Friday, October 19, 2012

Hats from D, Yarn from Karey, and some birthdays

My precious friend, D in California, sent fifty (50!) hats a few weeks ago. She was delighted to receive her Thank You note. Some day she'll send me pictures for the blog.... nudge, nudge, hint, hint...

At the end of September I had the privilege of attending the Fringe Element Tatters Fall Into Tatting Weekend in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. One of my room-mates was Karey Solomon of Graceful Arts Fiber Studio in Hector, NY. She picked me up at the Buffalo airport and drove me to Cambridge. We had a GREAT weekend: tatting and chatting, learning and tatting, shopping and taking chances on raffles or auctions, and tatting and chatting. It was so wonderful. If only special weekends could last longer. Sigh.

Karey sent me some BEAUTIFUL hand-spun yarn for the 310 Hats project. My daughter, F., has won a set of Knitter's Pride Symfonie crochet hooks from the September Share Your Pride video contest. We look forward to their arrival so that she can make a hat for the project with the beautiful hand-spun hand-dyed yarn from Karey.

You can visit Karey's blog or her store. I will post pictures as the hats are made with the very special yarn!

Birthdays -
Happy Birthday to the father of E1 and E2. He's rooting for the 310 Hats project from Heaven. On the day he turned 80, about FIVE babies were born on the NMSL sewing list. (I think it was five. I know it was at least a handful!) So, Happy Birthday to Dad and a whole bunch of delightful NMSL babies!!!

- E2

Friday, September 14, 2012

A RAINBOW of hats unpacked!

From: Brenda Ivie 
To: E1
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 13:29:17 +0000
Subject: Hats!
Dear Ms E1,

    This is just a note to let you know that we received your shipment of hats.  It was like unpacking a rainbow, they are beautiful!  We appreciate you so much and all that you’ve done over the years to assure that our students have warm hats during cold weather.   You are a true Head Start treasure!

    This is our 3rd shipment this year, and including the 15 hats that we had extra last year, we now have 167.  Ms E2 shared that some of her friends are going to be sending some more, as well.

     God Bless you!


Brenda Ivie, Family Services Coordinator
Choctaw Nation Head Start


Left-over from last year - 15
Sent by DB in AI - 18
Sent by E2 - 32
Sent by E1 - 102
Total 167
Soon to be sent by D - 50
Soon to be sent by P - 100

Very soon there will be 317 hats there!

Previous count update:

Delivered - 18 + 32 = 50
Shipped by E1 - 102
Soon to be shipped by D in CA - 50
Soon to be shipped by P in MA - 100
On my needles/hooks or in my small stack, to be sent soon - 8

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thirty-two more hats received!

Dear Ms E(2)*,

     We received your shipment of winter caps last Friday.  The children will be so thrilled to get them.  Fortunately, the weather has begun to cool off a bit for us, but it will still be about 2 months before it will be cool enough for them to need their caps.  We will be distributing them soon.

       Thank you so much for your generosity and skill.  We will be taking photos of the children and their hats when they are delivered and will be sure to send you one.

        God Bless you and all that are precious to you.


                                Brenda Ivie, Family Services Coordinator
                Choctaw Nation Head Start

* (Of course she wrote my real name instead of calling me E2.)

Delivered - 18 + 32 = 50
Shipped by E1 - 102
Soon to be shipped by D in CA - 50
Soon to be shipped by P in MA - 100
On my needles/hooks or in my small stack, to be sent soon - 8

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Count update

For the 2012-2013 year, this is our count update:

  • E1 - 100 hats complete or nearly complete
  • P - 100 hats complete or nearly complete
  • DB in I - 18 hats mailed
  • D in CA - 50 hats by end of September
  • E2 - 32 hats mailed
That's 300
  • E2 to make 10 more by end of September.
One on my needles in deep forest green.... Lustrous Lamb yarn from Joann Fabrics. Very pretty acrylic/wool blend. I also found about 5 hats that I'd forgotten about before mailing my box. So, I may only need to make 3 or 4 more hats by the end of September for us to reach our 310 goal before the weather turns cold in Durant, OK.

- E2

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

32 hats to be mailed today

Photos to come. Thirty-two hats "just" fits into a large, long, flat rate box. The sides of the box are a little bulging. I hope the PO will accept it, versus making me split the contents and then mailing in two boxes.

Here's the status: E1 - 100 hats, her friend P  - 100 hats, my friend D - 43 hats, I am mailing 32 hats, my friend DB already mailed 18 hats. This totals to 293 hats, I believe. I have promised 17 more hats within the next few weeks. That should meet the 2012 goal of 310 hats.

E2 - 9/4/2012

UPDATE - After work I mailed the hats. They are on their way in this bulging box:

Some of the hats in the box you've already seen. Here's a slideshow of some more:

Click the link above if you want to read the captions on pictures in the slideshow.
Ask questions if you want more details about any cap. I'll do my best to answer.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hats to be mailed as soon as I have a chance.

Last night I darned in a bunch of yarn ends, took photos, and readied some hats for mailing. There are both knit and crocheted caps. I crocheted with three different hooks, knit two hats with smaller needles (the Felicity hats), and knit the rest of the caps on #10 needles.

You can see the hats in this slideshow:

If you want to read the captions of each photo, click on the album link above.

I have another stack of hats I have to finish darning, photographing, and readying for mailing.

E1 had 91 hats completed as of four days ago, and hopes to have 100 done by the end of her vacation. Her friend, P, hopes to have 100 done within a few weeks.

18 (sent from DB) + 100 (by E1) + 100 (by P) + 11 (shown above) + ??? (in stack to be finished) = ????

Maybe we need 50 or 60 more???? Not sure. I guess I should count how many I have in the stack to be finished.

Presently working on another pink Sheep-ish crocheted cap. This one is being made with a Knitter's Pride aluminum crochet hook, size J. I wanted to compare a J Clover Amour hook with a Knitter's Pride hook as soon as possible so that the conditions of use were as similar as possible. That is, my hands are either inflamed or not, weather is about the same, yarn is the same, etc. The Amour hook is very similar to the Knitter's Pride hook in style and weight. So far I'm preferring the Knitter's Pride hook as the handle doesn't seem to make my hand as sweaty as the Amour hook does.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First hats for 2012-2013 have arrived at Choctaw Nation!

Here's the message E1 has received about the 18 hats shown you in a recent blog post:

From: Brenda Ivie <------------------------>
To: E <------------------------->
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 12:55:26 +0000
Subject: RE: hats for the children

Dear Ms E---------------,

   We received our first shipment of hats today from Ms D------ B-------, who is from A-----, -----------.  She sent 18 very cute hats.  I am writing her a thank you letter today.

  Thank you so much for putting our program on your list of, I am sure, many, many, things to do.  We will have photos later after the hats have been distributed, as colder weather begins.  It is so gratifying to see how much they love those hats and wear them every chance they get, even if it is not so cold.

  You should see the excitement in my office when we receive a package of hats!  They all want to see each one, and oooh and ahhh over them.  All but one of our office staff are either moms or grandmas, so little children have a special place in their hearts.

   We look forward to seeing more cute hats and I will let you know how many have been received in each one.


Brenda Ivie, Choctaw Nation Head Start

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How can you knit a hat in a day?

When my hands are doing OK, I can knit a hat in just a few hours' time, and even make a hat in a day. I made a hat yesterday, and made another one today. (I'm VERY thankful that my hands are doing OK!)

It's possible to knit a hat in a few hours. The trick is to FIND the few hours. And, once found, make sure you have ALL the tools you'll need for the task.

Here's how I do it:

Take the hat with you EVERYWHERE, including the kids' swimming lessons. (You see T's head by the ladder.)

Even take the hat with you to a restaurant. Just put it some place safe when the food arrives. 

In the category of having the right tools: Knitter's Pride Cubics 16-inch #10 needles, "short needles" --- I can do Magic Loop knitting even with this short needle. The needle is short enough and the cable is flexible enough! Amazing. There are only 16 stitches on the needle at this point of the hat. 

Here's my new head model, sporting the hat finished just after lunch.

Aside - My current favorite hat top finish is paired left and right decreases with a single plain stitch between them. I do them every other row, until only a scant few remain. I draw the remaining yarn through the last stitches twice. This makes a nice X at the top of the hat. I far prefer this to the swirl one gets from regular K2togs.

You can have a head model, too! Check out the price tag. Only $2.99 if you happen to have a Savers, Value Village, or Village Valeurs near you during Halloween season. Yes, I know it's only August... but Halloween's a-comin'. 

newest hat, finished 8/24/12

I don't know what number hat this is, but it is the one I finished last night using Knitter's Pride #10 16" Cubics needles. That's the needle you see dangling from the hat.

You know, the cable on those needles is *so* flexible, that I can do Magic Loop to finish the hat even though the entire needle is only 16" long. I don't know if you can see it by zooming in on the image, but those are the Cubics needles. The square shape offers several advantages that just truly WORK for me. I love them.

The yarn is Ella Rae Classic Print 100% wool from I-don't-know-when. Jimmy Neutron is on the TV in the background.  :-) (I was watching TV with the youngers (T & F). Well, truth be told, they watched it. I darned in ends. F clicked the photo for me.) The hat is a Classic Knit-a-Cap pattern.

I have to count my hats, darn in any remaining ends, and mail them off to the Head Start soon. It's almost time for this year's school session to start. Soon the weather will be turning cool enough for hats.

Once we have 310 hats for the 12-13 school year, we'll start on 310 hats for the 13-14 school year!

Won't have much knitting time today. We're getting some new furniture delivered. Very exciting. We're re-arranging things a wee bit since one has headed off to college.

- E2

Friday, August 24, 2012

Knitter's Pride needles and hooks

I feel like keeping it a secret until at least September, because I hope to enter the contest in August and don't want any competitors.... :-)

But Knitter's Pride --- who makes amazing needles# and crochet hooks% --- is having a contest from now until 10/31. You need to make a 1- to 3-minute video showcasing your love of Knitter's Pride products. It can be needles, hooks, whatever.

Mine's in progress. I'm no video expert! (You already know I'm absolutely no blog expert!) I'm working on the video. I hope and expect to post it by 8/31.

If you want to join the Knitter's Pride contest (in September or October, please - laugh!), all the information you need is here:

If you're not on FaceBook, and don't plan to be*, let me know and I'll tell you how to enter without FaceBook.


# My favorite needles are the Cubics. Gosh, I love the Cubics. I could knit all day with them without pain.

% My favorite crochet hooks are the aluminum ones with the big, soft, ergonomic handles. I really like those.  The Dreamz hooks are very good, too, and come in bigger sizes than the aluminum hooks. If you like to thread crochet with the itty-bitty hooks, #14s and the like, they have those thread crochet hooks with the same big, soft, ergonomic handles.

* Yes, we are an increasingly rare breed every day. I know. Yes, I know that a whole bunch of people want me to join FaceBook. But I can't. I just can't. Sorry.

Hats from Denise!

I'm honored and delighted to show you a picture of the eighteen (!! 18 !!) hats that Denise has lovingly made for the kids and is mailing to Oklahoma promptly!

The delightful textured purple hat in the front right corner is her own pattern, the Amaliya hat. This pattern is available on Ravelry with matching capelet and fingerless gloves. Please see:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 Little Boys have found a new family. Now they need to come home!

Can you spare a mere $10 to help the Archer family bring home their three newly adopted sons?
They only need less than $5,000 to be fully funded, to pay all the expenses to bring these three little boys (2 x age 7 and one age 9) from Eastern Europe to their new home at the Archer house in Minnesota.

Read about the Archer family and their journey here:

If you help the Archers with money or spreading the word, you can be entered into a drawing for a new iPad 3 give-away. You can see all the details at the link below.

A tax-deductible donation of $10 or more enters you into the drawing. See:

Two other ways to get into the drawing are

  1. spread the word via Facebook
  2. spread the word via your blog
I realize that this has nothing to do with the 310 Hats project. But through E3 I've become aware of the Archer's journey and infinitely loving hearts. E3 has done everything she can to help the Archers including knitting amazing pairs of cashmere socks to be sold on eBay, and donating some of her precious beautiful yarn stash and dyeing kits for sale on eBay. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

An amazing collection of free hat patterns

I confess: I've become a GarnStudioDrops Design and DropsYarn junkie. It's all E3's fault. She pointed me to a mitten pattern. I fell in love*. Consequently, I've been hanging out in the Drops pattern collection and archive ever since.

Here, friends, is enough hat inspiration to keep you, your needles, and your hooks busy for a year. Just click.  The link is set for the American and English versions of the patterns, but feel free to switch to a different language and different version of instructions. Nearly every pattern they offer is offered in many different languages. The link is also sorted by yarn gauge. Feel free to sort on a different attribute.

*I still haven't mastered the tension on multi-yarn knitting. I haven't finished that first pair of mittens. But I've made many other of their patterns!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 2012 310 Hats Project is "ON"!

Dear Friends of the 310 Hats Project:

The project continues, even if E2 is The World's Worst Blogger (bar none). I've lost count of how many blogs I've started and abandoned. It's a pity that the 310 Hats project is one of them. But that's a story for another day.

Suffice to say, the 2012 310 Hats Project is still on.
E1 has already created about 60 hats.
E1's friend has pledged 50.
D in California has made a few score.
E2, the dud, has only made a handful. (I have an excuse! Really I do!)

If you are interested in participating in the 310 Hats project for this year, please feel free to join us! Please let me know your interest, and I will send you the destination postal address. Let me know how many hats you'll be sending so that I can help keep a tally of how close we are to the September 2012 goal of 310 Hats.

What are the hat criteria? This project is flexible. Wool is fine. Acrylic is fine. Sewn poly fleece is fine. Anything that will keep a child's head warm is fine. All that we ask is that it fit the head of a Kindergarten-aged child. Any elementary aged child will do as a test model if you don't happen to have a K-aged child nearby. Really, an adult small is suitable for a K-child's head. Kindergarten-aged kids have nearly fully grown heads.

Thank you for any help you can offer!

Now, if I can remember how to post photos after neglecting this blog for longer than a year, I'll put up two wonderful pictures from the 2011 hat distribution.

As the letter E1 received said, so I say to you who help: Yakoke!

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.