Monday, February 22, 2010

Mushroom hat from Purl Bee

By-Angel

Mushroom Hat from Purl Soho

I'm finally sitting down with a cup of coffee to write this, as the baby and the husband sleep. Ian spent the night with a friend last night, having only one kid at home is like a little vacation! But I wanted to tell you: I finished my hat! Yay! It only took me about three times as long as finishing yours. The reason? The pattern somehow got moved from where it has been for the last three months and for the life of me I couldn't remember where I'd put it.

I can't tell you how many times I walked past this hat, 3/4 of the way done. I moved it around the house many times: the fireplace mantle, the bookcase, the floor (!) from sitting with Silas. I'd pass it, and think "Oh, it's going to be awesome when that hat is finished. Too bad I can't find the pattern." (And then proceed to waste 30 minutes on the computer looking at craft blogs. Oh the irony.) A few days ago I had the earth shattering revelation that if the hat was going to be finished, I was going to have to find the pattern and take the time to finish the project. I seem to have a mental block when it comes to finishing what I start. This is why I have a pile of unfinished projects and my craft area looks like this:

Angel:  Can anyone find the sewing machine?

(I took that photo a few days ago, it's actually even worse now since the husband has propped his mountain bike right on top of a huge pile of felted sweaters.)

Believe it or not, in all that mess it only took me about a minute to find the pattern. I think that all these years of living with a perpetually messy craft space has given me a sixth sense when it comes to finding things I've misplaced. My hand was magically guided to the bottom of those faded, purple curtains you see in the photo, somehow the pattern had ended up underneath them on the table. I swear, one day I will be organized. I think.

Anyway, I finished it just in time! You know we've had a rough couple of weeks with the baby teething, all of us sick, snow days that have meant canceled Mother's Day Out for Ian and discovering Silas has a dairy allergy (I've lost five pounds in one week! I guess that's what happens when you don't use a pound of butter per week. Ahem.) I needed a little pick me up, something to make me look a tad less haggard when I picked the boy up at school. And, this means I can finally move on to something else! So, without further adieu, here's my new hat!

Angel:  Mushroom Hat

What do you think? I am in love with it, it fits over my buns/braids/ponytail perfectly.

I do love to knit, it is the ultimate couch activity. And this pattern, once you get the hang of it, is so simple that you can pick it up and put it down again quite easily, like if a diaper needs changing or there's been a Lego catastrophe or you have to do something tedious like start dinner.

I will say, somehow I added an extra row or two to each round and ended up with a quite tall hat, I was not yet at the "six repeats" stage and the hat was looking more and more cartoonish with each round I knit. So I made the executive decision to skip many of the extra rounds that followed the decrease rows. That was partly because I was ready to get it over with already, and partly because if I had continued on as the (wonderfully written) pattern suggested it would not have looked right.

For yours Jen? I followed the instructions exactly. And as I wrote to you in the card I enclosed with your Christmas box, I spent many mornings sitting next to baby Silas at 5 a.m. working on your hat. It was a sweet, special time for me, watching him play with his HABA teepee toy while I knitted (knit? which is right.) away, trying to meet the deadline for mailing it to Seattle. I rarely knit the same project twice (unlike sewing projects) because I get bored easily. But this one? It turned out too great and I loved the yarn too much to not make this hat for myself. Plus, I figure the memories of making your hat were woven into my hat, too.

Here's a little bit more info on the yarn: The yarn is from Sheep Shop via PurlSoho, I'm noticing now that the colorway I used for my hat is not available any longer. It was the "Spring" shade, a lovely blend of pink, soft blue, apricot, cream and violet.


Yours is the "Lime" shade. It is handpainted yarn from Uruguay, 70% wool and 30% silk, and it makes for a wonderful knitting experience. The yarn is sturdy, but not itchy. I love knitting with variegated yarn, it keeps my interest more than solid yarn. It wasn't cheap, but that's ok with me. I don't buy new craft supplies often, opting for thrifted/recycled stuff more often than not, and I plan to get many years of wear out of this hat.

How do you like yours? Are you still wearing it a lot? If we still lived in the same town I'm not sure I'd have knit us the exact same hat, but since you're across the country in Seattle I like to imagine us both reaching for our Mushroom hat as we head out to face the day.

Here are the specifics:

Mushroom Hat pattern

PurlBee (this is one of my all time favorite project blogs, they consistently have amazing tutorials and patterns)
PurlSoho (one of the best collections of fabric, yarn, notions and patterns online)

Maybe you can share the photo of you wearing your hat?

Jenny-mini-button Oooh, I love it!! It looks great! It's funny, the different yarn colorways give the hats really different personalities. I'm glad you gifted yourself with this little treat after a rough couple of weeks. (5 pounds?! Dude.) Doesn't it feel good to make something for yourself? Which reminds me. When is the last time I did that?... Here's a pic of me in my hat.


Angel-Jenny-mushroom-hat

Sorry I'm not smiling, I was trying not to drop the camera. I love my hat so much! Growing up, I never wore hats. I think it was fear or ridicule or something crazy like that. It took me a long time to get over it and venture out with something on my head. In adulthood, I've learned to love hats and this is the first one I own that is cute, cool, functional, handmade with love: the perfect hat!

It's been really nice and warm in Seattle lately so, after being worn nonstop for the last month and a half, the hat has been patiently waiting to be picked up again these last couple of weeks. It's only 34F outside right now, maybe today is the lucky day?!!

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