Archive for the “dad’s hat” Category

We had our family holiday celebration on Monday at my brother and sister-in-law’s place, and I finally got to give Dad his hat. It fits him perfectly, and he said that it is exactly the hat he wanted! Hooray! Now that I know his size, I told him, I can keep him in hats for as long as he wants. He mentioned a hat with notches over the ears to fit his headset when he flies. I’ll have to see about making something like that, perhaps for next Chanukah. Dad was kind enough to model it for me and even to lend me his camera to take pictures, since I’d (of course) forgotten mine.

Speaking of cameras, I’ve been thinking about getting a new one. Not another point & shoot, like the one I currently have (a Canon SD850IS), because – well, because my next mobile phone will have a really good small camera built right into it – no, I’m envying a DSLR, with which I can take much better pictures. It’s almost silly to think about it now because I don’t have the money to buy a camera, but maybe someday soon I will. Pirate-Husband thinks it’s silly of me to want such a thing. He is convinced that I will buy an expensive camera, take twenty pictures, and get tired of it. I’m not sure I see myself hiking all over the countryside hauling a camera with me, true, but I’d certainly take lots more pictures of stuff indoors, like kittens and dinners and knitting.

In other news, I got a package from Thailand in the mail. It makes the world seem very small, to be able to buy things from the other side of the planet with a few clicks of the mouse, and have them show up at my door less than two weeks later. What was inside the package, you might ask? (And why did I buy from an Etsy seller in Thailand? Because I couldn’t find the same things for a better price more locally. I looked. But 20 sets of snaps for $12, including shipping, is about as good as it gets.)

Twenty sets of ultra-thin, surprisingly strong, magnetic snaps. They are the kind of closures that are sewn on, rather than clipped through fabric. This seemed to be a wise decision for attaching a magnetic snap to the mitten-tops and wrist cuffs of Fleep-Top gloves. The kind of magnet that’s clipped through would leave a very cold metal circle on the inside of the cuff. I’m actually concerned that they are *too* strong, that unsnapping them will put more stress on the yarn than it can take, and that the gloves will have a shortened lifespan as a result. Perhaps I should reinforce the place where the snaps are sewn on with a piece of fabric on the inside.

My own Fleeps have never had anything to hold the top back when it’s not in use, and I’ve never had a problem with them flopping about… but Michael requested that I do something for his gloves, and so I shall. And if the magnetic snaps are as awesome as I think they will be, it’s fairly likely that I’ll add them to my gloves, too.

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It took just under a month to finish my eighth project of the year, a hat for Dad’s Chanukah gift. Knit from Cascade 220 in a charcoal grey that almost looks brown in some lights, it should keep him nicely warm in the wintertime. I used the basic hat formula from Mielke’s Fiber Arts, the fifth time I’ve made a hat with their pattern. It’s so simple, it really can’t be beat for plain toques. And that’s what Dad said he wanted – no patterning, no nothing. Just a plain stockinette hat. So that is what I made. (I will make a more interesting one for myself soon.)

It didn’t really look so great flat, so I tried modeling it to get a better picture. It’s a little too big for me, and so’s that shirt I’ve got on, but I think you get the idea. I made the ribbing long enough to fold over properly; one hat I made long ago had shorter ribbing that was too long to wear unfolded and too short to fold. Lesson learned: it is better to have longer ribbing than shorter. What matters is the distance between the top of the hat and the point where the ribbing folds over. For an adult man’s hat, that should be about seven inches.

One thing that I noticed while working on the hat is that I’m no longer as fond of the Addi Turbos as I once was. They have many great features – they’re slick, pointy, flexible, and the join from the cable to the needle is quite smooth. But I’ve gotten used to a longer needle that I can brace in my hand, and I missed that when I was working with the shorter needles on the circulars. Probably if I knit with the Addis more often, I’d get used to them again and it wouldn’t be an issue. I’ll just have to come up with some projects that call for them. (Like the other half of Napramach, perhaps? I haven’t forgotten you, crazy colourwork!)

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ………… Dad’s hat
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis’s baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

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Three weeks ahead of schedule, I’ve finished the second of the Fleep-Tops’ hands. Either my tension was much tighter as I was working on the second glove, or the first one was stretched out from all the trying-on – the second seems slightly smaller than the first. I’m sure it will stretch and can be blocked out to match the other one.

This gives me six weeks to finish Mom’s sock and Dad’s hat. Plenty of time. No worries at all. I wound up the Cascade 220 into a neat yarncake and worked up a small gauge swatch, since I can’t find any of the notes that I took five years ago when I knit Pirate-Husband’s hat. Grr, frustrating! At least I wrote down that I used a US 6 (4mm) needle, or I’d probably have been swatching on a US 7 (4.5mm). I measured 5.5 stitches to the inch, did the math, and cast on 116 stitches. Since Dad requested a smooth hat with a ribbed brim, I’ll be using the same Basic Hat Formula that I’ve knit up several times before.

The stitch marker I’m using came from a cat-themed set of markers I received in a holiday gift swap a few years ago. It’s an adorable pink cat with an articulated tail. I’d nearly forgotten about the set but I’m glad to have a chance to use it now! This is the kind of thing I’d probably never buy for myself, but getting it in a gift swap was really cool.

Due Date …… Project
10/3 ………… Angie’s gifts
11/1 ………… Second Fleep, hand section
12/1 ………… Mom’s sock #2
12/1 ………… Dad’s hat
1/1 ….………. Gift for Janis’s baby boy
2/1 ………….. Mitten tops and thumb caps on Fleeps
2/1 ………….. Jacob Hat
3/1 ………….. Twins’ sweaters

P.S. I had to add three words to my spell-checker’s dictionary for this post: Fleep, grr, and swatching. I think I say all three of these things often enough that they can be in my dictionary!

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Dad’s jumped on the handknit bandwagon (not that I can blame him; handknits are great) and asked me to make him a hat. And how could I refuse anything Dad asks of me? Yesterday I looked up a bunch of patterns and then stopped by Needles in the Haymarket on my way home from work to pick up this hank of Cascade 220 in charcoal gray, as requested. There were a bunch of people there for the Thursday night Stitch ‘n Bitch who were happy to help give an opinion on which colourway was *the perfect* charcoal gray. They invited me to join them, but I had to run home. Maybe next week – they’re a friendly group, and they have wine. What’s not to love about knitting and wine?

This is the hat pattern I like best of all the ones I looked at, but I’d add enough length to the bottom that it could be folded over for a double-thick ear covering. I like the way the ribbing goes all the way up to the top and how neatly the decreases fit into one another… but if Dad would rather have a hat with a ribbed bottom and smooth top, I can do that too. I’d like the fatherly seal of approval on it before I get started. (Hint, hint. I know you’re reading.)

I consider myself super lucky to have the parents I have. Both Mom and Dad are pretty awesome, and I’m happy to have the chance to knit for each of them. Is there a better way to show love to one’s parents than with handmade gifts to keep them warm? It’s like a hug that they can carry around with them all the time. Well, as long as it’s cold outside, anyway.

We had some excitement up here on the mountain this week: a black bear went on a rampage through the neighborhood. First he tried to break into the house two down from us. Then he went next door, stomped some bird feeders flat and knocked over all the potted plants. After all that effort, he took a drink from our fish pond, knocking several of the big rocks into the water. Then he must have wanted to relax with a nice soak in our hot tub. But without opposable thumbs, necessary to lift the cover off the tub, I guess he decided to tear his way in. Pirate-Husband and I are going to try to repair the cover this weekend with some super-strong tape and spray foam. Hopefully it’s not damaged so badly that we can’t fix it. Living next to a nature preserve does have its downsides on occasion…

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