One trip, two hats

After a whirlwind tour of western Canada, we’re back.  From Edmonton to Vancouver to Winnipeg to home, we’ve had just the best trip.  We got home on Sunday night, but yesterday I was um… really tired from my vacation (how can that be?) and didn’t do much but catch up on work, work on a sweater (I’m permanently cold) eat the last of the gingerbread, and consider changing out of my moose jammies. (I did not.)

lastofthegingerbread2 2015-01-06

Today I’m back up and running, although I just experienced one of those “short days”. Have you ever had one? You get up, make a big to-do list, the whole day of possibility stretches out in front of you, and then you do one thing (I went to the dentist) and whammo. It’s 4:30, getting dark, and the whole day is shot. I swear I had big plans for today, but you’ll have to make do with two more little knitted things that fell off my needles over the past little bit.  (One bigger one too, but it’s blocking.) The trip we just made was to visit our friend Johnny and it didn’t seem at all right to show up empty handed so I did the only logical thing. Johnny lives in Edmonton, it’s winter, and there’s no way that a hat wouldn’t be the right thing. I started knitting him as soon as the Christmas knitting was over, and by the time we arrived in Edmonton, I was ready to affix it to him as he sat in the pub.

johnshat 2015-01-06

Cascade 220 sport, 1.5 skeins of Navy.  Pattern: Lorne’s Hat.

The funny thing is that even though Johhny knows I knit (I’m scarcely seen without needles) when he opened it, it was about 20 minutes before he figured out I’d made it for him.  Dude actually thought I’d bought him a hat. Think about that. Bought a hat. Enough to boggle the mind.  Meanwhile, I had a husband just about ready to buy a hat, if I didn’t figure one out, so onto the needles went the leftovers from his mittens, and decent, plain hat was made – just in time for Winnipeg. (This was great timing. If you’re not familiar with Canadian Geography, I urge you to take a look at the weather page for that fine city, and know that they aren’t experiencing anything out of the ordinary.)  Joe rammed it on his head instantly, so great was the need.

nopom 2015-01-06

Once safely home though, where a gentleman could (though he would be very cold) go without a hat for a few minutes, Joe confided that he would think it a better hat, a hat that was more “properly a hat” if it had a pompom on top.

pompommade 2015-01-06

I stifled the urge to say anything at all, and made one.  Hat improved, it had a washup- and Joe plunked it on his head this morning before he left.  He was right pleased with that pompom, I tell you, and I could tell by the selfie he texted me this morning, that the sir in question feels the pompom adds a certain Je ne sais quoi, and who am I to argue.

joeshat 2015-01-06

I think he looks great.

156 thoughts on “One trip, two hats

  1. I think that they both look great. And warm. I used that pattern to make my husband a hat several years ago and by some miracle he hasn’t lost it. Happy New Year, welcome back, and I’m pleased that you had such a good time.

  2. I live in winnipeg, the hat was very much needed when you two flew in. 😉 I hope your brief stay in Winterpeg was a welcome one. 😀

  3. Oh man, that “short day” phenomenon happens to me AWFULLY often… in particular when the day’s work is supposed to be dissertation writing. Ouf. I’m glad the two hats were so well received 🙂

  4. When my sister was little, she had a really ugly hat. It was cream and tan, bad fair isle and had a pompom on a string. She adored it. She named it Oscar. I may now need to make her a new one.

    P.S. For a second I read that as Joe n’est sais quoi.

  5. Pingback: One trip, two hats | Yarn Buyer

  6. I just had one of those days……it’s now 4.45, not wearing moose pajamas as sadly don’t have any but AM wearing giraffe slippers that arrived from the UK yesterday……it’s snowing it’s grey and getting dark but on the upside not quite as cold here in Michigan as Winnipeg…..and both chaps look smashing …..

  7. LOVE IT! Think Joe would be willing to write a post on “how to support and appreciate your mate who knits”? My spousal unit could use some pointers… My teenage sons pretty much have it down to a science, including going to the yarn shop with me (not just to reach things on high shelves and hooks for me, although my youngest at 6’3″ and only 14 can reach much higher than me, who is almost a full foot shorter than he is), helping me hunt down dyelots and their willingness to be seen carrying my knitting bag in public (it’s a dark pink)

  8. Let’s all be thankful we don’t live in Winnepeg. Or at least that we don’t have Winnepeg’s winter. The hat looks great on Joe. He’s so cute!

  9. Joe *owes* that pompom. Who are any of us to question?

    Thanks for the link to Lorne’s hat. Between that hat and those mitts you made for your girls, I think I might have next Christmas figured out….

  10. We’re from Newfoundland. Pompoms are basically obligatory. I can’t recall ever having a handmade hat that didn’t have one…and over the years, that’s a lot of hats… 🙂

  11. Hard to go wrong with a guy that:
    a. realizes the value of a pom pom.
    b. is good enough at communication to suggest an enhancement to a knitted gift and get away with it.
    c. send you a selfie of himself in said knit hat.

    Know your audience. Well played, Joe!

  12. I think Johnny thought you had bought that hat for him because it looked so good. It looks outstanding!

    Love Joe’s hat too, including the pom pom. I think it’s adorable that you have a husband whose head doesn’t seem complete without a pom pom on his hat.

  13. I agree that the pompon makes the hat. Something about finishing with the colour that started the hat completes it. Good call, Joe. I knitted myself a turban yesterday to keep my ears warm. It felt great.

  14. Awww – Joe looks great in his new hat w/pom pom and mittens! Johnny’s hat is great too! Happy new year and welcome home!

  15. I love that he loves his pom pom. Our differences are to be embraced and they are what makes the world such a fun place.

  16. Yes, yes, men, hats, pompoms. Did no one else get confused by the gingerbread cookie that has a maple leaf exploding out of the business end of a sheep?! After an incredulous minute, I figured out it was two cookies overlapped. Nevertheless, you are welcome to use my idea for next year’s gingerbread of a sheep that’s Canadian “through and through”.

  17. My husband says he would like to take Joe out for a beer so they can roll their eyes jointly at the antics of their knitting wives.
    I think now he wants a hat too.

  18. Lovely hats, both of them, but I really don’t understand the weather forecast. What is dangerous cold? Is been so unseasonably warm today I went out without a coat!

    • Dangerous cold means that if you spend more than a few minutes outside you run the risk of truley freezing something. Not fun.

  19. As I’m not familiar with Canadian Geography I checked the weather page…OH…MY…LIFE! Minus 22, feels like minus 32 and once the snow stops it’ll be minus 40 with the wind chill?! In England I’m suffering when the temperature is hovering around zero- I can’t even fathom negative double digits, my mind is completely boggled. I salute the people who can endure such weather. If I lived in Winnepeg I would hope that I was a tortoise or bear or some other hibernating animal so I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

  20. Joe’s a peach! And I love that a manly man needs a pompom to make a hat, er, more properly a hat. By the way, I adore your Lorne hat pattern. Made it for my best guy friend who spends, the considerably more mild, Oregon winter pruning on a farm I worked on. He was so charmed he rammed it right on his head at the pub and texted me that it’s his new “under the hard-hat hat.” Dude doesn’t text! So of course I was most gratified.
    And of course, every other male in my life has expressed interest in the same hat. At least some of them are willing to have a hat some other colour than green.
    Glad you enjoyed your time away!

  21. I am also from Winnipeg, and it was quite fun to see us mentioned on your blog…and yes, this is very normal for us, and almost all teenagers wear hats. 🙂 I hope you had fun here, and that it was welcoming for you. I wish you’d come speak here for some reason or other, not that I know what that reason would be, but it would be lovely!!

  22. I finished reading this post thinking of rule #2 of “Ten Reasons to knit hats” from “Knitting Rules” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. “A man or woman who won’t wear colors or stripes or anything that falls outside of an extremely personal and inflexible set of guidelines will often own a hat that breaks all of those rules” and later in the same section of the book “most men will wear a fairly wide assortment of hats”. Guess we shouldn’t be surprised by the expressed need for a pompom.

  23. Boy, that selfie really does say it all! He really does love it!!
    My 14 year old nephew requested a hat with said pompom and I thought he was messing with me and he was not. Men and almost men want pompoms! I love it!!


  24. I checked out the Winnepeg weather page–funny thing is the ‘minus’ signs loaded after the temperatures so my first reaction ws ‘not so bad’…and then I blinked and surprise!

  25. Now I thought that gingerbread cookie was a sheep-peacock — something to do with wool coming in all colours …I am slightly let down by the idea of it actually being 2 overlapping cookies, and very shocked at other people’s interpretations implying that the sheep is having gastro-intestinal problems.
    Am a little surprised too (and very impressed) at Joe’s flexibility and dash regarding hats — I just consulted my husband, whose fashion style might be categorized as ‘lumberjack’, and he has confirmed that he would never wear a hat with a pompom under any circumstances. I have been permitted to make him an absolutely plain grey Herdwick wool hat, a pair of absolutely plain black yak (handspun) gloves, and an absolutely traditional Aran sweater (cream). Stripes would be way out of his comfort zone … I’d better just stick to the daughters for creative pieces.

  26. love the Lornes Hat pattern. Last Christmas, daughter got a red one, son in law got a green one, son got a brown one and daughter in law got a blue one. Hubby got a red and brown one and the ‘extra’ shelf got a different blue one.Our son says it is his favorite hat but the next few will have pom poms on them.
    So glad you had a good holiday.
    Damn. Failed the human verification test again.

  27. Two wonderful hats – how hilarious that your friend thought you had bought it. 😉 And I do so love Joe’s selfie, happily displaying his love of the awesome pompom.

  28. Don’t you love that moment when someone figures out you actually knit them this thing by hand?

    I so love Joe’s hat and mittens and surely you made that scarf too, right? Or did one of the girls? Ken? I’m not remembering it.

  29. What is this with men? Joe always seems so serious in your pictures and then he goes and takes a selfie with a beautiful smile!!! It must be the pompom!

  30. OK, I spent New Year’s in Quebec City, and thought I was tough…. HAH!
    I howled at Winnipeg’s weather for tomorrow:
    “Sunny, -27 (feels like -37)”

    Holy Crap! Thank goodness it’s sunny!!!!
    (I have reindeer jammies~ they are very therapeutic.)

    • I like how it says “-11F, feels like -33F, tomorrow will be cooler than today” — isn’t there a point where we just admit it’s COLD/COLDER instead of COOL/COOLER? And isn’t that point far above anything with a minus sign in front of it? *Especially* a minus sign in front of an F rather than a C 😉

  31. I need a hat for next week when this Florida girl is going to NYC for Vogue knitting. Guess I know what I’m casting on tomorrow. And to the commentor with the 6’3″ son you will so miss tall when it goes away to college! I know that I have.

  32. I live in Winnipeg–and the sunniest days are the coldest ones! All I can say about this weather can be summed up quickly:
    1) preschooler twins have to wear their insulated pants, snow pants, a sweater, a parka, double mitts, and doubled up hats to go to school. They cannot get into it all by themselves yet. (20 minutes gone, easy, every morning…)
    2) I never have to argue with my 3 year olds about wearing their hats and mitts. They scream when the mitts come off.
    3) the sweaters, double mitts, double hats, and even some of the woolly pants are handknit/felted/handmade. This place is nirvana for knitters who like wool. 🙂
    Wish I could have seen you while you were here! Maybe next time?

  33. “Dude actually thought I’d bought him a hat.” haha Thank you for the laugh! As soon as I started knitting I just stopped buying any knitwear, so I know what you are talking about.

  34. Handsome hats! I’m sure the pom-pon reminds Joe of hats he wore when he was a kid. I know they were popular — and large — on store-bought hats when I was a kid, especially after “The Monkees” premiered with Mike Nesmith wearing a hat with one!

    I, too, had one of those days. Woke up and laid in bed for a few minutes, making up a to-do list in my head. Got up and started working, only to find I seem to be coming down with a cold that left my head feeling stuffy and left me coughing up bucketsful. Only thing on the to-do list that actually got done was to go to the drug store and pick up a prescription refill. Yuck.

  35. Awwww how sweet! And the hat for Joe looks great with or with out the pompom but Joe looks so proud of his new hat! And how funny that it took your friend so long to realize you made the hat. Glad you all had a good trip – loved the bison photos.

  36. I’m thinking pom poms on hats are just a Newfoundland thing – considered a necessary part of the hat. Not optional.

    I have and wear purple polka-heart flannel jammies. Not dots, hearts, but like dots. And pink ones with little flowers on them. I need them, because I am a newly relocated southerner now living on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Look up THAT weather page! I wake up in a new world every day.

    Glad you had a nice time on your trip alone with Joe.

  37. I like how Lorne’s hat colour matches his shirt colour exactly.

    But, you gave it to him right off the plane … does that mean you … gave it to him … *unblocked* and *unwashed* ???

    Ah well, I never wash hats or mitts before first wearing either.

    And to the person who failed the human verification test: My human verification test is actually wrong. It asks me to click the Music Note and there is no Music Note. There is another symbol that is music-related. We’ll try that and see what happens. So cheer up, human who failed the human verification test. It’s not you. It’s the test.

  38. Great hats. Hard to believe anyone you love would think you gave him a store bought knit. Lol. I’m a transplanted Denverite. I looked up the weather last week & saw -19 F. That was right next to a picture of a fire. The article saying that working outside @/those temps is like working in 100 degree heat. They have to rotate the firefighters through fast due to exhaustion. Of course every where is a skating rink & everyone is soaking wet. My hat is off to all those dealing with that in an effort to keep people safe. Of course in Denver it will be 100/degrees all too soon. Glad I’m in Seattle.

  39. Once I made a cabled hat for my husband which turned out to be too small. So, since we were meeting friends for dinner, I cast on another, bigger, and stuffed the smaller hat into my bag. At Denny’s, I offered up the hat and it found a new owner. But she wanted a pompom, and preferably one that was big enough to be comical (in my opinion, anyway). I complied, and finished my husband’s new Blue Hat of Sufficient Size. No decorations for that one. Two happy “customers.”

  40. Hey was Joe wearing the oatmeal scarf from years ago? That was a “Welcome to Kalamazoo” present of Marr Haven Farm yarn from yours truly! Always wondered who got that scarf. It looks like it’s holding up well.

  41. and in which pub did you find said “Johnny”? It looks familiar, but not ringing all the bells, yet! Nice hat, thank goodness, he finally realized it was “made” for him!!!!

  42. I love so much that he asked for a pompom. It reminded me of the time I knitted my 2nd ever hat, for my then 4yo – a beautiful cream, green and pink hat with a green pompom. She declared that she loved the hat, but that the “bobbly bit” had to go. I managed to say nothing and cut it off for her.

  43. Love the chapeaux! Too funny that Johnny did not understand its provenance right away. It’s a very handsome hat. And Joe’s is definitely set off by that pompom. 🙂 Sounds like a perfect break. Welcome home.

  44. Thank you for the Winnipeg weather. My day is already shot at -10-20degrees F. Dark and steel grey all day long. Good knitting, movie, baking, and soup weather….until is getting lighter every day!

  45. The weather hasn’t been much different here in Saskatchewan, definitely such a lovely hat was more than necessary. Love that pompom hat selfie from a grown man. 🙂

  46. It surprises me sometimes, the men who turn out to be pom pom men. I never would have pegged my dad for one until the first hat I knitted him didn’t have a pom pom, and he was fairly adamant that take 2 (the thing also didn’t fit right) must have a pom pom. But indeed, who are we to argue?

  47. Not in the same league, but your story reminds me of when my sister-in-law spent a year at a college in Poland after she finished her bachelors degree in the US. Pre-internet, so popular culture communications were not what they are today.

    Her college roommate presented her with a gift when she returned. She wondered why she’d been given what she thought was a dust rag. It was actually a tube top.

  48. My son says you can’t be in a bad mood if you have a pompom on your hat! I had no idea men wanted pompoms on their hats and rarely add them.

    My nephew looked at a hat I made my son and said ‘It’s almost good enough you could sell them’. WHAT! He was teasing, of course, but still…

  49. Totally cracking up over Joe and his pompom (and that very happy selfie!) My husband seems to feel the same as Joe that in that a hat is not a proper hat without a pompom!

    Sounds like you had a lovely vacation!

  50. We’re colder than Winterpeg. Was -43c when I woke up this morning. Another lazy day at home. Car won’t start at anything colder than -30, and I am desperate for groceries. Expecting another week of beyond inhospitable weather.

  51. Um, does that gingerbread sheep’s butt have an issue? Or should I be looking for New! Improved! Ramifying Sheep Butt fiber to be arriving at a fiber festival near me soon? (ramifying – heh, couldn’t resist)

  52. I am shocked and thrilled by the resurgence of pompoms. I have no idea why they’re so popular right now, but I love making them and am going to ride that wave for as long as I can!

  53. I just saw your tweet about how it is so cold that you saw a teenage girl put a hat on….. Still laughing! It was 10 degrees this morning (whatever that is in Celsius degrees I don’t know… sorry to be so provincial and not be able to convert it to what everyone else in the whole damn world uses!) when I dropped my teenagers off at school, and neither one of them was wearing the down coats, mittens, hats or scarves I have bought/made for them. I am encouraged to see that some grown men, unlike 18-year-old ones, actually like hats and express style preferences! My husband tends to have more of the “good sport” attitude about my knitted hats. He wears them if I stare him down as he is leaving the house….

  54. Love Joe’s hat. I made my hubby a hat years ago to wear when snugged up in his sleeping bag in the Sierra. He loved it. When he woke up next morning he said his nose was cold, but that’s because he was a “healthy puppy”.

  55. Not all men can carry off a pom pom. Joe looks great with his. My dad just looks like a goofball, which he is, so that’s OK.

  56. I made my husband a hat for Christmas. A brown hat, in washable wool, in a 1×1 rib, which took forever and a day, and encapsulated much love into that K1 P1 K1 P1… ad infinitum. Ad nauseum? Much like yours, it was a watchcap.

    Today it is cold in Memphis. Deadly cold. And I couldn’t find my hat, so I borrowed his new hand knit watchcap. And doggone it, didn’t it disappear right out of my cubicle at work this afternoon!! I seriously think someone took it — borrowed it? — stole it more like. I am not a happy camper. 1) It will be colder tomorrow. And 2) I may have to knit another hat for my husband. It won’t be 1×1 rib this time, I have decided, and may be bulky wool instead of worsted.

    Do I seriously only have enough love in me for that one hat? Alas, it may be so…

    • Good news — the lost has been found! This morning when I got to work, someone, some sweet angel, had left the hat on my chair.

  57. I have a question re: hat warmth. I never find my handknit hats to be even close to as warm as the store-bought ones that are lined with fleece. How do you knit hats that are warm enough to stand up to a Canadian winter? Any secrets?

    • Oh, hilarious!! My dad is ALSO totally convinced that a hat without a pompom is just not, I don’t know, right? Finished?? I made him such a great one a few years ago, complete with a swirly pigtail on top instead of a pompom….and within weeks of receipt in Regina (where cold-weather-headgear is a life-supporting requirement), there was a pompom on the END of the pigtail! Ah well, it does make him happy, and probably brings mirth to passers-by!

      Christine (in Winnipeg!)

    • Ooops, sorry, that first one was not supposed to be a reply…but this one is: answer can be fleece!! Go find a half-meter of a fleece you love the feel of at the fabric store, and then once your beautiful hand-knit topper is complete, make a headband out of fleece and sew it in on the inside! This can make it possible to gift toques to those who cannot tolerate wool against sensitive facial skin, too. For my dog-walking ‘helmet’–very important for preventing some sort of freezing death on the Prairies–this has been fantastic =)

  58. I think that Joe has a bit of knitwear designer running through his blood. He was able to look at the hat and quickly see what it needed. And then you executed in your perfect way. It all works nicely!

  59. Love the hats!
    Joe is such a good sport! I like the pom pom, and you Stephanie are a good sport for making it for him.
    Store bought hat–*snork* that’s a good one. I needed a laugh today.

    Winnipeg –only city I’ve ever lived in where it snowed at the beginning of September.

  60. Interesting, isn’t it? Ask a man what hat etc they want knitted, and the response is usually “a PLAIN hat-nothing fancy”. Consult them throughout the hat’s creation and it’s “perfect – it’s plain” .
    Joe-that trendsetter-was pom insistent. And he was right-he needed a pom. He is not a Plain kind of man. He can rock a pom.

  61. I have a question about hat size – I calculated hat circumference with given gauge and cast on number and got 21.8 inches (54.5 cm).
    Your pattern said gauge is “slightly stretched”. I have a 22 inch head, so should I cast on 10% fewer stitches so it’s not too loose?

  62. hür haber, “A man or woman who won’t wear colors or stripes or anything that falls outside of an extremely personal and inflexible set of guidelines will often own a hat that breaks all of those rules” and later in the same section of the book “most men will wear a fairly wide assortment of hats”. Guess we shouldn’t be surprised by the expressed need for a pompom.

  63. A mans hat, a bit a model beanie , without a pompom misses something much needed. Without the pompom there is no handle to take the hat of quickly, so they have to pick the finishing off bit and then, Oh how awful, a few hairs might be picked up too, ouch. All fun aside, a pompom of the right size finishes a hat off nicely and makes it a real hat. (like a cow with no horns, how stupid they look with the big pointy bump between their ears). I totally understands Joe’s wish for a pompom, no pointy bump of a hat high up between his ears, lol. Riena

  64. Oh, I was all set to be pitying the poor shivering Winnipegians, and then I did the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversions…and it’s rather (a lot) colder where I am (sobs, tears freeze instantly). Though maybe (hopeful thought!) Winnipeg was colder when you wrote the post…It’s -23C for me right now and that’s one of the warmest mornings this week (more sobbing).

    Off to knit myself thicker mittens…

  65. You were in Winnipeg and I didn’t know about it??? I live an hour north of Winnipeg and could have been there, even if I had to hitchhike! RATS! and Rats again! I missed you. Of course, I recognize that if this was a private occasion and not business, this big blonde crazy lady bounding up to you with unbridled enthusiasm could be not only daunting but downright embarrassing. I would have behaved myself, I promise I would. But this is as close as you have ever been to where I live and I really am upset I missed the opportunity to at least glimpse My Heroine! Not to worry, really – I’m just glad you had a good trip.

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