Hat and scarf and hat again

For some reason, I didn’t feel like knitting in July and August. I can’t imagine why.

I tried swatching something in September, but it was a disaster, and we won’t talk about that. Instead, at some point in mid-October, I couldn’t find the shawl I was working on and grabbed the hat I’d left on the needles when it hit 102 degrees.

Two weeks later, the hat and its matching scarf were finished. The yarn is a closeout (Poems, I think, by Wisdom Yarns?, 100% wool) and the pattern for the scarf is the Yarn Harlot’s one-row scarf.

I modified the one-row scarf in order to make a two-row hat. I will not be doing that again. The decreases were ridiculously difficult. But I like the result. Do you?

I thought it should be a kid’s scarf because of the color, but several perfectly rational adults told me it would be fine for an adult too. Which is a good thing, because the hat turned out a lot bigger than I thought it would. Oops. (The photo also makes it seem as if the scarf changes width. It really doesn’t — I just laid it out badly for the photograph.)

This set is headed for the homeless shelter, which was the same destination I had in mind for this one, made with Malabrigo worsted weight:

I wanted to try a skein of this yarn because Ivy said it was super-soft, and this color had only one skein left. So I picked it up, figuring that wouldn’t mess up the store’s dye lots. The laddering of the yellow was unintentional.

I designed this hat in order to make it as warm as possible, figuring it would go to a homeless man who would need the warmth. The pleating and the fold-over on the brim are designed to retain body heat.

When I finished the hat, I showed it to someone, and Kiddo#1 grabbed it. “Is it for me?” I replied that I intended to donate it. He said, “Can you make me one like it?” Sure, I guess. I asked what color he wanted. This color, he said.

Which leaves me with a dilemma, whether I should give this hat to Kiddo#1 (it’s a bit big for him, to be honest) or whether I should donate it as planned. Kiddo#1 has other hats. But I also know he doesn’t really wear them, and I’d feel angry if I gave him this hat and he didn’t use it, especially knowing someone else needed it and would have used it.

But on the other hand, he’s my kid, and I don’t want to be some kind of Dickensian villainess whose children watch her being charitable to strangers and bitchy to them. What do you think?


  1. WyldKat

    Hi Jane. Long time no see. (waves)

    I would suggest sticking to your original plan and donate the hat. I believe #1 son is old enough to understand others needing things. Then, take him to the store where you buy your yarn, let him pick a color, and make him his own cap using the same pattern.

    1. philangelus

      That may be the way to go. Maybe if I show him there are 500 different colorways of malabrigo worsted weight, he’ll prefer a different one and this problem will solve itself.

  2. Illya

    I would give it to Kiddo#1. As Jesus said “The poor your always have with you”, and the need you precieve will be there i another week or so just as it is today. When a boy of Kiddo#1’s age asks his mom for something–that is special. I wish my own son were that age again, and I could give him something made with love from my hands–something he really wanted and asked for. Even if he doesn’t wear it, it’s OK. The fact that it was given with love is sufficient. You can whip up another hat for the homeless, and it will be special because it will carry the intention of both hats when you give it away.

    1. philangelus

      I’m not okay with him not wearing it. If I hand-make something with love, I want it used, especially if someone in need isn’t going to have it *because* he asked for it.

      I have no problem making things for my kids. But I can’t tell if this is a whim on his part or if he really wants it.

  3. Julie Weathers

    Give it to the homeless shelter as you planned. You said he has other hats he doesn’t wear so it’s not like he’s doing without so you can give to charity. Take him to a yarn store as Wyldkat suggested and let him pick out his very own yarn. Then, if he doesn’t wear it, that’s his problem. You made him a special hat and that’s all you can do.

    Years ago, my boys saved up change so they could buy me a plant on Mother’s Day. We were so broke just buying a two liter of Coke once every two weeks was a luxury. I told the boys I would take them to town to buy the plant or we could buy some little begonias that were on sale, decorate them and take them to the nursing home to ladies who didn’t have anyone to love them.

    They decided to buy the little begonias. We went back to the nursing home every weekend for months after that so they could visit with the residents. The residents loved having children to make over. The kids loved visiting with the residents and I think it made them more aware of elderly people and how lonely they can be.

    1. philangelus

      That’s so sweet. :’-) That must have really made an impression on your sons.

  4. cricketB

    Give it to him, and have him take a good look through the hats he doesn’t wear. This week is our school’s annual coat, etc. drive. The deadline and excitement sometimes help the kids pass stuff on.

    1. philangelus

      One of them has a Red Sox logo. The other was given to him by his grandmother. I can’t imagine him letting either of those go out the door. 😉 But I can bring up that idea, though, that he has those two hats already as opposed to someone who has none.

  5. Xallanthia

    I too modified the one-row scarf for a two-row hat, but my decreases are way more awkward looking than yours… in fact I embraced the awkward and just made a spiral. Share the secret?

    1. philangelus

      LOL about embracing the awkward. The hat is in four-stitch blocks (two garter, one purl, one twisted knit) so I bracketed them off in twelve-stitch blocks with stitch markers. (So 4-4-4.)

      On the first decrease, I combined the two garter stitches of the first block of four in every twelve-stitch bracket. Next row: no decrease. On the next decrease row, I combined the garter stitches of the second block of four. Next row: no decrease.

      You can tell already what a pain that was going to be, right?

      After the garter stitches were all decreased, I then decreased the garter-stitch-purl pair, again going through the blocks of 4 (now blocks of three.) At the point where everything that remained would have been a twisted knit stitch, I changed over to making the whole thing garter stitch (so a row of twisted knits, then a row of purls) and decreased the way you’d normally decrease a hat.

      At the very top, I ended up with maybe six stitches left, and I ran the yarn through those and pulled tight.

      It was a PAIN. :-b But it does look nice.

  6. Lucy

    Give it away, as originally intended. Tell your son that you are glad he likes it, but you already promised God you were going to give this away and that He already has someone in mind for it. Then take your son to the store and have him select the yarn for *his* hat.

    BTW, Love the scarf & hat!

    1. philangelus

      Thanks! That set came so pretty. I hope whoever gets it likes pink though. 😉

      The promised God part is another wrinkle. I pray for the recipient of an object while knitting it. I know God can retroactively reassign the pointers, but it feels a bit…I dunno, weird.

  7. Victoria

    Excuse me for putting my two cents in, but I think that you should donate the hat as you had originally planned. If kiddo #1 is as attached to this hat as it seems, it can be used as a valuable lesson for him in doing without wants so that others can have needs. If he is not attached to the hat, then he will get over it being given away even quicker. Dilemma solved.

    1. philangelus

      I invited everyone’s two cents because I’m genuinely torn. 🙂 I don’t know that he’s necessarily attached to the hat. The first time he saw it was the time he asked for it.

      I’ve since shown him the other color options for that yarn, and he says he wants the same color. I’m still on the fence.

  8. jaed

    Am I the only one who thinks you should give Kiddo #1 the hat?

    Teaching children that caring for others means meanness and denial and disappointment seems like a bad lesson. Better you should teach Kiddo #1 to knit and/or crochet and have him start making hats. Or scarves, to start with.

    Or maybe I’m overthinking it. It sounds like he’s fine with donating this hat and your making another like it for him instead. That works, too. But it doesn’t give you as good an excuse to teach him knitting. 😉

    1. Jane

      Several people on my parenting group replied there that I should give him the hat.

      The current decision is that at some point (the hat is still here, in a plastic bag) I will try the hat on my son. We’ll figure out then if it’s far too big for him (which I suspect). If it’s not he’ll have the choice of whether he wants that one or another one.

      We’ll see what happens at that point.

  9. Pingback: The hat update « Seven angels, four kids, one family