It was an especially cold winter in Oregon when I got my first custom knitting order. My brother Matthew had retired his old beanie made by our grandmother, and he asked if I could make something similar.
I had made plenty of hats before, so I knew the drill, but I couldn't find any patterns that looked quite right. He wanted a hat with lots of cables, and he wanted it to be warm. Knowing my brother, I also knew he wanted it to be a bit understated, because he never wore anything too flashy or different. So, what I needed was something classic, casual, and not too complex.
Unfortunately, all of the patterns I found had complicated woven cables, lace detail, or a slouchy body. That was not going to work.
So, I brainstormed until I had a rough idea of what I was making, and I began to knit it freestyle. I started with a 2x2 rib, and then graduated into repeating cables. I let him choose the color he wanted (dark grey, of course), and I doubled up the yarn to make it extra thick.
The result was a nice, heavy hat that he absolutely adored. He could be seen wearing it in every picture that winter.
Matthew's beanie may not have the *wow* factor that other knit projects have, but this hat is classic. It can be worn with almost any outfit, and it is the perfect gift for even the pickiest relatives.
To check out this free pattern, click on the links below.