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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kitty Cat Hat- More Knitting on the Go

Last week, as I've written previously, I made a couple of water bottle covers on the go. After that, I wanted something I could sink my teeth into a little more. Luckily, I had a copy of this pattern with me, enough pink cotton yarn to make it with, and a little girl at home who loves cats.
In fact, I'd already made this hat for her once, in white wool with a bright pink bow a la Hello Kitty, but she lost it while sledding in the BIG SNOW we had two years ago. All last winter I meant to make her another one, but never got around to it, and my poor daughter had to wear a store-bought hat (horrors!). Hey, I guess this post sorta qualifies for this month's challenge, if winter is a holiday. If you're a beginning knitter looking to increase your knitting skills, I highly recommend hats. Hats can be as simple as knitting and purling, without even a decrease to worry about, or they can be more complex. I first knit this hat a few years ago, when my knitting skills were really basic. It introduced me to knitting in the round, seed stitch, i-cord, decreasing, and picking up stitches. All of that, and the investments of time and money were still very minimal. I recommend hats because in my experience, you can FINISH them. I actually first came across this pattern in Debbie Stoller's wonderful book. Her intro chapters are some of the most thoughtful words I've read on knitting. She talks about the reactions she got when she took up knitting:
"...friends responded with "Really?" or "How interesting," both spoken with an air of disbelief, even a touch of disdain. After all, I had gotten a Ph.D. in the psychology of women and had started BUST, a feminist magazine- what was I doing knitting? Soon it occurred to me that if I had told these folks I'd been playing soccer, or learning karate, or taken up carpentry, they most likely would have said, "Cool," because a girl doing a traditionally male activity- now that's feminist, right? But a girl doing a traditionally female activity- let alone one as frivolous and time-wasting as knitting, well, what were they to make of that?" " ...knitting had traditionally been done by women. As far as I could tell, that's the only reason it'd gotten such a bad rap. And that's when it dawned on me. All those people who looked down on knitting were not being feminist at all. In fact, they were being anti-feminist since they seemed to think that only those things that men did, or had done, were worthwhile."
Powerful words, amen. And she has a lot of other worthwhile things to say, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of a book so you can read them- especially the story about her grandmother, who at ninety and nearly blind could still knit a perfect pair of socks. But to circle back around to the beginning. I started this hat the night before camp ended, and finished it two days later. It was a tangible thing to take home to the daughter-that-was-too-young-for-camp-this-year, to show her that even though she was left behind, she wasn't forgotten. She was thrilled, and has worn her hat, indoors, for three days straight.
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