For those of you who follow along on Instagram you may remember the fabulous knitted national park inspired hat patterns I featured by Designs by Nancy Bates. I love IG stories, but they’re fleeting and didn’t give the amazingly talented Nancy the credit she is due.
She has a pretty dreamy job. She visits National Parks and lets the landscape inspire her designs, not a bad work environment. You can follow along on her travels on her Instagram @nancybatesdesigns.
I’m not sure how many more parks she’s planning to add to her library, but as of right now she has 10 National Park inspired hat patterns to choose from and let me tell you it’s gonna be a tough choice.
I’m torn between Bryce Canyon and Grand Teton at the moment, but my dilemma changes almost daily. Each hat is knit in the round and has varying levels of difficulty.
I am in LOVE with this Grand Teton hat! I must admit that Grand Teton is a little lower on my ‘to visit’ list. What makes this hat perfect for me are the little yellow flowers along the bottom. As someone who is no fan of the cold this little pop of color helps me forget the icy peaks above and makes me want to jump in the car to check it out for myself.
I’ve never been to Yellowstone, but these are exactly the colors I imagine when anyone mentions the place. Nancy was inspired by the Grand Prismatic Spring. Here she beautifully adds together the the warm and cool colors of the hot spring. If you visit her Etsy shop you can also see a version with a wispy white pom pom in honor of the steam rising off the top.
My sister visited the Great Smoky Mountains last summer and I was unbelievably jealous of all her pictures of lush green waterfalls and cool misty sunsets. Photos of the mountains from far away always have this Vaseline on the lens quality with softened edges, blue gray mist and green forest. I love how soft and cozy this one looks, plus it’s kind of my colors.
If you’ve ever driven to Joshua Tree you know when you’re getting close because the iconic tufted trees start to pop up on the side of the highway. When I look at the Joshua Tree landscape I know where Dr. Seuss got some of his inspiration. Nancy creates a softer less prickly version using cables and bobbles. It’s a total success.
This park just might be my absolute favorite. I can’t say for sure yet because I haven’t visited every National Park, but as of right now it’s pretty much number one. The bright orange rock set against the clear blue skies make for the perfect color combination. The park is otherworldly, weird, strange and full of legend. If you ever have a chance to visit go!
I live a short 3.5 hour car ride away from Sequoia and still I haven’t made it there yet. John Muir called these trees immortal and at over 2,000 years old they may as well be. With trunks as tall as a 26-story building and as wide as a city street they are awe inspiring. One of these days I’ll make it over there to see General Sherman and General Grant, in the meantime this Sequoia National Park hat is a pretty great substitute.
I knew this one was Badwater Basin before I even looked at the title. With miles of flat cracked earth Badwater Basin looks like another planet. It’s the lowest point in North America, at 282 feet below sea level. This huge flat expanse used to be covered in salty water, but today it stands as an immense salt flat with expanding crystals creating the unusual shapes in the surface. The hat is a perfect rendition of this stark haunting landscape.
Imagine you’re floating through a mangrove forest. The tree roots are visible above and below the water’s surface. The water reflects the trees like a mirror making it seem like they’re growing above as well as below the surface. That’s exactly the image happening in this Everglades National Park hat.
The trip I mentioned earlier to Bryce Canyon also included several days at The Grand Canyon, specifically in the Grand Canyon Lodge (it’s a must if you can swing it). I loved staying right on the south rim so we could enjoy the canyon nearly every moment of the day.
We watched several sunrises and sunsets. The colors and textures of the Grand Canyon are always changing, just like the colors and textures in this Grand Canyon National Park hat. It’s pretty much the perfect symbolism for the park.
Last but not least there’s this Olympic National Park hat. Situated in the lush green Pacific Northwest, Olympic is filled with dramatic peaks, old-growth forest and rainforest. I’ve never visited myself, but the many pictures I’ve seen are always VERY green, just like this fern patterned beanie.
With so many beautiful patterns to choose from it’s difficult to know where to start. When I was as Stitches SoCal HOKC (Hands On Knitting Center) had kits made up for most of the patterns.
While I have you here, if you’re looking for another gift for a National Park lover you should check out these:
- The National Parks Scratch Off Travel Print
- 2019- Edition #1 National Parks Calendar
- 2019 “America, the Beautiful” National Parks Write-On Calendar
- EMBROIDERY KIT – Capitol Reef National Park