Knitting is seriously on my list on top five favorite things to do, ever. When I was a little girl I was always into coloring, painting, creating things, and as I got older, into my teen years I got really into drawing/painting and developed a really close relationship with my art teacher, Mrs. Au. She was wonderfully eclectic and bonkers, and thats why I loved her. She really helped me to learn how to express myself through creating, exhaling all that you have inside of you onto a canvas, or by manipulating clay on the wheel, but towards the end of my senior year, when she started encouraging me to seriously pursue art school scholarships I sort of fell out of love with it, thinking I would be spending all of my life in Uganda or Thailand as a missionary. Not that I gave up on it, something just feel right about it anymore, the brush felt awkward between my fingers.
Fast forward just a few years and Ive returned from East Africa, moved to Chicago, and met my husband Xavier. After the whirlwind of our meeting, falling in love and getting married I felt so much inspiration and emotion pent up inside of me and sometimes it got the best of me, a lot had changed in a little bit of time and my emotions were like a roller-coaster. As a new wife, I needed to learn to be patient, diligent, and consistent. Knitting had taught me how to be those things.
When I first started knitting I would get really frustrated when I messed up, or couldn't understand the directions in a pattern. I wanted to be really good, really fast, I thrive on instant gratification sometimes. I would knit along and come across a mistake and just rip the whole thing out and start over, or give up, or throw it away. I had little confidence in myself as a knitter, and as a new wife, often finding myself wanting to just "give up" after Xavier and I would have an argument. After about six months of serious knitting everyday (we had moved to Orlando because my husband had lost his job at a tshirt company in Chicago, and although he had a great group of friends to welcome me into, I just had a hard time finding my niche and felt very alone, so I spent most of my time reflecting and knitting..) and late into the night I started to actually enjoy the feel of the yarn between my fingers, and knitting itself was no longer a means to an end, it was no longer something I had to do to get to the finished product, but the process itself was what I was really starting to enjoy. I had learned patience from knitting back through rows and rows of stockinette stitch to fix a minor problem, because I wanted my work to be consistent, I wanted it to be correct, I wanted to do the yarn, and the pattern, and the pattern author justice. Now, about two years and countless skeins of wool later, I am a confident knitter, sometimes I don't even have to follow a pattern for the simpler things, like this hat that I made for my son. Recognizing how much I have grown and learned in my knitting has helped to give me confidence in other areas of my life and relationships. I have been able to prove to myself that I can be consistent.
Sheep's wool is by far my favorite fiber to work with, there is just something so rustic and cozy about it. There are softer fibers, cotton, silk, alpaca etc, but for some reason I am just so emotionally connected to good ol wool. Maybe its because its the least fussy, most basic fiber to work with (in my opinion) and just looks gorgeous. This wool is from a company called Imperial Yarn. This wool is grown in the US on a family owned and sustainable farm in Oregon, and processed, dyed and spun in the US as well. I love that about this company. Working with a fiber that I can have confidence in just enhances the knitting experience for me. There is just something about knitting for someone I love, putting time and effort into it, and knowing that the fiber being used has been created with the same care and attention for the environment, the animals and the community if comes from, it almost beings tears to my eyes!
I loved the simplicity of the two ply yarn so much that I just wanted to make something cozy and simple for Julian, especially considering winter in Chicago is swiftly approaching. I looked for a pattern for a simple slouchy baby hat but couldn't find anything that I really really liked, so I sort of based this hat off of this pattern, but as you can see they are a little bit different, I didn't want to flip the brim up, and wanted more slouch but because the yarn is bulkier than your average worsted its a very dense hat that holds its shape very well. I am going to go up two needle sizes and try again, that may create a less dense fabric that lays a little better, but this hat will do the trick for keeping his little ears warm.
Omi liked it too, which surprised me, she usually hates hats...