Pechka

Knitting
January 2015
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
12 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette on smaller needles
US 10 - 6.0 mm
US 13 - 9.0 mm
190 - 220 yards (174 - 201 m)
adult (approximately 20" circumference of inner cap)
This pattern is available for $4.00 USD buy it now

Did you know you lose 80% of your body heat through your head? That’s a statement that is completely unverifiable and doesn’t even make sense, but, it’s something I heard my mom say many times as a child in dark, damp Oregon, when she insisted I wear a hat outside. Her point still stands: hats are warm, without a hat you’ll be cold, and for god’s sake, put a hat on.

I’ve lived in some of the coldest places on earth, including Siberia and the Bay Area. Over the years, I’ve made it something of a mission to find, or make, the warmest possible hat. As someone who favors short haircuts and keeping the thermostat low, I depend on hats all winter, and sometimes even wear them to sleep in. I often layer two knit caps on top of each other. I realized that what I needed was Pechka: a hat on top of a hat.

On the coldest days of winter, Bulgarians will remark that the day is “samo za pechkata,” or, “only for the woodstove.” The implication is that the only way to spend a day this cold is in front of your woodstove. I designed Pechka with those days in mind. The inner cap is knit on smaller needles, and intended to fit snugly. Switch to larger needles for the slouchy outer cap, creating a wind-tight head covering that also traps air for even more warmth.