There were certain things I had in mind: it needed to be a little slouchy, but not too much. (I cannot abide the look of some of the really big slouchy hats. Some of them make you look like you are wearing a sack or a pillowcase on your head.) It needed to be more of a cloche than a beret. (There have been far too many berets knit in this house.) It needed to be in a 1 x 1 twisted rib (because this is such an adorable stitch pattern.) It needed to have color variety provided by a self-striping yarn.
It comes in many colorways, but here is the one inspired by canyons:
Valerie is glad to be working again, and looking so pretty in the new hat design.
Here she's paired the cloche with one of my super-chunky brioche cowls. She's always complained about her neck getting cold and was happy to model the cowl.
I worked and ripped out (knitters call it "frogging") all the stitches in the top of the crown four times while designing the hat before I got exactly the shaping and the pattern that brought happiness.
This finer gauge hat is an acrylic/wool blend and the yarn is a light worsted weight. It takes a lot of stitches (about eight thousand) to make this hat, so I had to put it at a higher price point than I originally wanted.
After some searching, I found a chunky yarn in 100% wool to make a hat in the same design but with fewer stitches in a larger gauge. It's faster to make and I can charge less. Here's the first one:
The cool thing about these hats is that they are really comfortable to wear and they are really warm. They don't mess my hair as much as some other styles that I've worn. Valerie doesn't have hair, so for her it doesn't matter.
(No, I have not bought her a wig yet. I kind of like her photos without hair, but she keeps pestering me about a wig, and I did promise her one. Should she be a blonde, brunette or a red-head? She'll have to come along to the store to try all the colors. She'll probably want the most expensive one available.)