Thursday, September 19, 2013

Elementary Hats by Leslie Gordon

Leslie Gordon's new collection of hats is charming. The collection as a whole is just shy of quirky but with a timeless fashion sense that never loses the element of fun. It is a difficult balance to create, but one well-achieved by Leslie.
The hats are sophisticated, but with touches of fun and flair.
Even the Pre-K bobble hat could be done with an edge of grown-up style through color choice, but the others are fashionable rather than precious making this a collection you can use for years to come.
Each of the hat patterns is in worsted weight yarn (Craft Yarn Council weight 4/medium), knitted in the round and bottom up. They lend themselves well to being stash busters, using at least two colors with possibilities in two of the patterns of using even very small amounts of yarn for accent.
 The styles are gender-neutral, but could be tailored with color use to either girls or boys. Each of the seven patterns has appropriate sizing for its titular grade level, but guidelines are included for sizing any of the designs up or down.

I like that Leslie has structured her ebook in a way that an individual pattern can be printed off complete with abbreviations to carry with you wherever you knit.

When I tried to pick a favorite, I found myself with a bit of a quandary. I like the possibilities of personalization hinted at with the Kindergarten ABC123 hat (just substitute a readily available chart and spell out a child's name, team name etc), but the Second Grade thinking cap would suit my own personality well with it's combination of subtle striping topped with optional triple pom-poms.
The simple weaving technique (done after completion of the rest of the hat) in the Fourth Grade leaves lots of room for color play. If you don't like your first choices, it is not difficult to change out colors until the hat is perfect for it's intended participant.

Given the knowledge of working in the round, the hat patterns are suitable for intermediate knitters but have a sprinkling of interesting techniques throughout to keep even an advanced knitter happily stitching. The skills used are the bobbles in the Pre-K hat, the First Grade and Third Grade with their simple stranded color work, the Kindergarten with its duplicate stitchery and corrugated rib, and the sophisticated Fifth Grade hat with it's disappearing cables and reverse stockinette. Beginners would be pleased with the simple and effective technique of weaving in the Fourth Grade hat and the varied stripes found in the Second Grade hat pattern.

With a price point of just under $1.30 a pattern, ELEMENTARY HATS is a bargain and a good investment in future gift knitting whether you have children or not.

Title: Elementary Hats
Author: Leslie Gordon
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Self
Format: Ebook
Available From: Ravelry LinkCraftsy Link
Price: $9 USD
Pages: 22
Genre: Crafts, Knitting

Seven hat patterns, includes charts

"These seven hats will keep your child warm and stylish from pre-K all
the way to middle school! The designs are gender-neutral and feature
easy-to-execute techniques like simple cables, colorwork and duplicate
stitch. In the spirit of the school theme, all charts are created with
crayons, markers and highlighters!"

Leslie Gordon has published a number of patterns, many of them hats available HERE (Ravelry Link) and HERE (Craftsy link). She also published her first novel, Cheer (link to Goodreads) in August 2012 under the name Leslie A. Gordon. Her blog is More With Les