Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hat Weather

Garrison Keillor said something like, "There's no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothes." (Or it may have been Sir Ranulph Fiennes and "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" but I'm more an armchair explorer than a polar explorer.)

Usually I run around with a Sable (faux, of course) headband and it keeps me quite toasty, even in what passes for cold weather around here. For the last few days, it has been honest-to-goodness hat weather, not because of the cold but because of the miserable Oobleck falling from the sky: ice pellets, snow, sleet... cold, slippery, malicious precipitation.

I haven't knit many grown up-sized hats since I did this one:

(Imagine a ribbed watch cap, striped with subtle, natural shades of gray and cream and brown sheep wool, handspun on a spindle made of an old CD and a dowel. I've looked everywhere for the photo. It must have been lost in the last Crash.)

I'm not sure I ever mentioned it, but my mother's cousin shears sheep. On a visit home to Wisconsin, Rusty blessed me with several fleeces in different colors. We're not talking fine, pure-bred Merino here, but good, everyday wool -- not too coarse -- with enough length & crimp to be easy to spin and enough color to be a treat. And there is plenty to be said for the sheer luxury of LOTS. I sorted it, boxed it up & shipped a bunch home (I think there's still some lurking in Mom's garage. Sorry, Mom.) and started spinning some just to keep my fingers busy.

As I spun, an idea percolated to knit a thank-you hat for the man who sheared the sheep.

This was one of my favorite knitting projects of all time for lots of reasons. It has very high "silk-purse-from-a-sow's-ear" appeal. It's satisfying to go from a dusty, greasy fleece in the barn, to yarn, to stylish warm hat. I got to spin for the best audience: a whole parking lot of uncles and cousins who were fascinated to see wool that Rusty had sheared -- wool they "knew" -- be turned into yarn by their niece. Best of all, when the hat was delivered to Rusty, this man who's been shearing since he was 12 years old said, "I've never had anything from the sheep I've sheared." After over a half-century of shearing, that's a lot of wool under the bridge.

So it's hat weather. I'm just sorry I haven't a photo to share.


Anonymous rlf said...

just reading this gave me great satisfaction -- i can only imagine how making that hat for rusty felt...better than growing your own vegetables. anyone can do that -- heck they have kits at home depot. but you can't grow a hat from start to finish in a little plastic tray greenhouse.

3:48 AM  

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