A hat for Alex

It was my friend Alex’s birthday on Saturday, so I made him a hat.

This hat was part of a larger gift that Alex was presented with on Friday (Alex being a work friend meant he got his present a day early). At work we have a tradition for birthday gifts of everyone contributing a small amount of money, and someone buying a large present from all of us. It’s a lovely idea, and I always particularly cherish the card, with its sweet messages from all my friends.

Alex is one of those wonderful people who usually have an idea of what they want for their birthday, making the task of the gift-buyer (me this time around) so much easier. He’s a gentle, thoughtful, and very well-travelled person, and one of those men who doesn’t feel the need for machismo. Best of all, he appreciates the beauty of handknits.

Last year, Alex informed me that his three ideal birthday gifts were (don’t laugh) handknit socks, flowers, and candles. So that’s what he got—a potted cyclamen, a sandalwood candle, and some Noro socks that took me forever to make. This year, he expressed a wish for a warm, slouchy hat to wear in bed, as his pillow lies right underneath a window—chilly for the ears in winter. Hence the hat, which was wrapped up with a huge bunch of flowers, some T2 tea balls, and a stuffed wombat (Alex’s favourite animal since coming to live in Australia).

The pattern is Ripley by Ysolda Teague, made in the soft, squishy, and very warm Freedom Wool. My gauge was a bit large so I knit a size down and all turned out well. As an aside, don’t believe the Freedom Wool ball band when it recommends 10mm needles. I’ve worked with this yarn twice and find 6 or 7mm to be much more appropriate choices.

I just love the rich, luminous navy of this hat, as well as its softness and warmth.

Alex seemed very pleased with it, and so did newly-christened William the Wombat. Maybe I should make William his own hat…


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