I seem to be on a hat kick of late! Perhaps it’s the cold weather, or the fact that I am spending more time outdoors than I have in many years. Whatever the reason, hat designs seem to be the thing! (Not to fear, I’m simultaneously working on two new sweaters AND a new shawl design, among other things!)
But, in truth, this latest hat design has been floating around in my head for YEARS. In fact, I believe I knit the first prototype back in 2016! This just felt like the right time to put it all together and release the design. So, here it is! The Sherwood Forest Cloche!
This cloche hat combines vintage and Celtic styles in a unique way. The cabled brim is knit flat first, and is completely reversible (so that, when you flip up one side for that jaunty Robin Hood look, you aren’t seeing the wrong side of the cables!). Then stitches are picked up on the long side of the brim band, and worked in stockinette with simple decreases to shape the crown. For this hat I used Knit Picks City Tweed DK. I love this yarn – it is so incredibly soft with a good drape, and just the right amount of tweed to it. The Toad colorway is a neutral forest green, perfect for evoking the Merry Men in their woodland hideout!
I found inspiration for the silhouette of this design in the “Robin Hood” crocheted hats so popular in the 1930s. I wanted to add something more to the vintage look, however, and a complex cable band definitely changes the vintage look into something completely new!
I also want to give specific credit here to my beautiful model, who is also my grandmother. At 92 years old, my grandparents are both still living independently, and our current pandemic situation has been scary and stressful for them. We’ve all been pitching in to help over the last year, since they have been completely homebound and dependent on our care. What a tough time for elderly folk in our communities, and their treatment over the last year as “disposable” citizens has been quite heartbreaking! I hope we can all take a moment to celebrate the beauty and worth of our older friends and family members, particularly in the face of difficult challenges.
Soon I will post a quick tutorial on the Sherwood Forest Cloche, showing how to pick up stitches along the brim to create the crown of the hat. I’ll also show the design in a second color (robin’s egg blue!) which gives it a very different look from the more traditional green shown here. But until then, head on over to Ravelry for new release discounts this week, and happy Valentines Day to you all!