Friday, November 20, 2009

Satisfaction, Thy Name Is Hat

Hat from above

My toddler has an enormous head. I mean, off-the-charts enormous. So enormous that when he was younger and had gross motor delays in addition to this gigantic and fast-growing noggin, they ordered an MRI to make sure all was well. It is. He just has a big head (and the gross motor delays appear to have been because of this enormous head he had to figure out how to balance on his little shoulders). But anyway, this means that hats are a problem. The "toddler-sized" hats don't even begin to fit him. I went through my whole box of hand-me-down winter gear, and could find not a single hat to fit him. Since next week we will be in Maine for Thanksgiving (and the last time we were there for Thanksgiving, it snowed!), I decided he simply had to have a hat. And not just any hat -- a hat custom-tailored for his unusual, beautiful, brain-filled little head.

I haven't knit anything in ages. A combination of busy-ness and worsening arthritis in my hands made me set aside the knitting needles for a while. Like, a few years. I never meant to actually quit knitting, I just thought I'd take a break for a bit. I did some sewing -- much easier on the hands -- but I missed the aesthetic pleasures of knitting. The portability of it, the ability to be sitting in a room, talking or watching a movie, and be able to interact and participate while also doing something so beautifully productive. The feel of wool in my fingers.

I wasn't sure if my gimpy ol' hands would still be able to do this, but I was determined to try. Two very important tips: 100% wool yarn, and wooden needles. The last thing I tried to knit was a shawl, made with acrylic yarn using metal needles. No wonder my hands hurt! So I made sure that the yarn I chose for this project was 100% wool (it has a give to it, unlike cotton or synthetics), and I even bought a new set of wooden double-pointed needles, even though I already had metal needles in the right size. It made all the difference. Yes, my hands hurt, especially the first day, but it actually got easier as I went along. And three days later, my little boy has a hat that fits his funny little head -- and that he adores!

Hat in motion

Many thanks to Amanda Soule over at SouleMama, whose recent posts about her knitting projects pushed me over the edge and gave me the courage (and envy!) enough to pick up the needles again. What a joy to have this back in my life.

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