I decided to knit my brother a hat. I figured he needs one, he lives just south of the US/Canadian border. Cold, cold, cold in the winter and mosquitos the size of fighter jets in the summer. Obviously the hat should be made of 100% wool.
Being adventurous, I decided to make my first Internet yarn purchase and ordered two balls of "Superwash Chunky" from elann.com. I'm still very much in learning stages, so the yarn wasn't quite what I was expecting, but, what the heck, I started in with the knitting. When I was approaching the end of the first ball of yarn, I realized that I was not going to have enough to complete the hat.
Now I'm not so much of a neophyte that I don't know about dye lots. I'm not sure where I learned about them, but seems like I've been aware of them forever. I knew the problem with ordering more of the same yarn was that I would be taking potluck on the dye lot. The Engineer may not be able to tell blue from green, but I am very color aware, so I decided to make a new start on the BrotherHat. I got some Debbie Bliss "Donegal Tweed Chunky" and began all over again.
But what to do with the partially knit hat. Hmmm... My brother's daughters live up in the frozen northland with him, they need wool to keep them warm too. The color wasn't quite up to lively tween tastes, but I could work around that. I bought some Lion "Fun Fur" and knit it double with the rest of the green into a smaller hat. Learned about knitting by braille. Geeze o' pete, I couldn't see what the heck I was doing with all of those silly eyelashes in the way. Also ordered a couple more balls of the Superwash. I plan on adding scarves to both side of the beanie in stripes of furry and not-furry. I figure that way it won't matter if the dye lots match or not.
So I knit and knit on the BrotherHat until I had 12 inches, then moved to double pointed needles -- yet another learning experience. How the dickens does anyone gracefully maneuver that many needles at one time? It felt like I was trying to make love to a porcupine. I did manage to close it up, though.
I tried it on. It was just a wee bit too big. So I had the Engineer try it on. It was just a wee bit too big. Dang! And then, to make it even better, that dim little bulb over my head finally lit up...
My brother is bald. No chance of getting out of it, my Mom's Dad was bald, so that's what she thought was attractive, so that's what she married. Brother gets the gene from both sides, he had no chance of retaining his hair past his early 20'a. Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me that his naked scalp might find the 100% wool tweed just a wee bit itchy.
But, of course, I came up with an elegant solution. I got a couple of skeins of Noro "Cash Iroha", 40% silk with lambswool, cashmere and a little nylon for strength, and knitted a liner. Now to stitch the liner in and block it.
This is gunna be one warm hat. (Better be, it sure as heck wasn't cheap.)