Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 2104 #1 - Success!

I did it! I finished my first hat. For those that know me, and for those who routinely read this blog, that may not appear to be significant. But, if you have been following along, you will remember I had reconstructive surgery on my left thumb in late November. I have yet to pick up my knitting needles, but I was able to slowly crochet an old favorite. It was not easy, very slow going at first. I had to frog my first two attempts since they were VERY small. However, I simply considered them therapeutic practice and started over.

The pattern is Shells and Trellis Cap by Melody Hamor and is available for free from the Halos of Hope website. It was the first pattern ever donated to the charity and known to be a popular choice among chemo patients. I used Berroco Comfort in Mixed Nuts with a size J hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch. Although the pattern doesn't call for the last round of single crochets, I always like to add them, just to give the bottom edge a nice clean finish.

The flower is the Flower Accent pattern by Mimi Alelis. I used Berroco Comfort in Dried Plum with a size 7 hook. Stitches used are chain, single crochet, half double, double, and slip stitch. I'll be honest, I haven't a clue if I made it correctly since there were some directions I didn't understand, but as always, I just sort of interpreted it my own way. It looks like a flower, so I think its okay. I added the orange button and then attached the entire flower to the hat for stability. I must say though, maneuvering the flower around was a bit hard on my hand so I'll not be making any of these again for bit. Best to make sure I've gained a bit more flexibility and strength before I tackle another.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Year in Review

Goodbye 2013...Hello 2014! I can't say I'm sorry to see the new year arrive as I always feel as though I've been given a clean slate, a fresh start, a "do over". Enough cliches, you get the idea. Last year held some personal challenges for me, both mentally and physically. As many other people, I have arthritis. For me, in my left hand. However the deterioration of bone had become so painful it began to effect my knitting and eventually resulted in surgery. Thus, I did not create as many hats this year, but I still do have some favorites and highlights from the year I'd like to revisit. I'll do a countdown of sorts.

The #5 favorite hat: McPurple
This hat has not been featured on the blog before but this super soft McTwist Hat in Kollage Lofty was sent to a friend of my niece's. Her friend was going through chemo and needed a little bit of pretty. Although I will admit when I read her thank you card I don't think she made the connection between my niece and I. Oh well.

I loved the stitch of this hat and would like to make it again although I'll probably use another yarn, only because my wool allergies drove me crazy.

The #4 favorite hat: Yoda Hat, This Is
My March #1 Hat and part of a series of "star" hats for Halos of Hope's Camp Happy Times Campaign. It was by far my favorite for this year's theme. I mean, what kid wouldn't feel happy wearing a set of green ears? I mean really...

The #3 favorite hat: Flower Bucket
You might remember seeing this hat previously in 2012, but I like the pattern. A LOT. Not the cast on, that is incredibly slow, but the hat, yes. The hat, I love. And the flower I added, how cute is that? Plus its on a pin to make it easy to wash the hat. Love!

The #2 favorite hat: Slouch This!
Although not widely unique, this is an original design available as a free Ravelry download. Apparently people like it since there have been over 800 downloads. That's encouraging.

And my #1 favorite hat of 2013: Mixed-Up May
Also an original design and the first design I have for sale. A fun quick way to use up scrap yarn. I've had lots of positive feedback and wonderful comments about the design. Look for more of this style of hats from me in 2014.

Thats it. Not quite the two hats per month as per my plan but I did still manage to give away almost 50 hats in 2013, so I should be happy. But as long as that nasty six-letter word continues to touch lives, I'll continue to keep thinking I need to do more. I need to make more hats. Thanks for stopping by.