Today is, my little pets, a very special day. Today is the day that we celebrate Ken's birthday. Ken's my best friend and an extraordinary person. I love him a great deal and today I will cook pork chops for his birthday dinner to prove my love. If you are not aware, your local Harlot is a vegetarian. Cooking pork chops is a sincere and loving expression of my dedication to him. (We will not discuss that neither the children nor Joe got meat on their birthdays...this is my game and I make the rules.)
Five reasons Ken is pork chop worthy:
1. He is charming. I have it on good authority that Ken gets his hair cut with his eyes closed so that he gets a surprise at the end.
2. He is brave. Ken will try anything once, including things that other people would never consider, like bungee jumping, ice climbing or skydiving.
3. He is dedicated and determined. Ken will stick with something even when it is clearly not working because he believes (and he is mostly right) that his intelligence will sort it in the end.
4. He is loyal. Ken has never said an unkind thing about someone he loves. (An add on to this one is that if he doesn't like someone the conversation is going to be very entertaining.)
5. He is generous. Ken buys exorbitant gifts like a drumcarder for me or an I-pod for Hoi-en, a snowboard for Sam, or voice recognition software for Lene.
(My frugal mother would call this "more money than sense", but he's getting pork chops so it's clearly working for him.)
There will be much more about Ken's birthday tomorrow....but for today you get Ken's Dulaan hat. This hat is not for Ken to wear, I've probably made him 20. This hat is for Ken to give to the totally brilliant Dulaan project, spearheaded by the lovely and entertaining Ryan. (Hop over and see what she's up to.) Ken knits, but he's been too busy lately to make much headway (pun intended) so I've knit this and will send it in his name. (present #1) As present #2, I'm writing the pattern down here, so that anybody who wants to can make a Ken's Dulaan hat, thus ensuring his name lives in knitting infamy. This took an hour to make, and that included figuring the pattern. Think about sending one along to the Dulaan people in Ken's honour.
Ken's Dulaan Hat:
Materials: About 40 metres of Lion Brand 100% wool "Van Gogh" , sadly discontinued. Three strands of Worsted weight held together, or two strands of chunky will do.
one pair 12mm straight needles (or whatever you need to get gauge...)
Gauge: 7 stitches to 10cm. (I find this hysterical. This makes your gauge 1.75 stitches per inch. I think it's normal for this to hit your funny bone. You might not want to try and explain to normal people why it's so darned funny though)
Cast on 30 stitches. Pause and laugh for a minute, since you are knitting a whole darned hat for a real sized human and it has 30 stitches in the cast on.
Knit 1 row. (this takes seconds. Mere seconds)
K1, P1 across the next two rows.
Right side: Knit one row, increasing two stitches equally spaced. (32 stitches, yup, still funny)
wrong side: K1, purl to last stitch K1.
Right side: Knit.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked 11 rows and have the right side facing for the next one. (It is good to pause for a little giggle here, as you have, in fewer than 15 rows, knit the main bit of the hat.)
First row: K3, *K2tog, K2, repeat from * until 5 stitches remain, K2tog, K3
Second row (wrong side) K1, P2, *P2tog, P1, repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, P2tog, P2.
Third row: K1, K2tog across row, K1.
4th row: K1, purl across, K1
5th row: K1, K2tog four times, K1
6th row: P2tog 3 times (3 stitches remain)
Work I-cord for 10cm and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing up. Thread the tail down through the I-cord and sew up the back of the hat. Weave in the tail you started with, tie the I-cord top into a cute overhand knot, do a little dance and invoke the name of Ken.
One superwarm stashbusting hat in way less time that you ever dreamed possible.
Finally today, I have to thank Stitchy McYarnpants. She had emailed me some time ago telling me that in her travels on this earth she had found something that "was meant to be" mine. Now, it concerns me a little when people say this. I worry about weird blog insights and strange connections and....well. Weirdness. I also worry, when people say "this is PERFECT for you" and then give me something that really isn't, that I will have to lie or something. (I hate lying. Probably because I suck at it). So when dear little Stitchy said that she had something that was "meant to be mine". I felt a little nervous. The sweetie was excited so I went along. What could it be?
Today I got the little notice that they had a package for me so I trotted to the post office, hoping against hope that it was her box, because she sent it a long time ago and we've been worried. Indeed it was from her and I opened it up....filled with fear and excitement all at the same time. I would never, ever have guessed in a million years what Stitchy had found and mailed.
Wool Pig salt and Pepper shakers.