Monday, January 13, 2014

Top It Off

The final days of 2013 were spent getting a jump start on Charity 2014.  I tell you this not to brag about my humble contributions, but to encourage you to consider how you might bring a bit of joy in the coming year.  Let it be a hat for anyone from a premmie to an adult or perhaps a lap blanket for a senior or the every popular cage liner for your local no-kill shelter.  There is always a need - right around the corner.

For a few weeks I was caught up in the top of hats.  Making something different for the crown became a journey to answer the eternal query "where should the decreases be placed this time?"

  Here is the Odessa Hat from Grumperina.  With or without beads, it is a perfect pattern for charity work because it fits a wide range of sizes.  Isn't that swirl fantastic?  I love it. 

The pattern is a series of decreases and YO increases that make a swirl all the way to the top.  If you are looking for a hat that is slightly more than a beginner level but not so complicated as lace work, give Odessa a try. 

This is the crown of another hat.  This one is just a variation of my 8 X 80 hat pattern.  Eight decreases are worked evenly around the crown.  With proper blocking, it would probably look like an octagon on the top.

The sides of the hat are just a series of rounds of knit or purl stitches - aka alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette bands. 

The hat squishes down naturally but expands to fit different head shapes.  The green might look rather nondescript but the pattern give it a bit of a jaunty feel.

 This one shall for ever be known as the Xcellent Hat.  The name comes from the crown that results from four mirrored decreases.  Not only does a nice X result, but the round knitting is magically turned into a square at the top.

Again, this is my typical 8 X 80 hat pattern.  The ribbing is made extra deep so that it can turn up.  The yarn is Universal Yarn Classic Shades Frenzy.  It stripes quite well but in a somewhat unpredictable way at my gauge.  Frankly, I like the lack of symmetry.  The thing about this yarn is that it is described as a bulky yarn.  I had absolutely no problem working it down on a US 8 needle and it is not at all heavy or tight.  The final hat is a bit larger than the green one above but it fits a large male head just fine. 

After these three hats - one a published pattern and two of my own design - I am still searching out different ways to top off charity hats.  The next few weeks will bring a diversion, but 2014 charity work just might be a journey toward crowning glory.

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