Do you enjoy knitting – and wearing – hats that feature unique, lovely details like cables, lace stitches, beautiful texture patterns, color patterns or beadwork? Would you be interested in owning a book that gives you a broad variety of different patterns for knitting hats, hats, hats and more hats – with a few fanciful hood patterns and hooded cowl patterns thrown in to round out the mix?
If hats and hoods are staples in your wardrobe, there’s a brand new knitting pattern book I think you’ll be really excited to know about. It’s called Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods. The short version of my review: This book is absolutely enchanting! I highly recommend it – and I think you’re going to LOVE it, too.
What You Need to Know About This Knitting Pattern Book:
Author: Diane Serviss
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Copyright Date: October 1, 2018
ISBN 13: 978-0811717663
ISBN 10: 0811717666
This book is available in the following format(s):
Number of Pages: 136
Topics Covered in This Book:
In addition to all the hat knitting patterns included in the book, you’ll find informational sections covering the following topics:
- How to Read a Knitting Pattern
- Needles and Tools
- Yarn and Yarn Substitution
Knitting Projects Included in This Book:
Just as you’d suspect after reading the book’s title, hat and hood patterns are the only types of patterns featured in this book. Almost all of these patterns are sized for adults, but there is one super cute hood design that’s sized for both moms and their kids. The models pictured in the book are all female; however, several of these patterns look to me like they could be unisex designs. Overall, I think teen and adult female knitters will get the best value from this book.
- 1 hat pattern that requires DK weight yarn (#3 on the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn weight standards system)
- 10 hat patterns that require worsted weight / medium weight yarn (#4 on the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn weight standards system)
- 13 hat patterns that require bulky weight yarn (#5 on the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn weight standards system)
- 6 hat patterns that require super bulky weight yarn (#6 on the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn weight standards system)
- 6 hat patterns that require a cable needle in addition to the other needles needed
- 30 hat patterns all together
Here are a few more examples of the hat patterns you’ll find in this book:
The Best Things About Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods
All together, I’ve been knitting and designing knits for almost 30 years. I studied knitting in design school as part of a textile design degree program. Then after that, I worked as a professional knit designer in the textile industry. Yet, I learned BUNCHES of interesting things from reading this book. And I bet you will learn some new things from it, too– even if you’re an expert knitter (which I don’t claim to be, despite my extensive industry experience).
One example: Want to learn a smart trick for blocking berets using an ordinary item you most likely already have hanging around your house? If you frequently make berets, I am betting this info will save you sooooooooo much time — maybe even enough time to justify the cost of the book. That depends how much you value your time and how much time you spend on blocking overall; but if your time is generally worth $12+ per hour, and you do a lot of fussing over your blocking, you’re pretty likely to recoup the money you spend on this book just from the time you’ll save blocking the next few berets you make. Because, once you learn this simple blocking hack, you can forget painstakingly attempting to pin each of your berets into a perfect circle for blocking. From here on out, I’m betting you’ll be zippy quick at blocking berets — no pins required.
And if you normally skip blocking all together, because it seems like a hassle, maybe you’ll consider actually blocking your berets when you learn this hack — because this secret makes it soooo easy, and not a hassle at all!
The best part: This technique will work for berets other than just the ones in this book, including crocheted berets too. This technique is pure genius! See page 3 of this book to get in on it.
Another example: Did you know there’s a technical term for knitting with two different colored yarns held together? I didn’t — until now. How did I get all the way through design school plus so many years in the industry without having learned this before? If you’re in the dark about this too, see page 53 of this book to find out what it is.
And that’s before we even get into the amazing patterns you’ll find in this book…
Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods features unique and interesting design work that’s likely to appeal to a broad range of fashion personalities. Not only that, these patterns give you the opportunity to try bunches of different knitting stitches and practice multiple interesting knitting techniques.
Have you ever wanted to star in your own fairy tale — or wished you could magically be transported into the world of the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? Several of the hats and hoods in this book are fanciful, fun styles reminiscent of pixie hoods, woodland nymph hats and bear costumes. But even these fun, whimsical patterns have a practical side; these actually look like some of the warmest and most wearable patterns in the book. For example, the “Ombre Marled Pixie Hood” will cover your ears and more of your head than the average beanie would, so you’re likely to stay warm when you wear it. The “Mama Bear” and “Baby Bear Hooded Cowl” patterns envelope your head, and your little one’s head, in cozy knitwear. These patterns look so cute, warm and snuggly that I’m definitely interested in making them for myself (although I’ll be choosing different yarns than the suggested yarn to make them even warmer when I make mine).
Most of the hat patterns in this book are practical, wearable everyday styles. So if “fanciful” isn’t your thing, you’re still likely to find bunches of different patterns you really want to make from this book.
A comprehensive section of step-by-step photo tutorials will help you figure out how to do any of the knitting stitches or techniques that might be unfamiliar to you. I counted 3 patterns that also include knitting charts to help you work the patterns intuitively.
The book includes a visual index of all the projects, which is helpful for quickly selecting a project without having to waste time looking through every page. I LOVE that time-saving feature.
The suggested yarns in this book range from big box store offerings to higher-end choices. This means you’re likely to find options for projects you can make, no matter what your yarn budget looks like. In the event that you don’t like the suggested yarns for any of these patterns, the team at Stackpole Books has made it easy for you to make yarn substitutions. The yarn requirements for each project are clearly specified including yardage amounts and yarn weights.
These projects require a range of different yarn weights, from DK to super bulky – making these projects suitable for varying weather conditions and style preferences.
These hats are all pictured on living human models — which is super helpful for enabling you to understand how they’re supposed to actually fit on a human head. If you’re contemplating a slouchy hat, for example, you won’t be left guessing how slouchy, exactly, it will end up. Some competing books give you pictures of hats modeled by mannequins or tossed on a table — and the presentation here in this book is soooo much nicer in comparison. Although, actually, some of the hats in this book are laid flat and photographed close up IN ADDITION TO the model shots — which I find extremely helpful. Overall, I think the photography in this book is fantastic.
The book’s layout is logical, intuitive and straightforward.
The typography is easy to read.
The book’s presentation is up to date and on trend without being overly trendy. Overall, the book has a classic look and feel. I think it will age well — and it’s likely that, years from now, you’ll still want to use the patterns in this book without cringing when you look at the fonts and graphics.
Other Observations About This Book
Quick Projects! YAY!
I haven’t yet knitted any of these hats to say definitively how long they’ll take; but, given the suggested needles and yarns and the patterns in general, it looks to me like some of these hats will be relatively quick knitting projects.
Knitting in the Round => Circular Needles + DPNs => Not Much Seaming to Do (YAY!) BUT LOTS of Needles to Buy
In general, the hats in this book are knit in the round on circular needles; then you switch to double-pointed needles to finish them. This is a big, huge bonus for knitters who don’t enjoy sewing and seaming. The downside is that you might have to buy 2 sets of knitting needles for each hat you want to make, unless you already happen to have a bunch of different sizes of double-pointed knitting needles and 16-inch circular knitting needles in your craft supplies stash (or an interchangeable circular knitting needle set; I am seriously considering a purchase of one of these sets, thinking it would be a sensible investment considering how many of these hats I want to make). Some of these hats do make use of the same size knitting needles — but overall, you’d need a bunch of different needle sizes if you plan to make all of (or even most of) these hats.
No Skill Level Ratings?
I didn’t see any skill level ratings included in the book. I always appreciate these when they’re included and miss them when they aren’t — but for me, it isn’t a deal breaker when they’re omitted.
Don’t Necessarily Trust Your First Impression — Look Closer…
Style is always a matter of personal preference — and the way the projects in a craft pattern book are styled can make a huge difference in how those projects are perceived by crafters. In this particular book, I think some readers may find the styling to be hit or miss — and for those of you who find it a “miss”, I want to remind you to use your imagination when you look at these hats. Look beyond the styling you see presented, and imagine how they’d look with your own favorite wardrobe pieces — because I think these hats have broader appeal than you might suspect at first glance when you look at the way they’re styled in this book.
Let’s take a look at one example: the “Beanstalks” beret. I fear that some people might miss seeing how truly exquisite and feminine this hat is when they look at the following picture:
In 1993, I was listening to “Grunge” bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. I sometimes wore plaid shirts and steel-toed boots, and when I went to concerts, you could usually find me in the middle of the mosh pit…
…and this photo reminds me of those days. In fact, I had to stop writing this review long enough to Google Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Eddie Vedder cut his hair! Probably a long time ago. Maybe that’s old news to all of you. Did you know these musicians are still touring? I had no idea. Eddie is doing a solo tour in Europe, and Alice in Chains is touring in Canada…
For those of you who adored the early 90s, maybe the plaid shirts in this book will resonate with you. Or maybe not. Personally, I don’t dress like that any more. But I had to wonder: Are plaid shirts back in style again? Had to stop and Google that one, too.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re wearing plaid shirts these days. If you are, great! If you aren’t, I don’t want you to miss seeing that this hat could look soooo much prettier than it does in this picture. Imagine if you were to wear it with your favorite dress. Your favorite handknit sweater. Your favorite ruffled blouse. Whatever your favorite, go-to “pretty outfit” is — I’m betting this beret could be a candidate for the hat you’d pair it with (perhaps knitted in some other yarn color, of course).
The main takeaway: I think these hat patterns are fantastic. Some of the styling in the book is just as fantastic, and some of it really doesn’t do the hats justice at all. But you’re interested in the book mainly for the hat patterns and not for the styling, right? Right. Because really, this book is all about YOU — and how YOU’LL knit these hats — the yarns you’ll choose, the colors you’ll make them in. And it’s all about how you’ll style these hats — the outfits you’ll wear them with after you’ve knitted them, the jewelry you’ll pair them with and the ways you’ll make each look your own. That’s really what matters most here. If you happen to like the pictures you see in the book, fantastic! They could certainly give you some ideas for how to style your hats. But of course, they’re ideas you are free to take or leave.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other knitting enthusiasts — particularly to female knitters who enjoy knitting in the round and have a desire to make new hats. If that’s your situation, I think you’ll find this book to be an excellent value for the money you spend on it — especially considering this book is being offered at a deep discount by both Knitpicks and Amazon (I recommend checking at Knitpicks first, because they often have book sales that beat even Amazon’s prices).
Male knitters, or female knitters who knit for guys, might also find significant value in the book, considering some (but not the majority!) of these hats are unisex styles. For example, scroll aaaaallll the way back up to the top of this page and take a look at the Kilderkin beanie. That’s one example of a fabulous unisex hat design you’ll find included in this book. Other unisex possibilities include the “sixpence cap” on page 84 and the Parquet slouchy beanie on page 65 (not pictured in this book review). Whichever gender you happen to be, if you like knitting for yourself PLUS people of the other gender, I think this is definitely a book you’ll want to consider buying.
Where to Buy This Book:
Similar Knitting Books and Related Resources
This is the section of my book review where I’m supposed to introduce you to a few other books that you might want to consider instead of this one. The problem is, I’m drawing a blank. I’m not aware of any other books that are truly comparable to this one. If you enjoy knitting hats, I can’t think of a better option for a pattern book than Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods.
If you crochet, one alternative you might want to consider is Julie King’s new book called Crocheted Beanies & Slouchy Hats by the same publisher. It’s another fantastic hat pattern book featuring practical, wearable hat designs — all of which are crocheted.
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This page was last updated on 11-2-2019.
Knockout Knit Hats and Hoods Knitting Pattern Book by Diane Serviss
Appealing Projects to Knit10.0 /10
Helpful Instructions & Tutorials10.0 /10
Useful Book Format10.0 /10
Clear Photography9.3 /10
- Appealing, wearable projects you're likely to love!
- Text instructions + some charts + extensive step-by-step technique tutorials
- Intuitive book format that progresses logically and is easy to work from
- Clear, helpful photographs of each hat from different angles,
- Classic, readable fonts; straightforward presentation
- The styling in the book is hit or miss. Some of the styling is great! But it's possible that some knitters might overlook hats that would work well in their own wardrobes because they're pictured with the wrong outfits.
- Skill level ratings are not included -- but don't worry, you CAN knit ANY of these hats if you put your mind to it! This is knitting, not rocket science...