(Look at me blogging!)
A while back a friend mentioned that her 18 month old had outgrown the hats I made for her last year and they'd lost a few others, so were currently short on hats. I promptly took needles to yarn (because baby hats are cathartic - quick and satisfying). I had some bright pink Classic Elite Duchess (currently on closeout at Webs) and planned to make a basic hat with the little one's current favorite animal embroidered on it. Working on it late one evening, after a glass of wine or two, I had the brilliant idea to try to give it ears. A little short-row shaping and the owl hat was born.
The original pink one is there on the right with the owl embroidered on as planned. When realized Valley Yarn's Northampton Bulky was the perfect yarn for these (both pricewise and yardagewise), the hats quickly became an obsession. They knit up super quickly. I tried embroidering on a face on the dark blue one, but wasn't completely thrilled with how it looked or how long it took. The felt face with button eyes is much easier.
I whipped these two up very quickly for my old friend Heidi's daughters.
A coworker asked if I could do a tiger version of it for his son. No problem, the hat can easily be converted to any sort of cat face. But then he asked if I could do his daughter's favorite animal - a zebra.
It was a bit of a challenge figuring out how to make it look horse-like. Anisa suggested the mane (which runs all the way down the backside) and then the rest of it took shape.
I've written up the pattern and included templates for the felt face pieces. There are 4 sizes ranging from toddler to adult. Some wonderful friends have tested it for me (thanks Tina, Robyn, Donna and Melissa!). It's available for $3 on Ravelry at: Owls and Tigers and Zebras, Oh My!
I'm completely obsessed and cannot stop making these. I have a big bag of Northampton Bulky sitting next to me right now (I think I bought almost every color available) and plan to spend much of my Christmas break cranking out owls.