Weekend Hats Paperback – 16 Sep 2011
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"MacDonald and LaBarre, authors of New England Knits (2009) and the e-book Wool Book One, have put together a book of original hat-pattern designs and instructions. The size of the projects allows for 'near instant gratification' and makes for portable opportunities to try out new techniques and yarns. Of course, they make great gifts, too. The book includes 25 patterns by 19 designers, and the authors. The hats are cute, clever, fun, fashionable--all with texture, character, and whimsy. Almost all of the projects are four pages, with instructions, tips, and techniques, and featuring multiple photos of the hats modeled by men and women. Projects are not assigned skill levels, perhaps because they are 'weekend' projects. The table of contents lists the designer and has small pictures of each project for easy reference. Knitting techniques with illustrations follow the projects. Dusty autumn pastel page backgrounds help increase page browsability." - Lani Smith, Booklist
"When I first saw this book I thought -'Hooray, New England Hats!', but no, it's not a book of hat designs by New England Knits authors, Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre. The authors do contribute two patterns each to this book, and it turns out, they are just as good at picking folks to design hats as they are at designing them themselves. This book has 25 hat designs by 19 different designers. Texture, colorwork, lace - whatever you most love to knit or have wanted to dabble in, you'll find it here. I have a deep-rooted fear of Fair Isle, but Gudrun Johnson's Hued Toque is calling me. There are hats for men and women, and hats that would suit both. Hats that are more decorative and hats that are cozy warm. The variety of design is huge, and if like me, you're a little bit tired of chunky everything, not one of these hats is knit out of chunky or bulky yarn - Hooray!" - Jillian Moreno, Knitty.com
"Got a few hours to spare? Then you'll need a copy of this fab book! The 25 head coverings (in an array of styles) are all designed to be knitted in a weekend, so they're perfect projects for short trips away, winter weekends hibernating at home or just when you're taking breaks from larger projects. This all-in-one resource includes hats for all skill levels." - Knit Today
"Easy-to-follow instructions... This book provides so many different styles of hats, you'll find yourself with a brand new one every week!" - Knit 'n Style
"The results are as varied and tantalizing as you'd expect from the high-class contributors." - Yarn Market News
"I am really impressed. The book includes hats from more than 20 designers, and I feel like I would make and wear almost every one." - CloseKnit Portland
"Add a little panache to 25 stylish hat designs with tips for getting creative with specialty yarns and embellishments." - Crafter's Choice Book Club
"An incredible anthology of hat patterns by my favorite designers." - Fuschia Knits Blog
"Lovely collection of 25 new hats from a list of well-loved designers." - Knit Circus Magazine - Gifts
"I do admire a nice knit hat when I see it and there's no arguing this collection is full of them." - KnittingScholar.com
"Texture, colorwork, lace - whatever you most love to knit or have wanted to dabble in, you'll find it here. The variety of the designs is huge." - Knitty.com
"The Ruche Beret is also truly a weekend project. You can start one day and finish the next! It's a fast one." - SusanBAnderson Blog
"The hats are cute, clever, fun, fashionable--all with texture, character, and whimsy." - Booklist
Embrace the hottest head-turning fashion accessory: the knitted hat.
The clever designs of Weekend Hats will have enthusiastic knitters everywhere rejoicing in year–round hat style. Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre have brought you the best in designer knit hat patterns all in one beautiful and fun-loving collection. Inside you'll find:
- Expert advice to spark the interests of a variety of skill levels with special attention paid to exploring cables, lace, color, and texture.
- Twenty-five contemporary designer hat patterns that range from the distinctly feminine to the sporty gentlemen, including cloches, berets, beanies, tams, snoods, and more!
- Tips and tricks on how to maximize the use of specialty yarns and accessories to add a little panache to your designs.
All the designs in Weekend Hats are ideal projects for travel, gifts, or sneaking in between larger knit projects. Whether you're interested in comfort, style, or just knitting enjoyment, Weekend Hats is your all-in-one resource for creating want-to-wear knitted caps.See all Product description
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For example, one of my favourites is the Ripple Hat by Melissa Wehrle which is made of a delicate, fuzzy, mohair and silk blend (Rowan Kidsilk) - it has a lightly textured pattern and is embellished with two lace bows. Also lovely is the Layered Cloche by Laura Irwin, which is cute in its asymmetry. The Glashutte Hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn is the perfect winter hat, snug and delicately cabled with a popm pom on top.
The rest of the 25 patterns include beanies, berets and toques quirked up with an unusual bit of cabling, lace pattern, buttons or ear flaps / straps / extra bits. There's only two patterns which include intarsia - one male and one female - which I think good, because it's quite an advanced skill, and the two are gorgeous enough to leave you not wanting more.
It is an American book, so some of the cable and lace patterns have charts to follow - in some instances, they also write out the instructions simultaneously, but others it just says 'follow the chart', so you have to be confident in this. I was worried that the American-ness of the book may also make finding the yarns difficult, but a lot are available over here and details are provided so you can find something similar.
The diagrams and instructions for skills required at the end are thorough and well laid out. A great book if you're looking for something a litte bit different.
I'm not sure why one reviewer was bothered by using circular needles. It seems straightforward and the knitting doesn't fall off easily, and surely it's fun to learn a different method. I've just ordered a set of circular bamboo needles on Amazon for a few pounds which I think will cover most of the sizes I need for the other designs in this book.
One criticism is that most of the hats seem to be in a small size - even the men's. Only found two so far to fit me without adjustment, but I'm knitting this one for a petite family member and when I start on one for myself I'll just try a larger needle and keep measuring.
One pattern (Ripple Hat) I think has errors, it tells the user to knit 44 rows of pattern, when to get the required length it should be 4 repeats of a 20 row pattern plus 4 rows, meaning you need to knit 84 rows to get to the 7 to 8 inch hat height you need before adding gathers/smocking (which reduces the height of the hat to 4.5/5inches before the crown shaping). A minor point, everything else looks fine from what I've read and I do love the designs.
If you like knitting hats or quick gifts, this is a great book. Check the publishers site for errata, the part I mentioned isn't on there yet but I have notified them of the issue so it should be there soon. I've made the Wanderer Cap, the Ripple Hat and the Plait Beanie, next is the cover design with those lovely swirl patterns.
I will be making several more of the patterns for Christmas gifts and Winter wear. If it's not in your stocking this year, treat yourself.
This may not be a problem for some but if you have not used circular needles before they are rather tricky to
get used to. I managed to convert one pattern to be able to knit it on straight needles and it has turned out
really lovely but some patterns are just too involved. If I had known beforehand then I would not have chosen
this particular book.
I've knitted loads of patterns from, some of them more than once. Even people who think that knitting is boring actually take time to look at the hat pictures. The yarns that they suggest are expensive, but because they include the thickness of wool (for example double knit (DK) thickness is size 3) it makes it easier to find a cheaper alternative.
But beware - would need to be a fairly advanced knitter to follow these patterns and most (if not all) of the patterns require circular knitting skills.
My wife knitted a number and has impressed at the good comments made about the hats.
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