Knitting the Trapper/Trapping the Knitter

Brrr! Suddenly it’s really gotten cold, even here in Florida.  We’re looking around for jackets, sweaters and hats.

I’ve been loving Diane Serviss’ book Knitted Beanies and Slouchy Hats more than any other knitting book lately, because it has so many cool hats to knit. During the holidays, I was able to give many of the hats I’ve made from the book to family members and friends, including a pink chenille trapper hat with multi-color pastel peace symbol buttons.

Since then, I’ve made several more trapper hats from the pattern, using different materials to see what sort of gauge I get and the overall effect of the various yarns. The pattern calls for size 6 “superbulky” weight yarn. But, as you may know, there’s a wide range of textures and types of superbulky yarn.

red trapper hat
trapper hat of crimson Universal Gaelic Wool and white pop-pom yarn

I had 400 yards of this crimson yarn, and every year I think about making something for Christmas out of it and then don’t. It knitted up beautifully, although the merino-acrylic blend looks like strips of felt and is thick-and-thin, giving the finished appearance a rustic look. The chenille pom-pom yarn may not be my best pick overall for the front flap and trim.

small trapper
2nd trapper from a faux suede polyester yarn

Using the same size needles, and another superbulky yarn, this trapper turned out significantly smaller than the first one. It looks suitable for a toddler-size head. I used Yarn Bee (a Hobby Lobby brand) Madcap and Madcap Baby yarns. I loved the feel of the faux suede-type yarn, and it knitted up very compact on bamboo needles. This yarn is very stretchy, so an adult might be able to put their big head into it and it will be a tight fit, like a bathing cap. I considered making it over again using larger needles, but I couldn’t find any dpn’s larger than a US size 13 anywhere at the moment.

gray/black trapper hat
gray trapper with black trim

The next attempt was by far the coolest (except for maybe the first one, the pink chenille trapper—which I gave to a sweet friend and don’t have a photo of. Might be one on my photos?) My daughter expressed a wish for a gray and black one, but I think she has since lost interest. It’s only cold enough in Florida to consider wearing these, maybe for 3 days out of the year! The hat is a gray chenille Patons Bohemian, and the flap and trim are black Red Heart Boutique Fizzle.  Fizzle is cray-cray to work with: calling it superbulky is an understatement.

trapper hat
trapper to the extreme….

But the best one I liked making:

black and white trapper
black and white trapper

This one is made with good old Lion Brand Hometown USA acrylic in Oakland Black. The yarn felt thick, soft and consistent. The front flap and single-crochet trim is in Patons Cobbles, a wool-acrylic-polyester bobbly blend, in Winter White.  I will buy this yarn again for some great sitting-in-front-of-TV knitting. Last night, it helped me get through some of the presidential debates. Just a spoonful of knitting helps the buffoonery go down. I feel a little more in control, while trapped in my living room witnessing lies, ego-bashing, put-downs of other leaders and candidates, shameless self-promotion, outlandish ideas, and terrible leadership practices that we may soon be propping up with our tax money, because of who ends being voted into office.

For a little history of the original trapper hats, I found a great site: Overland Buying Guide.  Trapper hats officially became part of the Cossack uniform in the 19th century, although they were worn long prior to that official year of 1855. Reportedly, a Cossack held his hat in such high esteem that he refused to take it off unless his head were to come off with it!

Meanwhile, keep warm! You can easily knit one of these trapper hats in an evening: big yarn and big needles make it go quickly.

4 thoughts on “Knitting the Trapper/Trapping the Knitter”

  1. We eventually had to turn off the debate because my blood pressure was rising so high at all the lies 🙂 Great hats! I love working with bulky and super bulky acrylic yarns for gifts. They make the knitting go fast and can be machine washed / dried. Great job on all the variations 🙂

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