Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Some Hats for my Brother

My hat model Vena is back, and this time she's modeling some hats I made for my brother!

But first, check this other hat that has nothing to do with my brother:

I used two different kinds of yarn for this. It looks like I used a pink yarn and a purple yarn, but actually I used a purple yarn around the base and a purple/pink variegated yarn for the top. Yeah. Like you care, right?

Actually, although I think it looks ok, I'm unsatisfied with this hat for a few reasons.

The first is that the pattern just plain sucked. The hat is actually supposed to have a puffy little pom-pom thing on the top, but when I tried to make it the pattern was so confusing that the resulting mess looked less like a pom-pom than like a purple and pink crocheted booger. The picture included with the pattern was no help since the hat was photographed from an angle that didn't show the pom-pom. I didn't have a clue how I was supposed to attach that to the top of the hat and make it look ok, so I left it off and I think the hat is better for it.

Secondly, this town is crap for buying yarn in. The hat required sport weight yarn, and the only sport weight yarn I could find was in baby colors. I didn't really want a purple and pink baby-colored hat, but there wasn't much I could do about it. The worst part was when I asked the girl in the yarn section at Jo-Ann's if they had any sport weight yarn and her reaction was pretty much, "Spore...t waaaait?" It's a pretty basic yarn size, and it's somewhat disheartening when the person who works at one of your key yarn suppliers has never heard of it. I believe it's possible to buy non-baby sport weight yarn in this town now, in Wal-Mart of all places, but it's been a while since I've needed to buy any so I could be wrong about that.

Finally, the hat just doesn't fit. It looks like it fits, but it's too small. These things are supposed to loosen up a little with wear, so I've let Vena wear it for a few months now to try to stretch it out, but it still leaves divots in my forehead whenever I try to wear it. I should probably just find some little girl who likes purple and pink and give her the hat.

But anyway, on to my brother. I've made many hats for him, and I'd like to share them now. In case you're interested, the patterns for all the hats that follow came from the excellent Stitch and Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker.

This is the first hat I ever made for my brother. He picked the pattern and the yarn.

He liked the earflaps. That was one of the main reasons he picked that pattern. He wanted something unusual.

He told me he really liked the hat.

Since I made him the hat my brother has become a trucker. He's away from home for long periods of time. Often he has to sleep in very cold places and it's not like you can just leave the truck heater on all night. It gets very cold in there sometimes. He tells me there are mornings when he wakes up and he can see his breath in the air before he even gets out of bed. Seems like a good place to have a hat, right?

So how come over Christmas while I was poking around in his room I saw the hat sitting there and not with my brother on his trip in his cold truck?! Huh?! (The hat was in plain site-- I'm not so nosy I was digging around or anything)

He says it's because the hat is too big and it falls off his head. Huh. I can see that when I put it on Vena, but Brother never mentioned that until it was obvious he wasn't wearing it. Before that he told me he wore it all the time. He never told me it was too big. Hmph.

Anyway, I guess that the last two hats are in the bad hat category, but so you don't think I'm completely incompetent, I have managed to make good hats.

Despite his total dissage of the earflap hat, Brother did ask for more knitted caps (knitted? Hmph!!) for Christmas. I decided to give it another shot. Since he was going to be out of town on Christmas day, I had a little extra time to finish the hats before I needed to fork them over. Here we go:

I made it big and bulky on purpose. The idea is warmth. It's not too big, though. I tried it on myself before I gave it to him and it stays on fine. It comes down over the ears, which is nice.

I think I was in some kind of 70's mood when I bought all the yarn for these creations, by the way. You may notice a sort of 70's color theme. This hat, for example, matches my couch. The big hat came out in some kind of cool camo-ish stripy patterns, which was entirely unintentional. Just like the stripes on the next hat.

A more traditional basic beanie hat.

I really like how the colors look here. I think they go well together.

Though, as I said, the stripes were completely unintentional. They just came out that way. You can tell when you look at the top of the hat. It's all smooged and random up there, and that was how I'd hoped the rest of the hat would come out. I'm not opposed to the stripes, though.

Speaking of stripes...

This hat was intentionally striped. I used one of those self-striping yarns. Red Heart Strata.

I really like how this hat came out. It's one of my favorites of the bunch, and a hat I'd make for myself. The next hat is my other favorite.

Finally! A yarn that didn't insist on striping itself against my will!

After my other yarns striped, I was glad when this one chose to come out in a nicely randomized pattern. This is another hat I'd actually wear myself. I am, of course, speaking as somebody who is not really a hat person.

Here comes the last hat:

This one was finished well after I gave the other hats to my brother. In fact, I only finished it this weekend and haven't had a chance to give it to him yet. As you can see, it's another bulky hat.

I think the single color works well with this hat. It's nice and plain and understated.

Brother claims to like the other hats I've given him. He darn well better. I worked hard on these! He tells me that on especially cold nights he'll layer all the hats at once, with the big bulky one on top. He's going to stretch them all out if he keeps that up, and then he'd better not complain to me that they're too big! Then again, it's possible he's not wearing them after all, and is just saying he likes them to make me feel better. Who knows? I like them, though. And now you can judge for yourself.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

You're not making it better, people!

So I got one of those Pattern-a-day calenders this year. The implication that they have 365 patterns is pretty much false, since some patterns are long enough that it takes a few days to display all the pages and Saturdays and Sundays share a page. I can live with that, though. Also, so far I haven't seen any patterns for anything I actually want to make, but that's ok. The year is still young.

But you know what? There is a reason that crocheters are sometimes assumed to be weird old ladies, and this is it:

Goodness. Who would make this? If you actually see somebody trying to put this on their baby, a call to Child Protective Services may be in order. No wonder some kids grow up to hate their parents.

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