There are certain things that just make you feel good.
One of those things is the wonderful tactile sensation of your hand passing over a bunny’s fur. As a child I remember having a bunny pelt that someone gave me that I loved as if it still housed the bunny inside it. I would rub it and just be happy. I feel terrible now that some bunny gave up its life so I could rub its fur – but I have to admit that I wasn’t thinking about it at the time.
Which brings me to angora yarns. Beautiful yarns that may not be the strongest yarns to work with, but oh how lovely they feel as the project grows in your hands. Gram fostered our family’s love of angora in her knitting. When my mom was a little girl, Gram made her a pair of angora mittens. Mom was soooo proud. She wanted to show everyone her new soft angora mittens.
Mom told me that Gram made her an angora sweater when she was in 8th grade that she adored. I remember that one of my afghans that Mom made me from scrap yarn had blocks with angora yarn in them that I would just pet when I wrapped in it. Angora is just the best!
I have been reading about chemo hats because the Fish Hat that we made Mary, though pretty doggone cool, is not really great for everyday wear on a bald head. What I have read tells me that I should let softness be my guide in picking yarns for a chemo hat because a newly bald head can be very sensitive. I don’t want to pick a yarn that might irritate the skin. So when I thought of soft and lovely to the touch, I thought of angora.
When I mentioned at the dinner table that the yarn of choice would be angora because the bunny fur would make it soft for Mary’s head, Jesse immediately became alarmed that we were going to kill the bunny for its fur. Yikes!! Luckily my husband and my sister both assured me that no bunnies’ lives are lost in the production of angora yarn. Whoo! One guilt issue averted. Jesse was relieved too.
Mary’s favorite color is blue and I was able to find some beautiful Louise Harding Kimono Angora yarn in the most beautiful deep pure blue mixed with aqua, royal purple and dark grey at a yarn store in Lenox, Mass. (Colorful Stitches – stop by if you are in Lenox – its a lovely store with very nice folks running it.) It is a dk weight yarn so we went with Grumperina’s Odessa hat pattern minus the beads (I’m afraid they would scratch a newly bald head). It is a free pattern in Ravelry and if you are not yet a member of Ravelry – WHY NOT!!! It is so amazingly useful! This is the picture of the pattern completed that is posted on Ravelry.
Here is a picture of my progress on Mary’s Odessa Hat – it is halfway done and it feels wonderful.
My Mom warned it might be a little warm for the summer, but some posts in the threads I read on chemo hats have noted that some people’s heads get cold during chemo so hopefully it will serve a function. If not, I think she will still love it in the winter even when she has hair. (grin). And between the color and the feel, it can’t help but make her happy, right? I just want to see her happy.
In other knitting news, can I just say how very nice knitting people are. One such lovely lovely person is my new friend Lynn (lamlas) from Ravelry who sent me 6 skeins of Berroco’s Boho yarns so that I could make my niece Berroco’s Polkadot jacket pattern for a Christmas present. (Another free pattern – gotta love it!!)
What is so special about Lynn is she doesn’t know me at all, yet she mailed me the six skeins without any real assurance but my word that I would pay her for this yarn, then only charged me a ridiculously discounted price for 4 skeins and then threw in the other two gratis. Oh my – you only find that among groups of women that knit or crochet or are engaged in craftwork. Because of her generosity I will be able to make Kathryn not only the jacket but a matching hat too!! Lynn, I hope you are reading this and know how very much I appreciate what you did. P.S. – I am mailing the check tomorrow (grin).
As you may know, I am not the only knitter in my household. Jesse, my 8 year old, has become quite proficient at the craft and has embarked on his own knitting project – the Wilted Warlock hat by Kelly McClure. Kelly’s website is http://bohoknits.blogspot.com and you can find her hat there. Jesse has modified it some by choosing to make two stripes in two different colors rather than several stripes in one contrasting color. The main color is a light blue Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky which we found on sale (Yay!!!) at the Warm Ewe, which is our local yarn shop. The first stripe, which he completed, was done in Katia’s Peru yarn in pumpkin. Here’s a couple of pictures of Jess and his hat with the orange stripe.
Not bad, heh? He knits loosely with even tension and wow!! He is picking projects that teach him new skills and is dying to do his next hat in a ribbing so he can do purl stitches. Be still my beating heart. His second stripe is a dark blue one using Tahki Yarn’s Soho Bulky Tweed.
To support him in this endeavor I posted his hat as a project in my Ravelry notebook. I am EvermoreKnits should any of you be on Ravelry – make a point of saying hi!. Well, within a day of the posting I saw his project had been favorited!! Oh my! Who saw his hat and favorited it at such an early stage of production?
Kelly McClure did – and Jess was ecstatic!! The person who designed his hat made it one of her favorites and he was thrilled. He then wanted to give her a row by row update on his progress which I convinced him might be a bit much, but that we would send her a note when it was all done so she could see the finished product. I’ve since posted back and forth with Kelly about the project and she has been so supportive, even offering to send Jesse any one of her patterns for free after he finishes this one.
Crafters are like this. Thank you Gram for making me one of them.