This hat will always be the one I finished on our first night at Sawpit Wagon in Dorset, where we went to spend Rich's birthday weekend.
I first made Rich a hat last year - you can see it here. It was the first hat I'd ever made, my first use of Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarn and I loved it. Hat knitting is just so satisfying, I really don't know why I don't do more of it. I also really enjoyed the sturdiness of the yarn and the variations in the colour, it just knitted up wonderfully.
This year, I decided to make Rich another hat for his birthday as he wears the first one quite a bit. As it was a birthday gift I decided to go a little bit luxury and get him some Madeline Tosh (I'm not sure he's aware of what that actually meanst). He chose the colour and while I was a little disappointed he went for another brown, I couldn't help but be amused that he chose the colour named 'Whiskey Barrel' - I guess he doesn't only like whiskey in its liquid form!
I wasn't at all disappointed when the yarn turned up though as, despite being brown, it's very different to the Jill Draper yarn. Jill Draper's brown was warm - like molten chocolate or damped turned earth. But this is a most definitely cooler brown, with shots of blue and grey, which was a pleasant surprise as brown is not a colour I'd usually describe as 'cool'.
The pattern used is Maximus by Libby Johnson. I'm a real fan of her Truly Myrtle Podcast as it's full of her making and Wardrobe Stories interviews. It was on her podcast that I heard about her latest hat pattern - Maximus - and knew that it was perfect for Rich, who had mentioned that a cabled hat would be nice.
Now we need to talk about the stupid thing I did when knitting this pattern which resulted in it being frogged. I honestly don't know why I did this or how I didn't notice for rows and rows and rows - but for some reason I did all the cables backwards. I cabled in the front when I should have cabled in the back and then in the back when I should have cabled in front. And it took me ages to realise that it looked weird and realise why.
My only excuse is that I was knitting it in the lead up to a move and I was stressed out and tired. Never do anything more complicated than garter when you're tired, Nikki.
I was halfway through the crown decreases when we headed off to Sawpit Wagon and I finished them just as the light faded and I was able to put it down and snuggle up next to the campfire. It was such a lovely weekend I even managed to convince Rich that posing with the sheep would be a great idea haha!