I have made many hats over the years, but have been horrible at documenting them. A few years back, I came up with a series that was inspired by the colors and textures of the North Fork of Long Island, where I grew up. A few years back, I’d spent a dreary, rainy weekend out there, and came home wanting to reflect the beautiful, rich, grey-and-blue hues of the winter beaches and skies. I started calling this hat, with my signature assymetrical pattern (note the wider rib on the right side of my head), the Saltwater Cap. It’s knitted up in 100% merino wool in a color called denim. Here’s the view from the front:
Hand knitted in sailor blue and almost-white, this one-of-a-kind, custom-made hat for baby is soft, washable, and has a neck tie for safe keeping. I haven’t done much intarsia, but this project inspired me to try some more. This special-request order called for a whale design, so I got to work with my graph paper to come up with a cute-but-somewhat-accurate whale image. Here’s the view from the front:
Because of the design, it’s only partially knitted in the round, and there’s a seam up the back. I tried learning how to knit in the round with intarsia, but you could still see a seam and I found it to be much more difficult. Here’s the view from the back:
And just in case the little kiddo who’s going to sport this hat needs to grow into it, I attached the ties high enough up on the brim that it can be folded up if necessary.
I swore at the end of the school year that I’d take some time this summer to make some fabulous knitted pieces for my new job as a professor. I’ve spent the last three weeks experimenting with different knitted patterns in lightweight cotton yarn. After ripping out and starting over this project five times, I’m abandoning it. But I figured it was worth a blog post. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but I’m not in love with the pattern, and you can see on the left side of the photo that I made a mistake, and there’s a bit of an appendage jutting out more than it should. That being said, I walk away from the project with tons of ideas for lightweight cotton tops. Hopefully my next post will reveal what I come up with…
I spoke with a journalist from Time Out New York about why I’d been going down to knit for the 99%, and ended up in an online slide show. The picture that made it in is the 7th slide when you go to the link.
During our weeks of knitting inside the Zuccotti Park encampment, we fielded lots of questions. People wanted to know what we were doing and why — clearly, it would be more pragmatic to just purchase and donate warm things to use and wear than make them, right? Sure. But beyond the logistical reasons for making hats and gloves and squares for blankets, we knit for the 99% to be part of a movement.
Some people wanted to know if I put Brooker Hollow tags on items I made. Definitely not. Others wanted to know if I was taking the opportunity to pass out business cards. Again, no.
I feel this about the Occupy movement: Yes! Finally! This movement gives a voice to people who aren’t normally heard, and it’s about time.
Props to the journalist, Jeff Oloizia — although I wish I’d been more articulate, I appreciate that he didn’t splice my comments and twist around what I said inaccurately as so often happens with media these days. Photo credit: Jakob N. Layman.
Join our group on Facebook, Blankets for Zuccotti Park Protesters, here.