You can probably infer that my whole reason for saying this is because I have next-to-zero experience knitting for guys older than "infant." I've never even knit anything for my father. But as "close friends" and "guys" are not mutually exclusive in my life, I knew I had to figure out something to celebrate Samir's birthday the way I know a scarf for a girl friend can.
I didn't want to make a scarf because "man-scarves" are generally all in ribbing, which means wasting lots of time switching from knit to purl every two stitches. So I reverted to my second-most common project, the beanie.
I did some research on garnstudio.com (also known as DROPS), the website for a Norwegian yarn company that also has great patterns like the one I used for my first sweater. Being Norwegian and awesome and all, they have some beautiful Nordic fair-isle designs amid their hat (and sweater, scarf, sock, etc.) patterns.
I stumbled upon this one. I really liked it, but I made sure to first get approval from the gift recipient before ordering yarn to make sure it would be appreciated, even if it would ruin the surprise ahead of time. I bought some yarn from the only store in the United States that sells DROPS yarn, Nordic Mart in San Louis Obispo, and once I got the yarn, I went to town on the knitting.
I've never actually done color knitting on a formal piece, so I was really excited to try it out for the first time. Beyond having to rib with painfully small size 2 needles, the knitting went very smoothly, and I was done within 48 hours.
Seems like it met the Samir standard. Phew.
In case you want a better pic of the actual hat design, here's the uber-flattering photo I took to check for fit.
I used size 2 and 6 needles and DROPS Karisma 100% superwash wool in color 17 (navy) and 44 (grey). While the pattern says 100 g of navy and 50 g of grey are needed to knit the hat, I used less than half of that. Because I want to put this yarn to good use, I'll be making a second Nordic beanie once I find a pattern I like in the right gauge. If you have a suggestion, I'd love for you to share your wisdom in the comments!
I've caught the knitting bug as of late, so I am ferociously working on more projects. Stay tuned for those and other crafty shenanigans in the coming weeks!