Maybe it's the suddenly cold weather. Or maybe it's a desire to tidy up some loose ends. Or maybe I just needed a break from knitting socks, socks, and more socks, after knitting three pairs in a row. Whatever it is, it caused me to dip deeply into the Yarnstruck strategic yarn stockpile and come up with the Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.
I bought this yarn a couple of years ago, in the Pumpkin and Claret colors, to make a school-spirit hat as a Christmas present for world's-most-patient-husband. It was kind of an impulse project. I hadn't really been looking for a super-bulky yarn, but that happened to be the one yarn at the local chain store that came in the requisite colors. Not sure how much I'd need and not wanting to run short, I bought four skeins, two in each color. I do like to have a safe margin. But once I'd knit the hat, it was clear I'd bought a ridiculous amount. Between the two colors, I had the equivalent of three full skeins remaining. Since then, it's just been lolling around, idly wondering whether it might want to grow up to be a matching scarf.
Finally, Friday, something clicked. I realized that there were a couple of close family members I'd never hand-crafted anything for. With the help of my new digital scale, I also figured out that the remaining yarn could easily make three more hats. I could make team hats for my brother-in-law and my two teen-aged nephews, football-mad fans all.
The brother-in-law version, like the husband-hat, was loosely adapted from Rebecca Rosen's Just Ribbing watchcap in the Just Hats book and re-worked for a different gauge (3 stitches per inch on US size 11 needles). I also added a graduated striped design. The 3x3 ribbing looked quite different in the super-bulky weight, and made for a lovable hat with a good personality. I hope my brother-in-law will like it; he has a kind heart and plenty of team spirit. (And trust me, it looks better on a person's actual head.)
For the teen-aged nephews, I needed a better idea of what might go over OK in the high-school crowd. I checked out a few ready-to-wear styles on-line. Based on that, I designed a fairly simple hat, and knit it up hoping for the best. It didn't look half bad, so I reversed the color scheme and made another one.
Here's the artsy top view. I've given the hat a name, too: Orange Effect.
The nephew hats looked pretty decent. But I still had yarn left. Yes, I wanted to do something nice for the guys, but I'd also been hoping to clear out that yarn. The scale told me it was enough for yet one more hat. I thought, why not? World's-most-patient-husband could use an updated one. So I grabbed the needles and had at it one more time.
In the end, those skeins I'd bought for one hat wound up stretching to five. Four of those, all but the original one, were knitted in the last three days in an on-again- off-again marathon of big yarn and hefty needles.
Here's the whole stack-o'-hats. (The original one sneaked in there too, on the bottom floor.) And, yes, the yarn, for the most part, is finally wiped out. Close enough, anyway. All in all, a pretty good weekend's work, I'd say.