The mane for the lion hat was made up of the loop stitch, which seemed quite easy when I read the instructions, so I went for it and ordered the wool.
However, after actually trying it out it was a bit harder than I had first thought. Sometimes things read quite easy but your knitting needles just won't do what you want them to do.
Luckily I found this much easier to follow tutorial on Pinterest, so I was actually able to give the hat a bash.
It's a bit hard to see the texture of the loops but it makes it super cozy!
My mum loved the hat so much she even offered to model it for me so you can see what it looks like on.
It really looks quite mental, in the best possible way though! It's huge and his face might be a bit squint (though it looks fine when you lay it flat, which is how I sewed it, so I've no idea!), but it is super cozy due to it knitted lining. The lining was basically knitting the hat again, but without the loop stitch, so it worked up super quickly. I'm also glad I took to the time to actually do the lining and not just skip it, as it looks so much nicer and feels much squishier.
I went with white buttons for the eyes instead of the brown from the book, as my mum had picked quite a dark brown for the main colour of the hat, and I was worried the eyes wouldn't stand out.
I also crocheted all the seams of the hat together using a slip stitch for a neater finish. I am RUBBISH at sewing knitted and crocheted things together, so using a slip stitch is much easier and looks much prettier in the end.
I also had to sort of guess to make the chords for the poms poms, as the instructions in the book weren't super clear. They were supposed to be 30cm in length, but you had to do loads of twisting (which obviously makes things shorter), so I guessed the lengths of wools would need to be about 120cm to twist down to the correct level, and then seemed to turn out pretty well.
This was a fun knit, and I got to use a couple of stitches I hadn't come across before (or don't use very often anyway). Aside from the loop stitch I also did knitting front to back, and slipping a stitch then passing it over, so it was quite fun to do something a bit different.
The pattern was really easy to follow (aside from the above mentioned chord length instructions) but I did end up with I almost extra ball of yarn as I only used 2 instead of 3 for the hat (but I did have to dip into the third ball for the last pom pom) as well as only needing scraps of black, so I've got basically a whole ball of that left too! This is why my stash ends up huge.
The only thing I had trouble with was losing my loops! I think I must have been pulling them back flat again, or accidentally knitting them into the row again, but sometimes I'd be a few loops short, but have the right number of stitches on my needle. So keep an eye on those loops!
To be honest I'm just happy I knitted a hat that fits an adult first time, after my Shining hat drama! And my mum totally loved it, which was the main thing!
- King Cole Big Value Super Chunky.