A (Frogged) Harper Hat

December 3, 2015


Well this was not a great entry into hat knitting, let’s just start there.

I was looking for a simple ribbed toque using fingering weight yarn and after what felt like extensive research this was the top pick. I wanted something really thin because I felt like my head would be less likely to overheat… is that a logical line of thinking? I’m also not a fan of the chunky rigid beanie look that’s trendy lately, so I was drawn to the classic fit of the Harper Hat.

Overall this knit was frustrating and a bit disappointing. Probably not the best pick for a first time hat knitter to be fair. It’s knit in twisted rib which certainly takes a bit longer to do and I’m still not sure of its benefits over normal rib stitch? In the end it just feels too flimsy for my head shape. I’ve learned my face looks more balanced (?) in a slightly looser fitting, thicker hat.


Pattern Used:
Harper Hat by Julie Hoover for Brooklyn Tweed

Knit in one colour way instead of two.
Cast on 6 extra stitches because I have a larger head.
Knit body with 4mm needles instead of recommended 5mm because I wanted the knit to look tight.
Attempted to do tubular cast on but totally botched it. Perhaps that’s why the brim stretched so much after wearing? Or maybe that’s because I made it larger?
I had to modify the decreases because of the 6 extra stitches I cast on. I tried to space this out as best as possible given the pattern. If you’re planning on making this pattern larger/smaller by changing the number of stitches you cast on, I’d recommend you look at the decreases first to make sure the multiple you add/decrease lines up with the decrease pattern and looks as seamless as possible!

Materials/Supplies Used:
Tosh Merino Light superwash wool in ‘Forestry’
3.5mm DPNs for cast on
4mm circular and DPNs for body

Finished Dimensions:
19″ circumference at brim
9.5″ tall

I’m not sure what I could have done differently to figure out sooner on that it wasn’t right for me… but swatch swatch swatch! I saw some projects on Ravelry actually used worsted weight yarn instead due to similar frustrations.

I will say that before you start knitting your own hats you should spend some time in shops trying on as many styles as possible. It’s really easy to pick a pattern without considering how it will look on you. Just because it looks cute styled on someone else doesn’t mean it’ll suit you, right? See what shapes, fits, colours, and weights actually work for you. Knowing this will help you be smarter with pattern selection so you end up with knits you’re excited about and feel great in.




It doesn’t look horrible on by any means, but it just doesn’t feel right. I wore it on and off for a few weeks to give it a fair shot and I’m just not in love. It’s a bit loose at the brim and the top looks disproportionate to me. Is that an error in blocking? I think the yarns just too fine for this style, it almost asking for a bit more volume. And the shape of the top is sort of silly looking. It’s just not right. Not for me at least.


Would I try this pattern again? Maybe… Not in the near future though. I haven’t recovered yet haha. I’m pretty sure I’m going to rip this one out and use it for sock yarn.

I’ve since knit a very successful Bray Cap which totally restored my faith in hat knitting. And I just finished a Roku Hat which turned out to be the perfect beanie pattern for me… to be blogged soon!

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