Introducing the Motta Hat
The design is full of fun knitterly details– bold stranded colorwork, popcorn texture and Vikkel braids. Top off your hat with an optional pompom– or don't, because the colorwork on the crown shaping is extra pretty, too! The pattern includes links to tutorials for all the special techniques, making this project accessible to knitters at every skill level.
When I initially designed this hat, it was part of a submission for the Quince Quarterly subscription box. They ended up selecting two different designs from that submission—the Strozzi Cowl and the Leonarda Socks, which won't be publicly available until April 2022 (but you can peep them on the Quince site here and here). Thankfully, Quince didn't want to let this hat design go, so they commissioned it separately. I'm so glad they did because it was one of my favorite designs from the bunch. Below is my original design sketch from that submission:
I really loved this initial sketch, but when it came time to add the giant pom pom that I had proposed, I just couldn't do it. I spent a lot of time perfecting the crown shaping. Below are some test swatches I did while I was working out the design. I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. I definitely regret not getting a nice photo of the top before attaching the pom pom, but you can see glimpses of it in some of these photos. It absolutely pained me to hide all that hard work under a silly pom pom, as much as I love them.
Even so, a wee pom was made, and set atop the hat, only covering a small portion of the crown motif. I do love how it balances the contrasting color of the brim so nicely, so it really couldn't be skipped.
The motif has a great rhythm to it that is really fun to knit. I had been kicking this motif around for a while before I landed on this hat design. I briefly thought it would make a cute baby sweater, maybe with some extra colors, perhaps with some cool Spincycle Yarn as the contrast? I even developed the motif a little further and submitted it to another yarn company (Hudson + West Co.) as a sweater, but without all the textured stitches. They ended up choosing a different design from my submission-- the Kuffel Pullover-- which is one of my all time favorites, so no hard feelings there :) You can see how those two designs kind of jive.
The gorgeous yarn, Chickadee, of course is from Quince & Co and pictured here in Honey, Petal and Slate. I absolutely adore this yarn! It's very soft and warm and it drapes well, perfect for a hat. I also love all the colors that this yarn comes in-- you could hardly go wrong with that palette! I would love to knit another one in an inverse colorway, perhaps with the background and brim in darker Gingerbread and the foreground in Camel. I've been really into warm earth tones lately.
I really hope you'll pick up a copy of the Motta Hat knitting pattern! With all those details, a fun time is guaranteed! If you cast on, please post some pictures on Ravelry. I'd love to see what everyone is working on.
Photo credit for first and sixth images: Regan Kenny © 2021 Quince & C