She decided on a visor beanie (pageboy, newsboy, etc), and sent links to two hats from REI: a cute visor beanie (Pistil Jax Visor Beanie) and a fun stripey beanie (prAna Multistripe Beanie). I hadn't make a visor beanie before, although I'd seen a few friends make them. I figured I was up for the challenge - especially the challenge of making the hat without a pattern. I can follow patterns, no problem, but always end up changing them so for this hat I figured I could just wing it.
I promptly bought a bunch of colors that were similar to the stripey hat - brown, green, blue, natural, lavender. And then spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide what to use for the brim. I went so far as to borrow visor beanies from various friends and students in an effort to get a sense of how stiff the brim should be. Upon the ultimate advice of my mom I went with plastic mesh that is used in cross-stitch. I even lucked out by finding some at the swap shop on the island - it was even the mesh size I needed, and nearly a whole sheet (it still had the price tag, 59¢ from Ben Franklin's. Not too many of those around anymore). I love the swap shop.
I did spend a bit of time trolling the web and various knitting books for a pattern that I could use - mostly for figuring out how to work the plastic visor into the brim. I like to do as little finish work as possible when it comes to knitting, so I was certain I didn't want to have to knit a separate brim and attach it at the end. I ended up finding this hat, Visor Beanie, which was the closest to what I was picturing. The visor brim is essentially tucked into the hat itself and because of the shape of the hat on the head, it fits like a proper brim hat when being worn. This hat has the visor added at the end; I essentially knit the visor in while working the lower part of the hat. For the brim template I borrowed the hat (read: nearly took it off her head) from a woman I ran into in a friend's shop (don't worry - I knew her!) and traced the brim on scrap paper.
I started K's hat with a rib pattern and made it double the length of the widest part of the visor. To keep the visor in the hat, I folded the brim of the hat in half over the mesh and knit the cast-on edge together with the next row I was working on. This also created a thicker bottom for the hat, nice for extra warmth for the ears!
|mesh visor knit into the ribbed brim|
|before sewing visor into place, cable detail is mostly evident|
|Side view, with visor doing it's visor thing|