Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sam!

My brother's birthday is January 15. We had the typical Sunday dinner the week of his special day, and Liz made a mighty fine carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (I am drooling at the memory). I had a hat all planned for him, but had not had a chance to actually knit it yet. It was just sitting in my Ravelry queue waiting...

Trying to find the best yarn for the job offered a couple of challenges. First of all, Sam isn't really a hat guy. He is, however, a runner. And it is frighteningly cold here much of the year. So I figured a warm, cozy running hat would be useful and more stylish than the UMD hat he has been wearing while he runs. Also, Sam keeps his head shaved pretty close to his skull. So the yarn had to be warm but completely itch free. I searched for my standard soft yarn-Debbie Bliss Cashmerino-but was not happy with the colors in stock. So I searched for the counter yarn to Cashmerino: Rowan Cashsoft. And right away I found a color called Donkey and knew it was the one. Did I love the hue? It's fine. The thing here is the word play. Sam's full name is, of course, Samuel. And our dad has always, always called him Muel. And Donkey-Muel-same thing in my eyes. The fact that his favorite color is black just didn't matter. Also, I could not find black in stock in either Cashmerino or Cashsoft. But Donkey! How could I say no?

I finally cast on on February 17 and finished on Friday. Meaning two days ago. I brought it to Sunday dinner today and gave it to him, only 1.5 months late. (I should add here that my family does Sunday dinner every other week in the winter and every week in the summer. This is very convenient since my parents host and they live next door to us. Sam and Liz live directly behind our parents, right through the woods. Our cousin Jeremy and his family live right behind us, through the woods. And Alex, our sister, lives off of our little commune with her family and has to drive. We love them anyway.)

I upcycled one of Dana's paintings for the wrapping. (Yes, it is too upcycled!) She painted it using the glitter paint she got from Santa. It is lovely and shimmery, which is perfect for any grown man. Unfortunately, tape does not stick to glitter paint. Fortunately, we had some purple staples in the stapler and they were a festive addition to the package.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of Sam in his Donkey hat. Fortunately, I took photos of Kevin modeling it so I could post them on Ravelry (the knitter's version of crack). See how it folds up so it is double-layered over the ears? This makes it extra special warm.

My attempt at capturing the extra cool decreases on camera. They look curved, which is really fun. The hat makes me think of a Hershey's Kiss. The pattern is called Jacques Cousteau and can be found here.

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