Last weekend my dad and stepmom drove up from southern Oregon, and we had our holiday celebration here together. We also celebrated my dad’s birthday, which was in the beginning of December. I had needed more time to finish his gift, so I hadn’t mailed it out, and it was more fun to give it to him in person anyway. I knew I wanted to knit him a hat, and also that I wanted to make him one with some colorwork. I’m considering this hat my first “official” colorwork project (I’ve graduated to stranded knitting- so exciting!) because the only other colorwork I’ve done has been stripes or i-cord borders.
I searched for hats with colorwork and initially wanted to pick something really simple as I got the hang of stranded knitting, but I kept coming back to The Easy Ombre Slouch Hat and decided to go for it. The colorwork is so beautifully designed in this pattern. (I modified the pattern so the hat wouldn’t be slouchy, and wrote down my simple modifications to do that here.) Because I am such a wonderful daughter, I didn’t include a pom pom at the top, despite my current desire to add a pom pom to every hat. (You can thank me later Dad. Ha!)
Since my dad and stepmom have an alpaca farm, I wanted to knit my dad’s hat with alpaca yarn. The natural colored yarn is 100% alpaca from Black Wolf Ranch & Fiber, and is some of the softest I’ve ever worked with. I wanted the contrasting color to be blue and searched through my stash for the exact shade of blue I had in mind. My sweet friend had given me a gift certificate to Cozy for my birthday and I picked out some skeins of wool yarn by Blue Sky Fibers. I was really glad I had that particular skein on hand because it was the exact color I was looking for. I knit with the alpaca yarn first, so the softest yarn would be closest to his face.
His hat took longer to make as I slowly figured out the rhythm for holding two strands of yarn at once. It felt new and a bit awkward, but also exciting and wonderful at the same time. I loved watching the design form with each row I finished. The finished hat reminded me of day turning into night, and at the very top it looked like stars in the sky to me, with the blue background, and the lighter specks of color throughout. I was proud of the finished hat and the stranded knitting made an extra layer of warmth inside, making the hat even cozier. We kept our tree up for their visit and it made such a wonderful background when I went to take some pictures of his hat. The outdoor lighting was fading fast, but I snapped a few pictures out there too.
My dad is one of the friendliest guys I know, he always takes the time to chat with people wherever he goes. He also cracks jokes all the time and is wonderful at lightening the mood around him with humor. I appreciate how thoughtful he can be, and also how open minded he is to new ideas, knowing there is always more to know and understand. We both talk a lot and it would be a rare occasion for us to run out of something to say to each other. Sometimes our conversations are light and humorous (with silly voices and corny jokes), where we are making each other laugh the entire time, and other times they are deep and philosophical. I enjoy both, and I’m so grateful for him. I hope his hat will not only keep him warm and make him feel loved, but also remind him to look up at the stars often, which he has always loved to do. Love you Dad!
P.S. Bracken asked me to help him write out his wishlist for Christmas this year. It included some things that I got a kick out of, like a tree frog, crab, and a gold pan (which he had been talking about wanting for a long time.) Grandma and Grandpa did bring him a gold pan for Christmas and he can’t wait (!) to go gold panning with them in southern Oregon this summer.
On another note, my dad and stepmom got a new sound system recently and we gave them the Moana soundtrack for Christmas this year, knowing how much they enjoyed the movie. We had an awesome dance party to it while they were here. We have that soundtrack too and I’ve found it’s absolutely wonderful to listen to while I clean around the house!
P.P.S. Joining Ginny’s YarnAlong today!