Three Hat Archeology

I don’t buy much yarn at the moment. The stash seems to have mostly what I need. It is like a magical purse. No matter how much I seem to use, there is always something left. The projects are changing of course, as the yarn depletes. Cardigans and sweaters have been replaced with hats and socks. Here are three children’s beanies that the stash has given me.


I use a very simple pattern as my basic beanie for children. It has a cast on of 100 sts on 3.5 mm needles in 8ply. Rib 1 x1 then increase by 10% and change up to 4 mm needles, work up to the crown and decrease in intervals every other row. It is a perfect canvas for playing. I knitted one up with stripes, the other with the motifs I used in Colourful Day and another in the Siksak pattern.


You might recognise the fushia handspun and the Zealana Rimu merino and possum from those previous hats.


The Jarob Farm Corriedale was dyed as part of the Waysides project. The Ultrafine Merino was left over from Oakenshield Armoured hat.


I finished these with a pom-pom flourish.


It is a pleasure to make useful things that I hope are also beautiful from the left overs of other projects. It seems to link and embed the knitting into all the other projects that have come before. The stash and the projects that come out of it, have the wonderful layered quality of an archaeological dig but the layers aren’t static, they flow and intertwine through the past and present and future. These are small things I know, barely significant perhaps. They belong to the curious, intimate world of the everyday and in this context, I think they do matter.


06. December 2016 by Rebecca
Categories: knit | Tags: , , | 17 comments

Comments (17)

  1. Oh yes, the everyday small things DO matter!! We know this but tend to overlook them or take them for granted. We can do better and you certainly have done, those hats are Fun. Good job. Waste not, want not.

  2. Beautiful use of stash – you always find the perfect complimenting colour combos and designs.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the remnants of past projects echo here as lovely layered reminders. It all matters x

  3. Such dear little hats each stitch thoughtfully knitted by your good self making a delightful trio of happiness.

    I also like the reuse and reinvention of materials. I am attempting to stay within the choices held within my looming plastic boxes of yarn stacked outside the bathroom….somehow they only sometimes yield just what I am looking for.

    Here’s to a very enjoyable future of creative choices. So happy to see you here again… From The West…Lydia

  4. Every now and again I have a “buy no yarn” year, and the projects become increasingly smaller and stripier–and I enjoy it so much that even when I am back to making larger projects, I keep a couple of stashbusters on the go for some rest and relaxation. Thankfully there are many little feet, hands and heads in our family to receive my efforts, and even more grown up ones. I love your simple pattern, so easy to remember the number 100! Your hats are like haiku, perfect little miniatures.

    • Dear Carol, I think your simile of haiku for the hats is wonderful. It captures that idea of creativity within constraints/rules. I shall enjoy pondering that one. Thank you!

  5. Yes, everything we knit, spin, weave IS important!! It’s important for inspiration, calming moments and the pure joy of a finished needed item as well as using some of our ever growing leftovers/stash. Beautiful colors, Rebecca, and the pompom just frosts the cake!! I’m sure the Dear Children are thrilled.

  6. Your hats are lovely Rebecca! And I think these small things are important too. I love what you said about the threads interweaving with other projects like layers in an archaeological dig. It is such a pleasure to see yarn from other projects turning up again elsewhere, reminding you of the other things you’ve made and the people for whom you’ve made them.

  7. Quiters are always creating with scraps so I know how special it is to have those little bits with memories of other things. I love your trio of hates with their lovely colours and pretty patterns, and the pompoms are the cherry on top!!

  8. Your intuitive combinations of colour are such a revelation. I feel colour-challenged at times. Will take some inspiration from these and throw some bold colour combos together in my art-making, crafting and dressing.

  9. Oh yes!!! There is something *incredibly* satisfying about making something beautiful and useful out of odds and ends.

    I recently finished a pair of alpaca mittens made from yarn from deepest darkest stash: two skeins of yarn, neither enough to make anything on their own, became a pair of lovely warm stripey mittens. Bliss!

    • Those mittens do sound particularly satisfying Susan. I wonder if stash diving is a kind of a sport for knitters? It requires skill, risk and a bit of adrenaline sometimes.

  10. I love these folksy little bobble hats – and especially that you have made them using old odd bits of yarn from your stash with associated stories and memories.

  11. “Curious and intimate.” What a fantastic way to describe the everyday and to pay respect to it. Much to think about for me in that idea. Thanks, Rebecca!

  12. I love the hats, Rebecca! And I love how you weave your words together! You have a real talent knitting and wordsmithing!



  13. I love the analogy of archaeological dig and knit projects… Such beautiful words and such beautiful (and useful!) projects. I always struggle with the leftovers, I just can’t throw them away. So they stay in the box for months, sometimes years, and some day magically come in handy 🙂

  14. What lovely cheerful hats! I love that you search in stashed yarn and find bits and bobs of inspiring yarns to make these beautiful hats. I’m also a huge fan of stash diving for colorwork projects and can’t bear to part with even tiny bits of handspun 🙂

  15. The hats all have their own personalities, they are so nice. It is also amazing you made these out of your stash yarn! Good stash busting!

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