The Christmas Hat Collection

Sometime in the summer, my mother decided that she wanted to try her hand at knitting. We were in a yarn store in Bracebridge, and she found a Paton’s pattern book that had a multitude of silly hats. Using Paton’s Classic Wool, she started to make a hat. It was interesting, I’ve never seen my mother knit, she hasn’t picked up knitting needles since before I was born, the only proof that she did knit once upon a time was that ages ago, she started a white Aran sweater for my father, pieces of which are still in a bag somewhere in the back of a packed cupboard.  She successfully managed to make the hat (with a consistency to her stitches that I envy), and made a few more after it.

This was all well and good, I love to share my enthusiasm about knitting with pretty much anyone who has the misfortune to enquire about my “hobby” aka addiction, and am always willing to teach people. The only problem is…my mother likes to think big…what started out as a single hat, turned into a large scale Christmas Hat Collection. She came up with the idea that we (her and I, but mostly the I,) should make a hat for each guest at Christmas dinner, and use them in place of seat markers. I actually find this a really fun idea. Hats are pretty quick, generally made up of easy but interesting stitch patterns, and take about a day, maybe two.

But knitting a hat every day or two has become somewhat…well…boring. There is also a bigger problem here. I like knitting. I really enjoy it. But I generally indulge in a lot of selfish knitting projects, or projects that I just make because I like them and don’t really have anyone in mind for them. It has to do with enjoying the process and the finished project. This hat collection, chosen in tandem with my mother, has some patterns that are nice, but not my favorite, or some patterns that are nice, but don’t really strike me as something that the person they are meant for would like, and there is nothing worse that putting in all the effort when you know it is going to be unappreciated and never worn.

There is a saving grace to this. I finally got fed up with two of the hat patterns, for one, my yarn choice was wrong and it wasn’t turning out the way I thought it should, the other I couldn’t get the gauge to work out right, the earflaps just weren’t turning out the way they looked in the photo and I tried changing needles to get the right gauge which didn’t work, and because it was worked in two colors, I was afraid that if I added stitches it would ruin the pattern design. I know…this does not sound like a saving grace…but it is…because I gave up on the patterns, and instead decided to design my own.

I spent all of yesterday figuring out how to use the table feature and fill function of microsoft word to create a colorwork chart. I was quite proud of my design, and once I’ve worked up the hat I’ll be sure to post some photos and the pattern…but it may have to wait until after Christmas dinner…I would hate to ruin Christmas!


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