Tag Archive | hat

Keep warm and well-fed

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15-16

Our neighbor has hit a bit of a rough patch. Actually, his rough “patch” has lasted a couple of years and so far there’s no real end in sight. Man, we know how that goes. Do we ever. With the memory of our own rough patch in the not-so-distant past, we’ve been doing what we can to help out Mr. S. He has some specific dietary needs and not a lot of extra cash, so I try to make him a good, warm dinner at least once a week, knowing that most of the time he just kind of snacks on stuff or eats whatever he can find on sale. As the weather started turning this month, I became concerned that he might not be all that warm. Let’s just say that his accommodations leave something to be desired. And you know what? It stinks to wake up in the morning and be so frozen that you can’t bear to leave your bed and start the day.

These thoughts happened to coincide with the nearby grocery/department store having a small bin of yarn marked at 50% off clearance prices. Oh boy, you know I can’t resist that! I got three balls of Lion Brand “Amazing.” It’s a 53% wool/47% acrylic blend and for a “cheap” yarn, it really does feel amazing. I got it in the manly colorway of “Rainforest” — a mix of greens and browns.

First, I crocheted Mr. S a hat. There are a billion and one hat patterns out there, which should make it easy to find a suitable one, but sometimes it’s just overwhelming. I searched for a little while and then landed on this one: Carmel by Drops Design. It is single crocheted in the back loops all the way around to give it some texture.

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Close-up of the texture. The color isn't coming through right in the photo, though.

Close-up of the texture. The color isn’t coming through right in the photo, though.

For the gloves, I knew I wanted to make them fingerless so that Mr. S could enjoy the warmth, but still use his computer or phone, write, whatever. All those things that it’s nice to have fingertips for. There aren’t as many patterns for these as there are for hats, but there are still plenty to choose from. A lot of them, however, are awfully girly looking. Which is great if the future wearer is a girl. But my intended recipient is a man. Who works in construction. I wanted to be careful that there was no apparent sissiness. This pattern — Fingerless or Not — worked out great. The instructions were easy to follow and working the individual fingers was not as tricky as it seemed it would be. Mr. Gren was kind enough to model for us.

Backs

Backs

Palms

Palms

Creepy crawly hands

Creepy crawly hands

I put the hat and gloves in a paper sack, tied it with a ribbon and wrote “Happy Autumn” on it and left it where I knew Mr. S would find it when he got home. The next day, Mr. Gren received an email from him giving us an update on how he was doing — he was feeling pretty beaten up after some painful interactions with a loved one in his life, on top of the current financial stresses. Finding my little gift was a welcome pick-me-up. He said, “No one has ever knitted anything for me before. I will cherish them.” We’ll forgive him for confusing knitting and crochet and get to the heart of the sentiment: more than just warming his head and hands, my hat and gloves reminded him that not all is despair, he is worthy of care and love and someone recognized that.

So why am I telling you all this? Not to toot my own horn. Open your eyes to needs around you, especially as the weather is getting colder heading into winter. Make a warm meal for someone; volunteer at a homeless shelter; use your talents and abilities to bring a bright spot to someone’s otherwise dismal day. Go on, I challenge you.

Yesterday was Wednesday

I told you I was going to post and then I didn’t. What a sorry excuse for a human being I am. I did finish something, though, so I hope you’ll find it in your hearts to forgive me.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this already (and since I’m currently so lacking in moral fiber, I can’t be bothered to go back and look) — a few weeks ago, my sister asked me to crochet a hat for her oldest daughter, Miss E. Three years ago, I had made E a sweet little cap with a strawberry on it. Apparently, she loved it so much that she wore it to bed every night. Three years has seen the expected noggin growth and the strawberry hat was getting a bit too tight. Time for a new one! The pattern came from a special issue Better Home and Gardens Simply Creative Crochet magazine that I bought in… hold on, let me count… 2004. So it’s been awhile. The strawberry hat and matching sweater are actually the main reason I bought the magazine because the baby model wearing said items reminded me a lot of my sister when she was a baby. So, if you follow my reasoning, that’s why it made sense for me to make the strawberry hat for her baby.

BHG simply creative crochet 2004

Unfortunately, the pattern was written in just one size, so it was up to me to size up. Lucky for me, I have Granota who is just a year older than E. Close enough, I decided, and Granota was pleasantly willing to lend her head for fittings. The pattern is not difficult — it’s half-double crochet alternating in back and front loops to create the texture. Usually when I’ve made something from a pattern before, my brain locks in and remembers the first time, which makes the second go-round easier and faster. For some reason, though, there’s a complete blank in my mind from the first time I made this hat. I know I made it. I have photographic evidence. My sister has physical proof. And yet, there is no memory of it whatsoever. Huh. I dunno. I probably will remember this time, though, which will come in handy in another three years if Miss E decides that she still needs a strawberry sleeping cap.

Super sweet!

Super sweet!

Monkey Business

There are two things that my son, Konik, loves in this world: cars and monkeys. His day is made if he gets to ride in the car, even if it’s just to pick up Rana from school. He eats his meals with at least one matchbox car near his plate (sometimes we have entire parking lots). If he’s not playing with his cars, he is most likely playing with his stuffed monkey named… Monkey, or snuggled up under his monkey blanket watching a movie. Cars and monkeys. That’s it. Everything else comes in at a very, very distant 3rd place.

When Konik was 1, I crocheted him a little hat with a stem and berries on the top. It’s super cute. But this year it was too small. It didn’t even come down to his ears. He insisted that it still fit and you can’t really explain to a 3 year old that just because you can get it on doesn’t mean it actually fits (heck, there are plenty of adults who still haven’t learned that lesson). But I remembered a hat pattern that I was sure would win him over.

Long ago (ok, not that long ago. Probably about a year ago), my blog friend Lisa at yarnchick40 sent me a pattern for a sock monkey hat as a thank you for following her blog (you should follow her blog, too, ’cause she’s funny and she makes cool stuff, but it’s totally her prerogative what she wants to do about it! I am not guaranteeing sock monkey hats. 🙂 ). I’ve hung onto it for just the right time and that time is now!

At first, Konik was a reluctant participant in the many (many, many) fitting sessions. He knew I was making him a hat, but I hadn’t played my ace card yet; I was saving that for when it became absolutely necessary. And sure enough, one day he completely balked at having yet again to try on a hat that really didn’t look like a hat yet. Then I showed him the picture. His eyes lit up and a big smile covered his face. “It’s a monkey hat!!” Back in business!

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The pattern is super cute. I had to make some adjustments for size to fit my boy’s noggin, but it’s all good. I used yarn that I had on hand: the brown and cream are Lion Brand Wool-Ease and the red is “Impeccable” (from Michael’s). The monkey has blue eyes because, believe it or not, I didn’t have two matching black buttons. Also, I was secretly thrilled that the boy is young enough not to be bothered in the slightest by the enormous pompom on top. I’m going to milk that cuteness for as long as I can!

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