Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year... Happy Hat

Look Out! There's an Octopus on Your Head!

Yes, this hat has a story.

In early November 2011, I made a pretty crazy hat.  Turns out it was my 50th chemo cap.  You can click HERE to see the hat.  The hat was based on some design elements & techniques I had learned from making a cap called "A Winter Solstice Hat" (to see that hat, click HERE).  The hat called A Winter Solstice was designed by a gal in Colorado who is my good Ravelry email pal, "Colorado Mom".  She's a really cool lady.

When I made chemo cap #50, I kept thinking about the crazy fancy cakes you see on programs on the Food Network.  Colorful and crazy designs and textures.  Good elements for a cap for a kid.

Anyway, I posted my 50th chemo cap on my favorite Ravelry Group called "12 months=24 hats", where the members make it a goal to knit at least two chemo caps per month.  One of the group's members commented that my 50th chemo cap sure was a happy hat.  Based on her comment, the group's founder "Plynn" decided the group should have a "Happy Hat Contest".  How fun is that?!  The deadline was midnight on December 31, 2011.

November was a pretty busy month for me... the Hemlock Ring Throw Blanket that was given to my parents for Christmas was pretty much my constant companion, so making a Happy Hat was not high on my list of priorities, yet I had a few ideas swirling around in my head.  When I finished up the blanket, I started focusing on some other unfinished objects... the Sockhead Hat, Calabaza Calypso, and Chasing Rainbows blanket.  Still no Happy Hat.

Then I got a horrible case of "Startitis" and cast on a Chinook Scarf with beads, a pair of Bamboo Socks, a plain pair of socks, a pair of slipper socks for my son, a pair of fingerless mitts... all while I should have been working on a Happy Hat. What's wrong with me.... seriously, I think I have some sort of affliction.

Last week, another group member sent me a message saying she sure was looking forward to seeing my Happy Hat.  Oh yes, I really must do that!!!!  So what did I do? I cast on a Clapotis!  I tell you... it's an addiction!  Either that, or I am a glutton for punishment.

So in the evening hours of December 30th, I finally cast on my hat and octopus.  I tried to make up on octopus design by myself but failed miserably.  Boy, I wasted a lot of time making Octopus #1... it looked more like a flat sprawling jellyfish... like the dead jellyfish you find laying in the sand on the beach.  Ick!

I woke up really early on December 31st and found the octopus pattern called "Socktopus" on Ravelry. It took me all freakin' day to make that little octopus... you wouldn't think a little project like that would take SOOO much time, but it does.  Eight tentacles!!!!!   Why do octopi have EIGHT TENTACLES!!!!  After the octopus was done, I knit like mad on the plain rolled brim hat... I used size 5 needles... yep, could have used size 7 and cast on fewer stitches... but no, I opted for 108 stitches per round on small needles!  I knit like mad.  I almost gave up.  My husband said he could not believe I could knit that fast.  I was so tired.  I was ready to throw in the towel.

Finally, 9:30 pm on New Years Eve... my hat was done... I made the deadline.  It wasn't even midnight in New York yet.  Phew, what a relief. I was done.

Guess what? I won the Happy Hat contest.  And I get a prize. How fun is that? What a nice start to 2012.

Happy New Year... Happy Hat!


Lee said...

Congratulations Kim! That's a great hat!

Anonymous said...

It sure is cute.