This is about Lorne. He’s one of Joe’s best friends, friends since childhood really, and he’s a good Newfoundlander lad. Reliable, steady, funny like you wouldn’t believe and (I love this about him) if you hand him a guitar he’s a human jukebox – or a well loaded ipod set on shuffle, to update the metaphor. In any case dude can play for days without repeating a song – a feat that he proved on a canoe trip to Algonquin last year. He’s unstoppable, and whether that’s a product of 20 years of pickin’ up cash playing in cover bands all over the rock, or whether that’s just his particular brain – I don’t know, but I do like it. Lorne came to Toronto ten years ago, and he had a bit of a hard adjustment. He loves it now, but the shift from a wee place in Newfoundland to Canada’s largest city was a bit of a brain wreck, and at the time I realized that until he got his legs under him, he was going to be one of those people that the city makes more lonely. I don’t feel it myself, but for some people, being in a city makes it worse. The fact that they don’t know all 5.5 million people in the GTA just makes them feel like they don’t know anybody. In any case, that first winter I just felt so sorry for him, so I did what knitters do. I knit him a hat. It was a good navy cap, traditional and plain, warm and comfortable and knit long enough that it could be folded double over his ears to keep the wind out. Lorne liked that hat, and it became his standard winter hat, and he took proper and good care of it.
Just before Christmas we celebrated Lorne’s birthday, and buddy confessed that after 10 years, he’d lost the hat. He was so regretful and wracked with guilt that I immediately cast on for another. 10 years is a really good lifespan for a Canadian winter hat with a busy agenda- and anybody who’s faithful to a hat for that long deserves another. (Also, I have no idea why Lorne looks so sad in these pictures. He’s a really happy guy. Joe took them in a pub, so I wonder if it was a Hockey thing. Canadian men looking inexplicably sad is usually a hockey thing.)
(See there? I think he’s looking at Hockey.)
I’ve scribbled the pattern I cobbled together here for you as a little thank you for the number in the sidebar for MSF. (I think that number will be a million shortly. It’s a terrible way to get there, but there we’ll be.) Joe, Lorne and my brother all agree that this is a good manly hat that has a 0% risk of emasculating any one in any way. (Even women.)
Yarn: St. Denis Nordique. Navy – #5810. 2 balls. (I loved this yarn, by the way.)
Needles: I used a 40cm 3.5mm circular.
Gauge: 22 stitches to 10cm in rib, slightly stretched.
Team must still be losing. Likely the Leafs.
Cast on 120 stitches join (being careful not to twist, of course. We all know it but I still feel like I have to say it.) Mark the beginning of the round.
Work in 2×2 rib for 30 cm. (This will look ridiculously long. Roll with it.)
Round 1: *k2, p2tog, k2, p2. Repeat from * all the way around. (Do this with every round.)
Round 2: * k2, p1, k2, p2.
Round 3: as round 2
Round 4: as round 2
Round 5: *k2, p1, k2, p2tog.
Round 6: *k2, p1, k2, p1.
Round 7: as round 6.
Round 8: *k2, p1, k2tog, p1.
Round 9. *k2, p1,k1, p1.
Round 10: *k2tog, p1, k1, p1.
Round 11. * k1,p1,k1,p1
Round 12. *k2tog.
Round 13: *k2tog.
Round 14: Gather remaining stitches securely, running the yarn through them twice. (I have never liked having the destiny or destruction of a whole hat hinge on a single close.) Fasten off securely.
Present to deserving recipient.
Lorne phoned a few days ago to say that his hat’s working out really well. Apparently it’s properly warm and "the wind doesn’t go through it like the ones from the store".
High praise indeed.
Enjoy the pattern, keep watching the sidebar for updates if you’re into it. I really can’t thank you enough, and I’m still just gobsmacked at what knitters can do without even really breaking a sweat. Rachel H and I are both entering stuff into the tally as fast as we can – and we expect to have it pretty much wrapped up in the next few days, at which point I’ll give away some karmic balancing gifts. Just want to get most names on the list first so that it’s as fair as possible. I’m confidant that we’re going to meet our goal of $1 000 000 for MSF, but bummed that this is how we get there.. you know? I was trying to figure out how we could acknowledge something like that when it happens. Ideas?
(PS. That pattern hasn’t been test knit. Not sure how far wrong you could go, but still. Fair warning.)