Pattern: The Simple Slouch, by Shireen Nadir
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Ranch Red (I used 95 yds)
Needles: size 9 / 5.5mm 47" circular needle (I'm using the magic loop method)
For as often I cast on a hat because I fall in love with the pattern, I know the designer, or it's the perfect thing to help me use up a bit of leftover yarn, there are plenty of times I'll pick a pattern specifically because it fulfills a HPKCHC (Harry Potter Knit Crochet House Cup) requirement**.
This hat pattern was picked specifically to fulfill a classroom requirement, but I cannot explain how happy I am to have found it!! Not nearly as simple as the name suggests, The Simple Slouch is full of amazing chevrons that work their way up the hat in a beginner-friendly six row repeat! I printed the pattern for this one (I don't always do this - often I'll simply work from the PDF on my phone or tablet) so I could check off as I finished a row, and the hat basically flew off my needles!
I made two small adjustments to the hat as I made it, and next time I make one I will make one extra adjustment. First, I only knit seven pattern repeats. The hat is slouchy enough this way, and can still fit well as a beanie with the brim folded over - since I am donating this (and almost all my knits) to charity, I need to be sure it is as functional as it is trendy, and one six-round repeat would have made it too long, I feared.
Second, I added one k2tog row at the very end of the decreases. I ended up with too many stitches on the needles for my liking, so I made the executive decision to add one extra decrease row. I didn't bother to figure out the "proper" way to do these to fit with the pattern, because this last row really can't be seen ever. It was absolutely the right decision for me, as I want this hat to be able to be worn as a beanie as well - for those making it for themselves to be worn just as a slouch, this step is absolutely NOT necessary!
The final adjustment I will make next time? I will use smaller needles for the ribbing. I love to make a hat with just one needle used the entire time, but it takes less time for the ribbing to stretch out this way. And yes, the hat could be blocked back to shape, but who in a refugee camp has time for that?! No one is the answer. Adding some tighter ribbing ensures the hat fits snug around the ears for as long as possible, so I will do that next time to give this hat an extended life.
I keep saying "next time" because this is a hat I will be knitting on repeat in the future! It's a very simple hat in that it's perfect for an advanced beginner (chart reading, knits and purls, larger decreases), but it's still basic enough that it's perfect for charity donation as well! It's easy to just donate stockinette beanie after stockinette beanie, but in my everyday life I like my hats to have a bit of interest when I wear them, and I would imagine that whomever receives my donation hats may just feel the same way. This is the perfect hat for this!!
** For those that are newer here, you may not know that I have played in a Harry Potter themed group on Ravelry for many years now. Members are sorted into houses, turn in projects to earn points for classes, OWLs, and quidditch, and each term one team wins the House Cup, and one team wins the Quidditch Cup! I used to tease my husband about his nerd cred, until he finally said, "Whatever babe. You're part of an online, multiplayer, KNITTING THEMED, role playing game."
Clearly, I win the nerd war in our house!!