Months ago, or maybe as long ago as a year, I dragged Anya to Lakeside Fibers to have some coffee and a look-around. I didn't mean to buy anything (I never do, but sometimes the yarn just follows me home), but she picked up a sample of a beautiful black and white hat and asked me to make her one, right there, out of the blue. If you know my daughter Anya, you know how it's nigh impossible to say no to her when she asks you to make her something. I bought the pattern and a skein of black yarn (I knew I had white at home already), and we went home, where I promptly stuck the bag in a corner and forgot about it.
But she didn't forget. Months went by. I got distracted with other projects for other people. It's not as though Anya didn't have a hand knit hat or four to get her through the winter. I'm telling you, though, this child has the memory of an elephant, and every few weeks, she'd catch me knitting something that wasn't black and white and ask "Have you started my hat yet, mom?" "No, not yet," I would have to answer. "Daniel lost a mitten and needs a new pair," or "I want to finish these socks for aunt Stephanie's birthday," or "I'm test knitting another sweater for Thea."
Until now. About a week ago, I just decided to sit down and make Anya her hat - without any prompting from her, even. I had a couple of false starts because I was modifying the pattern to have a turned-under hem (instead of ribbing) and a lining, but once I got going, the whole thing took only a few days. (I've been all over these short-term projects lately, have you noticed?)
Now, the hat is done, and I would say she is pleased with the result, wouldn't you?
Have a look at the two-color design. It looks a bit like braids.
As I stated before, I modified the brim. The original pattern calls for ribbing, then a stripe in a contrasting color. Anya originally wanted the stripe, back when we bought the pattern, but since changed her mind, and to be honest, I like the hat better this way, with just the black and white.
Anya sometimes complains that hats are itchy, even the one I made for her out of the softest Rambouillet wool. I used Cascade 220, which doesn't feel itchy to me, but knowing it might feel scratchy on her tender young pate, I decided from the beginning that I would add a lining with a soft fabric. The added layer would make this hat extra warm, certainly a plus when we're walking to school on cold winter days. For the lining, I cut up an undershirt made of 100% silk that I bought for Daniel when he was in preschool and that was worn so much it nearly fell apart. Silk is so light and warm and breathable, such a perfect complement to wool; I saved the undershirt for just this sort of thing because I didn't want any of the fabric to go to waste...except that the first lining I cut for the hat was too small and I had to cut out another one. Fortunately, there was enough fabric for the second time around.
I didn't do a stellar job sewing in the lining by any means. I used my sewing machine for the bit around the hem, and in fact you can see the stitching line around the bottom of the hat, but that doesn't particularly bother me. I hand-stitched the lining in closer to the top, and since I had cut a straight tube for the lining, I had to work in a few pleats to accommodate the decreases at the top of the knitting. It's not beautiful, but it's on the inside where no one can see. As my mom likes to say, "Well, this one's not going to the fair."
Oh well. She's happy with it, and so am I!
I can't knit for a few days. I have a performance coming up on Friday and I've noticed some tension issues in my right thumb that are exacerbated by knitting. It's nothing serious, but some of the music I'm playing is technically demanding enough that I need to be in tip-top form for it. This gives me a few days to plan my next project, though. I'm starting to think I'm ready for another sweater - finally. Now, the big question is, what's it going to be??
Pattern: The Ann Hat by Barbie Smith (Mine is the only project on Rav right now with a picture)
Yarn: Cascade 220 in black and white, much less than a skein of each
Sticks: size 5 (for the plain part) and size 6 (for the color work), circs and DPNs
Mods: Eliminated the ribbing in favor of fold-under hem. Eliminated a contrasting color strip and just did the whole brim in black. Added a lining made out of an upcycled silk undershirt.