I love hats on childrens heads. Putting a hat on one of my boys heads feels like giving them a hug that keeps on going. If they are happily hatted I feel like they are safe, nurtured, loved.
Sadly, we have lost a few favourite hats of late, one that I can thankfully remember here (oh how I laboured and learnt whilst knitting that hat!) and one of my own that was knitted by a family friend and can't really be replaced either.
The upside of the losses was the impetus and excuse to knit more and oh how I have!
This orange number was inspired by a lovely hat on a little friends head. Like that hat, this one has a fabulously wide/long band which seems to enable the hat to sit in endless different ways and will undoubtedly fit and work for many years to come.
My intention was that both boys could wear this hat but Big Pickle is claiming it for his own at the moment and says it is 'the best hat ever', perfect for all kinds of pursuits including elephant riding.
Mr Pickle got inspired by all the hat love and decided he wouldn't mind a beanie either so I decided to take heed of the encouraging words of a dear and clever knitting friend who suggested I should try doing hats in the round. With the help of a pattern from this wonderful book, I have discovered, devoured and become passionate about this technique, it makes hat knitting seem so quick and when you finish you are basically done.
I was nervous about doing the decreasing on double pointed needles but found it was really quite straight forward and the effect!! I could gaze on those converging ribs endlessly.
Now I can watch Mr Pickle head off to work each morning with his head snugly hugged in his beanie and comically and endearingly topped with his precious Audio Technica headphones!
I found a lovely wool for this hat too, it was just at Spotlight to my surprise but is a natural undyed alpaca range from Cleckheaton called Perfect Day. It's a really lovely wool to knit with and is beautifully soft and non-itchy to wear. I managed to pick up a couple of extra balls of this same colour but wish now I had grabbed some of the other colours as it seems to have disappeared from my store.
Whilst browsing the Spotlight catalogue (yes, I do that and my excuse is that its the only catalogue I get thanks to a No Junk Mail sign left behind by a previous occupant) I spotted another promising Cleckheaton yarn range. It's called California and they are 8ply multi coloured wools in several different colourways. The tag identifies it as 100% wool from Turkey and whilst I do like the colours and the effect you get when knitted up it is a very loosely spun wool that has a quite fluffy almost coarse texture that I'm not sure I love. One of the two other colourways I chose is quite similar to the lost hat and may combine well with the precious remnants of that original skein.
The book in this picture is one I have recently finished and greatly enjoyed. The author Chris Bohjalian has written several novels of which Midwives is probably the best known.
I have confessed previously that I have many books in my home. Years of being a bookseller and working in publishing meant I had the perfect situation to gather together a rather large private library. Shamefully, in recent years particularly since the arrival of the Pickles I haven't been finding as much time in my life for what was once a favourite past-time - reading.
So a resolution was made and I have committed to exploring and enjoying my own library, much of which I have not yet read - shameful perhaps but also very exciting.
To help me stick to this goal and to make me feel nicely accountable I'm hoping to put reviews of each book as I read it on here so I'll only briefly describe this one now:
Compelling generational tale of the Seton family and their summer in the family's country home in New England. This summer vacation is a long standing tradition and brings Nan Seton and her two children together with their partners and children. Usually a lovely oasis of time and a sharing of time between people with very different views and beliefs but a mutual history that holds them together. When a loaded hunting rifle falls into the wrong hands, a horrific accident leaves lives shattered and familial ties severely damaged - can unconditional love conquer all?
Joining in with Ginny for the Yarn Along.