostly-solid colorway. I used one skein of Mini Empire by Jill Draper Makes Stuff in her “Toe Shoes” colorway. I first spotted this color during Virtual Rhinebeck back in October 2020. What I particularly love about this yarn, apart from the vast palette of handdyed colors, is its local nature. It’s made with Rambouillet yarn grown in New York State and Jill dyes the yarn in Kingston, NY. While it’s not as soft as merino, the yarn is perfectly round and bou2ncy, bringing the cables and ribbing to life. And I can attest to its ability to hold up to wear and tear; I reknit the crown five or six times (really!) and the yarn never showed any signs of being reworked or pilling. Once I gave it a good soak, the fabric bloomed beautifully. All good things that you want in a long-lasting hat!
Because the fabric includes both cables and ribbing, the hat has a lovely stretch to it. I’ve included two sizes in the pattern to cover both children and adults. I’m wearing the adult size with about 3″ of negative ease, and the fit has just the right amount of snugness at the brim. Although the combination of cables and ribbing is very classic, I gave the hat a modern shape by making it a bit taller than usual; this allows you to wear it with the brim flat for a slouchier overall look or to fold the brim up to get a snug, beanie fit all the way from the brim to the crown.
Repeatedly fiddling with the crown shaping on this design until it was just right really did pay dividends. The hat turned out just as I imagined, and I love everything about it: the fun pink pop of color on a drab day, the cables, and the fit. (Not to mention that neon pom-pom using some yarn I had left over from Nina’s most favorite “dark pink hat.”) I hope that you’ll find the same joy in making something timeless, but lighthearted, for all the members of your family.
Until the spring thaw comes, happy knitting (and happy snow days!)