Sure another hat

Oh guys, thanks so much.  Without wanting to be a buzz-kill of any kind, this week is a wee bit dreary, and as always, there you were to lift me up, and make me feel less alone. Thanks for your thoughts, your comments, and especially your donations. I know it’s sappy, but I really feel like the universe wants some balance, like water seeking level – and that if my family has to have a hard time right now, that maybe that will be balanced by your donations making things better for another family.  Actually, I know that’s true. I’ve taken a larger leadership role with the Rally this year, and it takes me into PWA several days out of a month (week, actually) and I can tell you for an absolute fact that the money you donate changes lives absolutely. I have met the clients, and the money you give touches their lives in practical and real ways. You are a force, never doubt it, and it does my heart a world of good.

After driving home on Sunday from up North, then driving here to Ottawa rather unexpectedly on Monday, I feel like I’m really scrambled with my knitting projects.  I have a sock humming along in the background, but mostly I’m trying to finish another hat.

I KNOW. I said never to another hat, but you had to know I didn’t really mean it, and besides, what’s a chemo cap without a proper “formal” hat for when you’re out in public.

I’ve chosen a lovely hat that turned up in an exhaustive Ravelry search for just the right thing.  It’s the Hallstatt hat, and the yarn I’ve got is Sublime: Baby cashmere merino silk DK.  (There is nothing more to say about that combination, it’s magic. Everything delicious for a sore head.) Hat is pictured here in my hotel room on the window ledge at dawn, where there is little to work with.

hat hotel 2018-01-25

I’ve been plowing along on it for a few days, and I’m remembering this feeling from when my mum was in hospital.  I thought there would be so much knitting, that all that sitting would mean knitting, but when someone is so ill, it turns out that when they speak, you want to put your work down, and turn your full self towards them, and as a result, it’s slow going.

hathosp 2018-01-25

Things are rather unbelievably and fortunately stable here, so tomorrow I’ll make the 5 hour drive back to Toronto, and home and the other part of my family, and finish this hat. It won’t be long before I’m back, and I’ll bring it with me.

And now…. Gratuitous grandson photo.

elliot 2018-01-25
Home and to him, tomorrow. Peace out.

87 thoughts on “Sure another hat

  1. You said ‘never another grey sweater’ when you put down the gansey…
    …and I’ve been poking you every time you make another grey sweater. For years.

    So, no. You didn’t really mean it. Duh.

    (And also? The ‘infrequent commenters’ are unequivocally awesome.)

    • Geez, Presbytera, you’d think by now, you’d know that a real knitter doesn’t mean it when he or she or they say something like, “I am NEVER knitting another sock/long scarf/blanket/hat/sweater/whatever again as long as I LIVE.” I mean, it’s like me saying I’ll never buy another fleece to spin. HA.

      And that is a beautiful hat, Steph, and a beautiful, beautiful baby.

      • For me it is Christmas stockings. I made 23 this year in a hurry before Christmas, and now I have 7 on order to finish in no particular hurry.Sometimes I swear they are going to bury me in a big Christmas stocking. Oh, and 3 blankies to finish that someone else started before they died, and 2 sweaters, lace on fine needles that my sister ordered. Sigh… when do I get to do my knitting? The money is needed, but it’s wearing.

        Julie in San Diego

  2. Hugs to everyone on the cancer journey. And that boy’s head needs all the hats you can make him! He’s like my daughter, bald for her first year.

  3. Makes me feel better about my own 7 month old bald grandson when I see Elliot, and his smile lights up room. Safe travels and enjoy that little one every minute – I’m finding they change so quickly

  4. I love your blog. I have been reading it for several years and you inspire me. Sending love and best wishes to you at this time. I just finished a hat for a dear friend going through chemo.

  5. Wow! That yarn and that pattern seem like a match made in heaven! I’m sure the recipient will treasure the hat long after the hair grows back.

    Best wishes to your hospitalized relative. I’m sure s/he is about to climb the walls. Several days of hospital food would do that to anybody.

    Elliot seems to have good taste in music, if that t-shirt bears the logo it seems to have. Lastly, tell Joe to start planning that romantic getaway now…you need one!

  6. Peace be with you. Kiss your grandson as often as he’ll let you. Kiss Joe and all your girls and all your many friends. Knit

  7. What a caring and wonderful friend, relative and person you are to travel at a moment’s notice to comfort others in need. You are truly a special woman!

  8. a. You make me look forward to when it’s my turn for the chemo thing. [Hey, it runs in the family. I might as well face the reality, and be disappointed. Better than facing the crocodiles in that Egyptian river.]

    b. Where did the teeth come from? He’s growing waay too fast! [Note to self: it’s been almost a year since seeing the grandnephew. The grandniece almost here. Make travel plans, already! Before life throws a chemo curve.]

  9. I, too, am spending lot of time in hospital visiting My Little Sailor (remember Jacob of K2P2 t-shirt fame?). I just want you to know your gratuitous grandson photos are a bright spot in otherwise stressful days. Thank you!

  10. Dear little Elliot is so adorable. I’m so happy you are doing better. Having 7 children, 5 daughters in law and 17 grandchildren is a grand blessing and I love them all tons and buckets. But, just like I wasn’t prepared for the pain of childbirth, I have not always been prepared for what life has emotionally thrown my way. But that’s what growing is all about. These experiences do help us love and learn so much more than a carefree life would. You are wonderful!

  11. Hats are great. I love the concept of sweaters, but I often don’t finish them. All those arm scyes and all, seams, etc.
    Keep moving.. you’re doing fine. And, he’s super cute, that Elliot. He totally is. Keep the pics coming.

  12. MUCH nicer than the chemo cap I recently made for the Grandboyz’ beloved PawPaw. May it bring warmth, comfort and smiles.
    And speaking of smiles, Elliot’s are amazing.

  13. The first thing I did when my dad got sick was go out and make him a hat with the nicest cashmere I could find. It had huge cables and was probably way too tight but he said that he liked it snug. Now I have that hat and instead of making me sad (well, I still get sad about my dad a lot but….) it makes me smile because he liked it (he wore it so I know he did). It makes me remember that I was smart enough to take the time to visit more often (and lucky enough to have a spouse who said – of course you can go, we can manage it – I am so very lucky). It makes me remember all the time we got to talk and when I got to sit on the edge of his chair reading the paper and watching him spoil my dog. There is so much love wrapped up in that hat. I know that your recipient will feel it in theirs too. We never know how the story of our life is going to end – we just have to find the best parts of it to remember. Hang in there. It seems as if you have a lot of support so that in turn, you can be a great source of support. Sending you a hug.

  14. 1. You are an amazing relative – would we all had one who showed up EVERY time…

    2. Love the hat – named after an Austrian village, it’s great to see all those Alpine travelling stitches. Too often pattern names are not well-researched, so for this one!

    3. Eldest daughter had no hair until she was 2; now her youngest daughter is also a baldie (though she now has plenty and so do the other 3 kids!) and my mom has been on a mission making hats for her! Too funny (and too cute). Sigh, toddlers ❤️

  15. Your hats are marvelous and the person who gets to wear them will love them. I’m sorry your family is experiencing the hospital again. Sending my best wishes and hugs.
    Absolutely love the photos of Elliot so please keep them coming.

  16. That difference you say all the PWA donations make in their clients’ lives? You’re making the same difference in someone’s life with your hats. Sending thoughts for good health to your friend.

    • And she makes a difference in all of OUR lives, too. It’s a “goes around, comes around” sort of thing.

  17. I’m sorry you have a relative in the hospital. It’s so wonderful you can be with them at this time. I too find when in a hospital that I don’t knit, but focus all my energy on who I’m there for, even if that means just sitting and being quiet.

    We all love the gratuitous grandson photos. Keep ’em coming!

  18. You have such a gift for putting your thoughts into words that I am often left without the ability to put together a worthy reply. But know that I do think of you and your family often, wishing you all the best, and man – keep those grandson photos coming. He is growing into such the little man with that toothy grin!

  19. What a beautiful hat! Stunning. And the yarn, and the love knitted into the beauty are sure to be a comfort to the recipient. Having spent much time sitting in hospice in the past year, I hear what you’re saying about the knitting in the presence of ill loved ones – the way time stands still and demands your full presence and attention. Sending hugs from Georgia.

    Good heavens! I spy two magnificent teeth in your grandson’s megawatt smile. He is darling!

  20. (Perhaps weird) suggestion if you have someone you love who is in the hospital for a lengthy stay: a colourful spread for their bed. Easiest: fabric store, an appropriate length of polyester ‘fleece’ fabric, not too expensive, cheerful or cheering colour, very washable, does not need hemming and no great loss if it ends up wreaked. When my husband was in for over a month and was constantly cold, I did this and we were amazed at the side effect–that personalization, the welcome pop of friendly teal colour, made pretty much every staff/medical person slow down, take a breath, be more present with Charles–see and treat him more as an individual, as a unique Person not just a chart or diagnosis…I’m sure he was better-cared for because of it even when I was not present. Plus he was finally warm! =)

    • I’ve experienced this from several vantage points and it’s true. The blanket from home made me feel like I hadn’t left everything I knew behind. My husband got me a stuffed animal cat because I missed the comfort of my kitty.

    • I regularly attend a Project Linus meeting here in Florida to make blankets for kids in the local hospital. The feedback we get from the hospital staff on how much the young recipients (and their families) appreciate the donations is humbling –
      that such a simple item can make such a difference during a hospital stay. A fleece blanket is quick, inexpensive and there are gazillions of fabric patterns so you’re sure to find something the patient will love. Check Pinterest for instructions and interesting edge treatments. Good luck!

  21. Baby pic! Anyone else hearing, “Gonna see that smiling face on the cover of the Rolling Stone”?
    (I get to click the lightbulb. Apropos, given he’s such a ray of sunshine.)

    My lys collects chemo (and other) hats. I’ve been knitting winter hats, but might try my hand at cashmere. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. Will I lose my dignity?
    Will someone care?
    Will I wake tomorrow, from this nightmare?
    This ran through my head as I was thinking about your participation in the bike rally for PWA. Twenty plus years after Jonathon Larson’s RENT was first previewed it’s still a powerful song and still relevant.
    Love the pics of your growing extended family and your knitting.
    Peace. Always Peace.

  23. Sending you and yours warm thoughts and virtual hugs. I’ve been in these shoes. Also faxing you tea with honey, lemon and ginger to warm your heart till wee Elliot has charge of it again.

  24. Thank you for loving people so well. I send best energy for the hat-intended – may they feel comfortable soon. Thank you for Elliott photos – what a dear face!

  25. I am amazed you can sit in a hospital and read a chart. I usually did “idiot knitting” – simple and uncomplicated, so when you put it down (often) you don’t have to think when you pick it back up. That, plus hours of lousy tv.

    Isn’t it amazing how exhausting just sitting in a hospital is?

    Signed, been there and done that, for years. Because you do just put one foot in front of the other ….

  26. Look at that smile…and those TEETH! What a guy…makes my heart melt each time I see a pic….that hat is lovely and your friend is going to love it….

  27. My go-to chemo cap (a phrase I really, really wish were not necessary) is Shedir, but it’s good to have an alternative — and from the look of it, that one will work as well as Shedir as a normal-life Excellent Hat. (Shedir is the only piece of gift-knitting one member of my family has ever worn. Higher praise there ain’t.)

    And if the universe seeks balance, you’re due for something pretty spectacular. Better buy a lottery ticket.

  28. Glad you get to go home to Toronto for now. That fancy hat looks wonderful! I’ve knit some Sublime merino worsted but not the sublime sounding Sublime you’re using. Elliot is such a cutie. Feel free to add a gratuitous photo every time. I haven’t made a PWA contribution this year, but I’ll support your team again, as usual.

  29. Love made tangible. It’s a beautiful hat! May you have a safe (and easier) drive home. Kiss that precious grandson (and his mama too)! Thank you for sharing with us!

  30. The hat that was to be my sister’s Christmas present is still 12 rows from being finished due to my own family illness. Days and days in the hospital, lots of yarn packed, zero knitting accomplished. But children really are a joy in these difficult times. Best wishes to you all.

  31. So sorry you have an ill family member, that’s never fun to experience.

    Lovely hat pattern. If you decide to make matching mittens, I made the “Tyrolean” ones by Marcia Lewandowski recently for my mother (without the embroidery). They look like they’d be a good match.

  32. Both the hat and the kid are yummy! He looks like he is ready to be smothered in grandma kisses! I hope your trip home is safe.

  33. I want you to know that among the many gifts you give us, as our Yarn Harlot, is the introduction to The Trajically Hip. You mentioned them over the years, and you were heartbroken with Gord died. I hadn’t heard of them before then one of your mentions prompted me to seek them out. I’ve been hooked ever since. Thank you for that, and for always being generous with us, your blog. We love you for it. Wishing you strength on the road ahead, and I know you have it.

  34. Are those teeth?! And what, does he start trilingual kindergarten next week? What happened to the baby? He’s toddling!
    I’m so glad PWA is making good use of your many skills and talents. And that so many were able to donate to the cause.
    What is it about cables that feel so dressy for hats? They do look properly posh. And this hat is a perfect posh headhug.
    Sublime is the perfect yarn for an insulted/assaulted scalp. It’s like 1000 thread count sheets for the scalp. I’ve made chemo caps from it and after graduation from chemo, every hat was passed on except the ones made from Sublime “because how it made me feel”.
    That hat is yelling for a faux fur pompom.

  35. There will always be other hats…..☺️

    Listening is important work. Good that you are there to do it.

    Love the grandson teeth!

  36. It strikes me that you can’t knit in the hospital because you love the person even more than knitting. They have to feel that love.
    Gorgeous work on that hat, by the way.
    Continued thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  37. The picture of your boy reminded me of my 3. They were so bald it wasn’t funny. But now :: my oldest is 50 and his hair was blonde and thick. #2 now has hair to die for. Thick and curly like crazy. My 3rd is a girl and I kept her hair short for a long time and now it is so thick and curly it is gorgeous!!!! She is a blonde. He is so cute!! I love that smile.

  38. I felt so complimented when an elderly friend requested, from his hospital bed, that I knit him a hat because he head was constantly cold. I quickly knit a basic hat, no cables, no design, just short rows garter stitch. With a little more time I knit him one of another color. And he wore them.

  39. Life does take twists and turns. Some are simply amazing, like a new grandchild,; some are just endured, like illness and losing a loved one. But through it all, we can only be expected to do the next right thing. The hat you are making is gorgeous and will make someone feel really special at a time when she needs to feel loved. Keep on doing your next right thing.

  40. What a lovely hat! Infrequent commenter here. 🙂 May the chemo be a blessing, with a hat on top. I can’t help wondering if you’ve tried the (CANADIAN) yarn Sugar Bush Blish. It shares some of the components in the Sublime and my tester headband is so soft, comfy and warm that I have been known to adjust my outfit colors to wear it. Waiting eagerly to get to knit with it again.

  41. ❤️ Life is hard, yet wonderful,too. We are dealing with cancer in our family too. A very rare, aggressive tumor. First appointment at Sloan Kettering on Monday because most people have never heard of this cancer. If you have to hit the jackpot, I dare say, this is not the way to go. Sending positive vibes your way.

  42. Hello, Blog,
    I have to tell you, I just won the cancer lottery. I feel soooo protected. I must have things yet to do in this life. During Oct we had super low humidity in California. One afternoon it was 2% in San Diego. That’s why the brush fires were so bad this year. That and high winds. During that time my skin was so dry and itchy it drove me crazy. So after my shower I took a spray bottle of skin oil and coated the front side of me, then I gave the bottle to hubs and asked him to spray the back side of me. He said, “you have something weird looking growing down in your butt crack, show it to the doctor.” I did and it was cancer, basal cell carcinoma, which was young enough to not be shedding nasty cells yet and we got it all, sez the lab. We found it in time! Who finds a cancer in time that is in a place you can’t see like that? I’m delighted beyond measure. Those annoying devil winds saved my life.
    Julie in San Diego

  43. I knit a cowl for a dear friend in cashmere/silk when she was going through chemo. Such a soft, tender feel, so soothing and warm. excellent choice as always. Your loved one will feel cherished each time it is worn.

  44. I’ve spend my share of hours, evenings and days in the hospital with loved ones and have knit there quite a bit. I feel that really, it’s the only thing I can give to make them feel better… my time… words of comfort… for them to know I’ll be there no matter what.

    Beautiful hat… I love that blue…. so true… striking color. Glad you made it home safe.

  45. As a recent chemo recipient, I can attest that “warm but loose” is the very best hat for a bald head! A too-tight band is uncomfortable and your instincts to use larger needles were right on. I will keep you and your loved one in my prayers. I hope all will be well.

  46. Never say never. A motto I live by. Try it out. 😉
    Glad the donations perked you up. Love the newest hat – almost making me want to jump in and knit the same. Almost.
    (In this era of #MeToo, I don’t think this security feature should be asking me to “click or touch the Woman”!! Who designs these things?)

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