I love hats. They seem like they have such personality and are just fun in general. Despite this love I never truly embraced it. I own several, but haven't worn them for more than the "It's cold outside and I don't want my ears to freeze." This is mostly because I've always worn my hair really long and didn't think the combination looked that great on me. However, I chopped most of it off back in the fall and have found hats are a pretty good look for me.
The first project I learned to knit on was a hat. Since then I've stuck to scarves and of course recently started branching out. Last Sunday I found a skein and a half of this beautiful gray alpaca and immediately pulled out the one pattern book I own: 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I found this great pattern for an alpaca hat called "Lacey Beanie".
I'd never used alpaca before. My mom gave me this yarn several years ago when I got into crochet. I love how soft it feels and how easy it is to work with. However, five year old alpaca evidently starts to disintegrate when you don't use it. That was a major pain, but it worked. The hat is a little itchy, but I love wearing it and I don't have to take it off when I go inside.
This was also the first time I tried a lace pattern, and, like most of the new things I've tried, it was a lot easier than I thought. The key is knowing what all the abbreviations are, because every designer has a different set. Also, make sure that when you yarn over that when you knit the next row you still get that gap in the piece. I had to rip out an entire set and start over because I had yarn(ed?) over in the wrong direction.
Overall, I like this pattern. It's knit on straight needles, so it has to be seamed up at the end, and you have to be careful that your stitches don't fall off. It was kind of boring, but a snow day was a great time to finish it up (Yes, we had a snow day in college. Only one I've ever had).