Last November as the holidays approached I was on the search for quick projects to fill my gift supply. As two of my children live in snowy cities, hats are welcome gifts. I quickly fell in love with The Amanda Hat, a free pattern available on Ravelry (there’s a baby version free too). It offered an interesting texture and unusual shape. I want to call out Gina House for offering up such a cute pattern for free. Thanks Gina!
I had a very special yarn in mind for it too. I had bought a skein of Madeline Tosh Vintage in a nutty brown. I don’t recall the name of the color but it is a rich brown with the usual color variations of a kettle-dyed yarn. It’s an Aran or Heavy Worsted weight yarn. Each hat takes about 218 yards. This project would be beautiful in any kettle-dye as it has texture but not one that would overwhelm the yarn. I found this gorgeous hand-dyed ombre wool from EverydayYarnworks on Etsy that would be perfect for the Amanda Hat. It’s also about half the price of the Tosh Vintage I used.
The lace design and shaping of this hat are easy enough for most beginners and it is truly a fast project. I can finish one in less than an evening. So I whipped it up and placed it in the gift box for my daughter. She loved the hat. Unfortunately so did her puppy. When I went to visit her last month she showed me the puppy-handled remains and asked if I could fix it. There were only two breaks in the yarn but given how fast this hat works up, and I had plenty of yarn leftover, I decided to frog the whole thing and just re-knit it.
I was actually able to re-knit it without touching my leftover yarn and, once again, I fell in love with the pattern so I decided I’d make another to use up the remaining Vintage yarn. I knew I didn’t have enough for the whole hat but the horizontal stripes to this design also lend it to using more than one yarn. I pulled a really pretty hand-spun and dyed yarn out of my stash and made a second hat using both yarns. Here’s Amanda Hat #2. I made the second stripe area shorter because I was running out of yarn but this hat is definitely deep enough to do that and still cover the ears.
This design retains a lot of options for making it your own. Add a pompon or ties. Each section can be as wide or narrow as you choose. Mix in more than one color. Your imagination sets your limit. In any case, this design remains a favorite of mine. Now I just need some babies to make the infant version for.