Fresh Designs: Hats, edited by Shannon Okey, pub. Cooperative Press, 2012.
Editor Shannon Okey has put together a collection of 10 hats, each with a special feature or unexpected twist. They are unified by the color scheme of blues and browns with a punch of red. There is no chit-chat and no advice; they get right to the patterns, and knitters are on their own for any techniques that aren't explained therein. The models are appropriately spunky and the photos by Robert Gladys show (mostly) what I'd like to see.
The first hat in the collection, Left Turn at Albuquerque, has an allover cable pattern which zigs and zags its way through the crown shaping. The Samui Toque uses short rows for beauty and fit (I wish the book included a side view which designer Kendra Nitta made sure got onto the pattern page photos). Tamalpais is a head-sized counterpane (would be nice to see the top of it, which designer Linda Wilgus has thoughtfully posted on Ravelry). Ulaan requires minimal swatching and no purling (although it does require picking up stitches), using a stretchy sideways garter stitch instead of ribbing at the brim.
Half the hat patterns are written for only one size. I have a really big head, so this disappoints me. I know knit fabric tends to be stretchy, but that doesn't always help. Of the one-size patterns, Troche as a pleat in it, Tamalpais is supposed to sit on top of the head, and Tundra is huge with earflaps. So there are really only two troublesome patterns in the collection as far as sizing goes. I have already knit Troche, and I know it fits me, though it does fit differently than in the photos.
The three cable patterns are both charted and written out. The lace pattern is written only.
This is an inspirational collection with many intriguing constructions. I had a hard time deciding which to knit first!
Disclosure: Cooperative Press sent Kangath a copy of Fresh Knits: Hats FREE for review. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Cooperative Press, Shannon Okey, or the designers.
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