You can make a hat out of just about anything, so we've just listed a few of our favorite hat yarns! Most people prefer hat yarns that are on the softer side & non itchy. Cotton works for warmer climates & for chemo caps. Merino wool and alpaca are top choices for wintery environments.
Quick projects, hats are useful for babies and adults alike. They make wonderful beginner projects & can be knit on straight or circular needles. In fact, one of our favorite first projects is a quick hat using Big Wool and US 15 16" circular needles.... you just knit, knit, knit for a few inches and then learn how to decrease. Perfect!
Although contrary to what you'd first think, most hats are better off when made with hand washable yarn, as opposed to machine washable. In rain or snow, the machine washable (or "superwash") yarns absorb the moisture and can start to droop. They will recover their shape, but aren't particularly functional when wet. If you're worried about the recipient's ability to hand wash the hat, just remind them to take it in the shower with them in the morning!