Things handmade. About making things.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Lynn, Lucy & Ataturk

If my friend Lynn had survived her bout with cancer she would have been 46 today.
And it's funny, because in Turkey it marks a very sombre event, the passing of the modern republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Pasa Ataturk.

Lynn was staying at my apartment in Istanbul some years ago. It was a typical morning and Lynn being the sort of person that she was, wasn't making a fuss about her birthday and was happily reading the Guardian and drinking tea. Suddenly we heard several great blasts from the ferry boats and ships that ply the Bosforus, echoing from shore to shore and lasting about a minute. It shook the tea glasses! The ships were signalling 9:05 am, the time of the leader's passing. We chuckled at the irony of it.

Lynn was an amazing person, one of the smartest and kindest people I have had the privilege of knowing. Even as she grew more and more ill, she was sharp and alert. Some years ago, she had passed onto me a pair of wonderful Ojibwa slippers and she told me at the time the name of the person who made them. Lynn herself had had these slippers for a number of years. I, of course, didn't write it down, and soon forgot. When I was visiting her in hospice I asked her if she remembered them. "Oh yeah," she said, "Why?"
"Well do you remember who made them?"
"Lucy Knot. You can't forget a name like Lucy Knot. I always remember it because you must have had to tie a lot of knots to make those slippers"
That's how I remember it now, too.

Here's to you, Red! Wherever you are!
Lynn Macfie
November 10, 1962 - September 27, 2007

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

me and my chapeaux - 1

Hey - this post got caught in the "drafts". Here it is February, with still a good six weeks of cold weather ahead, so maybe this idea from November will still be of use to someone. Here goes....

The wind blows chilly, the leaves are swirling in the gutter...
Hat making season is upon me as I'm sure it is upon those of you who also like making & wearing hats. And while I do try to vary my repertoire from time to time - I find I go back to my tried and true short row hats because they are fun, easy, look good on a lot of people and it seems that no two are ever exactly alike. Also, for me, they fall into the happily mindless category. Easy to pick up, minimal counting, minimal finishing, loads of instant gratification. Not to mention the stash busting potential and, after some incidents of weakness involving yarn stores on foreign shores the past few months, I do have a lot of that to do!!!

So how do you start?
Care to roll back a bit and read through the entry "when does a hat become a tea cozy" ?
The basic idea and beginning is really the same.
You need to have an decent idea of your gauge, an idea of the measurement of the head you are making it for, and some idea of the basic properties of the yarn you are using.

I am going to use my head and some Kureyon for this because I have both of them. Well my head does look like it is attached to my shoulders and I made coffee this morning, so something is working. I do want this hat to fit under my bike helmet, and Kureyon is a decent weight for that.
Slightly heavier weights work beautifully and knit up quickly but it can get tight under the hood there, so I am going to use Kureyon. Also I have given all my hats away!

These three photos show the same hat worn by two different people, my brother and his girlfriend. You can see that the same hat, looks different, the brim stretches and the effect is altered.
If you are making for a larger head, in addition to making it a little wider, you also may or may not want to add a few extra rows when you get to the brim. Ultimately it depends on who you are making the hat for, and what they want. Make the first one for yourself - I need one too so let's get started....