Purls of Wisdom

Last week I cast on and created the top portion of a delicate, lacy beret for A1.  After knitting the 5th or 6th round of 800 stitches on size 0 needles I realized that the sum beach was too darned big.  A1 asked for a floppy, lacy beret, not a table-cloth.  Upon reflection, I now realize that I knew the hat was too big around during the first lap, but for some unknown reason I kept going.  Anyway, after taking if off the needles and frogging back several inches I discovered that I couldn’t get it back on the needles without dropping the preceding stitches.  A magnifying glass and crochet hook didn’t even help.  Egads, I’m getting clumsy and blind! The thought of ripping it out completely and starting over felt like killing a little bit of my soul, so I carefully folded it up and set it aside until life “calms down” and the opportunity for undisturbed concentration arises.

On Saturday I cast on A3’s hat.  She wanted purple and black striped cat ears.  I used my  standard hat algorithm. (The formula is: 96 stitches + worsted weight yarn  x  size 4 needles = 1 adult sized hat.) 96 is divisible so many different ways that the pattern possibilities are endless.  In this instance I chose a K4, P2 ribbing, then made diagonal YOs and K2Tog on the K4 portions.  It’s simple, fast and not quite as boring to make as a plain hat.  My intentions were to make the ears separately then sew them onto the hat later.  A3 saw the finished hat, sans ears, and wanted no part of it.  Turns out she didn’t want a hat, just cat ears to wear. 

A2 agreed to model the orphaned hat,

           while A1 photo-bombed her with a creeper stalk from The Grudge.

Sunday I made cat ears, attached them to some I-cord and ran a headband through the middle of the cord.  A3 was ecstatic and wore them to school on Monday.  She specifically asked for silly, Cheshire Cat styled, wonky ears and was insistent on the pink centers.  Now she wants matching striped mittens, but only if I can put claws on them.

How in world does one knit claws?  Seriously, any suggestions or tips will be greatly appreciated.

In other news, we now have new guest accommodations!  Hopefully this one won’t leak as bad as our old mattress.  I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t lose air.  Maybe this is why we seldom have guests for more than one night.

This afternoon as we pulled into the driveway we spotted our young neighbor slogging his way home.  He was hunched over with an absurdly large backpack and he didn’t even glance our way when hearing our car. This boy is one grade behind my oldest daughter, but we’ve not seen him in well over a year.  Back when my girls took the bus to and from school we always delighted in watching him being greeted by Cassie, his special kitty.  She’d run out when she heard the bus coming and when he got to the end of the cul-de-sac she’d walk with him, all the while rubbing against his legs and “talking” up  a storm.

2009, “N” and Cassie

When I saw him trudging along I couldn’t help myself, I rolled down my window and yelled out a “hello” to him.  The glanced our way and nodded.  At this point I asked  him where his greeter was.  He stopped walking long enough to tell me that Cassie died.  I feel horrible! 

So, my words, or “purls” of wisdom are this, don’t ask about people’s animals unless you know for sure they’re still alive and well.  Also, knitting hats without a pattern or formula isn’t wise… especially ridiculously complicated hats that will probably end up forgotten in a bedroom corner  a week after they’re painstakingly finished.




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10 responses to “Purls of Wisdom

  1. MOM

    I love Autumn’s hat …it looks really cut on her.

  2. MOM

    oopps…I meant CUTE…

  3. knitwonpurltoo

    The hat is darling! Designing is difficult. Cut yourself some slack, girl! And, as for N and his kitty? Just acknowledging it was a lovely thing to do. You remembered his beloved kitty. He’s a kid, but I know I’d appreciate someone noticing my furbaby was no longer around. Hugs, girl!!!

  4. Roxie Matthews

    Telling someone about your sorrow lightens it. You didn’t remind him of something he had forgotten. You were good to have noticed his special kitty, and I’m sure you told him how sorry you were. You’re a nice person!

    A2’s hat is charming. Too bad she didn’t just specify ears in the first place. They are soo clever! So she wants claws on her mittens? She’s a bright, creative young woman. Let her figure out how she wants to do claws.

  5. Karen O

    A2, like all your girls, is incredibly photogenic! The hat is awesome (as are your kids). Please don’t think we dissed you for a second night due to sleeping accommodations. While I appreciate a comfy bed as much as the next person, I didn’t want to inconvenience you. Of course, I’ll have to come down for a test-sleep on the new mattress. Hope to see you again soon!
    Love, K

  6. Gillian

    Shame about the beret. and the lovely kitty and the lad next door.
    I loved the beret and know just how it is when deep down you know it isn’t going to be right but it is somehow easier to carry on than stop and admit it and undo it.
    I’m doing a hat from the Drops Design selection on http://www.garnstudio.com. It is no.115-21 and is a slouch hat and really easy but there are lots to choose from (too many really).
    Cheers Gillian

  7. Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    I remember seeing some fingerless mitts with claws … Knitty, iirc, a while back. There’s also those amazing ones with the colorwork cats, fish skeletons and pawprints on the palms. There’s also the Cheshire-cat illusion socks; they should be easy to adapt. I wish I could find the websites for the above; try Ravelry.

  8. Gwyndolyn O'Shaughnessy

    Oh, and about Cassie the Kitty: the most touching gesture would be a donation to your local PAWS or Humane Society. They send a nice card to the owner. I’ve received several, and love hearing that my kitties helped other strays.

  9. Luna Nott

    You should give him a copy of that picture of him and the kitty, In a nice handmade cat frame. I get a regular frame and hot glue dog or kitty treats, then paint them over with acrylic paints, then seal with a clear coat. I give them to my friends with fur baby’s

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