Once upon a time in July 2012, I went on a week-long road trip with my mother to explore the Northern California coast. Aside from my shotgun navigation duties as we twisted along Hwys 1 and 101 all the way up to Oregon, I was also the residential knitter. After making over 150 baby hats over the past few years, I decided to treat myself and make a hat for myself. I didn't even own a handmade hat at this point, which is kind of ridiculous considering how many I've made for others.
So the night before we left, I picked out a cute beanie pattern. I also packed about 200 pony beads that have been lying around the craft closet for almost a decade to make the hat more unique. They were an assortment of sparkly, metallic, solid, star-shaped, and heart-shaped beads, and they really popped out against the darker purple yarn in the hat.
I used circular and double-pointed needles to make the hat. The only pattern difficulty was the fact that I had to thread the beads onto the yarn before I started knitting. I will admit that I didn't count the number of beads correctly when I first threaded them all on, so I had to break the yarn several times to thread extra beads. But otherwise, it was a very easy pattern and only took a few hours.
So this is what I was working on from San Francisco to Mendocino, California. I was just getting started when we pulled into beautiful Gualala on the first night,
but finished it right in time to wear around Mendocino.
Pattern adapted from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook, by Debbie Stoller (2003).
"Sparkle Hat" by Sonya Laska.
But we still had five more days of driving, and while the views were gorgeous and maps sometimes hard to juggle (we only used paper navigation--what's GPS?), my fingers were still restless. Fortunately, I packed enough supplies for a second project.
I presumed correctly that my first semester of junior year would be too busy to make a bunch of handmade holiday gifts, so I tried to get as many projects done during the summer. The road trip was a perfect time to make my sister's gift because she wouldn't accidentally notice me knitting it. So, with 100g of Patons Classic Wool in "Birds of Paradise," I started her cat hat in Mendocino, worked on it as we drove through the tallest trees in the world at Redwoods National and State Parks, Gold Beach and Ashland, Oregon, and down Hwy 5, finishing in the Davis area. I learned how to I-Cord in a tent in Jedidiah State Park, and fitted the cat ears on in a Red Bluff Motel 6 room that reeked of fresh paint on a blazing 103F night. So, Ruth, this hat was really a work of love. I traveled hundreds of miles to make it!
Pattern from Stich 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook, by Debbie Stoller (2003).Pattern: "Adults-Only Kittyville Hat" by Kitty Schmidt
Not pictured: Pom-poms at the end of cords.
It has never been harder for me to keep a gift secret. My excitement had settled down by the time the holidays popped up six months later, and was quickly replaced by my sister's upon her opening it up. I guess I'd call this a success! :)
Thanks for roadtripping with me! Until next time,