Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A hat, a hero, and justice

A smörgåsbord blog post for your Boxing Day pleasure.

First of all...

A hat:

  • Yarn: Lana Grossa "Easy" 100% merino superwash, purchased at Knitting Basket
  • Color: 006 Green
  • Lot: 6206
  • Yardage: used slightly more than two 55 yard balls, so, ~120 yards, total
  • Gauge: ~2.75 stitches per inch
  • Needles: U.S. size 11 (8 mm) Denise circulars w/ 12" cable & Crystal Palace bamboo 8" DPNs
  • Pattern: cast on 56 stitches, join in the round, K2,P2 every round for ~3-4", then knit every round for 3-4", decrease & finish according to Super Simple Hat Calculator
  • Size: ~20" circumference
  • Recipient: BIL John, for Christmas

The yarn for this hat is discontinued, thus I got it on sale, and bought all four balls they had in this color. I still have almost two balls left, enough to do another hat, for sure.

I may go back and buy what they have left in the other remaining colors, because, I always seem to find myself at the last minute looking for chunky superwash wool yarn, which is hard to find, at least locally. You can't beat chunky superwash wool for a quick and easy-to-knit hat that you can give to anyone with confidence and know it might not get destroyed after the first inadvertent toss in the washer. Not that this basic hat is any great work-of-art, but I like to think that the recipient will get more than one wearing out of it.

Sure, there are plenty of chunky acrylic yarns out there, but since most of my finished objects are given away, the greatest pleasure I have with the project is doing the actual knitting, and I therefore prefer to knit with lovely, forgiving, elastic wool. If I'm hating the yarn, I'll hate the knitting, and chances are the project will get set aside for an unspecified amount of time, or, perhaps, forever. A character flaw, no doubt, but, if I'm not enjoying a hobby, and it is no longer a pleasurable activity, then the hobby itself may fall by the wayside, and I'd hate for that to happen.

Therefore: wool keeps this knitter happy and the wearer warm; superwash wool saves the hat from inevitable felting, giving the knitter peace-of-mind. Chunky yarn knits fast and keeps the knitter from getting bored. So, whatever altruistic characteristics you might attribute to this knitter should be blown out of the water. Giving away the hat is the easy part. For this knitter, it's all about the knitting, and if it doesn't keep the knitter happy, it ain't getting knit. (No doubt, another character flaw.)

So here's hoping no one notices how long it's been since this knitter last reported on a finished object. Perhaps I can distract you with the fact that this current F.O. was Christmas knitting and finished on December 21st, thankyouverymuch. Christmas knitting. Finished early. Don't I get credit for that?

[Edited later to add]:

I forgot to mention that for this project, it was my first time doing a Russian Join, and I'm now a convert. Since the yarn is superwash, a spit-splice probably wouldn't work very well, and just weaving in ends for such a bulky yarn is not acceptable, either, in my mind. So, I did a modified Russian Join, where I cut back two of the three plies on each end of yarn to be joined, and sewed the third ply, folded over the other yarn, back into the thicker 3-ply section of itself. (Hope that makes sense.) It's definitely a method I'll be using to join yarns from now on.

In other news....

A hero:

Recently, I shared with some friends and my knitting group about the son of another dear friend who was wounded two weeks ago in Iraq. J.P. has since returned stateside and is currently at Walter Reed army hospital in D.C. Last week, in addition to friends and family, he had another special visitor:

J.P. & W

There have been a lot of prayers prayed and answered this past week in regards to this young man. He's got more surgeries in his future, and a challenging road ahead. I am so grateful for his heroic service to our country, but even more thankful that he's safely back on American soil. He was able to spend Christmas with his family, which is a real blessing.

J.P. & nephew

And finally...


Arrests have been made in the recent mailbox bombings in my neighborhood. Turns out, it really was some bored teenagers. Why can't they just destroy printers like us more mature adults?


Robin said... the hat, so glad to hear about JP~pretty cool to get a personal visit and justice is so sweet!! Maybe these kids will decide to take on a few printers instead!

KSee said...

really like the hat. Glad to see J.P. home and safe. Wonder how they found the kids and what kind of punishment they will get.
Merry Christmas. See you in January!

Margaret said...

Great Hat! Love the pretty, I mean handsome (for the BIL) green. What an honor for JP, hope his recovery goes well!

cathy said...

Nice-looking hat, glad the hero is doing well, and it must be a relief to know who the mailbox culprits were (so it won't happen again). Your Christmas celebrations look like a scream! Happy rest-of-the-holiday-season!

LindaM said...

I agree with all previous posts... with one addition: "Life is too short to knit with yucky yarn"... I'm with you on the acrylic! Hope to see you next week @ TNK!

Robin said...

Another great hat! So glad JP is stateside and doing well. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Good pic of his with the Pres and so cute with his nephew. Hope the bored teens don't see your printer video! It might give 'em ideas!