Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! Fellow knitters, I’m sure you feel me when I say that it’s tough to resist making “just one more” hat. I have tons of hats, have made tons of them for friends and family, and just generally love hats. So when Charlotte (who I’d met through By Hand London) asked if I wanted to try out a Wool and the Gang kit, I settled on a hat!
I decided to offer the hat to my sister, who’s a bit of an alpaca junkie, and because I was feeling a little mischievous, I demanded that she model it for the blog. I make things for family members pretty often, but seldom request photos because they’re busy, they’re far away, and I don’t want them to feel like gifts come with strings attached. But honestly, I get sick of seeing my own face in blog photos, plus Brenna was in town and in a sassy mood, so she agreed to model.
As you can see, she clearly loves a camera pointed her direction!😀
OK, so back to the hat! I chose the Jacques hat kit, which included the pattern, a seaming needle, one skein of Sugar Baby alpaca yarn, and a pair of knitting needles. The pattern booklet tells you how to knit the pattern, and then includes illustrated instructions for the long-tail cast-on as well as diagrams that illustrate the difference between rib stitch and stockinette. They also direct you to video tutorials on all these techniques, as well as adding a new ball of yarn, invisible seaming, and weaving in ends. It’s a really basic pattern, and you could probably find something similar for free, but it’s nice that all the information you need to make it can be found in the booklet (which is small enough to carry around in your bag, something I appreciate as I always have letter-size knitting patterns folded up in my purse where they always seem to get bent or torn).
I really liked the baby alpaca yarn. It’s super soft and squishy, but it didn’t shed like crazy like an alpaca yarn that I used in the past. I chose the colorway Shacklewell Grey, a two-tone yarn. I had my doubts that there was enough yarn provided to actually finish the hat, but I was proven wrong and had enough to do it without stressing out at the end. One different thing about it was that it was knitted flat on straight needles, with instructions to seam it at the end. I’ve never done a hat like this, but it’s probably easier for a beginner to master that than to sort out how to cast on and join in the round.
The kit retails for 19USD, which feels reasonable to me. I just checked, and I bought a kit from Brooklyn Tweed for the Rosebud hat as a gift for my sister four years ago, and it cost 25USD. Wait a minute… I’ve never seen that hat on her… did you not even knit it, Brenna? Naughty!
This is my first experience using a Wool and the Gang yarn or pattern, but I have fond memories of their old Soho store. I used to poke around in it when I was in the neighborhood, maybe ten years ago, and was really interested in knitting, but scared to try it myself. It’s fun to see how their business has changed since then! I was just checking out their website and saw that they’ve developed a yarn made from denim remnants that come from the jeans manufacturing process. What a great idea! The yarn is out of stock, but hopefully I’ll be able to grab some when it’s back so I can give you guys a full report!
OK, last but not least, I have a Jacques hat kit to give away to one lucky reader! Please leave a comment below if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway telling me your favorite colorway, and make sure to leave an email address if you can’t be contacted through your comment profile. I’ll close the giveaway next Saturday, June 25th, at noon EST. Good luck!!!