One of my first ever patterns was the Honey cap. I self-published the original pattern almost 4 years ago on my old blog and remember being so proud of it. I still am, actually, but ever since its release there have been a couple of things that have been bugging me. The biggest of those things was the ribbing which I was never quite pleased with but didn’t know how to fix. And another was the overall fit – it didn’t sit quite as snuggly as I wanted on my head. So I gave away the original yellow hat to a friend.
I usually never knit a pattern again after I have knitted it once. I am the kind who is easily inspired and distracted, and want to keep moving forward and discover new textures and techniques. But there was something about the Honey cap pattern that kept me coming back to it. I had been toying with the idea of designing a new cabled hat when I came across a photo of my old Honey cap. Even after four years and many things knitted in between, I still really like the pattern and decided it was time to update it.
The first sample I knitted was a black one in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in the colorway Porter (leftover yarn from my Kirigami pullover). Arbor has such an amazing stitch definition that it can be used for textured patterns without the fear of losing all the details as is often the case with black yarns.
The main changes I made to the original pattern were to the brim. I’m personally a fan of long brims that are folded double so instead of the 3 cm long brim of the original pattern I kept going until the ribbed section measured 15 cm.
I also updated the brim from the simple 1×1 ribbing to a mixture of 2×2 and 1×1 ribbing that flows more naturally into the cabled section. I think the transition from ribbing to the charted section (or the lack of it) was the main thing I wasn’t happy with the original pattern. I had used a round of purl stitches in the original design to separate the ribbed brim from the cable section because I could’t come up with a way for the stitches to flow nicely. However, that purled line was like a border between the brim and the main part of the hat and I felt it looked forced.
I really liked how the updated version of the hat turned out. I also added a pompom on the top of the hat – another aspect I felt the original pattern was missing. However I think the hat turned a bit long – not too long but a bit longer than I had intended – but that gave me the idea of adding more sizes to the updated pattern. So instead of just altering the length of the brim, I decided to add a couple of alternatives for the length of the whole hat as well as a whole another size to fit men, yay! (Fun fact: the predecessor to the original Honey hat was actually a hat for my husband!)
So I decided to knit a few more samples before releasing the updated version. One with the folded brim but shorter main section for a beanie version in Zealana Perfoma Rimu DK (colorway Kiwicrush R02) and a watchcap version with a short brim in Brooklyn Tweed Arbor (colorway Degas, shown above). And since there was going to be a men’s size, I let my husband choose the yarn he wanted and he picked Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor in the beautiful dark blue shade called Sashiko.
I wrote earlier that I prefer not to knit the same pattern twice. After I’m finished with all these More Honey samples I have knitted the pattern or a variation of it 6 times (the one for my husband years ago, the original Honey hat, and the four samples for the updated pattern), and I must say I’m still not bored with the pattern. I do think I will knit something else next though, but I’m quite sure there will be more More Honey hats in my knitting future.