Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Hat Projects


It wasn’t until after Christmas, when I came back to southern California with stories of all of the projects I worked on over my break that someone called me out on having a weird fixation on silly hats. I think it all started in middle school when Kendra and Maayan made me a cowboy hat covered in plastic fruit, but I guess you never know. I can’t take all the credit (or blame) for these little gems, though. Both came as special requests. Back in November, when the Giants won the world series and I was sporting my panda hat I got a lot of suggestions for other silly knit beanies. With Christmas around the corner, I couldn't resist. 
My brother requested his own Giants shwag hat: a “Fear the Beard” beanie to celebrate the victory of Giants pitcher Brian Wilson who grew out a thick black beard for the end of the season.
I knit a basic orange beanie with a 2x2 rib around the bottom, then pulled out a some left over black yard and did a little creative crocheting until I made what looked like a beard. I started at the chin and made a “chin length” chain, attaching it to each side of the hat. Then, I worked about 2 inches in single crochet and decreased a few stitches as I made my way up towards the mouth (still attaching each row to the hat on both sides, and trying it on every 2 rows). For the mouth I made 3 short rows from one side, tied off my yarn, did 3 short rows on the other side, and crocheted across, chaining the same number of stitches I’d skipped for the mouth hole and picking back up on the other side. Three more rows and I was finished with the most intimidating hat I’ve ever seen. Someone told my brother he looked like a convict, and I have to say my dad (who begrudgingly modeled it so I could take a picture) doesn’t look like anyone I would want to run into a dark alley when he has it on. Needless to say, our family basset hound didn’t care much for people wearing the beanie, but everyone else got a good laugh.

When my sister’s nieces saw the panda beanie they had their own idea for a take on this little project: Froggy Hats. Using the same pattern I did for my panda hat, only scaled down somewhat and with smaller needles and worsted weight yarn, I whipped up two little green hats with earflaps for a pair of toddlers. For the eyes I knit two 2 inch by 3 inch ovals and folded them in half then attached them to the tops of the beanies. I just free-handed the embroidery for the eyeballs and mouth with dark brown yarn, and braided the green tails from my cast-on with two strands of brown to make the chin ties. I couldn’t be there to see the girls in them myself, but their mom sent me this adorable picture on New Years.

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