This is another project I made with the lovely yarns I got for Christmas from Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire, WI. I actually finished it back in January, but we only took pictures yesterday because we finally had a sunny day to take pictures.

I totally fell in love with this yarn, Noro Silk Garden Lite, and spent several hours looking for a pattern which could do justice to the beauty of the yarn. I decided on
Little Red Cap, a gorgeous and romantic pattern in the original red and which worked nicely in the rainbow-colored Noro yarn too.

I have a pretty large head (23") so I was afraid that this hat would be too small for me. I tried knitting it on bigger needles right off the bat, and discovered after completing the brim that my enlargement was too big. I started over and knit according to the pattern, and the hat fit perfectly. The only modification I made to the pattern was to knit the inside of the brim with a slightly softer yarn in a matching color. This not only made the hat more comfortable to wear, but it also made the hat start with the nice dark red instead of the weaker yellow.

I was very concerned with whether or not there would be enough yarn to complete the hat, and I even counted up every stitch in the pattern and unraveled a swatch to get a very good estimate of the yardage required. The pattern said that it would take about 173 m. of yarn, my calculations said it would take about 115 m., and it ended up only taking more like 105 m. I was holding my breath the whole time I knit it, and ended up with a very small ball of leftover yarn.

This is my favorite winter hat. It's bright enough to defy the depression brought on by grey skies, but muted enough to be grown-up. The cables and lace are feminine and look complicated in an eye-pleasing way. If I were to make it again, I might consider a different (but still simple) lace motif in the middle of the diamond instead of the eyelet climbing vine, but I think this is pretty sweet the way it is.

I've gotten plenty of compliments from strangers on this hat. My favorite was from a slightly aggressive short young woman in the library who asked, while I was standing in the checkout line,
"Where did you get that hat?"
I replied, "I made it."
She continued: "Where did you get the yarn?"
"From a local shop in Wisconsin, but it's a national brand so I can give you the name of the yarn."
She pulled out a notepad and pencil and said,"Ok, go"
"It's Noro (that's N-O-R-O) Silk Garden Lite"
She made a disappointed face and said, "Oh. I know that yarn. I don't know what I'd do with another hat though. I have like 16."
I suggested, "You could give them to your friends or try selling them on Etsy. You do know Etsy, don't you?"
She started walking away and threw back over her shoulder, "I wouldn't want to do that. If you post your stuff online people steal your ideas!"
What an attitude. Just for the record, dear readers, you are welcome to use my ideas for your own projects. While I'd rather you not make exact copies of my projects to sell on Etsy, one of the main things Etsy customers are paying for is the time and skill of the craftsman, not simply the creative idea.

Suggested retail for this hat: Noro yarn is quite expensive ($11 for a small ball) so this hat would have to cost at least $22 to account for the hours it would take me to knit it.