Remember this Target commercial? "I could wear hats - if I partook in hat-like things..."
In the end, she determined that she 'totally wears hats.' I agree; I totally wear hats too. Over the last two weeks, I went through a bit of an obsession with hats, cloches in particular. Cloche (French for “bell”) hats were invented by French milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908 and were especially popular during the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Hatshapers.com has an interesting slideshow demonstrating how a felt cloche is made, starting from scratch with a wool batt and a hat form. It's very hands-on, and also a bit messy - kind of like an adult version of fingerpainting with an extremely cool hat as the end product.
Since it's January and I had a nasty cold, I didn't think working with that much water would be good for me. I did have knitting needles and lots of yarn, though, so I decided to knit one. First up: Escargot, from Knitty. It was such fun to knit, and it's so cute! Apparently cloches are like potato chips; I couldn't knit just one. Enter three new patterns: Nefret, La Bonita, and Cloche Encounter. They're all variations on the cloche theme, but each has details that makes it unique. All three are shown at left, with two versions each of Nefret and Cloche Encounter. You can see how different color combinations give each hat personality.
The Nefret Cloche was named for the daughter in the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. Nefret, accented on the second syllable, is an Egyptian name meaning "beautiful." You may recognize some similarity to the name of Queen Nefertiti, meaning "the beautiful one comes." The Nefret Cloche is a versatile beauty which can be knit in a solid color or using contrasting yarn for the picot edges. Several embellishment options are included in the pattern: a blooming rose, an I-cord rosette, I-cord bow, and double bow.
Nefret Cloche, $5.95 from Ravelry and Patternfish
La Bonita Cloche, $5.95 from Ravelry and Patternfish
Cloche Encounter, $5.95 from Ravelry and Patternfish