A friend of mine on Facebook was talking about being in a knitting slump despite having multiple projects going. I can relate, because while I keep my WIPs (Works In Progress) to a minimum, I sometimes find myself at a loss for what to knit next.
Many people suggested various things or empathized, but the post that stood out the most in my mind said simply “Knit a hat. It’s the palate cleanser of the knitting world.”
Granted, it probably stood out because I love knitting hats. A quick check of my Ravelry project page shows that 22 of my 82 projects are hats. That’s not counting headbands/wraps. Just hats.
So why are hats such a great thing to knit? Well, for starters there’s only one of them. Unless you’re doing two at a time (which is something I plan on trying this year) when you finish a sock, you have to knit another. Ditto for gloves/mitts/wristers. If you’re knitting a sweater you need to knit a gauge swatch. And let’s be honest here, nobody LIKES knitting a gauge swatch. (At least, I’ve never met anyone who did.) Granted, with blankets there’s no real need to check gauge, but they can take FOREVER. As can shawls. (We’ll talk about what I lovingly refer to as my Shawl of DOoooooom another day.)
It’s a great way to learn to knit in the round. Eventually everyone has to learn to knit a tube. (Mostly because seaming up everything you knit is annoying.) Hats are great because, unlike sleeves or other small tubes, you get lots of time to practice your technique.
And hats don’t use a lot of yarn! Have a single skein of something? You can make a hat out of it. Every knitter has a few of those skeins that were bought because “OMG PRETTY!” but you only bought one. Hats, man. It’s like the gods of hat fate were looking out for you.
They’re also a project that can be as easy or complicated as you like. There’s also the portability factor, as generally you need your needles (be they circulars or DPNs), your yarn, and your pattern if it’s not just straight stitch. I love knitting hats in the car for this very reason.
Best of all, hats are pretty one size fits all. You don’t have to worry about offending someone because you under- or overestimated their size. It’s nice to knit a pile of hats and know that if you need a last minute gift for someone, you can grab a hat from your stack, wrap it up, and it will fit them.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a hat to knit. 🙂