HelenHelen's Makes, Knitting30 Comments

My First Hat

I knit a hat! Can you believe it? It has taken me far too long to seriously give knitting a chance, and I was close to calling it quits on the hobby after several times learning. The first few times I was taught to knit I did enjoy it, but I really just wanted to be sewing. Have you felt that way, too?  This time, I think knitting has come into my life again at just the right moment. I am slowing down a bit with my sewing because I am so busy with the podcast and running Helen’s Closet Patterns. On top of that, I am working from home so I don’t have much need for cute clothes. Knitting is a much slower process and I am really enjoying learning all the new things.

You might recognize that these pics were taken at the same time as I photographed my Berlin Jacket! You can see the full post about this jacket here

I took a beginner class with Caroline at our local yarn shop, Baaad Annas. We both felt that having a dedicated time to go to class and practice was important for us. It can be hard to guide yourself in a new hobby and also hard to motivate yourself to finish a project. Our class has you knit a hat from start to finish, so you know you will complete your first knitting project by the end!

We used chunky weight yarn and this free pattern, The Galway Chunky Family of Hats by Michelle Porter.  The pattern was great for beginners except that it didn’t offer any chance to practice the purl stitch. Because of this, I opted to add some large ribbing to my hat so I could see how ribbing was made. It was hard and my ribbing is far from perfect, but I do think it adds a nice touch.  

I am now working on a baby hat for my niece (having little ones to knit for is awesome). I am excited about all the possibilities with yarn and patterns, and I must admit I am pretty overwhelmed! I am trying to make an effort to not stash too many supplies like I have with sewing. I would like to keep a smaller yarn stash – is that even possible?

Thanks for checking out my hat! I hope to have more knitting projects to share from time to time on the blog now, too.


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

30 Comments on “My First Hat”

  1. It looks really good for your first project! And good for any project really. I’m just jumping in to encourage you to resist the urge to stash. The problem with a huge yarn stash is how long it takes to knit it down since it’s so much more time consuming than sewing. It’s hard to resist the fluffy pretties though … I definitely had a huge stash before I started sewing, and then I sold most of it.

    1. Thank you! I know it will be hard, but that is such a good point about it taking a long time to use up knitting supplies. I can also see myself falling in love with yarn in every yarn shop!

  2. Your hat looks awesome! Welcome to the knitting club; I started out sewing as a kid and later fell HARD for knitting; now am a knitter-who-sews. Each craft has its benefits. Oh and building a stash is part of the fun!

  3. It looks great! I recently started knitting and took a beginner class. I think it’s so awesome that you’ve completed a project. I went rogue and ended up with a weird sized rectangle lol. I’m going to try the pattern you used and see what happens. Thanks again for the inspiration and for sharing your first project!

  4. Isn’t knitting fun! I was never as good at it as I was at crocheting, but I recently destashed everything but my wool yarn because I can’t crochet (or knit) due to a wrist injury. Good luck with your projects!!

  5. You look so dang cute in these pics Helen. YAY for you for developing your knitting skills. I always have trouble with tension when I knit. My stitches get tighter and tighter until I can’t get the needle through the stitch, LOL.

    1. Haha, thanks Sue! Tension is definitely the hardest part. I am constantly having to re-adjust because it starts to get tight. Maybe this skill will translate into other areas of my life, who knows!

  6. Way to go, Helen!! I love how the coat with the hat makes your eyes pop 🙂 And no, it is not possible to have a small yarn stash. At least not for me…! HA! I bought a ton of yarn on my recent trip to Montana, but it was a local company and all hand dyed, so I didn’t feel too guilty about it 😉

    If you REALLY want a fun adventure in knitting, I highly recommend Susan B Anderson’s knit toy patterns. The giraffe from Itty Bitty Toys is one of my favorite baby gifts to knit. If you can knit in the round, you can knit the giraffe!

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you! I will be ware of the knitting stash! I know what you mean about it being so hard, though. I expect to pick some yarn up on my travels, too! It seems like a great souvenir! Thanks for the pattern recommendation 🙂

  7. Love it! I’m the opposite. I never find time to sew because I’d rather knit. Welcome to the dark side.

    You asked in a recent podcast for pattern recommendations. Check out the Simple Knits collection from Tin Can Knits. for basics that will help you build skills. My favorite sweater is Boxy by Joji Locatelli. It’s a perfect first sweater.

  8. Great job on your hat! Knits and purls, now you can make everything you want 🙂 Have you found Ravelry yet? It’s a must for knitters (and crocheters)

  9. Congrats on finishing your first hat! It looks great. I love sewing, but I’m a knitter first and foremost. It’s funny–I was just listening to the part in this week’s episode of Love to Sew where you all were talking with Mimi G about just wanting to get as people sewing as possible. That is how I feel about knitting!

    I’ll second the recommendation to look at Tin Can Knits patterns. Their patterns (and their blog) are great because they focus a lot on teaching new techniques. Plus all of their patterns are written from baby sizes to adults, so you can make a faster, kid-size version to practice and then make a version for yourself.

    I buy yarn for specific projects as I make them, so I have a very small stash. Right now, I think I have a few skeins of sock yarn and two project kits and those will all definitely be knit up in the next few months. I find it a bit easier to avoid stashing yarn because yarn lines tend to be more stable and long-lasting than fabric lines. When I see good fabric, I feel like I need to act fast before it disappears. But if I see a yarn and think about using it for a particular project somewhere down the line, I usually don’t feel the need to buy it right away because with a few exceptions, I know I can usually order the same yarn in the same color when I’m ready to use it.

    1. Thanks for the advice and the encouragement! Im glad there are people out there spreading the knitting word just like me with sewing. I hope to keep it up!

  10. Go Helen! The hat looks great!

    I really enjoy knitting when I’m feeling too stressed out or tired to sew, or when I know I’ll be interrupted a lot – maybe I’m too tightly wound when sewing, but I find I need a clear head for it, and it’s nice to have something that works when my partner’s wandering in and out of the room chatting to me, or when I’m watching a film. Once you have the techniques down, it’s much easier to recover mistakes in knitting, and you can plod through a repeat without needing 100% focus.

    I don’t think a stash problem is inevitable – I have tons of leftover pieces from projects (which I’m going to use for learning colourwork soon), the to-be-redeployed yarn for a cropped cardigan I realised I’d never wear if I made it, and a couple of skeins of sock yarn I’ll get through this year.

    Enjoy it, I look forward to seeing what you make.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement! I hope to continue with knitting and get to that point where I can knit without looking, too!

  11. Well done Helen, that’s a cute beanie! No project will ever seem as tough as that first one, but now the world’s your knitted oyster.
    A stash? Is that by any chance the big closet stuffed full of secrets where the wool monster lives?

  12. I love your hat! Always keep it, because it was your first! Welcome to the knitting universe, and yes you will want all the yarns! I try to only buy for a project, and only have a few years worth lol! I love knitting for its meditative quality, and its portability. Enjoy learning your new skill, it will be your friend forever!

    1. Thank you so much, Suzie! That is really nice of you to comment and encourage me. I look forward to continuing on in my knitting journey!

  13. Good for you, Helen! I’ll admit tho, you made me just about drop my phone when I read the sentence “I am now working on a baby…..” . See how important it is to continue something to the end… even a sentence!!

  14. Nicely done Helen!! its funny you’re venturing into knititng. i took the opposite route. I’m an avid knitter who has taken up sewing. it interesting and fun to see knitters and sewists are all part of the same group. I look forward to seeing more of your knits!

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