New Wool Beanie Release — The Westcoaster | Red Hat Factory

New Wool Beanie Release — The Westcoaster

Benjamin Antoni Andersen
Category: News Reel News Reel
| October 20, 2022

600 meters above the fjords with hurricane force gusts slamming into us, moving us around like puppets. How the heck did we end up here?

It was in the warmth of my parents house. My mom was messing around with the knitting needles, and came up with a new design. She called me up in Stockholm, and showed it to me — my dad as the semi-voluntary model, as per usual.

It was an instant classic. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on it. This was the 100% wool beanie we had been hoping to make.

Wool beanie being hand knit.
A Westcoaster being knit. (Frame from the Westcoaster film.)

Why 100% wool is a challenge

We love the natural stuff, but wool comes with two innate challenges. In its raw form it itches and easily gets too warm.

To harvest the moisture absorbing features of wool, while circumventing the challenges, there are several ways to go.

As you might know, we use raw wool from Uruguay, processed on the Norwegian West Coast. It’s not that we don’t have Norwegian wool available — the problem is that it’s rougher and can itch if it is the closest layer to your body.

Read all about wool here.

With our Southlander, North Cap, and Bay Bee, we use Uruguayan wool to avoid the itch, and 20% nylon to make sure we can use thinner threads and bring the temperature back down a bit.

However, this time we only attempted to solve the itch-issue. We wanted to make a wool beanie for the heart of winter.

The Westcoaster wool beanie in the hand.
A Westcoaster in the hand. (Frame from the Westcoaster film.)

A wool beanie for the wild Norwegian West Coast weather

As soon as I saw the beanie, I knew we had one for rough weather. A beanie that would take on the lower spectrum of the thermometer. So I began dreaming. Back to my many trips to the West Coast with its wild, bare mountains and open fjords, where winds blow unhampered across the stone.

The wool beanie in the mountains.
The Westcoaster goes to the Pulpit Rock. (Frame from the Westcoaster film.)

And as we decided that this would be the beanie to fill in the third cardinal direction of our naming scheme, I decided to tell its story through a film in the Lysefjord.

And boy did the beanie get tested.

I still can’t believe both me and my friend Ethan got to bring our beanies back from that trip. Once we arrived at the foot of the mountain, a parking guard came to us and warned us starkly against going up — and if we did, we should by no means enter the Pulpit Rock. The winds were gusting at literal hurricane speeds up there.

I have told this story in full in another article.

The wool beanie did decently — and this, of course, was in weather that most people wont experience. Yet, the trip made me decide that I wanted to extend the beanie into yet another level of warmth.

Thus came the Westcoaster Arctic Circle to be.

Double thread wool beanie being grabbed.
Close up of the Westcoaster. (Frame from the Westcoaster film.)

The Arctic Circle

There are now two Westcoasters in the store. The Westcoaster Arctic Circle is about an inch longer, which gives you the ability to fold it twice and still have it over your ears.

I’m telling you, this is not a city beanie. The Westcoaster is more universal (though winter ready), the Arctic Circle, is really meant for rough winters. With the double wool thread technique that it’s knit with, a double fold will give you three layers of dual thread 100% wool over your ears.

With the natural components, and the field testing in a hurricane, we can say with confidence that our slogan (second slogan, I guess) for this beanie rings true.

The nearest to nature we’ve ever been.

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Written by Benjamin Antoni Andersen
Published on October 20, 2022 in News Reel
Designer and instigator of Red Hat Factory, constantly hungry for mountainous adventures.