Knitting: Peasant Bonnet

This all started because I wanted a hat that would cover my ears.

Most hats, like berets, slouches, and beanies, only protect your ears from the wind if they are pulled way way down so as to cover your eyebrows. That’s not necessarily bad (especially in truly Arctic conditions), but we don’t always need it. Also, such hats tend to have tightish bands that don’t play well with most hairstyles.

It occurred to me that, for covering the ears and gracefully skimming over a bun or whatever, a bonnet might be just the thing. I checked Pinterest for bonnet patterns was immediately drawn into a whole new, magical world. Many of the patterns are for little girls or babies, and, well … swoon. Others are elfin-looking (swoon again). Plus, it turns out that women as far back as the Iron Age were wearing knitted or crocheted looking hair nets, and these can be found intact on bog bodies in Denmark, but I digress.

After one false start that involved purchasing a darling pattern that was way too small for me, I remembered this pattern.

It was in this book, which was the first-ever knitting book I tried to do a pattern from. It was actually too advanced for me, but I didn’t realize that at the time. I had found it in our local library when I lived in the Midwest, and interestingly, it’s also in our local library here in rural Idaho! I guess the book’s marketing team is really good with libraries, or maybe it has something to do with the gorgeous photographs. Anyway, I checked it out yet again, and looking at all the patterns and the photography was quite a trip down memory lane. I remembered that there was a bonnet pattern in this book, and it turns out that it’s a really useful and basic one.

Here’s what the bonnet looks like on the model in the book. As you can see, she has taken it in a more punk direction. I didn’t realize that putting my own spin on the bonnet – and then wearing it – would make me look like a close-up of a Millet painting, but I’m pleased with the results.

Here’s my version from the side so that you can compare them. I’m not sure why my edge is rolling in and hers isn’t. Theories: different yarn; my tassels have less weight than her long i-cord ties; they blocked their bonnet and/or pulled it straight right before the photographer snapped the picture.

I made mine with ivory-colored wool which I had left over, until I ran out; then I used ivory-colored acrylic that was also in my stash. (Did you know that if yarn sits around your house for several years, it becomes free?) Other changes: I cast on with dark green wool. I knit an extra inch of length before joining the hat in the round, because I have a big head. As you can see, the bonnet hits me right where it hits the model, even with the extra inch. Finally, I used tassels hung from a short crochet chain rather than long i-cords with “flowers” on the end for accents.

The bonnet does OK keeping my ears warm in windy subzero conditions, and it hasn’t blown off my head yet. If I were going to do a serious outdoor version, I’d want to line it with flannel or something and make sure it could tie under the chin. But this is fine for looking like a peasant and not getting rained or winded on while running to the car.

One thought on “Knitting: Peasant Bonnet

  1. Pingback: Ragtag Bonnet – Out of Babel

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