Making Gifts They LOVE: Erie Hat

At this time of year I’m generally scrambling for gift making ideas for you – after all there are 24 days until Christmas (23 until Channukah)! Of course, I can only guess at what you might want to make, and there’s also the larger question what your loved ones would like to receive. And then there’s the added problem that sometimes the two are at cross purposes. And then to make it even harder, lets factor in the sad fact that people who don’t spend their time around textiles or knitwear don’t know how to describe what they like.

Case in point, my friend Jane. Jane has made hats for her brothers in the past, but this year they have requested something that is more ‘expensive looking’. Jane uses nice really yarns, makes nice designs, and has a high skill level, so what the heck does ‘expensive looking’ mean?! Well, in translation, it means something that looks in style and possibly execution like it’s commercially made from conventional types of fibres or textiles – the exact opposite of what we, as crafters, like to do. We often like working with interesting, hand-dyed or multicoloured yarns, but our peeps aren’t necessarily into it. It’s not their fault, they’re muggles, have compassion.

As a nod to Jane and her brothers, above is a free pattern for an ‘expensive looking’ hat. It’s a basic slouchy, 1×1 rib hat that even the sulkiest of hollywood stars would hear. It can be made with a fun, hand dyed merino yarn like Mineville Merino DK (the greys and black are a good compromise) or Madeline Tosh Merino DK, or a staid, more conservative style of yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. The most popular colours are generally medium charcoal heathered grey, dark heathered jet grey, light heathered grey (notice a trend?), black, navy, off white, and then maybe the denimy blues.

SIGH, such is life … it’s dull work, but the payoff is when you see your gift being used CONSTANTLY, for years on end. Make a warm, soft, boring coloured ribbed hat and they will wear it for ever and ever and ever.

Yarn Options

Other Materials

  • FREE Pattern
  • 4mm/US6-16″ circular needles
  • 4mm/US6 double pointed needles
  • stitch marker
  • tapestry/darning needle


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