Hirta Hat Set


Beret – Circumference 64.5cm. Brim to crown 26cm.
Fingerless Gloves – Width around knuckles 19.3[20.7, 22]cm.

The Hirta Hat Set is composed of a beret and one pair of fingerless gloves in Alice Starmore™ Hebridean 2 Ply. The set is worked in the stranded circular technique. If you are new to this technique then there is a graded progression you can follow, starting with the beret which introduces double decrease shaping in the patterned crown. The fingerless gloves will teach you how to make thumb gussets and how to work each digit in the round. The Hirta Hat Set is shown here with the Boreray Pullover and Dun Cuff, the gold verison is shown with the Persian Tiles wrap and Maidenhair Pullover and the blue version is shown with the Polaris cardgian.

This kit includes a colour-printed patterncard with full instructions and all the yarn required to make the Hirta Hat Set in your own choice of colours. The colours I used in the two examples of the set are shown in the photos here. The first darker set has a background colour is Storm Petrel with a pattern colour of Driftwood. These two colours are complimented with smaller amounts of Pebble Beach as Contrast 1, and little dashes of bright Summertide as Contrast 2 and Sea Anemone as Contrast 3. The second paler set has a background colour of Pebble Beach with a pattern colour of Golden Plover complimented with Contrast 1 of Driftwood, Contrast 2 of Spindrift and Contrast 3 of Corncrake. The third set is made in a Background Colour of Selkie with a pattern colour of Solan Goose with Kittiwake as Contrast 1, Shearwater as Contrast 2 and Mara as Contrast 3. The beret is made in one size and instructions for the gloves are provided in three sizes. Enough yarn is provided in the kit to make the largest size of gloves.

Click here for a digital shadecard of all Hebridean 2 Ply colours.




Every time I travel the 40 miles of wild Atlantic Ocean between St Kilda and my island home of Lewis, I find myself imagining the thoughts of those who left their beloved home forever. The last thirty-six islanders who made that final voyage in 1930 ranged in age from 4 to 74 years and, quite predictably, the balance of excitement and trepidation tilted more or less according to age. For the little children it was an adventure whilst the elderly felt nothing but sorrow and loss. I imagine that our Queen of the Waves felt both excitement and sorrow in equal measure. She would never again experience the thrilling sensation of balancing along a thousand-foot high ledge above a heaving ocean, but she still had all the confidence of youth to see her through the uncertainties ahead.

This idea of holding these two equally powerful and opposite emotions were in my mind as I left Hirta for home on a typical Hebridean day when the weather swings from sharp diamond light to soft misty cloud in a moment. Hirta and her satellite islands can create their own weather; from out of a clear blue sky towering clouds form over them and tendrils of mist wrap themselves around the jagged cliffs – sometimes to the extent that when you are on the ocean, Hirta is there one moment and gone the next. I imagined our Queen looking back to her receding home and forward to her future, wearing her hat and gloves depicting her emotions with abstract shapes and lines based on the sharp outlines of cliffs, gannets and waves. She would make them in different colour palettes in the future depending on mood. But for this “past and future day” she chose to emphasise the graphics with a strongly contrasting dark background and light pattern colour which she tempered by working the pattern in a soft Driftwood tone. Another subtle misty tone of Pebble Beach was then added, and this was followed with confident dashes of Summertide and Sea Anemone to complete the picture.

You can have a lot of fun working out colour ideas for your own Hirta Hat Set.