Back in January, The Lady's mom asked me to knit a hat for a friend of hers who was about to start chemo. She was so happy with the Shedir I sent her that she soon requested another hat, this time for The Lady's dad. Something soft, preferably alpaca, with some kind of patterning, but in "manly colors". I happened to have just stumbled on Elinor's blog, and this seemed just the thing.
Pattern: Winter Sunrise Hat (pdf link), by Elinor Brown
Yarn: Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in Charcoal Mix and Agate Mix -- significantly less than one skein each. I knit the lining in black Calmer (left over from that same Shedir) because the recipient has some mild animal fiber sensitivities.
Needles: US6 bamboo DPNs. Really shoulda used a circ. I don't know if you can spot where my DPN-junction was, but I sure can.
Modifications: The intended head for this hat is fairly large -- about 22" -- and while the pattern says it will stretch to that size, I know I knit pretty tightly in general, and particularly so in colorwork. So I went for a light worsted yarn rather than a sport weight, and went up one needle size. Otherwise this is totally by the book.
On the other hand, it's not as crisp as I'd like. Some of that is to be expected, since I'm using a fuzzier, more heathered yarn than Elinor did, and that's fine, but I think some of it is down to my still-not-that-even stranding. I really, really want to get better at this. Of course, a good blocking would help too, and I didn't have time before The Lady's parents arrived. I think I might have to steal it back and block it when they roll through town again this weekend.
Overall though? I'd have to say I'm pleased.
I'm also feeling a bit harried. As of the completion of this hat (Wednesday), I had about two inches of the second palooza sock, and my pal lives overseas so I'm hoping to mail it by Monday. (And unlike the hat, these are certainly not going anywhere without a blocking. You can get away with some things when the recipient is not a knitter, but I've seen the socks my pal knit, and believe me she deserves the best.) Wish me luck!