This is two and a half hats that I made for 1000 Stitches for Syria. The goal of the project is to welcome each of the 25,000 incoming Syrian refugees with the gift of a handmade yarn item. I heard about it via the e-newsletter of my local yarn store, Knit-o-Matic. However you feel about this influx of newcomers, you have to admit that these people are arriving at a horrible time of year. Canadians themselves can barely stand it. And since I am not in a position to sponsor a family, I thought this was an initiative I could get behind. I don’t know, sometimes small gestures mean a lot.
Side note: The owner of Knit-o-Matic, Haley, has a bird (I don’t know what kind of a bird it is, maybe a love bird or a parakeet; it’s not too big and it’s not a budgie) which is free to fly around the store. Once it flew right up to me and landed on my shoulder. All I saw was a blur coming at me out of the corner of my eye. This was my first time in the joint. I’m not going to lie, I screamed.
“Oops, she doesn’t usually do that,” Haley said.
I have been told that I have “cat energy” so I am not sure why this bird, who allegedly does not typically behave this way, decided to land on my particular shoulder. Was it the mystic-y friend who feels my “cat energy” or was it Haley who was not being 100% honest with me? We’ll never know. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the bird from other knitters/friends of knitters. Apparently some people are creeped out by the bird. I get that: although I have not conducted a scientific study, I am willing to bet that most knitters probably have “cat energy.” But I think most readers of this blog know that I am all over that kind of crazy shit (once I recover from the shock).
When I started, I was really stressed out and wanted to do some mindless, therapeutic knitting so I picked simple patterns for the yellow and blue yarn. By the time I got to the pink hat, I was feeling a little better so I picked something slightly more complex but still easy, a cute little cable pattern that doesn’t require a cable needle. Unfortunately, executing the pattern quickly started to hurt my hands so I wasn’t really loving the experience. Then I dropped a stitch while knitting in the car and it traveled several rows down the work before I noticed and I got mad and quit. I was not about to tink and redo something that was causing me pain. Eventually I fixed it and I’ll finish the hat at some point but probably not in time to include in the project. Maybe it will go in the Christmas 2016 gift basket, or maybe I’ll just use it myself. My favourite hat has gotten stretched out and depressed after the last couple of hard working winters.
If you are interested in the details, the patterns are Skyping Beanie (blue hat, and bonus, it’s free!), The Big Easy (yellow hat), and Wellington (pink hat). I used Berrocco Vintage for all three hats. Why? It was on sale. And I have worked with it before so I knew what to expect. Finally, the project organizers really wanted the fibre to contain some animal content so that the items would actually be warm. There is both enough synthetic in Vintage that it can be machine washed, and enough wool for it to be cozy. Win-win-win.
Also pictured is one of the new pillows I got to snazz up my apartment because January is the worst. The other one has a butterfly on it. I am currently overthinking whether or not I should get another one and, if so, should it be the other songbird design, or the owl design? I prefer the songbird design but the bird faces in the same direction as this one which I think would look unbalanced. Am I really discussing my decor in a post about Syrian refugees? Yes, yes I am. You see why I need to occasionally do some charity work – I’m not sure it offsets such superficiality but it’s a start.
Back to the hats. Here they are all packaged up with their donation tags right before I walked them over to Knit-o-Matic this afternoon:
And for fun, here is the hat that needs replacing (Molly), in its formerly adorable state:
If you are up for it, there’s still time to participate in 1000 Stitches for Syria. I understand they are accepting donations into February.
[Edited on Feb 1 to add: If you would like to make hateful comments about refugees or Muslims do not even think about doing so in the comments of this blog. It will not be tolerated.]