I wasn’t sure if I’d have this post ready in time for Rhinebeck, but the designing gods have smiled on me and my newest design, the Rhinecliff Hat, is ready for its big reveal!
This design was one of those times where I could not knit anything else until I got this one completely figured out! Inspired by, and named for, one of the loveliest autumn destinations I’ve ever visited, the Rhinecliff Hat features everything that I love about hat knitting: classic cables, timeless texture, and a cozy brim. (And an enormous pom-pom.)
While I could see what I wanted in my mind’s eye when it came to this pattern, I went through several iterations (and swatches) of “Is this the right cable?” “Can you see this rib pattern clearly enough?” “Would this hat work for everyone in the family (and is it quick and fun to knit)?” I’m so pleased to say that it turned out just the way that I had envisioned.
I know that a huge part of why this design turned out the way that I wanted is thanks to the extra-special yarn. This is “Hudson” by Jill Draper of the aptly-named yarn brand Jill Draper Makes Stuff. Jill creates her yarns in the Hudson Valley town of Kingston, making the use of this yarn for a design called “Rhinecliff” (a hamlet across the Hudson River from Kingston), especially appropriate.
Hudson is a worsted-weight 100% merino yarn that is so smoothly and tightly spun that it makes any textural design just pop. I can’t rave enough about how this yarn behaved – it’s pleasant to knit with, it holds up very well to reknitting and washing, and (best of all) it’s made entirely from sheep to skein here in America!
So let’s talk design details. This unisex hat is worked in one piece in the round from the brim upward. The brim is cast on using an optional tubular cast-on known as the Italian cast-on, which lends the brim a round and elastic edge, but you can use whatever cast on you prefer.
Cabling addict that I am, of course I knew that the ribbing on the brim of the hat would flow directly into the featured cable. I also loved adding the little accent cables on either side.
The beaded rib panels that separate, and provide a visual break from, the cable panels lend additional texture to the hat while also being a welcome departure from the traditional 2×2 rib.
And of course, no self-respecting hat would be complete without a nice, squishy pom-pom on top!
Lest you think, however, that this yarn only comes in the typical neutral palette (although how lovely is this “Pastry Cream” colorway? It reminds me of the finest vintage Aran sweater…), let me show you the hat that I knit for Nina. The colorway is called “Bottle,” and no, I did not alter the color of this photo!
This green is multi-dimensional with darker washes of green and yellow highlights that not only makes it fun to knit with, but also makes a wonderful, cheery color for kids to wear during the dreary winter months.
Speaking of kids, that’s another important feature of this design. The pattern includes 4 sizes to cover the entire family: everyone from babies to adults with head circumferences from 16 – 23″! In the picture above, Nina’s hat is shown in the “Baby” size and my own hat is knit in the “Adult Large” size (which does not come as a shock to anyone…) No matter which size you choose, only one skein of Jill’s amazing yarn is needed, making this project a great travel project and a great gift, too!
This post would not be complete, however, without a few good outtakes. In design, as in life, things aren’t always what they seem. Especially when you’re trying to get some good photos with a shih tzu and a toddler milling about 3 feet away:
Am I wrong to admit that these might be my favorite photos of all?
Finally, it’s not all glamour in this industry. To wit: getting that lovely stone background for these photos required me to kneel on our driveway!
(Too bad you can’t see the slippers on my feet…)
I’m particularly happy to include this latest design in my Rhinebeck pattern sale that’s still going strong until midnight EDT on Monday, October 23, 2017! Just enter the coupon code “rhinebeck” when you checkout to receive 25% off!
Happy knitting and happy Rhinebeck, all!