A few people have asked “how long does it take to make a hat?” The short answer to that question is: “about 12 hours” of actual knitting time. But there are so many factors involved - every hat is individual and every knitter is different.
First, the thickness of the wool is a consideration to answer how long does it take. The thinner the wool, the longer it takes for the hat to grow by an inch. So the adult size Autumn Melange takes me about 12 hours to make. The adult size Winter Tomte takes Sarita, about 10 hours to make because the wool is thicker.
Second, we should consider the design of the hat. l.a.n.a. wants to produce a beautiful handmade product, and the knitted fabric should be uniform, without any lumps and bumps. One of the challenges of making a handmade product is how to make every single hat come out the same size with the same look, all the time. A knitting machine can be programmed to produce exactly the same thing every time - people are different! Most of the time, the second hat I make is more difficult than the first because I am trying to produce a hat that exactly matches the first.
I design l.a.n.a. hats with the knowledge that wool stretches naturally, so when it is brand new, it should be really snug. Over time, the hat will shape itself to your head. The tension, or tightness, at which the yarn is knitted plays an important role here. And different types and thickness of wool behaves differently.
The Spring hat has a gorgeous lace design. This pattern takes the longest time to knit of these three hats, because of its complexity - and along with the complexity we still want to achieve a uniform fabric and a great fit; so always taking the time and paying close attention to tension.
It is also important to mention that a lot of time also goes into designing the hat. What is the shape going to be? What do we want this hat to do? Does it have to multitask like the Autumn Melange? How will this hat resist the blowing wind? We make a few samples, try them out so that what goes on sale is our best version.
So a l.a.n.a. hat is really a work of heart. A lot of time and a lot of love, goes into designing and making one. I hope you love wearing yours!