I had a really annoying amount of yarn left when I finished the Rochester hat.  It was too much to just toss in the scraps basket (used to be a jar, then it was a vase, now it’s moved onto large basket status…something may soon have to be done about that), but it wasn’t nearly enough for another hat.  I didn’t have another skein (it’s Aslan Trends Bariloche in Tango Reds).  I had added it to a Webs order to bring my total up to the magical free shipping/nice shiny discount level.  It was purchased on a whim, and I didn’t want more enough to make a special order just for it.  My local yarn store didn’t have any on hand.

I decided to just wing it.  What I really wanted was wrist warmers, but I knew whatever I made would have to be small.  I have an unreasonable fondness for wrist warmers.  They actually seem to keep me warmer (no idea how, as they’re just little scraps of fabric, but they do).  I divided the yarn in half.  A moment’s work with the scale and calculator suggested that I had about 30 yards for each one.  I know that my head is about 3 times as big around as my wrist, so I cast on 1/3 as many stitches as I used for the hat, and went to town.  An hour later I had a tiny but unreasonably amusing little wrist warmer. It’s only about 4 inches high, but I’m completely smitten.  The little leaf leaning off toward my thumb fills me with glee.  I had all of a yard of yarn left when I was done, which is also marvelously satisfying.  I’ll likely be making the other tonight.  It might be the best thing thing I’ve ever done with 30 yards of yarn.

And you may note I took the lazy (or is that cold) way out when it came time for this photo.  I tried going outside, but quickly decided that was a terrible mistake.  Instead I opened the window and leaned way out.  It’s a compromise between getting decent light and not getting frostbite.  And because someone will likely ask, the mitt is on the marvelous blocker made by the multi-talented Lizzy.  If you make mitts or mittens you owe it to yourself to get a set.  They’re as useful as they are lovely.

Home Safe

Thursday afternoon, as I was planning for our trip, I realized it looked like it might be a tiny bit chilly in Rochester.  I decided I would break down and bring my warm coat (I am coat resistant…I put off wearing the heavy ones as long as possible).  I got the notion that it would be a good idea to have a hat.  Somehow it seemed that a new hat would soften the blow of having to wear a coat.  Now you may recall I had already made myself one hat, but it goes with my light coat, not my heavy coat.  My heavy coat is red, so I dug around in the stash and found a nice thick red yarn and cast on a very basic hat.

Please note the timing.  I cast on Thursday afternoon for a trip starting Friday afternoon.  Amazingly enough, this actually worked.  I finished the hat in the car Friday afternoon just as it was getting dark.  I had to weave in my ends in the restaurant when we stopped for dinner because it was too dark to do them in the car.

So this left me with a finished hat, but it wasn’t quite ready to wear.  It was just a bit too small.  That was to be expected.  I’ve found that this yarn grows a bit when blocked, so if the hat fit when it came off the needles it would be too big once it was washed.  But I wanted to wear it on Saturday.  The whole reason this hat existed was to be worn on Saturday as consolation for having to wear a coat.

This explains why I spent Friday night wrapping the hotel ice bucket in towels (to bulk it up to head size) and carefully stretching a freshly washed hat over it to dry.  It worked fairly well.  It wasn’t quite perfect (there were a few lumpy bits) but it totally resulted in a wearable hat.

The trip was lovely.  We found a game store, a yarn store or two, a brewery, a pair of lovely restaurants, and a concert.  The hat preformed admirably.  My head and ears were toasty warm.

Now that we’re back home, the hat is getting a slightly more vigorous blocking (my head is apparently alarmingly mixing-bowl shaped).  Steps have been taken to limit the acts of kitten misappropriation. If the snow keeps up, both the hat and the warm coat will be seeing a lot of use.