All my favorite Winter hats come from those I’ve knitted or crocheted over the years. Last year I needed some new warm hats because the one I’d most recently made remained in its elusive Summer hiding place, and I had wearied of searching for it.

After some research I purchased 100 Hats to Knit & Crochet because it has such a huge variety of styles and I knew I wanted to make several. A quick glance at the thumbnail pictures in the front of the book was like a trip down my needleworking memory lane.

I can’t remember how I learned to knit,

so it must have been in childhood when I picked it up from Mom. Early on in my marriage, with a baby and another one on the way I lived 17 miles out of our small town, on a cattle and hay ranch. Temperatures plunged that first year to 30 below zero, with winds sheeting over the hills at 60 mph.

The little frame ranch hand’s house we rented lacked insulation and had no putty around the window panes, so they actually rattled when the winds blew. During the frigid periods the winds drove right through the cracks between the glass and the window frames and even rippled the heavy woolen blankets I hung over them.

To combat the chill I knitted up a storm – a complete bunting set with a zippered front and attached hood for the new baby, and a four piece snowsuit for the toddler were my first projects. Then I made hats and scarves for myself. I particularly loved a mohair hood/scarf combo that protected me from the worst blustery weather, and still kept me warm even when wet.

From my new book I made a series

of knitted hats with earflaps and ties for a project for the homeless in this region of the state. Janice Tufte founded the program Warm for Winter in which volunteers knit and crochet handmade hats and scarves that are then distributed to homeless individuals through local nonprofits.

Chain Mail Style Helmet Wins Favor

Neighbors even wanted my hats so I knitted some more. For myself I wanted a synthetic ribbed hat with flaps for daily walks and hikes that could be easily laundered in the machines. and then treated myself to a cable knit helmet style hat knitted with huge needles and triple yarns, knitting each row. It’s found on page 54, and can be finished in a day. Just be warned – everyone who sees this hat will want one of their own. It makes a perfect gift for anyone.

Jockey Caps are Pert and Easy

I made up several of the Jockey Caps shown on page 22 for gifts. They knit up fast and I learned how to knit a double faced bill too, something I had never envisioned doing on my own. I used a piece of thin craft foam to gift the bill some heft.

So Many Varieties in Knit or Crochet

My decision was easy, once I saw the photos that make up the table of contents – a quick reference that makes decision making a snap, I knew this is the only hat book I need. I used cotton yarn and knit my granddaughter a billed cap for Springtime, and whenever I have a great grandbaby I’ll have the directions for making a fancy Tibetan Hat, bonnet, baseball cap, or beanie for the babe.

Flowered Hats can be Customized

There’s several flowered cloches that I’m considering making for myself or a friend, and also scrunchable and packable sombreros or brimmed summer hats and winter caps with posies.

Click images for larger view

all wrapped up in the helmet hat from page 54 and a scarf I made using the same stitch

hat has plenty deep crown to accommodate long hair

well washed beanie helmet

crocheted multicolor wool beanie with knitted rolled cuff trim made in my youth. Similar to black beanie on page 102

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How do you like handmade knitted and crocheted hats? Do you also make them?
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  • takkhis Jan 12, 2014 @ 12:24 pm
    Wonderful story you have! I don't know how to knit or crochet but the one who knows it well from my family is my mother. :)
  • Chip_Westley Dec 30, 2013 @ 2:58 pm
    I imagine knitting can be come very addictive. And, a great and useful hobby.
  • Papier Dec 30, 2013 @ 6:53 pm
    That's so. I concentrated on knitting rather than crochet because I found i could knit and read at the same time, glancing up when my fingers reached the end of the row. Of course for fancy stitches I read.very.slowly.
  • discountcopiercenter Dec 30, 2013 @ 12:14 am
    Yes, I do like handmade knitted and crocheted hats. But sorry to say I do not knit. Great to listen these customized hats so well knitted and executed. Congratulation on getting Lens Of The Day.
  • Papier Dec 30, 2013 @ 6:52 pm
    Thank you. It was such fun to find out first thing in the morning. It must have been such a process for the writer to select so many hat styles, a lot of fun.
  • Steve_Kaye Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:57 pm
    Wonderful idea. Wish you the best.
  • grammieo Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:56 pm
    I'm not a hat person myself, but have made several for others. I love scarves, knitted a whole bunch and rotate them depending on what day of the week it is, how cold it is, or sometimes I just pick one with my eyes closed.
  • Papier Dec 30, 2013 @ 6:50 pm
    I can just imagine you spinning around and picking the first hat your hand touches. It's sure fun to give them away.
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Dec 29, 2013 @ 8:54 pm
    I would love any of the hats you pictured or described. Beautifully made and presented. Congrats!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:08 pm
    Thanks. Sometimes when I get going I just sit and knit or crochet every evening for a while. It's really a peaceful process, kinda meditative.
  • bloomingrose Dec 29, 2013 @ 8:30 pm
    I love this lens. These hats are easy enough for even non-knitters like me. Pinned to my crafts board and linked to my lens: in honor of all those people who gave me knitted hats during my chemo.
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:07 pm
    Ahhh, lovely. A friend gave me a wig during cancer and I passed it on later. But it was during Summer that I had BC reatment so I wore lightweight tiny scarves and hats, but for Winter these hats would be terrific. So glad you were gifted and touched enough to do for others too.
  • DebMartin Dec 29, 2013 @ 7:54 pm
    I love to make my own because I like mixing wacky colors together. Winter should be bright, eh?
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:05 pm
    Yes, I also love mixing colors. I remember the striped sweater I made for my son out of bright skeins of worsted wool. I made it large and he wore it for several years. He was maybe four when I gave it to him, too young to think it wasn't cool.
  • The_Kelster Dec 29, 2013 @ 4:55 pm
    The tortoise shaped baby hat and costume is adorable!
  • rauspitz Dec 29, 2013 @ 4:54 pm
    Terrific lens. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • jen17 Dec 29, 2013 @ 3:18 pm
    I don't know how to knit, (my love is sewing!) but I really love knitted and crocheted hats and admire the people who have the ability to make them!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 3:28 pm
    I know where you're at, as sewing used to be part of my day, just like making the bed, it was so automatic for me. Friends tell me that using the round knitter is easier than buttering bread.
  • StephenJParkin Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:37 pm
    I do knit but not often I even learned to crochet too, but have not done so for years. These are great skills to have and I learned when suffering from the numerous childhood illnesses of our day!

    Well done on a really informative and useful LOTD!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 3:27 pm
    This type of needlework gets us back in touch with the can-do attitudes of so many of our ancestors, including parents. Thanks.
  • esmonaco Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:19 pm
    A truley wonderful story, I'm cold now so I think I'm going to need one of those hats!! No I don't knit, but I do admire your creativity. Congratulations On LOTD!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:37 pm
    It was light sensitivity that drove me to start wearing hats years ago, so I even crocheted one brim hat. I'll write about that too. Thanks so much.
  • mcallisterbagco Dec 29, 2013 @ 12:49 pm
    I enjoy crocheting hats because they're fast-- it's not a huge project like a blanket or sweater so I can usually finish one :)
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:36 pm
    When I made that gray beanie years ago, using crochet stitch, I worked on it for a week or so because it never ocurred to me that the hat could be made rapidly. I just enjoyed the interplay of the angora with the worsted yarn. Now, at times, I want to make a fast hat and I have lots of patterns to choose from.
  • getmoreinfo Dec 29, 2013 @ 11:46 am
    These are very cute hats, I like the ones with flowers on them.
  • d-artist Dec 29, 2013 @ 10:25 am
    Congratulations on LOTD! Great lens...a friend of mine made me a darling hat and scarves...will pass this lens on!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:34 pm
    Thanks. The funny thing about my project is that the hat I made for an especially close friend never made it to her because I did make it a bit tight and she has masses of hair, so it went to someone else. Then the seasons changed and I became an avid writer on Squidoo.
  • FreshStart7 Dec 29, 2013 @ 10:13 am
    Great lens, Papier! Congratulations on winning the well-deserved Lens of the Day (LOTD). I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!
  • KandH Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:45 am
    Very creative and a great hobby!
  • KathyT Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:42 am
    Congratulations on a lovely LOTD. I love how you intertwined your memories with this. I learned to do some basic knitting (hats and neck gaters) in Antarctica, and enjoyed it. I tended to knit really "tightly" though, and it would cause my shoulders to ache. Now that I see your lens, I'm thinking I might pick up the ol' knitting needles again! :)
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:31 pm
    Thanks a bunch. I know the feeling of knitting too tightly. Once I decided that I would give the item away if it didn't fit me or the person I made it for, I could be more relaxed about it all and began to feel less pressure to make it perfetly.
  • KathyT Dec 30, 2013 @ 8:48 am
    You're definitely inspiring me to try again! :)
  • Merrci Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:38 am
    Love them but alas, I can't make them. Hope to learn one day. Congrats on LotD. Well deserved.
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:30 pm
    The round loom is said to be so simple that anyone, children included, can knit a hat in no time. The benefit of using them is that there is no finishing needed, except at the top closure and that's easy too. Thanks, LotD was unexpected - sometimes we don't see the freshness in our own stories.
  • eilval Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:35 am
    What a creative hobby - have done it a couple of years ago ; very relaxing indeed !
  • The_Idea_Gal Dec 29, 2013 @ 9:33 am
    I use to crochet hats all the time. I can't really knit, but can crochet pretty quickly. I love all the flower patterns and hat styles you've shown here. There are so many beautiful things you can create. Thanks for sharing and congrats on LotD!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:28 pm
    Thank you. The flower patterns are really in style now too, some of them with a Retro look.
  • RoadMonkey Dec 29, 2013 @ 7:03 am
    My sister and sister in law used to knit these kinds of hats and my sister even managed to sell hers! Lovely looking and a great idea for cold winters!
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:27 pm
    A neighbor did commission me to make him a helmet last year, so I did, but when I presented it to him he had changed his mind, so another neighbor bought it for 2/3 the cost of the yarn, so in a way that was a project to benefit the low income neighbor.
  • PaigSr Dec 29, 2013 @ 6:55 am
    I will pass this on to the daughter, thanks. Very nice LotD.
  • Dec 29, 2013 @ 6:24 am
    congrats on lotd.. lovely things to knit
  • lhbeninger Dec 29, 2013 @ 12:45 am
    Congratulations on you LotD.
  • sousababy Dec 18, 2013 @ 7:40 pm
    I didn't really learn to knit, but I love home knit things and esp. quilts. LOVE that crocheted baby tortoise ensemble you feature. I think it's wonderful that you mention the program Warm for Winter - here in Canada, sometimes the homeless literally freeze to death. Toronto has opened public buildings on the coldest days so the homeless can sleep indoors (at least) and we have various groups that distribute donated winter clothes and blankets. Thank you for this wonderful page.
  • Papier Dec 29, 2013 @ 2:25 pm
    In my youth there was more time in that rural location without a car for lots of yarn projects, but hats are more practical for knitting projects these days. One of the marvelous things about initiatives like Warm for Winter is that it spawns ideas in others to develop their own projects too.