The Fish Hat

Howdy, knitters! It’s so nice to be writing another blog post. If you’re a returning reader of the Knitting Daddy blog, welcome back! If this is your first visit, I’m glade you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your stay. You might want to check out my knitting origin story to read about how and why I started knitting a few years ago (hint: it involves my daughter and the NICU). Please feel free to look through the older posts for things that might interest you, too. You can always get in touch with me via any of the contact methods listed at the bottom of the post, and I love to hear from you.

The main focus of this post is going to be the awesome Fish Hat I knitted a few weeks ago, but before jumping into that, let’s take a look at the other knitting things that have been going on in my life recently.

Fish Hat In Action

The Fish Hat is the perfect hat to wear when surf fishing off the North Carolina Outer Banks in the middle of November.

Recently In Podcasts

When I update the blog more frequently, I use this segment of the post to talk about all of the podcast episodes I’ve listened to. It’s been a few weeks, and I’ve listened to a pile of podcasts, so I’m not going to review them all. Looking at my notes, I’ve listened to episodes of almost every knitting podcast I subscribe to since I last updated the blog: 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Curious Handmade, Down Cellar Studio, Ewe University, Fiber Hooligan,, Knitcircus, Knitting Pipeline, Knitmore Girls, KnottyGirls Knitcast, Never Not Knitting, and The Yarniacs.

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve listened to, and recommend each of these podcasts. I do want to give a particular shout-out to a couple of the episodes that particularly stood out. One of my favorite podcasts is Ewe University, and in Episode 30 (Four Types Of Introverts), Dr. Kelly spent some time in the classroom talking about a subject that is absolutely fascinating to me: introversion. I love learning more about the characteristics of introverts, and how we fit into the world. Yes, I said “we,” because I am definitely an introvert. Dr. Kelly’s discussion highlighted a lot of information about introversion that I’ve never heard before, and I found it especially interesting. I’m saving this episode so I can go back and listen to it again from time to time.

Another of my favorite podcasts is, and in Episode 11 (Stash Control), Hannah talks about how to effectively manage your yarn stash. Her husband, Abe, is a guest on the show, and they talk about stashes of other things besides yarn. Abe is also the developer behind the StashBot iOS app, which is a tool that can be used to help you effectively estimate the amount of yarn you need to purchase for different projects. It looks like a really cool app, and I’m looking forward to picking it up at some point and giving it a spin.

Recently On My Needles

The most exciting thing to come off my needles is the Fish Hat, which we’ll be looking at in more detail in the next segment.

One of my friends recently had a baby, so I knitted up a quick hat for him. I used my go-to pattern for baby hats: Baby Bear Hat. It’s simple, knits up quickly, and I think it’s very cute. The addition of little bear ears really give the simple design an extra detail that makes it stand out.

Baby Bear Hat

I love the ears on this cute little hat.

Ravelry Project Page: Henry’s Baby Bear Hat
Pattern: Baby Bear Hat by Gilda Knits
Yarn Used: Ella Rae Cozy Soft Solids in the 01 Circus colorway

Besides the hats, I’ve spent most of my knitting time lately working on dishcloths. Last week was my annual fishing trip at the North Carolina coast, and as you might remember from last year’s trip, we forgot to bring a dishcloth and I ended up knitting the absolute worst dishcloth in the history of dishcloths so that we didn’t have to spend the week doing dishes with paper towels. After last year’s experience, I was determined that we would not forget to bring a dishcloth. I knitted up a few in the days before we left, and I took a few balls of cotton yarn and my US 5 needles on the trip. The knitting time I had during the trip was devoted to dishcloths. When it was all said and done, I ended up knitting 11 dishcloths. Some will end up being gifts, and some I’ll keep in our kitchen.


I made a stack of dishcloths during the down time in our fishing trip.

I love knitting these dishcloths. I use the Gramma’s Dishcloth (Grandmother’s 2nd Favorite) pattern, which makes me so happy. The modifications Pam made to the perennial knitted dishcloth pattern really make my engineering sensibilities feel good. The decreases are symmetrical and the corners are more gentle. If you’re knitting Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloths, I highly recommend that you check out this (free) pattern and incorporate the modifications into your knitting. Since I was knitting so many dishcloths all at once, I did some with the lace border and some with the solid border so that I could really compare the difference between the two. I think I like the lace border better. What do you think?


I decided to experiment with the “K2, YO, K to end” (which makes a lace edge) vs. the “K1 KF&B, K to end” method, which is solid. I like the lace edge better, my DW likes the solid version.

I also made some funky dishcloths in an effort to use up every bit of yarn I had. When I ran out, I just joined another color.

Two-color Dishcloth

Running out of yarn? No problem, join colors to make an awesome cloth


Almost finished this one before running out of yarn. If your yarns are close enough in color, the change isn’t terribly noticeable.

Frankenstein Dishcloth

Of course, you can go crazy and just try to use all your scraps!

Ravelry Project Page: Grandma’s 2nd Favorite Dishcloth
Pattern: Gramma’s Dishcloth (Grandmother’s 2nd Favorite) by PJ Allen
Yarn Used: Lily Sugar’n Cream in various colorways

Finally, I started some simple holiday gift knitting with a favorite pattern: Mini-Stocking Ornament. This ornament knits up so quickly, and is a perfect use for leftover sock yarn. I’m going to try to knit a handful of these for small gifts throughout the holidays, so I went ahead and devoted a skein of sock yarn from my stash to them instead of looking to use leftover sock yarn. With essentially lunchtime knitting at work over a few days, I’ve already knocked  out one ornament. I’m looking forward to getting a small pile of these completed.


This fun ornament is a great way to use up bits and pieces of leftover sock yarn, and it makes a great gift.

Ravelry Project Page: 2014 Gift Mini-Stockings
Pattern: Mini-Stocking & Candy Cane Ornaments by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn Used: Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Bitterroot Rainbow colorway

The Fish Hat

One of my favorite knitting projects I’ve ever completed is the Fish Hat that I finished just in time for this year’s fishing trip. It’s a free pattern that was published in Knitty Winter 2008. It’s the perfect pattern for using up bits and pieces of leftover worsted weight wool, because the stripes in the hat can be as narrow or as wide as you want them to be. The pattern itself is fairly simple. And when you’re done with the hat, it’s just an awesome hat to have. It would make a great gift for anyone — young or old — who enjoys fishing.

Fish Hat

The dead fish hat is so cute.

Fish Hat

The top view of the fish hat highlights the short row shaping in the lips.

Fish Hat

The Fish Hat is so fun to wear.

Fish Hat

Yes, it looks like that dead fish is eating my head.

I used the hat to learn a few new techniques. The first technique I learned was wrapping and turning with short rows. The short rows in this hat are used to define the awesome fish lips. I’ve done short rows on socks before, but have always just slipped the stitches, no wrapping and turning involved. I enjoyed learning how to do it, and think my wraps and turns came out OK.

Wrapping And Turning

The fish hat has given me the opportunity to learn how to do wraps and turns with short rows.

The other technique I worked on was jogless stripes for my color changes. I’m less thrilled with how I executed these.

Jogless Stripe

I botched this jogless stripe, but you really wouldn’t notice it unless you’re looking close.

It’s OK, but I can do better. After being a little disappointed with how that turned out, I decided I’d rather practice jogless stripes on another, smaller, project and decided the rest of my color transitions would involve a fair isle transition. In the end, I think using fair isle was a better look for a fish, anyway, so I’m kinda glad I wasn’t happy with my jogless strips to begin with.

Fair Isle Transiations

Unhappy with my jogless stripes, I started doing simple fair isle transitions between the stripes. I like how this came out much better.

Tail Detail

The fair isle transitions are easy to see in the tail.

This hat was lot of fun to knit. I had a blast rocking it on the guy’s fishing trip last week. My DW thinks I should designate the hat as the “Hat Of Glory” and whoever is doing the best on the trip (biggest fish, most fish caught, whatever) gets the honor of wearing it. That’s fine with me, as long as I’m winning — I like this hat too much to share! But it might make for good Christmas gifts for my buddies….

Fish Hat Needs Finishing

The Fish Hat needs some seaming on the tail and a lot of weaving in ends. It looks like he’s barfing a yarn ball of color.

Most of all, this hat has magical powers.

Let me explain. This is the fourth year we’ve gone on this fishing trip. My wife’s dad, grandfather, and uncle used to go to the NC coast every year — they went for decades, until her grandfather just wasn’t up for the trip any more. I never knew my wife’s grandfather, but I’ve heard many stories about their legendary fishing trips. How they’d come home with coolers full of fish. How they’d land great big fishes in the surf. Three years ago, my father-in-law decided that he wanted to revive the fishing trip, so he talked to my wife’s uncle, my wife’s brother, and me about going. We’ve gone every year since then — last week was our fourth annual trip. The first year, in an entire week of fishing, we caught 1 fish we could keep. Splitting a flounder 4 ways isn’t fun. The second year, we caught about 3 fish the entire week. Last year was a little better, with about 5 fish — but it included a good-sized drum that we didn’t mind splitting four ways. This year, we caught fish every day. We ate as much fish as we wanted every day. And we still brought 25 fish home with us.

What was different? This year, I was wearing my Fish Hat. It has magical powers.

Ravelry Project Page: Fishing Trip Hat
Pattern: Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?] by Thelma Egberts
Yarn Used: various worsted weight wool yarns

You’ve probably knit something incredibly goofy and fun, haven’t you? Join the conversation and leave a comment about your goofiest knitting experience.

Blueberry Fishing

Blueberry wanted to go on the fishing trip, too. Maybe when she’s a little older….

Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!


13 thoughts on “The Fish Hat

  1. Hi Greg — the hat is great! See, it totally proves the magic of knitting! 🙂 Regarding the dishcloths, I do the same thing with leftover yarn and make dishcloths of many colors. I’m glad you thought ahead and didn’t repeat the dishcloth debacle from last year, LOL!

    • Thanks, Dr. Kelly! Knitting is indeed magical. 🙂 What I really need to do with my dishcloths is find some yarn like you talk about that is good for making a scrubby corner. That would have been perfect for a couple of the Frankenstein cloths I made last week. I don’t think we’ll ever repeat the dishcloth debacle. Partly because I’ll always remember to double-check for it, and partly because I suspect the knitting I bring from here on out will be dishcloth knitting — it’s perfect for the fishing trip, when I’m only picking it up and putting it down in spurts.

  2. Hahahahaha! I have seen a few knitted fish hats in my day, but this one is now my favorite! It’s great, Greg! And the bear hat…now I know what all that baby yarn in my stash wants to be!

    • Thanks, Pam! The fish hat is definitely a hoot — and great for scraps of worsted wool. Fun to make *and* wear. The bear hat is so much fun, too. It’s been appreciated every time I’ve knitted it for someone.

  3. What a great tradition you and your ohana started. The hat is fun on you and that’s a smile-inducing photo there of you casting out your line with your new hat on.

    • Hi, Kepanie! Thank you for the kind words. As always when you comment, I love looking up the meaning of the Hawaiian words and phrases you use, and “ohana” made me happy. It is indeed a fun hat, and there were lots of smiles on the trip. It’s a hit at the office, as well.

  4. 🙂 I can see that Blueberry has the same fascination with fishing poles that I have always had – specifically with the fishing reel. It functions much like a yarn ball winder. 😉

    I love the hat, and I’m happy to hear that it brought you much better fishing luck this year than the group had in previous years. 🙂

    • Hi, Debbie — yes! Blueberry had a blast playing with my fishing rod. It was only when reviewing the photos later did I realize that I had it upside-down. Maybe, anyway. I haven’t figured out which is her dominant hand yet. Regardless, I won’t be surprised if a rod and reel finds its way under the Christmas tree with her name on it this year.

      The hat is definitely magic!

  5. Pingback: Thankful | Knitting Daddy

  6. I love that hat! I’ve had the pattern saved on my computer for some time now, but haven’t made it. FOR SHAME!

    I love those dishrags, too. You recommended the Grandmother’s 2nd Favorite version to me months ago, and I much prefer it to asymmetrical one with just k2tog all through it. I’ve made a million and am gearing up to make more in a Christmas gift knitting marathon. I’ll be making those and a couple of Zakka Life’s Octopus Bath Mitts. (Pattern here: They’re SO cute and always a big hit with kids and overgrown children like myself. I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but I thought you’d get a kick out of them either way. 🙂

    • Thanks, Katy Bug! When you do put that fish hat on your needles, you’re going to have a blast knitting it up. And even more fun wearing it. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it the past few weeks — it’s really a hit out in the wild.

      Glad you like the dishcloth pattern I use. It makes me so much happier to have it symmetrical. And they’re great travel knitting, and no-thinking knitting.

      The Octopus Bath Mitt is so super cute! Thanks for sharing it. It might end up on my needles sometime down the line….

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