Hat of Gold and Comfort

I started a new craft project this week. While I wait to get more yarn for the blanket I’m crocheting, I’m knitting a child’s hat. It’s for a community service project to knit hats for homeless children. The hats are collected in December and delivered for the holiday times. The knit group at the local library is promoting it. Bookmarks with hat patterns can be picked up at the library and the hats are turned in there as well.  You don’t need to be a master knitter to make the hats. The patterns are simple to follow, and there are knitting programs at the library to help people who wish to learn to knit.

To begin any project I first find the right yarn. Color and texture are important to me. They convey a statement. I combed through my stash of yarn to find something that would make a nice hat. Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn in the color Gold caught and kept my attention.  This yarn has been hanging around in my yarn bags for a few years now. I’ve worked with this yarn  for different projects and I normally use it with other colors. The gold adds a bright spot of color when highlighted by dark green or it provides a nice base when mellowed by tan and ecru. Now the yarn shines on its own and it makes me happy. It’s vibrant and comforting, having the autumnal color of changing leaves as well as the jewel tone of winter holiday decorations. It makes the perfect holiday gift. Brings good memories to mind for me and will hopefully bring good memories for its future owner.

Purl

So, to begin, 84 stitches are cast on a needle from a wound up ball of the golden yarn. Next, a rib pattern is knitted up.  The ribbing makes a nice cuff at the base of the hat. I just have to alternate knit and purl stitches, the basic stitches of knitting, to get the ribbing. When there is an inch of ribbing, I change to stockinette stitch.  This is what makes the hat look simply and beautifully like a knit hat. Stockinette stitch is what most knitted pieces look like. One side is bumpy, the other flat with tiny little V’s. The needles click, the yarn swishes, and the cloth comes together.

After a few more inches of stockinette stitch, the hat pattern calls for a decrease in the number of stitches to form the top of the hat. The last step is to sew it up and then you have a hat. I still have a few inches to knit before I decrease, but I’m close to finishing. This is only the second hat I’ve knit. I prefer to crochet hats, but it’s a fun and simple pattern. It’s nice to do something different.

Knit

So I’m getting used to knitting again after crocheting for months. If I’m not careful the stitches will slip off the metal needle. I swing the yarn around the needle, one row purlwise, one row knitwise, the basic knit stitches. I remember which row to do by looking at the yarn. If the bumpy side faces me, I purl. If the flat pretty side is faces me, then I knit. The technical terms would be right side and wrong side, but this is how I remember it all.

Crafting with yarn provides comfort. It gives me peace of mind as the methodical work helps me focus. It’s calming and quiet. It’s also full of order, which is nice in a confusing time for a recent college grad who is not sure what to do with life. But right now I have a goal. I follow these directions and I will eventually have a finished project. I hope this hat brings comfort and hope to a child facing their own challenges, ones more daunting than mine. The child who will wear this hat, he or she might love its bright color like I do. They might be bold or they might be shy, but I hope they enjoy this hat that has comforted me in making it.

(This is part of the WordPress Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Listen to the Voices in Your Head about active and passive voice in writing. Choose an object and an activity, write about it, and be conscious of how you talk about it. It was difficult for me to be aware of what tense I chose because I’ve become so accustomed to just writing based on what I think sounds right that I don’t always differentiate between active and passive voice.)

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