A Little Aran Hat

This weekend I finished a little hat for Ben.  It’s just a simple little hat with eight cables and Irish Moss stitch in between.  I’ve been thinking about making a true Aran sweater for my husband, Bert.  So I suppose this is my practice piece before I attempt such a major project.


This hat is made from a skein of yarn I purchased at the former knitting store in Waseca, “Smitten with Knitten.”  When this store was in business, I would take my kids there every now and then, and four- or five-year-old Sam had a way of finding the orange yarn, every time.  Unfortunately, the tag is long gone (it was Sam’s after all).  From my observation, I believe it is a 100 percent worsted, 4-ply yarn.  Diane, the proprietor at the yarn store, smiled at me at the time, and said, “this is a really nice yarn.”  (Maybe she was picturing what could happen with such a beautiful yarn in the hands of a five-year-old little boy.)  It was very nice to work with, and as I’ve read, it allowed the cabled pattern to “pop out”.  It’s an orange yarn with flecks of blue and yellow and green.  Sam wanted it to go into a hat for Ben.

For my husband’s sweater, I am thinking through whether to purchase the 3-ply Aran yarn from Kerry Woollen Mills, in Ireland.  Or, a 5-ply Guernsey yarn a friend mentioned from British Breed Yarns

As my girls become more intensely interested in spinning fiber from carded wool to create their own knitting yarn, we are learning more clearly about the content of the fiber in our sweaters.  “Woolen” means that the fiber was simply carded and rolled into a rolag with the fibers going every which way within the strand of yarn.  This allows more air to be trapped within the fiber, and this characteristic makes for a warmer sweater.  “Worsted” means that the fiber was carded and then combed with a fine comb, placing the fibers all in the same direction.  This makes for a stronger, longer-lasting sweater.

A 3-ply woollen yarn would create a great sweater to keep him warm while cross country skiing in Minnesota.  However, a 5-ply worsted would create a beautiful cabled sweater, possibly a cardigan for wearing to the office.  I gave him the choice.

Since a sweater for my husband is by far a project of a larger scale, I’ll enjoy thinking about it for a while.  In the meantime, this little hat will be of good use, as we’re planning a move in just 12 days (i.e. moving in February in Minnesota).


My husband has taken an engineering position with LSI Corporation in Rochester, Minnesota.  We’re relocating to Mantorville, Minnesota, just outside Rochester.  He’ll have a 12-mile commute, rather than one of 60 miles.

Mantorville is a sweet small community with a historic downtown.  We’re told there’s a wonderful restaurant called the Hubbell House.  We’ve found a home that fits the needs of our family well (I have big plans for a sewing work room!)  There’s a bike trail just off our neighborhood.  We’re thankful for the new opportunities for our family.

Maybe you have knitted a fisherman-style sweater and have a favorite pattern that you would recommend.  I would love to hear from you.  Make a comment or send an email to me at bcperry@q.com.


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