I found this adorable cable baby hat pattern a few months ago. Ravelry and Pinterest are my new addictions – any time I find myself with a spare minute/hour, I’m on one or the other. This hat caught my eye because the photo was a super cute baby (see???) and the pattern seemed relatively simple enough for my novice knitting skills. You can easily access it here.
I got really excited when I discovered this pattern used fingering weight yarn. Not that I was actually excited to knit with what basically ends up being skewers and string, but that I had recently spent an inordinate amount of money buying almost every colorway of Lion Brand Cone Wool yarn – a “100% virgin wool” that came in something like 2000 yards for $20. It was a steal in my book – until it came in the mail and I saw just exactly how thin ‘fingering’ weight yarn is. Whoops.
Anyway, since I have no plans to spend my days knitting socks (because I am just not that good, nor am I dedicated enough to spend entire weeks of my life to items of clothing that will just get stinky and have to be washed after every wear), this pattern was interesting to me also because it promised to ‘grow’ with the baby. What does that mean? Well dear readers, let me introduce to you a Quick Lesson on Baby Heads.
Having never given birth myself, I always just assumed that baby heads grew at a proportional rate of the rest of the body – comes out tiny (usually about 12 inches around), a little bit the first year, a little more the second year, etc. I had measured enough adult heads to figure the average to be aboooout 22 inches. Imagine my surprise, then, when four years ago when I first started making hats, my coworker wanted one for her 12 month old, and measured her little skull to be 19 inches around. 19???? We were both boggled. Surely it’s not possible for such a tiny creature to have a head that’s 85% of an adult. No WONDER they have such a hard time rolling over and lifting that noggin up, learning how to stand, walk, etc. That is some serious topweight these little tykes are carrying around.
(Another fun trick: have you ever lifted your arms above your head? Yes you, lift them up and see how far they reach. The top of your head comes to about your elbows, right? Now try it on a baby. Go ahead. Now chortle with amusement.)
Anyhoo, given the approximate EIGHT inches in diameter that a baby’s head grows in the first year, I end up having to be really specific about my hat patterns regarding how old the baby will be/season of the year/whether it’ll fit, etc. Depending on the pattern, I sometimes end up having to make four sizes for a baby’s first year. Here is where knitting has the upper hand – it’s sooper stretchy and therefore very forgiving.
When I *finally* finished the hat, I was pleasantly surprised. It grew just like it promised it would, looked cute on a small head AND didn’t look ridiculous on a bigger one! So excited was I, that I promptly made two more. Well, by promptly I mean, slowly over the course of two weeks, but whatevs. Here they are!
See? Amazingly stretchy just as promised! The green head size is about a 0-3 month old. The Hat of Many Colors is on a 12 month old. It’s magic!!