Saturday, November 27, 2010

To be thankful

I have so much to be thankful for. Family. Friends. A well paying and steady job for both my husband and myself. Two wonderful children. And the health of those I hold dear.

Sometime last year I watched the movie "Julie & Julia" and, being the geek that I am, was intrigued with the idea of blogging about a project. However, I also know enough about myself that I'm a terrible blogger. I've tried, a couple of times already and have never kept it up. I come up with topics and think about writing while driving, in the shower, etc, but never end up actually inputting them.

Fast forward several months to Spring of this year, I met Pam Haschke, Founder of Halos of Hope. I was touched by her story, but mostly I was touched by her attitude and spirit. I thought I'd make a hat. And then I made another, and another. Then I thought, why not set a goal? Make two hats a month, seemed doable enough.

I then thought I'd start a group on Ravelry, I thought simply ”I’m doing this challenge maybe I could inspire someone to join me.” I was thinking along the lines of the old Herbal Essence shampoo commercials (if I tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on…). I thought if there were a couple more hats made for Halos of Hope or another cancer center I would feel really good about doing just that little bit more.

What I didn’t count on was the bucket loads of inspiration that I receive back from the wonderful conversations with an amazing group of women. We share stories, post 'show-and-tell' pictures, and add pattern links. There are several in the group that create far more than two hats a month and they've pushed me (unknowingly) to do more. I have already completed the 24 hats I had planned for the entire project. How awesome is that!

I'm very thankful for my project. While making hats doesn't make me a better person, it does allow me to find a better part within myself to share with others.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November hat #2 - One Day Beret

Not actually finished in one day so the name is a bit misleading, but it was a rather easy and quick hat to make. Once I made it past the first couple of rows that is. It was my first top down knitted hat and I had quite the time maneuvering the needles at the beginning. The pattern calls for placing markers straight away, but I found that it was much easier placing them during the second row.

The pattern is available for free from Through the Loops. I used a partial skein of Berroco Comfort Berry Mix multicolor yarn. The hat is knit on a 16" size 8 circular needle and 1 set of size 8 dp. Stitches used are knit, purl, Kf&b, and K2tog. I love the look of the coloring and the slouchiness of the hat. I'm sure I'll pick up some more of the multicolored Comfort and make a few more of these in the future.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fun with Fall

Even though I love this hat I always feel it needs a little something more if I do it up with only a solid color. To make this fall version I used a nice browny orange Comfort called Filbert. Added a couple of extra rows of sc for added length. I then purchased some hand died wool to make the fun little flower.

November hat #1 - Scrap Happy Celebration Hat

What a fun hat, and why didn't I think of it? It was easy, relatively quick (as quick as stockinette in the round can go) and it was fun to pick out the colors. Not that you can really tell in this photo, but there are five different colors. The fifth color is this little circle at the top. Oops...that's what I get for thinking I needed to make a change to the pattern. The pattern is designed for a child's hat with directions on how to increase the size for adults. Silly me, I thought I'd also need to increase the number of rows of each color from measuring 1.5" to about 1.75". If I'd follow the pattern the last color would have been proportional to the other four. Oh well...

The pattern is available on I used my favorite yarn, Berrocco Comfort in Filbert, Pimpernel, Barley, Goldenrod, and that little circle of Pumpkin. The hat is knit on a 16" size 8 circular needle and 1 set of size 8 dp. Stitches used are knit, purl, and K2tog. I love the colors and this pattern offers soooo many possibilities.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Needle friendships

It has now been four months since I began my little challenge, two hats a month for a whole year. So far - better than good. Each month I've completed a bit more than two (July=3, August=5, September=6, October=5) and have finished 19 hats in all during the first four months. Not too bad. Although I've done well in my challenge, I find the best part is not so much the hat count, but the wonderful "needle friendships" I'm developing on Ravelry.

There are many women who have also taken up the challenge to create hats/caps for either Halos of Hope or their local charity. Together we: share patterns; Oohh and aahh over each other's finished projects; help a college student earn a scholarship; and offer suggestions and advice. We also find ourselves emotionally moved by the personal stories of how cancer has touched their lives.

These are threads that bind women with needles together in friendship.