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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I knit a lot of hats. They are small enough to hold my attention, are appreciated as gifts, rarely have seams, and allow you to try different techniques out without a lot of time investment. However, I am by no means a hat expert. With its sections on history, hat anatomy, hat types, and techniques, this book may change that. It is very informative without being dry or boring.

The patterns section is very large. There are 50 patterns encompassing varying techniques, styles, and levels of difficulty. There really is something for everyone in this book. The book is beautiful and features multiple pictures of each hat.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Vogue Knitting has done it again. They said this is an ultimate hat book and that is what it appears to be.

There is a short history of the knitted hat, a description of the anatomy of a hat, a section on types of hats, and a section on basic techniques. Then, of course, come the patterns and they are lovely.

The very first pattern in the book caught my eye. It's called 'Bowler' and is knit with Lopi fiber. It is in two colors - Wine and gray. I love it. The Beanie is my kind of hat. It has a spiraling lace pattern and is knit in a dark magenta with Eden Silk Yarn. I lived in Alaska for 44 years and the Watch Cap is the perfect hat for cold, cold climates. It has a foldover and has a cable and blossom pattern. The yarn is Blackstone Tweed by Berrocco. 'Tuque' is one of the prettiest hats I've ever seen. It's Fair Isle in bright lovely colors, knit with Ambrosia Yarn. Vogues describes it as "English roses and ivy meander around the crown of Sheila Jayne's chic topper. Stitched in the round from the corrugated rib band up, this is a terrific first Fair Isle project for an otherwise experienced knitter." The 'Cabled Helmet' is very 1940's and chic in that WWII style. 'The Traveling Vines Beret' is another beautiful hat that I want to knit. It is knit with Noro Yarn and has the variegated hues that Noro is famous for. It is a beret that folds over in the back and is very stylish.

The patterns go on and on and there is something for everyone in this book. I can't imagine a knitter opening this book and not finding a hat to fall in love with. The last section is on embellishments so if you want to liven any pattern up, this section tells you how to do it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I loved this book. It is a collection of every hat style you could possibly want to knit, including bowlers and cloche hats. I've already knitted the cover hat, with adaptions, as it was too big for me, but this was no problem. I'll certainly be knitting some of the other hats. It gives clear instructions, the yarn they were knitted in (with info on whether this yarn is still available.) The yarn instructions are mainly helpful for American readers of course, as these yarns are not necessarily available in Europe where I live. This in fact may be the only negative point, that alternative European yarn is not given. Recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
THE ULTIMATE HAT BOOK is another collection of patterns that were mostly published previously in Vogue Knitting magazine: this time the focus is hats. Perhaps to justify the "ultimate" title, the editors have added 10 pages of "Hat Basics" at the beginning of the book. The "Basics" topics are: History of Knitted Hats (interesting, but only 2 pages); Anatomy of a Hat (definitions of "visor", "band", etc.); Types of Hats (cloche, chullo, etc.); and Basic Techniques (knitting in the round, knitting back and forth, yarn selection, etc.).

The "Hats Off to Knitting" introduction states that the editors culled the magazine archives for "favorite and most enduring" designs, and also asked current designers to submit new designs for "their perfect hat". Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which designs are new, and which are reprinted (short of pulling out your old magazines). Some of the reprinted patterns were originally written for now-discontinued yarns, so the editors have substituted available yarns. To the editors' credit, the discontinued yarns are fully described in the "Helpful Information" at the back of the book.

When the VK magazine patterns were originally published, the hat designs were fresh and fashionable. However, as collected in this book, the reprinted patterns seem dated and somewhat dull, and the new patterns don't stand out from the rest. The book's layout doesn't help. A colored band on each right-hand page lets you fan the book pages to find the pattern categories (Basic Shapes, Cables, Lace, Color, Embellishments), but this restricts the full-page model photos to the left-hand pages, resulting in a predictable, boring presentation.

The patterns have clear, written-out instructions supplemented by charts as necessary. There aren't any patterns for very simple, basic hats (which I think should be part of any "ultimate" hat book). I like some of the hat designs very much--for example, "Brioche Swirl Hat", "Plaid Tam", "Cabled Pillbox", "Hood" (but my goodness, all that moss stitch!), "Beanie", and "Bowler". Nevertheless, because I simply can't get excited about this collection, I rate THE ULTIMATE HAT BOOK at 3 stars ("it's okay" on the official Amazon scale).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I don't often write reviews. Mainly because I am of that generation brought up to keep quiet :0) Also a book has to be something pretty special for me to sing it's praises. Well I think this one is. The bit about history and techniques is short enough to be helpful and worth reading but not so lengthy that it's boring. There is quite a variety of hats - but you can see that from the 'look inside' facility. I'm a young nearly 60 year old so my taste is that of a 60's flower power child who aged a bit :0) I intend to knit a fair few of the hats for me - because I love hats and there aren't many I wouldn't knit. My favourite is the bowler - which I just knitted. I felted it this morning and I'm really happy with it. I didn't use the Lopi that the book suggests because I think it's expensive and harder to find in the UK. It can be found if you are desperate to knit it in the wool used in the book - ebay and one seller I found. But I did it in Wash +Filz It which has worked perfectly. I would guess any 100% wool would work. The only one I really hate is The Stocking Cap - I just think it looks silly, but that's my taste. All the hats are rated for difficulty - the bowler is an easy one. All abbreviations are at the back of the book which might mean a bit of flipping to and fro if you're new to knitting. There is a resources list but only for the US and Canada. Would American craft book writers please note that you will sell more books if you remember to provide for your foreign would be buyers!
All in all I'd say I'm glad I bought it. I'm also glad I shopped around and found it cheapest on Amazon.USA - even with slightly dearer shipping.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I have already found two patterns that leave out critical information. One left out instructions for the hat band (one of the watch hats) which I caught right away, and the beaded bucket hat where you need to use two yarns held together. I learned that the hard way. I've had moderate to great success with other patterns in the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I saw this in the bookstore and got to peruse it....ordered it from amazon for something like $10 cheaper than the store, and have been knitting hats from it ever since. I really like it and have been looking for a book like it for a while now. I am also just using it for for general hat techniques and mixing and matching some of the designs. But for those who don't like to tweak there seems to be a hat style in here for everyone that likes hats.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've made two hats from this book and I really enjoyed making them both. I'm a fairly new knitter, just breaking away from scarves and found these patterns to be easy to follow. If you're also new and not familiar with pattern abbreviations, there's a list in the back of the book. If you're not familiar with how to do certain stitches, YouTube is a great place to look that up. If you're an advanced knitter, this book should be easy for you. I plan to make several more of these hats for myself and gifts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Most hats are both fashionable for young adults and + ages. Found only 1 hat to be total nonsense (Xmas stocking). Print Format and photography entice reader to get busy and knit. Most hats are intermediate knitting level but easy enough for a motivated beginner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
While it is quite complete, there are just too many styles I wouldn't make. Good background info but pricey to make just a few hats from it. Others may find it just the opposite and try many more styles.
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