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A Very Silly Hat

I don’t often do commissioned work these days. People aren’t usually willing to pay what it’s worth. And my spare time is such a rare commodity, I’d rather spend it knitting stuff I want to knit rather than stuff I’ve been paid to knit.

(Newer readers may not realize that I spent about a year knitting and selling Jayne Hats on eBay. By my estimate I knit somewhere around 300 hats in that time. It was a great little side business, and it made people really happy, but wow.)

However, I recently received a request that I couldn’t pass up. A friend-of-a-friend is a professional strawberry rancher (or whatever the term would be). He raises strawberries and sells them at the farmer’s market on south Whidbey Island.

He requested a strawberry hat sized for an adult, so that he can wear it at his stall. He offered to pay money, but I offered to trade him for a flat of strawberries instead.

Unless you live in northwestern Washington, you have probably never had our strawberries. They are AMAZING. But they don’t ship well, so they are very much a local delicacy. It’s still far too early in the season, but I am already salivating at the thought!

strawberry hat

The hat really is hat-shaped, I just didn’t want to overstuff it and risk pulling it out of shape.

I started by pulling out my copy of Ann Norling’s Fruit Caps pattern which I bought yearssss ago. (If memory serves, I bought the pattern to knit a hat by request for a little girl who is now a teenager. Time flies.)

Then I changed everything about the pattern except the color chart.

Changes:

  • Sized for an adult male.
  • Worked in Cascade 220 (pattern specified a heavier yarn).
  • Used Jared Flood’s Turn A Square for the sizing and decreases (my go-to hat pattern for menfolk).
  • Added a hilarious integrated i-cord stem at the top.
  • Worked the seeds afterward as embroidery details (the pattern called for you to knit them along as stranded colorwork)
  • Worked the seeds in tan yarn (the pattern specifies green but hello, strawberry seeds are tan).
  • After much deliberation I decided to NOT include the seeds on the first part of the hat. The embroidery creates a very palpable bump on the back of the hat, and I thought that would be pretty annoying on your forehead.

    Now we play the waiting game…

    5 comments to A Very Silly Hat

    • Now on my bucket list: hit up n.w. Washington during the strawberry season. When is that, exactly?

      Great hat, btw!

    • Erika

      It varies from year to year with the weather, usually late spring to mid-summer. Say April to July-ish.

      Last year it was so late, and the weather was so bad, we barely had any strawberries and they were all kinda terrible. But this spring so far has been a lot better, so I’m holding out hope for a good crop!

    • dorothy

      OMG! Local strawberries. Will have to wait, but I do still have some Sun Jam made from last year’s crop. I may need to pull a jar out from the garage.

    • Erika

      That sounds DELICIOUS!

    • Northmoon

      I’m with Kmkat – those strawberries sound worth a visit. Or at least if I am going to make a visit to the west coast try to make it during strawberry season.

      Love the hat, hope he enjoys wearing it!