The Get-Up-and-Go Messy Bun Hat . . . and More Knitting Pattern Rants

Some months back (fall 2016), I began receiving emails and Facebook posts from friends asking if I would knit a messy bun hat. The only problem was that every link they sent to me showed a crocheted hat instead of a knit one.

I did a deeper search on the Internet, and I found some lovely messy bun hat designs, but nothing quite like my friends wanted. So, I designed one.

The pattern is a lightweight version of my OhSo winter hat, with adjustments. It, too, calls for bulky yarn, but the overall weight doesn’t sit as heavy on the head, and it works well fall through spring.

I began selling my finished messy bun hats on Etsy, and I’m happy to say they flew off the shelves. I’m still selling them there, and I’ve also received a lot of custom orders for various colors.

People started asking me for the pattern, so I wrote one using Knit Picks’ Chroma Twist Bulky, and I queried Knit Picks to see if they would like to feature it as part of the Independent Designer Program, the same as they did for my Organic Cotton Heirloom Baby Hat.

Knit Picks’ Chroma Twist Bulky is perfect for this hat. It is 70% wool and 30% nylon, and the nylon gives the yarn just enough stretch to allow for a wide-rib brim design. The colorways Knit Picks offers are stunning, and each one has its own personality.

Knit Picks Chroma Twist Bulky also wears extremely well. When I was designing the hat, I ripped out the same skein many times to start over. Despite ripping and ripping, the yarn didn’t pill, also thanks to the nylon, I’m sure.

Note: While Knit Picks Chroma Twist Bulky is resistant to pilling, it does get softer with each use, and it develops a soft halo with use and after washing and drying — in a good way.

Knit Picks Chroma Twist Bulky is a washable yarn, and care should be taken when blocking, as it likes to stretch when blocked. The good news is that, unless you need to stretch it, you can just lay it flat or put it on a head form (a balloon blown to the radius you want also works), mist it with water, pat into place, and let dry.

Care: I find it best to hand wash it. If you prefer to machine wash, do it separately, inside-out, on an extra-gentle cycle and tumble dry separately, on light. Then, remove while lightly damp and lay flat to dry. Washing and over-drying the hat could cause a small amount of shrinkage, so you may want to re-block it on a form or balloon after washing, if you’ve tumble dried it too long.

Every skein of Chroma Twist Bulky is different so that each hat will be unique. The overall colorway will be the same, but which colors twist with which, and the order in which they appear will vary, sometimes dramatically. Each hat will be one-of-a-kind.

I’m happy to say, Knit Picks wanted the pattern, so once again I wrote the pattern, and I hired the talented Elke Probst as a project knitter and tech editor.

This time, I decided to also hire a professional photographer, Patty McGuire of PattyMac Knits.

You might not think you know Patty, but you may know her quite well. You know the cat hats that are all the rage these days? Well, it is probably Patty who designed the first one and possibly the BEST one because it fits a person’s head so well. Patty designed the hat way back in 2015. She designed it because she loves cats. That was her only motivation, and her design is adorable. She has a podcast and tutorials, too.

Find Patty at

I wish more knitters understood what goes into producing a well-written pattern. Even a simple design can take an incredibly long time to write, and I have the deepest respect for designers who go to the trouble to get the instructions, logistics, and photos exactly as they should be.

As I have written previously in the post about my Organic Cotton Baby Hat, I am sick to death of being burned by poorly-written patterns, especially ones I’ve had to purchase.

So, if you’re thinking of buying a Get-Up-and-Go Messy Bun Hat pattern, why should you consider this one, and what makes it different? And why should you purchase it instead of finding one that’s free?

-It is well-written, thanks to my working with a team of dedicated professionals. (I’m a good writer, but no one is so good they can’t use editing.)

-It includes directions on how to turn the hat into a traditional, closed-top hat if you like.

-It gives an option on how to customize the hat, so the length fits anyone (similar to the OhSo Hat pattern).

-I am available to offer knitting support and to answer any questions you may have.

-It gives tips on what to do if you use a different yarn instead.

-I will love you forever for supporting your knitting community.

Which brings up something else I’d like to mention: I wish all designers would state why they have chosen their recommended yarn. What is it about the yarn that makes it perfect for the pattern? What is the fiber content? What should a knitter know when choosing another yarn instead? How does well (or not-so-well) does the yarn block, wash, and wear?

Designers: I hope you have a reason for choosing the yarn you do. Choosing it because your best friend makes it isn’t the right reason; choosing it because you want free yarn support isn’t the right reason; choosing it because you just happen to have it lying around in your stash and need to use it for something it isn’t the right reason. These are all ploys, and they are unprofessional.

The yarn is perfect for the pattern. That’s the right reason.

When I buy a pattern, I want to feel as through the designer deeply cares about me as well as the design. A pattern should have a heart, a soul, and a conscience. Knitters deserve nothing less.

The Get-Up-and-Go Messy Bun hat pattern is available here:

-Through your local yarn shop for $4.99. Just ask them to purchase it for you through the Ravelry LYS supported platform. Your shop will earn a portion of the price, and your purchase will go to your Ravelry Library, just as if you had downloaded it yourself. You can also ask your shop to recommend a yarn they have in stock. This hat knits up beautifully in many, appropriate bulky yarns. Thank you for supporting your local yarn shop!

By the way, someone recently told me that a ton of yarn shops closed in 2016. Come on, everyone, those yarn shops are our sanctuary, and they need our support!

-On Knit Picks with an optional kit for $12.99:

On Ravelry for $4.99:

On Craftsy for $4.99:

In my Etsy Shop for $4.99:

I am also taking orders for finished hats, through my Etsy Shop:


Love to all,

Find and write to Lee on Ravelry:
User Name: LeeBernstein
Visit the Knitting Is Gluten Free Forum on Ravelry — GREAT discussions here, including loving support for people with food intolerances . . . and tons of recipes.
Facebook: Fans of Knitting is Gluten Free
Twitter: Lee_A_Bernstein
LinkedIn: Lee Bernstein

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