While much of the last two months was spent moving the seventeen-thousand-foot warehouse/studio where I work, I did manage to do some knitting.
I knit a series of hats for friends in cold climates. I chose patterns that were interesting to make, and hopefully not too corny or pathetic or home-made looking. (I'm mindful of the quilting book Erica bought me a bunch of years ago, entitled That Dorky Homemade Look.)
I spent a bit of time knitting the type of hat that can either be called a beret or a Tam O'Shanter.
Really. That blobby looking thing in the photo at the beginning of the blog post is a Larval Tam.
And this strange thing is the inside of one of these same hats. These hats are knitted using two strands of different colored yarn. I knit one color at a time, letting the unused colored yarn hang slack on the back side of the work. What you're seeing in this photograph are the "floats" of unused color. I love how this shows the ghost of the pattern.
Turning a deformed gumdrop of a would-be hat into a beautifully finished beret is a bit of a magic trick, depending entirely on the wonderful qualities of 100% wool fiber. What one does is wet the hat, and then stretch it over a dinner plate to dry. Once "blocked" the hat will retain its distinctive crisp shape. Magic, I tell you. Wool. Water. Dinner plate. Beret. Magic.
The dinner plate also functions at a Powerful Cat Magnet.
"Where is Cream?" Smog seems to be wondering.
(Those crazy ear-tufts just get better and better, don't they?)
This is a finished hat. I adapted my pattern from a very clever free pattern that I found online. (Of course I had to mess around with the stitch patterns. I just can't help myself.) I used a subtle color-shifting yarn, and just embraced whatever color presented itself. I enjoy combining pattern and chaos. It seems right to me.
Hard to believe that red hat was the same hat shown at the start of this blog posting.
I hope that the recipients of these hats (and the others I made) are warm and toasty, and didn't spend too many hours shoveling snow yesterday and today.