There are days when I need to acknowledge unpleasantness, but keep moving forward. On those days, my motto is onward. I made this hat as a tactile reminder to myself for those days.
I took the letters of onward, encoded them as numbers, and then charted those numbers, using my methods for encoding words as patterns. The marked squares were turned into purl stitches, and thus I made this stitch pattern.
This is a top-down hat. It can be ended when the yarn does if necessary; the pattern has sufficient purls in it that it doesn’t curl. A shorter hat will be a cap; a longer one can cover the ears for warmth; an even longer one can be slouchy. Knit the crown and some ribbing in a contrast color if desired. I have seen this hat worked to good effect in solid yarn, tonal yarn, variegated, and self-striping. Gradient would also be fun!