I quickly ralised that compared with the time and investment of making a whole sweater, hats used just one or two skeins of yarn and were done in a day or two. This gave me more opportunities to visit one of the gorgeous yarn shops near here and get lost in all the amazing colours and textures, and to imagine what I might make next...
Lately I've discovered entrelac, a technique where you knit little squares back and forth. By cunningly picking up stitches along the edges of the last row, the end result is like squishy patchwork. By making each square smaller than the last these rows can vanish Alice in Wonderland style towards the middle of a circular hat design.
After making a lovely autumnal one in two fine variegated yarns I then made a simple charcoal grey one, which is more of a standard beret. Now I'm making a hat inspired by the colours of the seashore fit for a weather witch (for Elizabeth Cunningham fans) out of incredible springy, bouncy wool/silk from Japan (Iro from Noro).
I can't get over the improbable but perfect colour changes popping out or the blackberry-like bulges of the patches standing out thanks to the thick, defined stitches. The way this is growing feels more like wooly baking than knitwear construction.
When it's done it will go beyond the waves to a friend far away. I hope she sees dawn breaking over rocky tidal pools every time she puts it on - and that it keeps her head warm.