Friday, October 11, 2013

Big Slouch


I just got the best boots.  They seem to have been made by a bulldozer company, which kills me, and also somehow makes them even more fabulous.  I had given up--the search for the perfect boots is almost as hopeless as the search for the perfect jeans.  So many tried on, so many returned in dejection. As soon as I stopped looking, these boots found me, and so it is Destiny.  Being found by the perfect boots is making me want to rebuild my whole wardrobe.  I’ll start with a hat.

Now here’s a hat.  Simple, soft, garter stitch.  I told you, garter stitch and I are having a torrid affair, and I am not ashamed.  Garter stitch is so smooshy, and it has a cool, rustic texture, and it drapes like a dream.  I also think it gives this pseudo-hipster slouch hat an inside-out vibe, like I don’t even care, I’m too busy listening to the Sex Pistols, but I look good anyway

If a pair of perfect boots find you too, and if putting them on makes you feel like you could easily drop-kick all your problems to the curb and strut confidently into the nearest coffee shop where Jake Gyllenhaal will look up as you come in, give you the smile he’s been saving just for this moment, and you see he’s wearing a slouchy gray hat just so, just so casually awesome looking…here’s my pattern: 


2 skeins Katia Peru (40% wool, 40% acrylic, 20% alpaca; 116 yds/106 m; 3 1/2oz./100g) in Grey/color 12, or other chunky yarn of similar weight

US 8/ 5mm 16”/40cm circular needle

US 9/ 5.5mm 16”/40cm circular needle

US 9/ 5.5mm dpns, set of five

If 16”/40cm needles are not available, dpns can be used throughout.

Tapestry needle


15 sts = 4”/10cm in garter stitch


One size fits all.

Note: to work garter stitch in the round, you knit one round, then purl one round, repeat.


k = knit

k1fb = knit into the front and back of stitch (increase made)

k2tog = knit two stitches together (decrease made)


On smaller needle, CO 70 sts and join for working in the round. Place a marker for beginning of round, and work 8 rounds in garter stitch.

Change to larger circular needle and work an increase round, as follows: *k9, k1fb; repeat from * around. (80 sts)

Work one round even.

Work increase round: *k10, k1fb; repeat from * around. (90 sts)

Work even in garter stitch until hat measures 8”/20cm from CO edge, ending with a purl round.

On next round, work a decrease round, as follows: *k10, k2tog; repeat from * around. (80 sts)

Work one round even.

Work decrease round: *k9, k2tog; repeat from * around. (70 sts)

Work one round even.

Switching to the dpns when it becomes necessary, continue in this manner, with each decrease round working one less stitch before the k2tog, and alternating decrease rounds and even rounds until there are 21 stitches left, ending with a decrease round.

On the next round, work a decrease round again (eliminating the plain round. 14 sts)

Next round: *k2tog, repeat from * around. (7 sts)

Break yarn and weave end through remaining sts. Weave in ends.

I’ve made you an easily downloadable PDF, too, if you’d rather—here it is: Big Slouch.


Aside from my fevered dreams of having coffee with Jake Gyllenhaal, and in addition to the beautiful girl you are and also the other ones in your life, I think this hat is so multi-purpose that it will do for virtually anyone on your holiday list. 

Call this one The Rembrandt:


The Cabbie:


Count Vronksy:


Suspicious Elf:


The Goofy Grandad:


The Jeeves:


And (this one is a very advanced maneuver, don’t try it without a spotter) The Triple Stack:


The yarn to make this hat was sent to me by the lovely Lesley from Black Sheep Wools, thank you so much, Lesley!  You can get this yarn here, or other chunky yarns that will do just as well here.  As for the boots, you’ll just have to be patient. 


  1. Awesome silly goose...oh.. and your side kick too! lol You always make me laugh! Happy weekend, penny x

  2. What a post, I don't know where to begin. Both of your models are fabulous, first of all. And this hat is terrific, it's very stylish and looks soft and warm. I look forward to seeing those boots!

  3. Fantastic! I love all the different "ways to wear a hat"... who knew a simple Jake Gyllenhaall please love me hat could be worn in so many ways!! Love it xx

  4. Your husband is a keeper, he seems like a lot of fun.

  5. How did you get him to do that?! He actually looks like he is enjoying himself, I have to use my trusty polystyrene head for man hat shots. I use black sheep wools all the time and it is a great company. Wanna see the boots really badly now... Best wishes Jo x

  6. Those boots look really good, defo for strutting your stuff in too!

    Your hat looks so cosy, and I love all the poses your husband did with it too he he!

  7. I'm curious... what will you put in the pockets of your new boots?

  8. What a fabulous model, he wears it all so well.

  9. Haha, brilliant! I am new to both blogland and knitting/crafting but I have never read such a funny knitting addicted to your bog. I would love to try this hat... The shape makes it looks easy but the changes of needles...

  10. might have to make that hat. i'm just sorta intimidated by your handsome model and how many looks he can pull off. i will probably only be able to do the goofy grandad. or maybe the triple stack. but only during times of no movement.

    Thank you so much!

  11. You and your models are delightful, Kristen :) Thanks for the fun and the don't hold out showing us the boots for too long, please!!!
    Gracie xx

  12. Dear Kristen,

    What a hoot! You crack me up all the time! I just loved this post and the models. I was quite attracted to Rembrandt and Jeeves. What a model! Now you have got him posing, you may not get him to take the shots of you in the future......although that would not be a bad thing. Thanks for the good laugh I had.


  13. Loved this and all of your photos!!! Though I have to say I'm more partial to Ryan Reynolds than Jake Gyllenhaal ha!

    Congrats on finding the perfect boots, I'm still undergoing the search and Fall is running out! Pretty soon it will be time for my big bulky winter boots and I will once again have lost all hope that the right Fall boots for me exist. I have to find them this year!!!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    - J,

  14. Lovely boots, lovely hat, I might just get out my knitting needles!

  15. Love the versatility of this hat!
    Would it work on other handsome actors too...? Poor Jake won't know what hit him if we all wear hats like these!

  16. Ah, bless him! How did he keep a straight face?! Thanks for the hat pattern : ) Jen

  17. Oh my goodness ! I love your pictures and your projects and I always look forward to your blog every time there's something new. Your writing cracks me up ! I love to knit and am going to try this hat. I am facing very serious health problems right now...lots of tumors....lots of pain...But knitting helps me focus and calms me. I always am inspired and always LAUGHING when I come here. Thank you so much for the effort you put into the projects and for sharing with us. You are wonderful...You rock !!

  18. Oh thank you for this. I laughed out loud - what a gem of a man to let you do this to him!!!

  19. Hahaha, OMG Kristen this was great! I love the hat and Count Vronsky and the triple stack were my favorite. How did he keep from laughing? You must have had fun shooting these pics. Keep it coming girl. I wish we lived closer, I would love to hang out with you guys.

  20. Your 'Count Vronsky's' a dead ringer for Rod Steiger!lol Just kidding. Great post and fab pattern. Thanks for sharing. x

  21. Oh I love it - am falling back in love with garter stitch, in the process of making a chunky blanket with a garter stitch middle and it is perfectly snuggly

  22. I spent sooooo long loking for a pair of shoes and finally they found me; in Glasgow. I love them. The girl who served me in the shop thought it was strange that I took such a short time to make up my mind about buying them. When it takes that length of time for the right pair of shoes to find you, you don't hang about trying to make up your mind about buying them. And to make it all totally perfect they were half price!

  23. Boots. I want to see those boots

  24. What game folk your family are! Your daughter looks so cool in it, and hubby shows what a versatile hat it is, and what a good sense of humour he has! great hat!
    The elusive perfect boots! Well done! Although we girls know that just one perfect pair is never enough, we need lots - the everyday comfy all-weather almost-flats, the slightly taller heel ones for when we need to strut a little, and the even more elegant ones for dresses.......then there's the ankle boot everydays etc, etc.........Like you Kristen I love boots and have many pairs!
    Enjoy yours!
    Gill xx

  25. Ha! Ha! shame I don't knit! I love that versatile smooshy hat as much as I love your vocab...."smooshy" LOL! Great model too. I also would like to see the boots!

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  26. I like your fantastic family, who can be count Vronsky or Elf or different creature, and your daughter is beautiful and fantastic as well, greetings from Anna, bye