New knitting project: The Tin Can Knits Barley hat


Wow – October – where did you go? I had quite a lot lined up for this month, but the delight of my sister booking a last-minute trip over here, the end of my brother’s trip and a few other random matters took precedence over my crafting life for a few weeks. And it was fun!

Not that I haven’t done any sewing at all. I finished off quite a few projects that, for one reason or another, I haven’t blogged yet, and also had the pleasure of meeting some lovely fellow Seattle sewists, thanks to a fabric swap organized by Meris from The Fabric Alchemist. It was great to chat apparel sewing with other devotees (who were way more experienced than I), so thank you Meris! I also procured a nice little bundle of fabric to ruminate over, although my aim of coming back with less than I left with was fulfilled. Yay for small victories!



Anyway, I’ve been meaning to take up knitting again after my very first knitting project – the Noro striped scarf earlier this year – and now that the days are getting crisper, my mind turned to getting back to it. I came across The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits a while ago and you may well be familiar with it. It’s a free collection of 8 patterns that take you through the steps of knitting your first scarf, hat, cowl, mittens, socks, sweater, etc. with attractive but simple patterns and lots and lots of tutorials. Brilliant!


My little boy was sorely in need of a hat to keep his ears warm, plus – let’s face it – a child size anything is much better to practice on than a full-size something else. It’s quicker, uses less wool and is faster to fix when you make mistakes. A new hat it was! I’d been planning to use circular needles for this, but I couldn’t find my size 5mm needles anywhere. Since you had to change to double-pointed needles at some point anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and just do the whole hat on them.


The pattern uses a worsted size yarn and size 5mm and 4mm DPNs. It starts off with an inch or so of ribbed knit and then a mixture of stockinette and garter stitch for a nice contrast on the hat body. I used a ball of olive merino wool I had lying around, ended up being about a yard short and so completed the top of the hat in a close, but no cigar, lighter green yarn. Argh. Which is partly why I added the big fat pom pom, but I do like a pom pom anyway. My husband likes it not so much, but I think it’s cute. I do need to secure it a bit more firmly, however, since it currently bobs about a bit, which is not a great look for the 2 year-old who’s trying to be taken seriously.


I found the knit very quick (about two days work) and the DPNs surprisingly okay to get to grips with (literally). They definitely look worse than they are to work with. I will admit I cut corners a little: I didn’t swatch and I didn’t block. The latter I did intend to do, but had attached the pom pom before I remembered. I may go back and do it since some of the stitches could do with some straightening, but… I probably won’t (honesty is good). As for swatching, I took a bit of time getting used to the double-pointed needles and when I got the hang of it, just kept knitting. I did make a couple of errors and the tension consistency could always be better, but I’m happy with it for a first attempt, plus it fits!


The pom pom I made the way I learnt as a 7 year old, with two cardboard discs and a bit of wrapping. Not sophisticated, but it works. Next I’m going to move onto either the mittens or socks from the Simple Collection, but I need some smaller DPNs first, so off to the shop it is. And of course, back to sewing!

2 thoughts on “New knitting project: The Tin Can Knits Barley hat

  1. Well, I love the pom pom so it’s just as well you ran out of yarn at the last hurdle! Your son looks very pleased with himself wearing his new hat, and that’s all that matters.


    1. Thank you! He didn’t rip it off his head once on the way to school this morning, so I call that a win. 😁 I think the pom pom could have been fuller, but I’ll do that next time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s