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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Hat for a Wise Man

This is one of my favorite pictures of my grandfather–it conveys his personality so perfectly. He is playful and loving and unself-consciously wise; my favorite expressions of his are Don’t take no wooden nickels! and What God’s got in store for you ain’t gonna pass you by.

I’ve made him two sweaters these last two Christmases, so this year I thought I’d make him a hat, since he doesn’t seem to have a proper warm-and-wooly one. I’ve found a couple of simple hat patterns I can use for quickie gifts, but his hat has to be special.

(Kate is modeling–haven’t gotten any shots of him wearing it yet.)

Pattern: a mash-up of the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat and Sally Pointer’s Owls and Flowers chart (both Ravelry links); I changed the earflap shaping though, and added the chin-strap and buttons.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, one skein each of galaxy, turtle, and straw
Needles: #6s for the strap and #7s for the hat itself.
Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows over 4″ on #6s; 20 sts on #7s.
Raveled here.

Most ear-flap hats have long i-cord, chain-stitched, or twisted ties, but I couldn’t really see him using the ties on a hat like that. I like it this way because the earflaps can be kept close to the ears using the strap, or held up by fastening the strap over the head, or the strap can just be fastened up on the button on the same side.

If I could knit it over again I’d probably use a finer yarn, cast on more stitches and knit three full repeats. As it is, I ought to have cast on a dozen or so extra stitches, because truth be told it’s a little too snug.

(No, he is not having a convulsive fit.)

Grandpop to Grandmom: Turn off the damn light!
Kate: You two are cursing up a storm tonight.
Grandpop: That’s married life for you. Now hand me that shoehorn.

6 Comments to Hat for a Wise Man

  1. Pare's Gravatar Pare
    January 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Grandparents are the best people of all time.

    They look fantastic!

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    January 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I agree with grandparents being the best. When did the exchange take place? I totally don't remember that.

  3. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    January 25, 2010 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    It was a few years ago now…2006 or 2007, maybe?

  4. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    January 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Well I love it. I should really start keeping a journal of those kinds of moments like you do.

  5. Aubree's Gravatar Aubree
    November 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I would really like to make one of these owl hats. Could you tell me exactly what changes you made to the original pattern? How many stitches around did you make it?

  6. November 21, 2010 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    hi Aubree—you might want to check out my Ravelry notes!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.