As soon as I saw the pattern for the Opus Hat, I knew that I would knit one for Doug. It is such a fantastic hat:
The pattern is by Maxim Cyr, whom I have gotten to know from two knitting retreats we both attended. (You should have a look at Les Garçons, the company owned by Max and his partner, Vincent; they have delicious designs, kits, and beautifully dyed yarns.) Max had previously put out a shawl pattern with this design, and I almost jumped at it, but I held back because triangular shawls are not my favorite. I’m glad I did because I like the hat and cowl combo better, and I knew they would really suit Doug.
This is a win-win because it also gave me a chance to try out the Opus yarn from Walcot, which I have wanted to try since seeing Carmen Schmidt from A Yarn Story wear a shawl knitted from this yarn at a wool show some years back. It is a sport weight yarn which the label describes as “70% Argentinian Merino, 30% Baby Alpaca, 100% Awesome”. That makes me giggle every time I see it, but now I know it is true. This yarn IS awesome.
The hat is fantastically cosy. The stitch pattern is made by stranded knitting, so the fabric is doubly thick with lots of little air pockets on the inside to keep the warmth next to your head. The brim is also doubled, which you can see here:
Carmen put together lots of kits for this pattern in many different combinations of Opus colours; I loved the original combo so much, it was an easy choice. The kit is enough to make both hat and cowl. Do I plan to knit the cowl? This yarn is too lush and the pattern is too more-ish to even think of resisting.
The pattern photos show the hat with a giant pompom. I like it, but I don’t think Doug is the pompom type. In any case, just look at this beautiful crown:
Doug started wearing this the minute I finished it, even before I had woven in the ends or blocked it. I had to steal it away to give it a bath and finish it properly. I am very happy because I came up with a great way to block it. Below is the hat lightly stretched over a rubber pilates ball. The ball is inflated to 23″, which makes it perfect for blocking a hat for Doug, and it is rubber, so no problem with it getting damp.
This hat is a winner. I love it. Doug loves it. Even bears love it.
Happy Sunday! I’m off to cast on a cowl!