Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope everyone is recovering from the holidays, should you celebrate holidays at this particular time of year! Reading all the crafting year in review blog posts is one of my favorite New Year activities. I've got one in the works for you, but first I wanted to post about a couple Christmas presents I finished before the holiday. Each of my parents received hats this year. How did I not realize until this year that hats are like the best hand-crafted gift ever? They're super quick to make, and you can try all kinds of fun new techniques and patterns without having to commit to a huge project! And you can make a bunch of em and not freak out about time! And each person only wears one hat so there's no second sock/mitten ennui! (Duh - no two-headed family members here.) As a formerly curly-haired, now short-haired individual I have ridiculously specific hat needs (although honestly, we probably all do, regardless of hairstyle), but there are a ton of great patterns out there that I would love to make, if not necessarily wear, so this way I get to try a few of them out.
Enough waxing poetic about hats! First up, a crocheted hat for my mom:
This pattern is called Julep, and it's by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. I think I queued it a while back, before I realized that Mercedes is one of those rare designers, such as myself, who works in both knitting and crochet. Neat! As for Julep, I'm totally filing this design under "damn, wish I'd thought of that." It's a straightforward beret worked entirely in puff stitch. I love puff stitches! I used up some old Colinette Jitterbug (a surprising amount of it, actually - crocheted puff stitch takes a fair amount of yarn!) and worked the pattern pretty much as written, except for adding a few extra rows around the edge. I pressured Peter into a quick hat-gift photoshoot before we left Chicago for Christmas, and he snapped this shot of the back of it:
It's not exactly a "keep your ears warm in the dead of a Chicago winter" kind of hat, but that's not really what it's designed to do. So I'm glad I got a chance to make it, even if it wouldn't really work for me. My mom lives in Oregon and just needs to occasional light head cover, so she was thrilled with it.
Next up is the Asheboro Hat, by Mandy Powers:
Now, I don't know why my father insists on hiking his hats up above his ears, but I swear to you that hat fits him. SIGH. Here it is in a more directed photoshoot setting (heh):
I'm 99% sure I'll end up making this pattern as a gift again. It's a great classic design that can look really personalized with different color choices, it calls for worsted weight yarn in two colors - of which I have a metric crapload -, and it works up in about two seconds. The small amount of colorwork, which is in a simple repeat with manageable lengths of floats, means this would be a great project for a newcomer to colorwork. As a more experience color knitter, the snowflake/star design was just enough interest to keep things exciting. I actually have about a million other nice things to say about Mandy's designs but - spoiler alert - I have a couple other of her designs to write-up soon, so I'll save the poetic waxing for that post.
I'll be back with a year-end wrap-up any day now. I hope every one of you had great holidays and are excited for the new year!
(Yes, I installed a special Christmas keyboard on my phone. What can I say - I love Christmas!)