For New Year, I took a week off and went on vacation to the beach. In December it’s definitely cheaper than going skiing, but when it’s below freezing there’s no way to go for a swim. So since I had time to spare I took advantage of the occasion to take pictures of my new hat!

With all this talk of new year’s resolutions, lately I’ve been obsessed with the idea of destashing, and more particularly using up all my leftover skeins and yarn balls. I finally took the time to photograph and document all of them on Ravelry, and I spotted in passing several projects that should allow me to put them to good use. We’re talking small yardages here, so they’re mostly hats, but also shawls like the Summer Flies which will be perfect to finish the leftovers from my Miette cardigan.

So this hat is my first “destash” project of the year, knitted from two balls of Patons “Classic Wool Roving” that my husband had bought when he was learning how to knit, and that ended up in my possession later as he didn’t have a project to use them for. It’s a bulky 100% wool yarn that is very warm, perfect for below-freezing temperatures (especially compared to my other hat, which is really pretty but full of holes!).

I found the pattern, the Quick Cable Slouch Hat (which is free!) thanks to the wonderful search functions on Ravelry. I’ve had the question several times so let me diverge for a moment and do a quick step-by-step on how to find free patterns to use up leftovers:

I start on the page of the yarn I want to use, and I click on pattern ideas to display the patterns that have been made using this yarn.

Then I click on avanced search to refine the search with a few filters.

In the left-hand column, I click on Free to show only the free patterns, and under Yardage I select the yardages that are inferior to the yardage of this yarn I have in my stash.

Et voilà!

The “Quick Cable Slouch Hat” is halfway between a slouchy beanie and a beret, and as its name indicates it is very quick to make. I started it on the plane on a Wednesday, and finished on a Friday after just two short knitting sessions. I followed the advice in the pattern by going down one needle size for the ribbing (4.5mm) and going up one size for the body (8mm) and the slouch is perfect, but the ribbing still doesn’t feel snug enough. Even though I have a large head, the hat tends to fall down over my eyes if I shake it too much. I’m not convinced going down another needle size would work, so it might be necessary to cast on fewer stitches for the ribbing and increase afterwards. In order to accentuate the beret feel I wet-blocked it on the flat to mark the circle shape, and I really like how it looks.

I’m wearing it here with my breton-style Ondée sweater, that I had already shown briefly on the Deer&Doe blog. The fabric is a thick and soft interlock knit with 65% rayon, perfect for this pattern. The black on white stripes are not available on the Harts Fabric website anymore, but the white on navy stripes are still in stock! Since I have a long bust I lengthened the sweater by 2 cm and the length is just how I like it, but now I wonder if I should shorten the sleeves a little. Anyway I’m particularly proud of the neckband, especially since that’s not usually my forte!

I count this Ondée as a total success, same for this hat that has been on my head non-stop since. If you have a couple balls of bulky yarn leftover from something and you don’t know what to do with them, or you want to try a first project with cables, I strongly recommend it. And if you have any favorite patterns to use up leftover yarn, please let me know!

Slouchy Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat – Azure
Patons Classic Wool Roving (1.1 balls)
Ravelry Link

Breton Ondée
Ondée – Deer&Doe
Size 38
Lengthened by 2 cm
Interlock knit – Harts Fabric (similar)

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