Why a hat? You may have noticed that many of our class projects are hats. Sometimes I hear a student say, “I don’t want to make a hat.” So, I thought it might be helpful to explain why we so often choose hats as the basis for technique classes. Some of the best lessons can be learned through the seemingly simple project of a hat. Plus, you’ll end up with a completed project rather quickly. To learn more about why we teach hats, and find links to upcoming classes, read on.
Why We Teach Hats
Hats provide an excellent basis for teaching because students begin by learning a new technique. Students get some practice as they work the sides of the hat and then learn to incorporate decreases. Hats don’t take too long to make, depending on your gauge, so you’ll be finished and ready to move on to other projects fairly quickly. If you make a mistake and have to start again (which is not uncommon when learning new skills), you won’t have lost too much time.
Hats are also a good introduction to the importance of gauge. While they are stretchy and the fit is somewhat flexible, it’s still important to get the sizing within an acceptable range for them to stay on and fit comfortably. In addition, they provide great preparation for working on a sweater. You can learn to swatch in the round, as well as experiment with color combinations or stitch patterns on a smaller scale.
Our Hat-Making Classes
In this class, you’ll learn to knit in the round on a circular needle until you reach the crown of the hat. At this point, the work because too small for the circulars, and you’ll learn to change to double-pointed needles to finish. This is an excellent way to learn to work on DPNs, because the hat will help stabilize the needles. Plus, it’ll be clear where your next stitch is when you reach the end of the needle. For this reason, it can be challenging to cast on with the DPNs, which is why we take the opportunity to work with circulars.
Our Crochet Hat for Everyone class is perfect for any level of crocheter. You’ll learn to crochet in the round by working both flat (to make a disc), and to create a tube. You’ll also incorporate stitch patterns, and make a hat with any gauge of yarn. These lessons can be implemented immediately, and used with any scrap yarn you have available.
Crochet Plaid is a great way to learn the basics of color work. You’ll begin with color selection for the technique, then learn to carry multiple colors. Finally, learn to incorporate decreases into the plaid design and create stretchy ribbing in crochet. This makes for a very comfortable fit for your final hat project.
In Fair Isle Basics, take the mystery out of this impressive technique. You’ll start by learning to read a chart for knitting colorwork in the round. This skill can of course be applied to other in-the-round projects, like a sweater. Then you’ll master managing two strands of yarn at the same time, plus keeping tension your strands to avoid puckering. You’ll also get practice reading two types of charts for crown decreases, and what to do when a chart includes instructions for both color and shaping.
Entrelac in the Round
Because Entrelac is worked in tiers rather than rows, it is structured differently than a typical knit fabric. Therefore, it must be approached differently to work it in the round. In this class, you’ll learn to work the technique in the round and work several tiers even for the sides of the hat. The following week, you’ll return to learn to integrate decreases in the entrelac design.
Come Make a Hat With Us
So, aside from the fact that a hat is one of the most important accessories for keeping warm (50% of our body heat can be lost through our heads in cold weather), a hat is a great way to learn new knit and crochet skills. If you’re not a hat fan, then you can always donate it or give it away when you’re done!
We hope you’ll join us soon to master new techniques in this accessible way.