After publishing Canterlot, the first fingerless mitts pattern I designed, I wanted to make a matching hat using the little butterfly stitch that was featured all over the mitts. When I knit my first version of it, I’d miscalculated my gauge and accidentally made it too small for my head and ended up giving it to my daughter and knitting a second one for myself and for the pattern, forgetting about the first one.
After struggling with a name for this hat for several days, my young daughter and I were getting ready to go for a walk and she’d chosen her orange butterfly hat to wear out. Immediately the knit fabric of that particular yarn reminded me of tortoiseshell butterflies. I quickly did some research and found the scientific name for tortoiseshells was called Nymphalis and I settled on the name for this hat. Even more exciting, when my best friend test knit this hat for me, she happened to have a matching skein and knit it in one of the adult sizes to fit her Mom!