Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Fabulous hat - inspired by my jail ladies!

As I believe I have mentioned on this blog before, I teach knitting and crochet in the Cook County Jail at 26th and California.  It is a really fun, sometimes sad, volunteering experience that I have been thrilled to be a part of for the past two years (and continuing).

In that time, I have seen a lot of projects, and while I am always proud of my ladies' accomplishments, I have to say that one type of project always makes me jealous - the slouch hat.

Typically how it goes is this.  The participant (usually a crocheter) wants to make a hat, so I tell them how to increase every round and make it fit their head.  They get it, but they have trouble figuring out when to stop increasing.  They think their heads are the size of Gibraltar, because by the time I have come over to check on them, it is the size of a serving plate.

"Will this fit my head, Miss Valerie?"

"Oh god."

So at this point, they don't want to tear out their work, so I end up decreasing a ton of stitches until it fits their head, and BOOM - slouch hat.

My own slouch hat followed a pattern from my knit-a-day calendar for 2014, so you could say it was a little more ... purposeful ... than the ones that the ladies make in the jail.  The one thing that annoyed me was that the hat was worked on flat needles and you have to sew it up, but that wasn't too bad in the end.

The yarn is a beautiful Magic and Moonshine fingering weight yarn I purchased at Yarn Con 2013, a blend of wool, nylon, and cashmere in a variegated green color called "Shades of Envy."  It reminds me of a deep beautiful forest.

Of course, I wore it out right away, to a Cinco de Mayo festival in the Little Village area (ironically, just before I went to jail that day to knit!).  Here I am with a piña colada.

I kept the hat on in jail and the ladies loved it.  I told them I only made it because of them!  I never would have thought I could pull off something that cute!

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