Sunday Knitting with a Side of Football: Weeks 6 and 7
Weekend Hats - the Brier Toque
I confess. I have to cheat a little on this week's installment. Week 6 was Christmas weekend and week 7 is New Year's weekend. While it doesn't stop the knitting, the festivities do put a crimp in available time. When your family is hosting the holiday buffet, cooking trumps caps - no matter how hard one protests.
I also confess that I have only recently learned to knit socks well. With so many beautiful colorways in sock weight yarn, I knew I was missing out. My first sock experience wasn't the best, and it just seemed odd. This was knitting in the round, albeit smaller yarn and smaller needles. What was so elusive? Oh yes, turning heels and kitchener stitch. But I have mastered both this past year. Setting socks aside, certainly there should be a way to make a beautiful hat out of sock yarn, shouldn't there?
Along comes the Interweave Books publication, Weekend Hats. Third confession. I bought this book because I really (I mean, really) want to make the Ruche Beret by Susan Anderson. But that will be a 2012 discussion. While drooling over the book, I saw the Brier Toque designed by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. Ribbing and stockinette. And sock yarn. And a hat that could be good for men. Be still my charitable hat heart.
And I knew the exact yarn in the exact colorway that I wanted for this hat. Problem? Justifying buying the sock yarn (especially to the DH who thinks that I have enough yarn as it is). Along comes Black Friday. You remember Black Friday, right? A few weeks ago? Day after Thanksgiving? Most people go with their tasers to Wal-Mart and fight over electronics or toys? Me…I go to my LYS, Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns, to knit/crochet. And what does our dear LYS owner do? Puts the sock yarn on sale for an hour. I think it was a George Carlin (or maybe a Gallagher) comedy routine that said once a woman hears the words, 'on sale', it's all over. Doesn't matter if she needs it, it's on sale! That justifies the purchase every time. So, of course, I bought that sock yarn in the colorway I wanted, set it aside with the intent to make the Toque early next year. But it kept calling my name to be made as part of our Sunday with a Side series, especially given its simplicity, portability and pattern that could be completed off/on around the other holiday commitments.
The Brier Toque is ribbing and stockinette in the round. Find yourself an amazingly striped colorway in a sock yarn and you can't go wrong. The pattern calls for the Zauberball Crazy. I used Fortissma Colori Socka Color 100 in what someone might call a Christmas colorway with its green, red, and orange hues. Given weeks 6 and 7 would be a little crazy, I figured, cast it on and see how long it takes.
Working as time allowed, the Toque took roughly some of the Thursday night game, time from a couple of Saturday (Christmas Eve) games, the Sunday Night Christmas game (sorry, Bears fans), a bit of the Monday Night game (watch out for those Saints) and a few hours watching network TV repeats this week to finish, but I absolutely love it. Two of my LYS knitting friends tried it on. It has style.
Do not panic. While it is a sock yarn, the ribbing is done on US size 3 needles and the stockinette on size 5. So not…little…tiny…sock…needles. This hat turned out exactly the way I envisioned. It is comfortable, soft, washable, and perfectly suitable for someone who has lost their hair due to chemo or radiation. Toques are cool. They're current, trendy. They can be worn so someone with cancer doesn't feel different and they cover a bald head.
Check your LYS to see if they have the Interweave publication, Weekend Hats, or look on Amazon.com. We'll likely have more of these hats made and reviewed in 2012.
As we close out this year, thanks to everyone for your support in 2011 and Happy New Year! We're getting ready for Stitches West, so my post-New Year's weekend entry may be about the hats we'll have available as samples and raffles in Santa Clara, CA. We're in booth 702 and accepting donated hats for cancer patients all three days of the Market. Not sure what to do with your yarn leftovers from holiday projects? Stripe up a hat and donate it to Halos of Hope! Or use sock yarn. I did.
Admin note: All of Pam's hat projects can also be found on Ravelry, under her Ravatar, HaloPrez.