A Very Plain Hat by Huan-Hua Chye
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A Very Plain Hat

Knitting
March 2008
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette, with yarn held doubled
US 8 - 5.0 mm
200 - 215 yards (183 - 197 m)
To fit 22-inch head
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that my boyfriend Rahul didn’t want a hat with cables and Fair Isle and fanciness. All he wanted, it turns out, was a Very Plain Hat. He’s rejected various hats I’ve made—Koolhaas, Shedir, a black cabled hat with earflaps, a hilarious balaclava-style hat with attached beard and mustache—by admiring them at first, then quietly leaving the house without them.

When we took a recent trip to Madison, Wisconsin, in March, and the icy wind was whipping off the lakes, turning his unguarded ears a distressing shade of red, I decided to make him a new hat to keep his head warm, a hat he would actually wear. I stopped in at a local yarn store and bought a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, and less than 24 hours later, Rahul had a Very Plain Hat, his current favorite, the only hat I’ve made him that I’ve seen him wear consistently and ask after when it’s being washed.

I kept getting ideas in my head about stripes and knit/purl patterns and cables, but my thoughts of all those virtuosic, beautiful, yet unloved and unworn hats reminded me to just keep it simple. Here is the result of my emergency hat-knitting marathon: a simple watchcap with the 2x2 ribbed brim knit single-stranded and the rest of the hat knit double-stranded, for extra warmth, in stockinette in the round, for extra speed. The double-stranded Ultra Alpaca makes a very thick, cozy, slightly fuzzy fabric.