Jolly Green Noggin - Xmas Gift 5 (boy)

Pattern: "Koolhaas," by Jared Flood, available in many places, none of them free, most recently Interweave Knits Accessories 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted (Vaa)
Needles: US9 circular, worked in the round
Size: large

Plus: Finally, I made a hat for a man that is actually big enough for a bonafide dude head! It's too big on me, hence the lumpy cone-head appearance. The subtle waves of deep water black, green, and teal in this colorway positively mesmerize me. And I love that Jared based this stitch pattern on the fabulous architectural work of Rem Koolhaas. The building below is currently under construction in Beijing. Look familiar???

Delta: The itty-bitty single-stitch cabling was really tedious and unpleasant. Looking at the hat, you think it's going to be some basic knit-purl stitch action, but nooooo. Cable needle up, cable needle down, cable needle up, cable needle down, cable needle up....it sort of made me batty. After a while, I didn't need the chart at all, and the whole thing became very intuitive, but I still wouldn't do another one of these. As for the yarn choice, I think something with multiple plies would have served this pattern better, making the twisted stitch cables pop more. After all that work, I want it to look magnificently complex!

I've been reading a lot of people in the knitting world gripe about Christmas knit giving, and it seems like left and right people are proclaiming, "I absolutely refuse. No knitting for anyone but me!" I certainly understand granting yourself a break from extra stress. The holidays have become such a flurry of fear, guilt, and obligation, I start breaking out it cold sweats even thinking about THE MALL. I think when knitters set totally unrealistic goals for themselves, start eight hundred projects and invariably finish none, it adds to that cycle of frustration in the same way that conventional mass gifting does. Christmas morning becomes the "Thank God it's over" Day or the "I failed" Day or the "Did I keep up?" Day. Not to mention the added stress of, "Do you REALLY like it?" Day or "I wasted my time" Day. Without a doubt, that is no kind of manifestation for the divine art of knitting.

However, this Christmas I made a modest handful of generic knits with care, knit each one at a time, alternating boy style and girl style, and meditated on the love of my family and friends (in general) while creating each one. Some knits serendipitously paired up with their owners before I could second guess them; others will be laid out for snatching at an upcoming party. To round out these offerings, I purchased a few gift cards for our local, independent bookstore, an establishment which I am determined to help survive. Overall, I'd say it was a satisfying approach to honoring my loved ones while preserving my nerves. I, too, received a few precious handmade items, and I plan to share them in my next post, along with a few more knitted gifts.

Getting into the spirit of things, Ellie insisted that she help out and knit afghan square #13. Consequently , she is totally worn out.

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