Stephanie has so very kindly posted an appeal on my behalf for chemo caps for Metro Halifax. I've been doing a few for there and for here in Truro, as well as some for personal reasons. (Family emergency? Chemo caps? You do the math.)
As promised, I'm posting some hats of my own, as well as some ideas to keep it from being quite so monotonous.
I have my own biases when it comes to chemo caps. I'm a longtime fan of fingering weight, and a new convert to Lorna's Laces. The colourways are downright edible, and the end product is good and soft. For anyone who tolerates wool, the Shepherd Sock is an excellent choice.
First hat isn't a chemo caps, as the colourway is a reject from the intended recipient's own stash. Awhile back, I did a swap begging for some STR, any colour. A kind knitter sent some along, with a warning. This colour was not really up to the BMFA reputation, and she was just not able to work it in a way that was the least but pleasing. I heeded the warning but the colour was not the pleasant surprise for which I had hoped. She called it Elf Barf. I just called it ick. The colourway was a blend of hospital green, ruby red and baby pink. I sh1t you not. I really didn't want for it to go to waste. To tone down the colour changes, I double stranded it. While that did serve to blend the tones a wee bit, the results were still less than stellar.
Then I put the hat on. It was soft and yummy and felt terrific.
Then my kid stole it. Wonder of wonders, it looks cute on her!
OK, everything looks cute on Laurel, but still. I call that making lemonade.
So my chemo cap opinions?
- They're a great opportunity to try a new yarn, perhaps the luxe one that you can't afford a bunch of, but can swing just one skein.
- They're a great way to perfect new techniques. A tubular cast-on looks wonderful on a hat band and will make you very proud.
- They're a great way to experiment with stitch patterns and shaping techniques. If you make a boo-boo or can't remember exactly how you performed a specific technique, fret not: you don't need to match it to a mate.
My hats are inpired by socks of late. Lacy, textured, it doesn't matter. It's all good.
Case in point, Pomatomus. My love for this pattern is no secret to anyone. I worked the chart over 156 stitches on a 2.5 mm needle in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Vera colourway. For the decreases, I think I did them in groups of 12 stitches, but I can't remember. That's the beauty of the hat. You wing it, and you answer to no one.
Worked in the Estonian fishtail pattern from Lucy Neatby's book Cool Socks, Warm Feet. I found this stitch pattern didn't give enough stretch for my big feet, but man alive, as a hat! (I also did one in Knitpicks Simple Stripes, and the self-striping coupled with the spiral of the pattern gave a stacked block effect that I wished I'd photographed before shipping it off to my local hospital.) Again with the Lorna's Laces, this time in Black Purl, on a 2.5 mm needle. I cast on 144 stitches, worked the rib and increased to 162 stitches. Decreases were done over groups of 18 stitches, to yield a top that looks something like this:
I would buy Lucy's book for this stitch pattern alone, but it happens to also be jam-packed with brilliant sock advice.
Next, Monkey! This one's an outdoor one, worked in a Nova Scotia yarn I purchased from The Loop in Halifax last month. The company is called Give it a Whorl Fibres (no website that I know of), and their yarnist is a brilliant woman named Janine. This yarn is a handpainted wool and angora blend. Yum.
This one was done on a 4.5mm needle, 96 stitches, so 6 repeats of the Monkey pattern. For the decreases, I just started deleting yarn overs and it all came together. Not sure how, but I don't have to know!
I have loads more to share, including plenty of non-hat knitting and my update on embracing SSS. Will try to get back on tomorrow.
Please knit hats.