It’s one of the patterns made at Wool and the Gang parties so you can’t buy it on the website, you have to go along to one of their events. I went along to one in the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow. I like the idea of this and the two hosts were really friendly and on hand to help everyone as needed. There were lots of people who just came along on their own, knitters are a pretty friendly bunch in my experience and everyone chatted away in between concentrating on the knitting! I do really, really like what WATG stand for and do and they do it so well.
The Happy Daze beanie is a pretty straightforward pattern that comes with three suggested stitch options depending on your knitting experience:
Garter stitch (beginner)
Moss stitch (easy)
Twisted rib (intermediate)
The kit bag contains the pattern, a sewing needle and a pair of 12mm rosewood needles which are lovely. There was also a box of the fab Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool and you select a colour. This was the one big downside for me. You don’t get to select your colour ahead of time and I really didn’t like any of the colours that were left (I did arrive before the start time but others were earlier still and the wool is allocated on a first come, first served basis) . Luckily one of the hosts had just started casting on in the Tweed Grey which I quite liked and gave that to me to use. This would make me pause to consider going again- it’s a lot of money to come away with something in a colour you really don’t like.
Twisted rib was a new stitch to me and straightforward once you got going and it’s one of the many brilliant WATG tutorials on the website. I love the tutorials- no sound and all demonstrated clearly to make it easy to copy. They are some of the best around I think.
I started the beanie at the party and then ran it back and changed to a circular needle- no sewing up that way! I use the Knit Pro Symfonie interchangeable needles- they make for happy knitting in the round for me.
I also reduced the number of stitches I cast on to 40 because the first version was a bit roomy when I tried it on. The wool is so thick the hat knits up in no time and twisted rib gives a lovely, highly defined ribbed effect.
I added a bit of shaping to the top of the hat rather than just knitting a tube and pulling it in as per the pattern. There are a couple of ways to decrease in single rib and I used the simplest- k2tog. I started the decrease round by k1 then k2tog for rest of round till the last stitch then p1. This meant the 1st stitch on the left needle was a purl and the second a knit stitch for every decrease. The left stitch is the one which comes out on top- sort of like the left hand stitch (knit one) eats the right hand stitch (purl).
So I ended up with rows of just the twisted knit stitch. I then knitted the last p1 of the round and the first k1 of the next round together ending up with 20 stitches. Finally I k2tog round again to end up with 10 stitches before pulling the wool through those stitches and tying off. I also changed to using double pointed needles for the decrease rows.
I decided I wanted a pom pom in a contrasting colour on the hat but couldn’t decide which one so the only option was to make it removable. I started with an orange one in wool left over from my WATG Giles Eeek beanie. This was the first pom pom I’ve made with the Clover Pom Pom Maker– genius device. I had a perfect pom pom in just a few minutes, there will be many more I think.
I just added some ribbon to each pom pom and a sprung toggle closure inside the hat with a wee bit of left over coat fabric to act a bit like a washer- perfectly secure pom poms!
I love this hat- cosy, quick and easy to make. What’s not to love??