Friday, November 26, 2010

What was in the giant boxes, data, and ....

E1 and I met at our dad's for Thanksgiving dinner. E1 brought the Thank Yous she received from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start program. Oh my, I was flabbergasted!

The blanket was amazing all by itself. It has to be 5 feet on each side, WOVEN, super-soft, and absolutely stunning in its color and intricacy! In the picture, E1 is holding it up; her hands are over her head. A full-size adult is behind that blanket so you can see how large it is. Gosh, it's amazingly beautiful. I told her I think it's the kind of blanket they give to Heads of State who visit. See the blanket.

E1 gave me the big packet of all the written Thank You notes. It will take me a while to photograph all of them and share them with you. They literally show gorgeous little angels wearing the hats, with notes from the children. Every hat is shown. It's fun to pick up one of the pictures and look at each little cherubic face and say "I made this one, that one, that one..." I have photographed one of the cards as best I could. It merely gives you the tiniest glimpse of the magnificent beautiful Thank You card. You can see from the hand, a full-size adult hand, how large the card is! Then the inside, with signatures from precious 3-, 4-, and 5-year old children. A keepsake.

I will photograph and share the other Thank You cards as time permits. It'll be a tricky process, as they are very large. One of them, I think it's from Antlers Head Start, has a little paper doll to represent each child... boy paper dolls and girl paper dolls... and each paper doll is wearing a yarn hat! I hope to do it justice by photographing it. Or I may resort to video clips so I can read to you what the cards say and narrate what you'd be seeing if you were close to the card in person. We'll see. I won't get to it today but I will get to it as soon as I can.

Also included in the packet where newspaper stories about Hat Day at Head Start. One newspaper had the story of the hats on the front page. It took up a huge amount of space! It is an astonishing amount of press space. I think in Boston there would only be that kind of press real estate (1/4 of a front page) for criminals, disasters, or amazing rescues in life-or-death situations.

Now for some important news. E1 got her answer about how many hats the Choctaw Nation needs on a yearly basis. The answer: 310.

So, who's game for "Three Hundred Ten Hats: Year Two"???  I'm in. Are you?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

E1 received some BIG Boxes!

Wednesday after work, 10/20/10, E1 found two registered mail slips in her home mailbox. Hmmmm.... Couldn't go to the PO on Wednesday night. Thursday at lunch time she went to the PO to get her registered mail. What did she have? Two "GINORMOUS" boxes from the Choctaw Nation. She said they were so big that she could barely carry either of them. Carrying both in one trip was out of the question. One was giant and flat, at least a yard in each direction. The other was the size of a big boot box. Neither was very heavy, but the contents were quite mysterious! She couldn't open them at work on Thursday, so I had to wait until Friday to find out what was in them!

E1 writes:
Oh, they're so nice...
The boot-sized box was in fact a boot box, and it contained a letter from Rebecca, some newspaper articles about our hats, some thank-yous from the kids and teachers, and a blanket with the Choctaw Nation seal on it.

The other, big, flat parcel had pictures and thank-you posters from each of the schools, with pictures of the kids. I think she said every hat was shown, but I didn't count. I only recognized a couple hats, but then again, I didn't even recognize most of my own when I took them out to photograph! Each is addressed to you and me and our friends.

I will probably see E1 at Thanksgiving time. I hope to get photos to share with you at that time, unless E1 makes a photo CD at the pharmacy or Wal*Mart again. (News flash: I now have a CD reader for my computer so I won't have to take a picture CD to Staples to have the pictures moved from CD to thumb drive!)  In any event, as soon as I have photos of this very moving Thank You gift from the Choctaws, I will share them with you!

Meanwhile, I think the blanket may look like the one you can see at the Choctaw web site.

E1 will also get an answer to a very important question soon:
When I write to thank her, I guess I have to ask if they can get by with less than 300 next year, maybe a 100-hat replacement rotation.
For my own part, I've been wondering if the kids need mittens, too. 

Any one up for a year of 310 Hats plus 620 mittens????  Or, as Elizabeth Zimmermann, Knitting Guru, wrote: "Always make mittens in threes, so there's a pair even when one gets lost or ruined." So, I guess that would be 930 mittens. Fleece mittens are a relatively quick sew.... Nudge, nudge.....

{If you'd like an easy mitten pattern, check out MINDLESS MITTENS ON MAGIC LOOP (or DPN). Here is a mitten formula, for any size mitten with any yarn knit at any gauge. If you like the custom fit aspect of TOP DOWN mittens, and you have a Kindergarten-sized person who can be your test model, you should click the link for the TOP DOWN MITTENS pattern.}

Monday, September 6, 2010

You are in for a TREAT!


Finally, after far too long a time, I can finally share the photos of E1's hats with you!

Press F11 to go to full screen.

Then press THIS LINK to go see a slide show of E1's hats.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lovely article - Straight from the Press Room of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma!

Dear Reader,

I hadn't forgotten this blog.

I simply didn't have anything to add ... especially since ONLY A FEW OF YOU HAVE SENT ME PICTURES OF YOURSELVES!  (*nudge nudge hint hint*)

Now I do have something to add. Google has a feature that allows you to scan the globe for things you might care about... such as the name of your own blog or an arcane news topic like "Holy Communion and celiac disease"..  The feature is called Google Alerts. I have a Google Alert set for the name of this blog.

Today Google Alerts brought me news about an article in the Press Room of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Please go read this delightful article.

I can recognize a few of the hats in the picture. How many can you recognize?

If you made one or more hats, PLEASE send me your photo! If you don't want your photo in the "Hat Maker's Online Collage", just let me know. But I really truly want to send some photos of hat makers to Durant, per the request of Ms. Hawkins, and I only have a tiny percentage of hat makers' photos. Please send me your picture.

But first, go read the great article from the Press Room of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma!

By the way, I know I still owe a bunch of photos of E1's hats. Techno-Daughter has to move the photos from CD to flash drive for me. (This computer doesn't have a CD reader.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Dear Reader,

WE DID IT! We have supplied a cap for EVERY student who will enroll in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start Program for the Fall of 2010!

The most recent shipment of hats went from Kalamazoo, MI straight to Durant, OK. M.S.'s store collected the hats and P.S., her beloved husband of more than 47 years, packaged about 100 hats for shipment.

I received the third Thank You note from Rebecca Hawkins in yesterday's mail:

From 310 Hats
(Click the link to see a bigger picture.)

Please: If you, your friend, family, or loved one contributed a hat or helped in some way or another, PLEASE send me a JPG so I can make a Hats Contributor Collage for the students in Durant.

Thank you ALL so much for pitching in and helping get 310 hats to Oklahoma before the school year starts! Blessings on every one who helped in any way --- making hats, sending hats, helping with shipping costs, & c.

Warmly, E2

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

shipment update, Kalamazoo updates, Thank You note update

Dear Reader, There is so much to tell you and words seem inadequate.

 Good thing I have PICTURES (!!!) because each picture is worth 1000 words (so they say).

Where did I leave off in the story? Oh yes, Valency's shipment of fleece hats sewn joyfully by children at her Church.

Receiving Valency's hats meant I was having "hat-valanche" again, so I  prepared another shipment. A second shipment of 100 hats filled an 18"x18"x16" box from Home Depot. I sent it out at the end of May. It included my hats #60 (or 61?) to 65 (or 66?).

Meanwhile, I heard from TLC in Kalamazoo, MI that there have been many busy hands in that area, making (knit, crochet, sewn) hats in honor of Elizabeth D in Charlotte, NC and her mom (MS in Kalamazoo).

I received today (6/8) photographs of many wonderful hats made in Kalamazoo. They are being shipped directly to Oklahoma. Please come see the photographs!

To my delight I received a second Thank You note from the Choctaw Nation Head Start today. Please read it. I assure you that you'll immediately want to get your knitting needles, crochet hook, or sewing machine and start stitching!

I figure that soon --- when the Choctaw Nation Head Start receives the hats from Kalamazoo --- the 310 Hats goal will EASILY have been met.

When I got home from my morning errands, I had a bag of hats from Linda T and her friend Emma (Holliston, MA) on my doorstep. They are the first few of the next group of hats!

It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of such an endeavor.

Blessings and gratitude to each and every person who has participated!

[I have resumed my regular knitting for Saint Francis Knitters. I may post those pictures, just in case any one is interested.] I still owe you pictures of the latest hats from Linda T and Emma, plus pictures of the hats E1 has made and shipped.

- humbly and gratefully, E2

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick! Somebody call Ripley's "Believe It or Not!"

That's it, folks. I cannot imagine that May 2010 could possibly be topped as a "Good Mail Month".

This morning I found a box in my yard.  I puzzled about the box, for I did not recognize it at all. I  turned it and turned it until I finally realized it was a package addressed to me!

Oh wow, what a delight it held!

The box came from my friend Valency in California. (Valency rhymes with 'vacancy'.) Inside: 22 fleece hats sewn by the 8-10 year old children at her church! She told me in her note that the children were delighted to have such a pleasurable task as making hats for sweet Kindergarten children! Gosh, it brought tears to my eyes.

I have a big box to ship out soon. I don't even know how many hats will be in it. D in California sent 39, and now Valency from California has sent 22, plus many more that didn't go in the first box of 100 hats... I may have another 100 to ship to Oklahoma!  I will keep you posted.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the hats from Valency's students at her church. I sure delighted in unpacking them. Valency even included the sewing pattern and instructions!

Write it in your calendar folks --- May 2010 --- You heard it first when May 2010 broke the record for Good Mail Month!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a good mail month

You know how you can have a good mail day if you've been "anticiparcelating" and the parcel finally arrives? You know how you can have a REALLY Good mail day if you get a check you didn't expect? You know how you can have a REALLY REALLY GOOD mail day if you get a surprise note from a friend?

How about a mail month so wonderful that you wonder if it could ever be topped?

The other day I told you about the box of 100 hats I shipped out in April, and the delightful Thank You note I received on Monday from the Choctaw Nation.

Well, E1 just shipped out a box of hats (85 hats / give or take) this week. (I still have to share the photos E1 sent me.)

Top this!
I received a box of 39 hats from D in California and her friend that are simply amazing! I showed you photos of most of those hats when she sent me digi-pics. But when they came, my youngest and I had to handle, try on, delight in, and photograph them all! My youngest was disappointed that the hats, one in particular, cannot stay here but are destined for Oklahoma. I knew before the box even came that my youngest would be particularly fond of one of them, and I was right. She was trying to think of ways to convince me to let her keep that one particular hat!

Let me show you the photos of the 39 hats that came the other day in a big box, all the way from California! (Please forgive the camera jitter in some of them. "Teamwork" is a tricky thing in the realm of photography. My team-mate was a seven year old child.)

[Let me know if any of those links don't work.]

I am truly honored that D and her friend shared their time, talent, and treasure with me (I get to handle them!) and the students in Oklahoma. I'm especially honored because many of the hats were made with wool, and I know that D does not like to handle wool. I'm even more honored because I strongly suspect that I've seen some of that wool before.... I think E3 sent some of the wool from North Carolina to D in California to be knit in California and sent to me in Rhode Island to enjoy, and then off to Oklahoma to be worn, used, and cherished.

Do you agree? It'll be hard to top May 2010 as a Good Mail Month.

If I send out another box of hats in May then I'm sure that May 2010 could go into the record books as "unsurpassed good mail month".

Other note:
[I just finished my 63rd hat last night. I am behind on photographing those. I think it's hat 63. I'm not sure. Failing to photograph aids my inability to remember the count!]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

updates of various sorts (with some --- but not all -- of the pic's I want to show)

Dear Reader,

On April 26 I came to the realization that I was having a "hat-valanche" in my bedroom and that 100 hats HAD TO GO to Oklahoma. So I secured a good size shipping box at Staples, some packing tape, a nice fat Sharpie, the appropriate address, and some plastic bags to keep hats dry if the box should get wet.

I filled the box with 100 hats. All the acrylic hats you've seen so far plus some new ones:
- hats from Anne of Saint Francis Knitters (1)
- more hats from Anne of SFK (2)
- even more hats from Anne of SFK (3)
- my 60th hat

The box was FILLED. An 18" x 18" x 18" box precisely held 100 hats.

I scanned and saved the letter I wrote to accompany the first 100 hats. (You can click to magnify the letter, then drag to move to other parts of the letter.)

Since then it has been REALLY BUSY at our house:
- the end of the religious education school year (testing, re-testing, planning, party)
- installation of new club officers at some Toastmasters clubs
- a Confirmation
- First Communion rehearsal
- ANOTHER First Communion rehearsal
- a big Toastmasters Contest (Division level)
- testing for a blue belt
- rearrangement of the family schedule because receiving a blue belt means attending a different class
- a big Toastmasters Conference (including my involvement)
- regular Toastmasters meetings
- being a club officer and a district officer for Toastmasters
- regular choir rehearsals, chorus rehearsals, variety show rehearsals, choir, chorus, lectoring, altar serving, martial arts
- making small presents for my First Communion students
- First Communion (beautiful!)

Gosh, just typing the list makes me tired.

Yesterday (5/17) I got a beautiful letter back from the Choctaw Nation Head Start program. (You can click to magnify, and drag to read it all.)

I have many more pictures to take and to share with you, but I cannot do it this morning.

Thank you to ALL the people who've pitched in towards The Great 310 Hats Project! You are blessing people far more than you will ever know.

God bless!
- E2

Monday, April 26, 2010

100 shipping out

One hundred hats are heading from RI to OK today.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

one for one swap and LOADS of new pictures

I will be heading to a tatting conference soon! (Yeah, me!) I will be bringing a set of mittens and hat for Seneca Santa when I go. I started a hat/mitten set in blue left over from the Wounded Warrior afghan. Hat: done. Mitten 1: done. Mitten 2: ran out of yarn at the top of the pinky! WAH! So I grabbed a skein of lavender and made a pair of mittens in lavender. I'll swap one of the lavender hats from the bag with the blue hat from the yarn mentioned above. E1 also mailed me a hat for Seneca Santa! So, I'll be finishing up my pre-conference homework and packing 2 hats and a pair of mittens in my luggage. (I can't wait! Is it Friday yet?)

E1 sent me a photo disk with the pictures of all her hats! I will be uploading them to the blog for your OOOOH-ing and AHHHH-ing pleasure as soon as I get a chance. You'll enjoy seeing them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

E2's 57, 58, 59

Hat 57, the goldenrod wool one, is in the BIG SACK O'HATS. I decided to heed the voice of Rowena A. that I hear in my head all time time and put the hat in the bag. What does Rowena A. say that is so powerful? She says,
"It's just _____X_____. They will make more. I promise."
Where 'X' is fabric, yarn, silk tatting thread, or any other consumable that one might be tempted to hoard. (OK, maybe only the Obsessive Compulsive hopeless thread/fabric/yarn junkies among us might be tempted to hoard. But the point is the same. Do not be afraid to cut the fabric, knit the yarn, or tat the silk. There will be more. Rowena promises.)

So, that is hat 57.

Hat 58 has been languishing for a while until I could darn in the ends. Gray LEADER yarn, seed stitch cuff. Simple and straightforward.

Hat 59 I finished last night. It's mint green LEADER yarn. The design was supposed to be trees, but surely looks more like arrows pointing heaven-ward. So, I'll call it the "Keep Looking Up" cap in honor of a dear friend from eons ago... Doug C of Penfield, NY, who is fond of saying "Keep Looking Up" when hard times come along. It's good advice. What's here is transitory. Keep looking up to what's eternal and truly important. So, even if they were meant to be trees pointing heavenward, they're more like arrows pointing heavenward, to remind all of us to Keep Looking Up.

I may make one more hat soon just so I have a round number like 60 instead of a prime number (59). [Although prime numbers are way cool, so maybe I should pause at 59 for a while.]

I've been working on a prayer lapghan for a wounded veteran, at the request of the prayer shawl ministry at Immanuel Lutheran Church. I'm nearly done with that. I've finished the green prayer shawl for the music ministers' friend. I have another, very special, prayer shawl in progress and I hope to finish it this century.

Flooding update:
E1 is fine and well and has weathered the storm well: home, pets, and all.

E2 and family are safe and fine although the house took a beating. There is a river in the basement. Literally. The flooring will have to come up and the paneling will have to come down. And some stuff-stuff is ruined (yarn, fabric, books). But the people are all well (other than strep throat, bronchitis, and other things that are putting a big crimp in Holy Week plans). Stuff-stuff, carpeting, and paneling can be replaced. Regarding yarn, fabric and books: They will make more. Rowena A. promises. So, toss out the ruined stuff-stuff and be thankful we have a home not submerged in nine feet of water; we have electricity; the wage-earner's business is still standing and profitable and keeping a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, and fuel in our cars, and internet turned on. While I'd prefer NOT to have a river in my basement, all is truly well.

Oh, and the back yard is a swamp with a stream running through. There's a stream running down our street, too. Water is still flowing so vigorously that the cover of some pipe is popping up and down, being bounced by water pushing its way to the surface. Amazing.

Daughter #1 and I did some sight-seeing yesterday after we went to the doctor. A local grocery store is submerged. The beloved Del's Lemonade shop is up to its counter in water. Dunkin' Donuts stands in a lake, and the high-rise apartment building for the elderly stands vacant in the water. We also peeked at the bike path. There were SWANS SWIMMING ON THE BIKE PATH. Now that is something that has to make even the most embittered person laugh --- to see swans swimming on what humans dare to call "the bike path". I guess I won't be biking there any time soon, nor even hiking there without first buying hip waders! We stopped to see the waterfall near Town Hall. Normally the waterfall is about 20 feet tall. Yesterday it was about two feet tall.

Our area fared far better than other areas. I wonder if the Warwick Mall (A whole MALL!) will ever re-open, or if it's destroyed and will have to be razed.
I went to look for photos of the mall, and found a shocking video. I didn't know someone had been trapped inside the flooded Mall for days! He's gottabe HUNGRY. Humans can only live on Cinnabon and soda pop for so long!

I'm glad it's not my car in this picture!

My friend, DA, could use prayers. She's in Hope Valley --- completely cut off because of the flooding --- and injured from an accident.

- E2

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Exciting news!

I have heard from E3 (E3, as in "Praying for Elizabeth" box above left), that she has heard from Kalamazoo. The box of hats in the quilting shop in Kalamazoo now has MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED HATS!! Wow! Is that capital-w WONDERFUL, or what?!

I think we may have reached the goal of 310 hats! I have more than 100 here in my house. I bet E1 and her friend, P, have more than 100 in western Massachusetts. Add at least another 100 in Kalamazoo and I think we have 310 hats!

So, friends, fans, and fellow hat makers: Finish the hat currently in progress and then wait a bit before starting the next one. I will keep you posted.

I would love to ensure that every person who has contributed hats gets a proper thank you note. If you, or someone you know, has added to the 310 Hats cause, please make sure I have your (or the other person's) full name and address. Email generic Thank Yous are nice. Blanket blog post Thank Yous are nice. But this effort and this huge accomplishment warrants a REAL thank you note. Please send me your name and address at my email address:

esther SPAM BLOCK1 at SPAM BLOCK2 sombrereptiles SPAM BLOCK3 dot SPAM BLOCK4 org

Remove the spaces and the spam blocks, change the 'at' to an '@', and the 'dot' to a '.'. (Sorry for the inconvenience. I get way too much spam as it is. I don't need to invite any more. I know you're all smart enough to figure out how to turn that gibberish into an email address.) Please put something in the subject line that will make the message JUMP OUT at me from among the bajillions of messages in my (woefully cluttered) inbox. A good subject line would be "for the thank you notes project for the 310 hats project". :-)

If you and your needles, hooks, sewing machine, etc., just can't get enough of hat-making and you think you can't stop, we can start HATS ANONYMOUS (HA!) or you can donate to Knit-a-Cap:

From the bottom of my heart,

- E2

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

another amazing group of hats, lovingly made by another stitcher

E3 and I have a mutual friend, D in California, who knits and crochets. (Hi, D!)

She has made a beautiful collection of hats for the 310 Hats project. They aren't here on the east coast yet but they will arrive soon.

She has sent me some photos to tempt me. If these were food photos I'd be drooling. Instead, I have this "longing hand" sensation. I TOTALLY want to hold these hats!

Please share my "longing hand" feeling by viewing the photos she has sent!

The first picture of 20 amazing hats (some of these will appear again, closer up)

Hats made in the Knit-a-cap style

Striped beanie

This one SHOUTS "SPRING!!!" (crochet)

Two-tone beanie

Interesting ribs that go all the way to the top! (That's challenging.)

Crochet & knit - sky blues

Another truly pretty blue hat with ribs all the way to the top

Rib Cap in pinks and blues

Top Down Beanie
(from Barbara Walker instructions)

Fun Stripes

"got diamonds and triangles?"

Like a field in spring's full bloom

Crocheted royal blue (GORGEOUS!)

CABLES! (I am physically allergic to knitting cables. Really. I don't have the brain power. Any one who knits cables is a Knitting Hero in my book.)

"Mistake stitch red cap" (Why do 'they' call this 'mistake stitch'? It's looks wonderful to me!)

More shapes in lovely royal blue

An interesting stitch in a dark happy blue (half way between royal blue and navy blue)

Pretty in Pink - crochet

Seed Stitch cuff cap in wool - Hot pink!

"Goosebumps hat" in Hot Pink!

Supple Ribs in color "Ocean"

Is this two faces of the same pretty blue hat? I don't know. (D, please tell!)

I joyfully anticipate their arrival. By then, I'm sure there will be more photos of lovely D-made hats to share with you all!

I am truly humbled by the outpouring of generosity from coast to coast! It brings tears to my eyes. Truly.

And to answer questions from the comments ---
Every time I try to total the hats, the number changes! :-) I need a calculator.

And no, E1 and I haven't figured out what happens when the total reaches 310!

- E2

Is it sick to love a hat?

I love this hat.

It's soft. It's warm. It's fuzzy. It's orange and yellow and so cheerful*. Plus, I actually (GASP!) paid full price for the skein of yarn.

Is it wrong if I knit a cap for the 310 Hats project and then love it so much that I cannot part with it?

Lamb's Pride Bulky, color Prairie Goldenrod (m240), from Knitting Addiction on the Outer Banks for North Carolina (Kill Devil Hills).

If I allow myself to put it in the giant bag of hats, it'll be my #57. If I put it in my dresser drawer (now that it's warm out), then I'm still at 56.

* The fact that such colors do NOTHING for me is irrelevant. So don't try to talk me out of loving this cheerful hat. The fact that it would go with absolutely NOTHING in my wardrobe -- summer or winter -- is also irrelevant. So don't try to talk me out of loving this cheerful hat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

photos of the Big Box from Kalamazoo

Remember the story of the Big Box from Kalamazoo?

I've been meaning to show photos of these fifteen fantastic, super-cute, super-warm hats for a while. Today I finally photographed them.

Here they are. Fifteen wonderful hats from Mrs. C.A. in Kalamazoo, sent in honor of Mrs. M.S. in Portage and E3 in Charlotte!

Hats 1-5

Hats 6-10

Hats 11-15

Thank you so much, Mrs. C.A.!
You are greatly blessing people more than you can imagine.


Dear Linda T.

Dear Linda,

Have I ever claimed that I can count? I am so sorry! Thank you SO VERY MUCH FOR THE THIRTY *EIGHT* HATS YOU MADE AND GAVE ME!

Aren't you glad that I haven't used my Physics degree to get a job in the Nuclear industry in any way??

Dear Reader - Please go see Linda's lovely hats!

1 - 10 from Linda T

11-20 from Linda T
21-24 from Linda T
25-33 from Linda T
34-38 from Linda T

Humbled when photographing and completely grateful,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a (nearly) picture-free update

I have finished the prayer shawl for the F family to give to their friend. I made the prayer shawl in a pretty green yarn that Lion Brand no longer makes (sigh). It was Homespun in a color called Cyprus. I had three skeins and I used every last inch. I had it blessed at LaSalette Shrine on St. Patrick's Day, and gave it to the F family today.

I do have a photo of the prayer shawl I made, with Mrs. F wearing it. If I get it off my camera and onto the computer I can add the picture.

Meanwhile, my "I" hook became busy with a lapghan for a Wounded Warrior. How did that happen? Well, a few years ago I was blessed and privileged to attend a Prayer Shawl workshop with Victoria Cole-Galo and Janet Bristow, co-founders of the Prayer Shawl Ministry. The church that arranged that retreat workshop kept my email address. This past week I received a letter saying the church had an urgent need for some lapghans for the chaplain to bring to the VA. Gosh, if someone has bothered to keep my email address for YEARS and writes a heart-rending plea for help, how can I say 'no'? So, I picked up a pound of yarn and my "I" hook and started a waves afghan, about 38" wide. I'm at least half way to the suggested 50" dimension. I will finish that up for the church and drop it off as soon as I can.

I've started finished a hat (since hats are FAR more portable than afghans)! I'm doing a lavender Leader hat with that sand stitch/dotted Swiss stitch. (#56) (Acrylic) View of hat turned the other way.

E1 has done nearly 70 hats. Plus Saint Francis Knitters gave me some more hats this week. I have yet to take photos of the lovely hats that came from Michigan or the ones from Linda T, or even the last several from Saint Francis Knitters! ARGH! (Where DOES the time go????)

Also, K was telling her mother about the stress and miracles hat. Her mom is going to make some hats for the project, too! K, if you're reading this, here is the link to give your mom for the basic knit-a-cap cap. One skein of Wool-Ease doubled on 10 or 10 1/2 needles makes a very nice cozy warm hat.

[K logged in to the blog and found it quite amusing to find herself mentioned here. And so, I mention her again just to give her another chuckle. Good morning, K!]

Monday, March 15, 2010

... dancing as fast as I can! (updated with photo)

Wasn't that the name of a popular book a few years ago?

I'm WAY behind on photos and blogging. My knitting time has been consumed by working on a prayer shawl for a friend. (Additionally, my knitting has been slowed by a bout with tendinitis in my right arm. Heat, heat, more heat. It's on the mend, I think. I must have lifted something that was too heavy. That's usually the culprit. Couldn't possibly be TMK [Too Much Knitting]! No way. I won't even consider it.)

I finished my 55th hat. It's Lamb's Pride Bulky in aubergine. (I think I did a few too many rows at the top. It's a bit too 'peaky' for my taste. But that yarn doesn't un-knit ("tink") gracefully, so I let it be. I'm sure some child will find the the peak funny and relish that particular hat.)

Plus, there are some gorgeous hats coming from D in CA. She has sent me pictures and will send some text to go along with them. I am excited to share them with you.

As soon as I can. Promise.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Wow! I went to St. Francis Knitters today and they gave me more hats. I think maybe 10. Then I came home after picking a child at school and found THIRTY THREE LOVELY HATS FROM LINDA T! Linda, Thank You So Much!

Fifty-four and MORE!

Friends and fans, I'm getting woefully behind on my photographs and blogging! I have to show you some from of the hats that came from Michigan. I have to show you some hats that came from Saint Francis Knitters. I'm behind!

But I can show you "54 and more".

My hat 54 is Lamb's Pride Bulky in color Charcoal Heather. A simple knit-a-cap in super-warm yummy yarn. How'd I happen upon so much Lamb's Pride Bulky? My favorite shopping partner, my seven year old, can spot the word "SALE" at a mile. I swear. My shopping partner found a bin of Lamb's Pride Bulky under a table at 50% off. Single skeins of various colors. But one skein does a hat so I bought a BUNCH!

... and more!
More from Delightful Dale of Toastmasters! She brought me three more last night at our mutual meeting in Foxboro, MA. See them!

(I'm particularly fond of the "springy ring" hat! It reminds me of some very special mittens made of very special yarn. Elizabeth D (see "Praying For..." box above) and I own matching "springy ring mittens" and socks to match our mittens!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

53 - The Never-Inside-Out hat

This hat has two personalities. One side is SAND STITCH. The other side is DOTTED SWISS STITCH. These stitch patterns are from a Barbara Walker book. The stitches happen to be opposites of each other, just as knit and purl are opposites of each other. Hence, while the hat is only one layer, it is never inside out. This is made of more yarn from North Carolina's Outer Banks' Knitting Addiction store. It is Brown Sheep Company's Lamb's Pride Bulky in the color "khaki", a plant green color.

Friday, March 5, 2010

slow progress and a big boost

I have made my 52nd hat, from yarn I bought at Knitting Addiction on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It's "misty blue" Lamb's Pride Bulky from Brown Sheep Company. It's a simple seed stitch cuff and stockinette top.

E1 is WAY ahead of me with more than 57 hats.
Her friend, P, has made at least 20.

I'm slow on the hats at the moment because I'm working on a prayer shawl for a friend of a friend who was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

The Project has received a BIG BOOST! Ms. C. A. from Michigan has send a BIG BOX OF HATS in honor of Elizabeth D (of the "Praying for Elizabeth" box in the upper left) and her mother, Mrs. S. of Kalamazoo. (I will let you know how many hats and show some pictures when I get a chance.) Thank you SO MUCH to Ms. C. A. of Michigan!

Monday, March 1, 2010

the stress and miracles hat

Behold the Stress and Miracles hat: a simple cap with a tug-able top made of Lion's Alpine Wool in color Blueberry.
From 310 Hats

I (E2) and my family vacationed in North Carolina recently. The night before the ride home was to begin, I cast on the blueberry wool hat. It was yarn I had brought with me on the trip. It was high time I knitted yarn I actually BROUGHT rather than only knitting yarn I had to BUY while in North Carolina. :-)

We loaded the car and set off for the journey home. We planned to drive 1/2 way home on Saturday, and finish the trip on Sunday. School was to resume on Monday. Halfway between where we vacationed and home is somewhere around Philadelphia. Give or take. Geography is not my forté! If you are smart, you'll never leave me in charge of navigation, either.

I was driving as we approached the greater DC area. The GPS (bless its silicon heart) was giving me confusing and contradictory information. The screen said to take a particular turn and the voice said to take a DIFFERENT particular turn. If you can imagine Washington, D.C. on a Saturday afternoon with road repair going on, traffic jams, and those crazy confusing beltways that go in all directions at once, and me driving... Well, you've already got the shivers.

But that's just the beginning of the tale. Just the beginning my friends. You are reading a message I'm typing from my netbook at home, so you can surmise that we all made it home safely. Yes, we did. Not even a new dent on the car. But that doesn't mean it was stress free!

Picture this: I've chosen to listen to the GPS's voice commands rather than to take the turn the screen indicated I should take. Hubby is totally confused and futzing with the GPS. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper. The youngest is whining that it's time to stop and take a potty break. We're near, I'm told, Pennsylvania Avenue. We're right by an overpass or a bridge that wasn't.

By "an overpass or a bridge that wasn't" I mean the following. You know how construction crews will close off a road or a ramp, let the traffic adjust to new traffic patterns, and THEN take down the bridge or the ramp? By the time the bridge or the ramp is removed, no one should EVER consider getting onto the road, bridge, or ramp. Right? Well, we were right next to an overpass or a bridge that wasn't. It had already been dismantled. All that remained were the columns supporting a bit of roadway that lead to perdition. I'm serious. The road that ended in mid-air had to be at least 30 feet above the road we were on. We thought nothing of it. Hubby was playing with the GPS and I was concentrating on inching along in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The youngest continued to whine about needing to use a necessary room.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a car DROVE OFF THE BRIDGE THAT WASN'T. I'm SERIOUS! The car just drove right off the edge of that bridge or overpass that had been dismantled. KABOOM! Down it fell and landed on its roof! Can you say "FREAK OUT?!" The drivers of the cars in the right lane pulled into the breakdown lane to park, ran across our part of the highway, and immediately assisted the people in the car that had fallen from the sky. Other people got out cell phones and started phoning 9-1-1. I tried to phone 9-1-1, too, but my phone wouldn't connect. I don't know why. The people who had parked in the breakdown lane helped the people out of the car, and then returned to their own cars saying "They're all fine!" What a miracle!

I was a nervous wreck. I was totally freaked out by this accident. How in the world did it happen? How could it be that a car could even drive onto a bridge that isn't? Where were the jersey barriers to prevent such a catastrophe? And how does a driver not see that the road vanishes? We heard no screeching of brakes or any other indication that the driver might have realized the potential disaster before falling. Perhaps the driver was talking on a phone. May be. But even if that were the case, how did the driver get onto a ramp that wasn't?

I inched my way along the highway, seeing and hearing the emergency vehicles come to the scene of the accident. Found a restroom, of sorts. (Let's just say that the ladies' room we found was padlocked and so the youngest had to resort to the misdemeanor crime of going behind a building. She was not happy about that; nor was I, especially since we had to walk through goose-doo and seagull-doo, mud and snow in order to get behind the building that housed the padlocked ladies' room.)

Hubby said he'd drive and I was fine with that!

We continued to inch around DC as the sky darkened. We came upon another 'event'. This time it was a car that had pulled over and put up flares. A road construction truck that happened to have a flashing arrow had parked behind it in the breakdown lane and put on its big flashing arrow sign. The car had started to burn. Someone, perhaps the driver of the arrow truck, was directing traffic around the burning car so that there wouldn't be a logjam when the emergency vehicles arrived. We were inching along with the rest of the traffic as the car fire turned into a consuming car conflagration and the car EXPLODED IN FRONT OF OUR EYES! I'm serious. It was like rockets and fireworks in front of us. The heat was tremendous. We inched by with the rest of the traffic as the sirens wailed and emergency vehicles tried to reach the fire. My second child saw the report later on the evening news that said the passengers from the car were all safe, and that one of them had even managed to retrieve something important from the car before the conflagration and explosion.

Quite a trip, eh? But wait, there's more.
As if that weren't enough!

It was getting late. We were all tired, hungry, cranky. We knew we weren't going to reach the half-way point in any reasonable time so we decided to find a hotel relatively close to where we were. At this point we had only made it to the greater Baltimore area.

We found a hotel, checked in, brought our bags up. Got everyone comfy and washed and then headed out to a drug store for some necessities and a McDonald's for dinner. Ate at McDonald's after a huge difficulty of trying to order three "allergy meals" when the crew didn't speak the same language I spoke. Rounded up all the kids and the freebie toys and headed back to the hotel. We got back into the room and I went to put my car keys in my purse when I discovered ... to my horror!... that I didn't have my purse. I had left my purse in McDonald's! Hubby's face sunk. I was horrified and cried and started praying. I prayed for JUST ONE HONEST PERSON to find my purse and give it to the restaurant manager for safe keeping. I prayed and prayed and cried and prayed as hubby drove me back to McDonald's. Hubby was certain that we'd be spending the night trying to cancel credit cards, that I'd have to get a new license, and that my cash and medicine were gone. I was hoping and praying that wouldn't be the case but I was fearing that it might be.

He dropped me at the door of the McDonald's, and what did I see? My purse was still hanging on the chair where I'd sat! Just hanging there as if it belonged there. It hadn't been touched. The cash was there. The credit cards were there. The license was there. My medicine was there. MIRACLE. Hubby couldn't believe it. I was amazed and extremely grateful for the miracle. I just prayed "Thank you Thank You THANK YOU" all the way back to the hotel.

And then I took my medicine and headed to bed after taking Tylenol for the monster pounding headache in my skull.

Or so I thought.

The next morning I realized that my regular medicine was still in my suitcase. I had mixed up my migraine medicine with my regular medicine! They start with the same letters and the bottles are the same size! I hadn't read the label carefully enough to realize that I was taking migraine medicine instead of my regular medicine! I had taken Tylenol for my headache atop Tylenol-based migraine medicine! Oh my! When I discovered that error the next morning I was very grateful that I was alive and well and able to discover the error. I didn't follow the five RIGHTs of medicine dispensing! Right person, Right medicine, Right dose, Right time, Right method: I'd taken the wrong medicine, and therefore an extra large dose of Tylenol for the pounding headache. Ugh. I'm glad it wasn't a lethal dose of Tylenol.

What's all this to do with a hat? During the times that hubby was driving that day, and when it was quiet and peaceful in the hotel, I knit that blueberry hat. The tug-top used up the very last inches of that skein of Lion Alpine Wool. I can't even look at that hat without getting shaky, revisiting in my brain the horror of seeing the car on its roof after falling from the bridge that wasn't, seeing the car explode, leaving my purse in McDonald's, and discovering I'd taken the wrong medicine.

I live my life in the land of little miracles. Or big miracles. I'm so happy that the people got out of the car that fell OK. I'm so happy that people got out of the burning car OK. I'm so happy that I got my purse back OK. I'm so happy that I'm still typing after goofing up my medicines at the end of a long stressful day.


It's a Monday. That must mean...

It's Monday. Must mean there are seven new hats to show.


Coincidence does not imply causality!

Yes, it's Monday. Yes, I have seven new hats to show you. But it's merely a coincidence. I do NOT promise to have seven new hats to show on every Monday!

Hat 50 - simple wisteria hat with seed stitch cuff made of Paton's merino wool

"Diamonds and Wisteria" --- Is that the name of a sad country song about drinking too much and sleeping out of doors, or is it the name of a hat?

More wonderful hats by Dale of my Toastmasters club! She knit five very clever hats and brought them to the Toastmasters meeting on Saturday morning. Thank you, Dale, so much! Your blessing will have ripples beyond your ability to imagine. I'm sure! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

E1 reports in...

E1 has finished her HAT #50!
We, collectively, are easily past the 1/3 mark!


49 - What *is* it about stripes?

Hat 49 is a regular old cap, nothin' fancy like mosaic knitting. It's black with wisteria stripes and a seed stitch cuff. Sweet, simple, used up the last of the black.(I have plenty of wisteria left!)

What *IS* it about stripes that makes my kids go wacky? Certainly the mosaic eagle, puppies or trees were more work. Even the stand of droopy pine trees took far more concentration than hat 49. But my kids have ENTHUSED over the last 3 hats, the striped ones. You'd think I had invented stripes or something. Surely I did not.

Maybe it's the black that makes the stripes particularly eye-catching. I just don't know. I've made other striped caps without their receiving such an exuberant reception. Maybe it is due to the black.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homing in on 50

Hat 48 is Paton's Merino Classic wool in Wisteria and Black.

I will tell about the miracle hat soon. Its story needs to be told.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hugs from Above

Hat 47, Hugs from Above, is crocheted in honor of Leah in Richmond. See how that gorgeous blue stripe is hugged by the black? May we always know the LOVE from ABOVE even in the midst of personal darkness.

By the way, I wish I could find more of that blue yarn. It's Paton's Merino Classic Wool in a color called "That's Blue!" I've checked three stores and cannot find it any more. I believe it's still made. I am sure I bought it locally only within the last month or so.

The hat: crocheted according to basic crochet hat instructions, but no brim of any kind. Instead, I did crab stitch as the very last row.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've been away...

I was away for a week; that is why there is a delay in hats and their stories. My cell phone will allow me to put photos in the "drop box" but not to move them from "drop box" to the blog photo album. Additionally, I simply could not write blog posts on an itty-bitty virtual keyboard which causes me to get every third letter wrong when I type even if I were able to put photos onto the blog photo album. My regular touch-typing at a good speed turns into "hunt, peck, and curse" typing (which I loathe).

So, I've been away but now I have a moment before kids come home from school. I can tell you a bit about three of the newest hats.

RIVA hat
: E1, my sister, told me about the Hat Head design contest at Patternworks. She said, "Since you're making hats any way, maybe you can design a winner." I like contests. I even won one once. :-) I picked one of the yarns for the Patternworks contest and ordered one skein to see what it would be like. There was a little snafu with my order (my fault ... who knew that a "shop safe" credit card number can only be used by ONE vendor? I didn't!) Patternworks was great and they shipped the yarn at lightning speed once the credit card mystery was solved. The yarn arrived on the day before we left for our trip. So I took the Bretton yarn on the trip. I knit the Bretton purple hat on the ride south to our vacation destination. I started it in Rhode Island and finished it in Virginia. Hence the RIVA hat. I probably could have knit TWO hats in all those hours but hubby let me drive at least a little bit of the way. >;-)

The Wolle Baum hat (picture A, and picture B): This hat is a little visual pun, if you will. In German, the word for cotton is "baumwolle", or "wool from trees". I've always found that more than a little bit funny. Wool from trees! That's a better description of how Qiviut yarn is made than cotton! Nevertheless, you look at a multi-language label for cottons and you will see "baumwolle". While in Kitty Hawk, NC, I indulged myself in one of my favorite tricks ... Phone Google. I send a text to Google asking for all things yarn in Kitty Hawk, NC. I learned about a shop called 'Knitting Addiction' in Southern Shores, NC. I liked the name, for sure! So, when nothing else was pressing on the family agenda, I popped over to Southern Shores and had fun shopping in Knitting Addiction. There I fell hard for some Mission Falls wool in a tree green. With a pattern from a Barbara Walker book, I made a stand of droopy pine trees. So, they are Trees of Wool (Wolle Baum) instead of 'cotton' (baumwolle). Get it? A little pun.

At Knitting Addiction I also fell hard for Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande Paint yarn. Oh my! How yummy is THAT yarn? One skein. I only indulged in one skein. But gosh, that made a delightful hat!

For a while on vacation I thought I'd completely lost my knitting mojo. I ripped out at least two hats. So I'm glad that the three above suited me.

The William Hat and the Miracles Hat stories will have to wait. It's too hard to tell them so I'll have to postpone for a bit.

Thank you to Mrs. S of Kalamazoo who told me that there is quite a stir about the 310 Hats project in Kalamazoo! Also Thank You to Teri C of Kalamazoo whose lovely letter I received today. Thanks to Charlene A of Portage, MI who will be sending me a box of hats soon! WOW! Thank you to one and all who will warm beautiful heads of beautiful children at the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start program in Fall 2010!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A lovely hat from Dale

I entered this morning's Toastmasters meeting and was immediately greeted by Dale who was bearing a lovely hat for the project! She said that as soon as she finished that hat her fingers were itching to keep going so she immediately cast on another hat. Welcome to the addiction, Dale! And thank you for the lovely hat to warm a beautiful head of a beautiful child this coming autumn!

The color of flight? The color of North Carolina?

Hat 41 is knit from Lion Brand's Jiffy yarn in a color called "Kitty Hawk". It's soft, it's pretty, it's kid-friendly, but I don't know what it has to do with flight or North Carolina in general or Kitty Hawk, NC. Maybe there's white sand with green and pink speckles on Kitty Hawk's beaches. Maybe it's named for some Kitty Hawk other than North Carolina's Kitty Hawk. Maybe it's just a random name. Maybe some day I'll find out.
(I note that most of the Jiffy colors are city names.)

Hat 41: diagonal rib 2 x 2 on 55 stitches, 6 mm needles, stockinette, and pie wedge top.

Question for D in California ---- Why does 2x2 diagonal rib angle one way but 3 x 3 diagonal rib angles the other way if they're both on the same number of stitches? This hat started out with 3 x 3 rib but I had the dreaded TWIST ON FIRST ROW which I didn't discover until after 6 rows. (Argh.) When I unknit it all and cast on again, I did 2x2 rib instead of 3x3. I notice that the two angle differently. Why is that, mathematically speaking?

Friday, February 12, 2010

letters back and forth

E1 wrote to Rebecca H of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Head Start program to tell her that she could count on getting 310 Hats this summer in time for the next school year. She was very excited to read such news and wrote back to E1 saying that she and others would be watching the blog, and that the children who receive the hats are blessed.

It is true! E1, E2, E3, P, D in California, Angela, D in Cumberland and her friend Gigi, some knitters from Saint Francis Knitters and beyond,... perhaps others, too... will be blessing beautiful children with beautiful hats next school year. And not just the knitters and crocheters and people who sew will be blessing the children: I've received money from Anne to help towards postage and a promise from V to help with postage. What blessings! I get teary eyed just to think of it.

Hi to Rebecca if you are reading this! Know that many people around the country are going to be warming 310 Heads with 310 Hats before Autumn 2010.


I finished hat 40 last night so I'm counting it for yesterday. That makes 40 hats in 47 days. Still not a hat/day.

Hat 40 is a small one; it cannot be cuffed up. It's a single layer hat only. I used up the very last of the skeins of Impeccable Chunky. (Michael's, Loops & Threads). It's soft. I hope it's warm.

On my needles for Friday is a hat in Lion Brand Jiffy, color "Kitty Hawk". (The description of the color reads, "White with a tiny and subtle print of pistachio and rose.") I bought the yarn just because I liked the name of the color!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

car repair = knitting time

I don't feel compelled to plug in my laptop and work while I wait for a car repair. Instead, I have the luxury of knitting. Today I even found a place to knit where I could escape the regular waiting zone (with its plethora of Dunkin' Donuts mega muffins, noisy people talking on cell phones, occasional kids crying, and a GIANT TV with shows I totally do not want to watch). While the car was repaired I knit Hat 39. It's an igloo hat of Michael's store brand Loops & Threads Impeccable Chunky.

[47 days, 39 hats. Still not a hat/day but better than 38 hats in 47 days!]

38 - a very soft ear flap hat

I finished hat 38 last night. It's an ear flap hat crocheted with very soft (!!) Michael's store brand Loops & Threads Impeccable Bulky yarn. 100% acrylic. [The link shows the worsted weight; my store carries a bulky weight.]

(47 days, 38 hats. Definitely NOT keeping up the hat-a-day pace!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

36, 37... No, I didn't knit/crochet these today

Yes, it's a snowy day. Yes, we've been indoors all day. Yes, the kids had the day off from school. But no, I didn't manage to knit the ribbed cowl hood or crochet the ear flap hat today. I merely finished them and photographed them today.

The ribbed cowl hood is a pattern from Morehouse Merino. (Picture) The yarn is Plymouth Encore. [The charming young model has a dress knit from the same yarn. This cowl hood finished up the last of the Plymouth Encore left over from making that dress.] I knit this one on a rosewood needle from Lantern Moon. Yum - I love knitting with those needles. As they get warm from working they smell SO NICE. They also have just the right amount of friction for happy knitting. Their points are a wee bit sharp, however. If I could change one thing, I'd dull the points a bit.

The ear flap hat is from a Caron pattern. I made it in Leader acrylic yarn. My #2 child said I should skip the ties and tassels because they just get in the way. The hat certainly stays put on a head and covers ears thoroughly without dangling ties and tassels.

I have another ear flap hat that needs to be finished, photographed, and uploaded. I hope to finish that tonight.

Hat 35 --- maybe it's "coral"

Hat 35 is another mosaic hat. It is made of Paton's Classic Wool Merino, on size 8 (5mm) needles. The pattern is from the Mosaic Knitting book (Barbara Walker), and was called "Branches". However, I'm renaming it "Coral Reef" for this hat.

Here's the scoop: I wanted to use up the last bit of pink from a prior hat, so I bought a skein of black. Black goes with anything, right? Then I picked the "branches" mosaic, but didn't like that the branches point downward in the book. I showed it to a friend who said "willow tree branches". Eh. Not droopy enough for willow tree branches. Real tree branches point upwards.

So I turned the chart upside down to knit it. (Mosaics can be turned upside down but you may have to make a few tweaks.) I wanted pink tree branches pointing skyward on a black hat. That's what I knit.

However, I didn't anticipate that pink branches pointing skyward on a black hat meant that the human eye would seek out the black and *still* see branches pointing downwards. ARGH! If only I'd knit the chart right side up, I'd see upward-pointing black branches!


So, instead ... if you look really hard ... you'll see upward pointing pink "branches" (if you can ignore the downward pointing black branch-like things). Hubby says "evergreen branches droop like that". Agreed, but that's not the look I was hoping to achieve.

So, dear reader, please focus on the pink. If you focus on the pink you can see coral in the dark water. Pretend you're snorkeling in the Bahamas, OK?

Hubby says "Yup. Coral imagery will mean a lot to Choctaw Kindergarten students." Funny guy.

So there you have it; the reason why I'm renaming the "branches" mosaic to "coral" mosaic for Hat 35.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thought you might like to see this picture

This is a size XL Ziploc bag. It is presently JAMMED FULL with 43 hats. My hat #34 had to go into a new bag. This XL bag would not take even one more hat.

E3 and E2 collaborate on hat 34

E3 sent me some really lovely yarn a little over a year ago. I forget the occasion, and I forget precisely what I made with the rest of it. I think I made mittens for Saint Francis Knitters. (E3, do you remember?) The yarn is Universal Yarn's Fiber Natura superwash baby merino chunky. I had knit up all of it, or so I thought. The other day I encountered two last balls of it. Two balls made precisely one igloo hat (hat 34). Thank you, again, E3. The yummy yarn has now all been knit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Caught someone's ear with the puppy dog hat

I was working on Hat 33 (The puppy dog mosaic hat) at the pool yesterday while the kids took swim lessons. A young girl and an older gentleman (perhaps her grandfather) came up to me. The young girl said, "Nice knitting! Who's the hat for?" I didn't think she would really want to hear the whole 310 Hats story so I simply said "It's for a Kindergarten student in a Head Start program." The older gentleman's ear caught this and he genuinely, enthusiastically exclaimed "Oh COOL!" I'm serious. This wasn't your average "oh. cool. (let's get going I'm hot and hungry after sitting poolside during your lessons.)". No, this was a genuine, hearty, hardy "Oh COOL!" It made me wonder:
- Is he an educator?
- Is he involved in Head Start?
- What makes him find the idea of gift knitting for a Kindergarten student in a Head Start program to be particularly noteworthy?

Perhaps I'll see him again on a future swim Saturday. Perhaps I'll have the nerve to ask him. Perhaps I won't and I'll never know the answers to my questions.

The puppy dog hat is a mosaic pattern from Barbara Walker's MOSAIC KNITTING book. It is done in Wool-Ease (Lion Brand) yarn on #9 needles. I couldn't find a short #9 needle so I did the hat on magic loop.

It was a different experience doing mosaic on magic loop. I got to appreciate all the more the magic of the pattern's continuing from edge to edge. This is hard to explain if you haven't done mosaic knitting (or magic loop), but I'll try to explain. When you do mosaic knitting from these patterns, and you're doing them in the round, you skip the edge stitches that the pattern calls for in the book. (If you're knitting the mosaic flat, the pattern will call for "repeat of 24 stitches plus 3", for instance. The +3 is the edge stitching. You skip those edge stitches when working in the round.) The mosaic pattern ends at stitch 24 and starts again at stitch 1. The picture continues!! Now, that amazed me when I was working on short needles for the previous three hats. But it didn't amaze me too much; I took it for granted and didn't think about it too much.* When I was working on the magic loop, I had two puppy dog repeats on one side of the magic loop and the third repeat on the other side of the magic loop. So I really and truly got to see that there is no break of design between stitches 48 and 49, and again between stitches 72 and 1. Yes, I saw that there was no break in design on the previous three mosaics, but it was brought home all the more by having two repeats on one side of the needle and the third repeat on the other side of the needle. Perhaps if I worked with DPNs and had one repeat on each of three needles that I would have been equally astounded. (But first I'd have to overcome my loathing of DPNs!)

I did a double hem for extra warmth, softness and thickness about the ears.

* I did note that you do not get the "beginning of row jog" from color changes when you do mosaic knitting. That little issue just disappears. I can't explain why. It just does. It makes me happy. :-)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hi. My name is E2 and I'm a mosaic junkie.

Warning - if you are prone to obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior, do NOT start doing mosaic knitting. You are warned. Seriously. You think regular knitting leads to the "just one more row and then I'll stop" phenomenon? HA! You ain't seen nothin' until you start mosaic knitting.

Here is why mosaic knitting is particularly addictive:

1 - First of all, since it takes 2 rows of knitting for every one row of the chart, you automatically want to do 2 rows of knitting at a minimum.

2 - And then you think, "But if I stop now, I might not remember which yarn to pick up next."

3 - And then --- on top of that mental twist --- you think "just one more row so I can see how the picture is progressing."

4 - Mind you, "just one more row" is really "just two more rows" because of fact number one (see above).



You have been warned.

See the latest hat which is an eagle mosaic hat. The mosaic pattern is from MOSAIC KNITTING by Barbara Walker. The yarn is Lion Brand's Wool-Ease. I used 5 mm needles. The double-thick ribbing is done on 80 stitches, and then I increased to 88 to start the eagle mosaic. There are four full eagles around the hat, four eagle heads below, and four eagle tails above.

On my hooks to finish - two earflap hats (they just need the flaps).
Next mosaic - puppy dogs.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

another mosaic & a PS

E2's Hat 31 is another mosaic hat. Not a hat with another mosaic. :-) I used the same mosaic pattern as hat 30. But the two hats are different because the cuffs are different and the number of repeats is different. I changed needle sizes. Hat 30 was done on #10 needles with 60 stitches (6 repeats) and Hat 31 was done on #8 needles with 80 stitches (8 repeats). Same yarn: Paton's Merino. Next mosaic hat will have eagles. Keep an eye out!


PS - I heard from E1 who heard from her friend, P. P has done over 20 hats and her daughter will go to her house to take digi-pics of them! So, shortly there should be some digi-pics of at least 20 more hats. Our total count is easily over 100 now. I've seen P's knitting before. (She was on the Land's End Feel Good knitting team with E1 and me.) She's a great knitter! I'm sure the hats are lovely.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

30 for me

My 30th hat is done.

Here at my house I have 30 (mine) + 4 from E3 + 3 from SFK + 3 from Angela = 40
(I think I'm remembering all of them!)
They are all squished into a great big Ziploc bag, size XL. The bag won't hold many more! [Maybe I can fit in one or two more if they don't have pom-poms.]

E1 has done more than 30 hats but I don't know the present count.

And D has at least 20 done that will come.

Therefore, the count is at least 90... maybe almost 100. Maybe even over 100!


A long overdue visit to SFK, 3 new hats, and 3 hats nearly done

I have three new hats to show you!

I popped into Saint Francis Knitters today because Roberta phoned me last week. It has been a really long time since I'd been there. (Shame on me!) It was delightful to see every one and chat. I told the story of the 310 hats. (It's part of the reason I've been away from SFK for a bit. My hands have been busy and I hate to go empty-handed!) Roberta, Francine and Anne immediately dug into the bags of today's delivered goodies and insisted I take some for the project!

See these beautiful hats!!
SFK 1 - knit by Anne
SFK 2 - knit by Anne
SFK 3 - crocheted by one of Francine's friends

I have three hats that are nearly done (but only one photo).

Two hats are Peruvian-style ear flap hats in crochet. One's in spring green and the other in royal blue. The spring green is delayed because I ran out of yarn and have to go out to "the garage" to get another skein. (My garage is not attached to my house. It's about a mile and a half away.) The blue is on hold just 'coz I haven't finished the ear flaps yet.

The third hat nearly done is blue/blue mosaic knitting, using mosaic 41 (p61) from Barbara Walker's A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns book. To finish it I need to close off the top and darn in the ends. It's wool - Paton's Merino in light and dark blues.


Monday, February 1, 2010

It's a lot harder to make a hat a day when....

It's a LOT harder to make a hat a day if you have to jettison a whole day's work.

Hometown USA was NOT the right yarn for the Peruvian Earflap Hat pattern.

Like artist David Cole (a la "The Knitting Machine"), I *could* make that hat out of that yarn ... just like I *could* make socks out of dock line... but neither would be very comfy to wear.

I'll have to use the Hometown USA yarn for some other pattern.

I'm ripping the hat out and will make something else with that yarn. I've restarted the hat with Michael's store brand "Loops & Threads" Impeccable Chunky yarn in royal blue. I cannot find a link to that particular yarn on the Michael's web site.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Think spring

Hat 29 is spring greens. The yarn is LEADER, 100% acrylic.

The cuff was knit extra long and then brought up to make a hem, making the cuff double-thick and cushion-like. Yum.

The hat body itself is a combination of mosaic knitting and carrying-n-trapping. The rows that have both light green and dark green are mosaic knit with slip stitches. The rows that are all dark green are just knit with dark green, no slipping stitches, and carrying-n-trapping the light green behind. I wanted to do it all in mosaic but the two greens didn't have enough contrast and I didn't have any pattern with me. I can't mosaic design in my head, and I didn't want to do something so simple that I ended up with corrugation or no stretch. So, I made blocks of light green in alternating positions, then had non-mosaic rows in between. It makes for an overall effect that makes me think of a forest in spring, wherein every tree's leaves are a slightly different shade of green, a different shape, and a different size. I like it.

I started it Friday night but had only done a few rows of the cuff. On Saturday I had several hours of waiting time. (KIDS!) I was glad I had some knitting with me even though I didn't have any mosaic pattern with me.

I will do another mosaic hat soon.

Presently on my crochet hook is Caron's Peruvian Ear Flap Hat. However, the store at which I had coupons (Joann's) didn't have Caron's Simply Soft Quick (or I couldn't find it). I ended up buying Lion's Hometown USA (which I figured was comparable). However, the piece I have made so far hasn't made gauge, and is already thick as armor. The specified gauge is 12 sc/4", and I only get 10.5-11 sc/4". Therefore, I think I didn't quite pick the right yarn. I cannot imagine working the Hometown any tighter than I am now with an "I" (5.5mm) hook. I guess I'll have to keep seeking the Caron Simply Soft Quick.

I'm also wondering why the pattern calls for a slip-stitch and ch1 at each round's end. What's the point of that? Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I think it makes a sloppy-looking seam at the back of the hat. What disadvantage is there in simply doing the hat in rounds that spiral up? If any one has any insight for me, please comment.

If I end up liking this pattern, and it gets the "thumbs up" from my test audience, I think I'll do it again in some Webs yarn of comparable gauge. But first I have to figure out precisely what the comparable gauge should be! What's the best way to do yarn interchange when you're standing in a store and don't have the specified yarn in your hand for touch-n-feel comparison? Is it meters/gram or yards/ounce? Any insight there left in comments are gratefully received.


PS - Here's why I thought Simply Soft Quick was comparable to Hometown USA:

- Both '6' Super Bulky
- SSQ = 3oz/50yds or 85g/46m which is 0.06oz/yd or 16.6yd/oz or 0.54m/g or 1.84g/m
= HU = 5oz/81yds or 140g/74m which is 0.06oz/yd or 16.2yd/oz or 0.52m/g or 1.89g/m

Don't those look comparable????

I'm looking at Web's Berroco Sundae which is listed as 100 grams/ 62 yards ... UGH! What's that called "Mimperial"? "Emptric"?

Or "Aspire" which is listed as (again Emptric/Mimperial) 200g/145 yards.

Or Aspen (again Emptric/Mimperial) 100g/50 yards.

Which would YOU think is comparable to Simply Soft Quick, if you can see or feel none of them?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

28 - burgundy and gray

Another hat made of LEADER yarn (100% acrylic). The cuff is 2x2x2 stitch... is that "double seed" stitch? k2p2 for 2 rows, then p2k2 for 2 rows.


The twenty four rows of burgundy (doubled) finished off that skein. Then the rows and decreases in gray finished off that skein. Don't fret; I have plenty more!

Taking a break from burgundy and gray. On my needles is a pretty spring-like light green. (Kind of an antidote for 2 degrees Fahrenheit temps with a -20 degrees Fahrenheit wind chill!)

[Aside - Spring is good. Spring is my best time. I'm glad to notice that the days are getting longer. (I can still see my own nose at 5 PM.) I'm also noticing that the birds, particularly chickadees, are starting to sing and chase. I've also been hearing woodpeckers. Yes, it's mid-winter but Spring is on the way!]

Friday, January 29, 2010

flat football (hat 27) - orig Fri., 1/29/2010 - updated 10/14/2013

I learned a double-hat method from one of the ladies at Saint Francis Knitters. She brought in a double hat that every one loves. When you pull the layers apart, it looks like a flattened football or something alien. Push one hat into the other and you have a double-layered, reversible hat.

Flat football or alien
Gray, cuff down
Gray with burgundy cuff
Burgundy, cuff down
Burgundy with gray cuff

Yarn: LEADER, 100% acrylic
(I have a LOT of this yarn in 5 or 6 colors.) I bought it for a song for a project that never came to fruition. So, I'll be making a LOT of hats from the LEADER yarn. It's good yarn and I'm happy to be able to use up a HUNDRED skeins of it or so! :-)
[OK, maybe that's the tiniest bit of exaggeration. But not much!]

To do: Cast on with waste yarn and make one knit-a-cap type hat.
When it is complete, turn it over, take out the waste yarn, and pick up the stitches. Make a second knit-a-cap hat in the opposite direction. All KNITS are on the outside; all purls are hidden away on the inside. Do any darning of ends before doing the decreases on the top of the second hat. Once you close up the top of the second hat, there is no going back!

Here's another take on this same kind of hat by Dawn Adcock. LINK

I think Elizabeth Zimmermann's book "Knitting Around" has A Very Warm Hat that is also a double-layer hat. I haven't looked at that book in a long time so don't hold it against me if I don't have the details quite right.

Check out this link (link) to see someone else's "Very Warm Hat" with a really pretty design! I'd love to do that, but not when I'm striving to do a hat a day!

update 10/14/2013:
Here's a way to do a double-layered hat with merely stockinette stitch in a tube. Nothing fancy. Nothing difficult. Just a whole bunch'o'stockinette stitch. Probably best done on a machine, or in front of a really riveting long movie! Maybe even in front of a "Big Bang Theory" marathon. :-)
That hat can also serve as a scarf. Interesting, eh? Ingenuity and simplicity. Very clever indeed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hat 26 is reversible

Hat 26 is made of burgundy and gray LEADER yarn (acrylic). I made the burgundy hat first, but threw in a lifeline at last row of ribbing. When the burgundy hat was done, I turned it inside out. I picked up the stitches knit-wise with the gray yarn where the life line revealed each one perfectly as can be. Then I knit the second hat (gray, no ribbing). When finished, I have a reversible hat. One side can be burgundy with the ribbing down, or burgundy with the ribbing up. The other side is gray with burgundy ribbing down or cuffed up.

I have changed my MO for pictures and don't know yet how well the new MO will work. So, there may or may not be pictures of hat 26 any time soon. I may end up reverting to the old MO because I'm never very patient with myself when it comes to "learning curves"! (The old MO? Make my daughter do it!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hat specifications

E1 just pointed me to the specification diagram for the Knit-a-cap program (the ancestor of our 310 Hats effort). If those of you who are making hats with us could pretty much keep to this basic set of measurements, that would be great. I think I tend to make my hats a bit on the big side. I have big kids. They all fit my youngest, although some (especially the crochet ones), may be a little big on her. Remember, if the fabric you make isn't stretchy (lots of crochet stitches aren't very stretchy), then you have to add in enough ease to fit a kid's head comfortably. For crochet hats, I use my own head as the test: it should be snug on me.



landmark - E2's 25th hat

Wow, 25. Collectively we're nearing 1/3 of the way done and it's only January!
My regular knitting group misses me. Maybe if we finish 310 by May or June then I can get back to knitting for my home group.

25 is burgundy LEADER yarn (100% acrylic). Spiral rib cuff. Stockinette top. Pie wedge reduces.


Monday, January 25, 2010

this new closeout...

This new close-out at Webs would make really yummy hats, fast and quick in either knit or crochet. or

[Either link will equate to ]

Someone please tell me that I DO NOT NEED MORE YARN!!

67, 68, 69

Look what came in today's mail from E3! It was worth getting drenched in the rain to go to the mailbox!!! (As usual, the phone camera does NOT do justice to the wonderful colors of the yarn.)

[Here's another picture of them, but the colors aren't right here, either. The darker picture is more close to the true-life colors. Maybe E3 will have a minute to tell us the color names for this yarn per the Cascade 220 Superwash web link. If so, I can link to the color cards.]

E1 checks in...

E1 is up to 38 hats! Oh my goodness... I feel fast at about a hat every other day until I get E1's count.

E1 writes:
I just finished hat #38. How many does that give us now, including the ones sent to you? I had taken a break and finished an unfinished sweater ...I had put ... away for later. The yarn was a fantastic superwash and I wanted to use the remainder to make hats, but lo and behold, I'd calculated the sweater down to the last few yards. Enough left for a stripe, but no hat. Then I got some great wool/microfiber chenille at the Hospice thrift shop. The balls are small, 60 yards (!), but I got 5. I just looked it up on line, and they sell for $18-20 a ball. Sixty yards! It makes a delightful hat.

The total of hats-in-hand is 66 now. My 24 + 3 from Angela + 1 from E3 + E1's 38 = 66.

There are more coming from D in California, but they aren't in my hands or E1's hands so they're not included in the count yet. If they were here, that would make 86.

There are promised hats coming from D (Toastmasters D) and LT (from NMSL).

Maybe we can make it to 310 hats before it gets too hot to knit??? (Is it ever *REALLY* too hot to knit?)

24 - Triangles and Squares

See Hat 24.

I would have done more to edge it with the green, but I ran out. I have a little of the white left and will use that as contrast in some other hat. I didn't want to go get another skein of the green. It's a happy spring color but I'm not overly fond of it. Can't explain why. It's entirely irrational, I'm sure.

Yarn: Vanna's Choice in Fern and White
Hook: 5.5 mm
Stitches: single crochet, half double crochet, slip stitch.

This is a decent yarn as acrylic yarn goes. I originally bought it to enter a contest by 2/1, but the Muses are not with me and I'm completely uninspired.

Crochet Basic Roll-Brimmed Hat

From 310 Hats

Worsted weight yarn
I hook (5 mm)

  • Chain 2
  • 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook. Place marker in last stitch.
  • 2 sc in each sc (12). Move marker.
  • (1 sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (18 sc). Move marker.
  • (2 sc in each of first 2 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (24 sc). Move marker.
  • (3 sc in ea of first 3 sts, 2 sc in next stitch), repeat around (30 sc). Move marker.
  • Continue in this manner for 13 or 14 rounds (increasing the number of scs before the increase by 1 each round) until your radius is about 3", diameter about 6", and circumference about 18". (78 scs or 84 scs). This should make a nice flat disc, which is the hat top.
  • Work even without increasing. It will start making a bowl shape. Continue even until the depth is about 6". It needs to be long enough and and big enough around to cover a Kindergarten-age child's head and ears.
  • To create a rolled brim, increase the stitches by 50%: (1 sc, 2 sc in next stitch) repeat around.
  • Work a few rounds even.
  • Slip stitch around to give a nice tight, neat edge.
  • Cut yarn. Work in ends.
  • If the hat is too "airy", you can weave colored yarns through the stitch spaces. Colored yarns will be very decorative.