It has felt amazing to be able to post a new pattern a week for the last month, and I want to keep that going as long as I can!
This week I'm introducing the Scritch Scratch hat. Why is it called that? Because I like giving dogs scritches and scratches, and because it just sort of felt right for the hat. It's a toque made with Lichen and Lace fiber, that I am absolutely in love with. The color is rich and complex. It is quite smooth and flies off the needles. It's also warm enough to make a good winter hat, but breathable enough so you can comfortably wear it all year long. In fact the pattern was designed to bring out this versatility to its fullest.
I haven't talked about the nitty-gritty of design in quite some time, but let's get back to that now. The Scritch Scratch hat has a relatively long ribbing pattern, with some added height. That means it can either be worn as a slouchy or you can roll up the brim for a more traditional toque. You can also do something a little in between the two. So if you're going for a much more modern and casual look, let it down, but if you want a more traditional look, roll it up. This flexibility also has a practical side. Rolled up, the hat is much warmer, giving you two layers of wool protecting your ears. Worn as a slouchy the hat is much more relaxed, and breathable so you can wear it year-round.
This highlights an element of design that I, and I'm sure many of others, often overlook: almost every choice isn't just aesthetic, it's practical. The texturing on the Scritch Scratch hat may look haphazard, but it's a simple and thought-out design. At its core the pattern is just k2,p2 (knitting two, and purling two) with some hiccups in the sequence. There are columns of double moss which draw the eye up, and give vertical motion. These, however, are balanced with diagonal lines that pull focus, and make you look at the hat as a larger picture. It gives the eye a lot to look at, and that's perfect for a fiber that is as complex as Lichen and Lace. As your eye wanders you notice the subtle shifts in blue tones and whites. It's practical too though. These k2,p2 patterns make the hat much more breathable.
Designing knitwear can be very easy, because (as long as it fits some sort of human body) you can't do anything wrong. What makes it so complicated though is that, while there may be no mistakes, every choice has aesthetic and practical ramifications. You have to be mindful with each choice. That's what makes it so rewarding though.
So make your own Scritch Scratch hat with this pattern. It's a quick knit, and great for any skill level, and happens to be one of my go-to hats year-round.