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I grew up in an extremely rural area. In my county, over 70% of the land is public (National and State forests). When you are surrounded by land instead of people or buildings, you either learn to love or hate the outdoors. I clearly loved it. My three sisters and I spent as much time outside as possible – working on our fort, swimming, riding bikes, sledding, ice skating, making mud pies. When you’re outside that much, you realize a bulky knit hat is always a welcome accessory.
Because living on a small ranch also meant a lot of time spent outside working. In the summer, there was haying, fencing, and other maintenance. The winter meant tending our modest herd of cattle, even in the harshest of conditions. If it was -30F, they needed their feed and water more than ever. Morning and evening, we backed our truck up to the hay barn, loaded it up, and gave our cattle their fuel to stay warm. It was easiest with two people – one to drive and one to throw the hay from the truck bed, though there were times you did the whole process on your own.
The feeding I never really minded that much. It meant a little fresh air was forced upon you and it went relatively quickly. But mostly I liked it because I got to see my cows. We never had more than 30 head so each one had a name and a history I knew from birth. The chore I absolutely hated was watering. The worst part was standing there waiting for one trough to fill so you could move the hose and wait (again) for the second trough to fill. It required a level of patience I still don’t possess.
Bundling up for this mission was a necessity. Thinking about those days of wintery watering fortitude led me to design the Ksanka Hat (which is actually named after a popular mountain and pass on our National forest). Following this bulky knit hat is an easy task – only knits and purls required. The hat is made with bulky yarn and large needles so it works up in a flash, even for beginning knitters. The thick yarn means it provides satisfying bulkiness and warmth, especially if you use wool or wool-blend yarn. I like to make the Ksanka in variegated yarn to add more character and interest to this easy knit hat pattern, though it is attractive in plain colors as well.
Because Ksanka is such an easy knitting pattern, I had to spice it up by creating both beanie and slouchy versions. It is available in child and adult sizes so you can knit one up for almost every member of your family!
Click here to order the Ksanka bulky knit hat pattern for $4.75*. I hope you’ll love make and wearing this bulky knit hat as much as I enjoyed designing it.
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Bulky weight yarn: Approximately 70 yds for child beanie, 105 yds for child slouchy, 100 yds for adult beanie, and 140 yds for adult slouchy. The variegated hats used Crystal Palace Chunky Mochi and two-tone used Drops Alaska.
Size 11 Double-Pointed Needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Optional based on your preferences: Size 11 16″ Circular Needle
Optional based on your cast-on preference: Size 11 Straight Needles