You may not believe this, but I have only knitted three hats for myself. One is a version of the bucket hat that I probably made 10 years ago, one is a crazy mitered square thing that didn’t quite work out, and the one I wear all the time in the winter, a Lizard Ridge hat.

Sometimes a woman just feels like a new hat, so I decided to whip up one of those Elizabeth Zimmerman Snail Hats.  It was quick! It was charming! But it made me look like a garden gnome, and not in that cute Amelie kind of way.

There is something about the pattern that is so nice, so mathematical and organic, that I really believed with a little tweak it could go from Freak to Chic.

I frogged it to the cast on band, which some of you might say was ripping it out all the way. Not really! It’s like rebuilding a house from the foundation.  From there, I did a row of K1 M1 until I had a multiple of 20 stitches.  Using the Snail Hat Pattern – and if you don’t have a copy of Knitting Without Tears, you can look at it here on a free book site, since this book is like the Guttenberg Bible of knitting books.  I kept going for about five inches, then started the decrease as indicated in the pattern.

And voila, a slouchy beret!


I named this version Rapdio, after the (now deceased) legendary fast pet snail in Lou Lou’s aquarium, and because as soon as it was finished, Emily quickly decided it would be much cuter on her than on me.