Hats are a great one-skein project, worn by almost everyone, and quick to make. They're also wonderfully customizable, especially when you find a "teaching" pattern that gives you tips and a recipe rather than just straightforward color by the numbers steps.
When a coworker was getting rid of ultra soft sport-weight alpaca in this neutral dusty navy, I knew I wanted to make a top down hat.
For my sister's roommate, I worked up a quick beanie on a Saturday trip to the Indiana Dunes. While my friend drove, I used my own head as a template for this hat. It turned out to have a little point at the top, which Kobe says is perfect to fit the ponytail he wears at the top of his head. I think it looks a little like the cap of an acorn. I worked on it a little more after we hiked the Three Dune challenge, for a total craft time of 4 hours. Click below for the instructions.
Men don't wear as many accessories as women do, and they don't mind getting cold as much. This makes it harder to find patterns for the men in my life, especially my teenage brother. He has very specific tastes that are limited to Nike and Under Armour.
I love making projects for my boyfriend, because he encourages me to craft. He says that it's cool that I'm always doing something with my hands, and I've never thought about it in such a nice way before. In my mind, I'm just putting fidgeting to a productive use. He's even stopped by our LYS and picked out some wild yarns for me - a silky bamboo blend, a crazy lime green and orange wool, and a lovely bright blue. I would have never chosen them, but I love working with them. Somehow, everything I buy myself is either neutral or purple. How fun to switch it up!
My boyfriend is incredibly patient, and will try anything once. I love these qualities about him, and they make him the perfect guinea pig for men's patterns.
Because he loves the outdoors, even in winter, I thought I'd make him a warm head and neck cozy. The free Lion Brand pattern was cool, because I'd never seen anything that hugs your neck like this in stores, and it had been originally designed for soldiers deployed in cold climates.
Unfortunately, I decided to go rogue and improvise so I wouldn't have to sew anything together at the end. I thought I'd be fine if I just tried it on his head a lot as I progressed. Well... it fits too loosely around the neck and has so much material around his face that it really, truly looks like a baby bonnet.
To Scott's credit, he received the bonnet warmly and even wore it once. It now lives in the back of his car, lying in wait for a subzero day or impromptu costume party. In return for his kindness, I'm not going to post a pic of him wearing the bonnet. Here he is just doing what he loves best.