The Christmas Frog

So, a couple of weeks ago I was commenting on the lovely snow pictures on Tammy’s blog, saying that they are all the more spectacular because it’s been unseasonably warm and not-winter in my parts. Not that I love being cold – I love being indoors with a crackling fire, some hot chocolate or tea, and a cozy book or knitting in my lap, while it is blustery cold outside. I love the look and feel of winter, so long as I don’t have to feel the cold part of it.

Shortly afterwards, on the way down the hill to get our children’s picture with Santa at our favorite mall, there was this:

colesnow.jpg

Those large specks in my son’s hair are actually big, fat, falling snowflakes. We stopped at an offramp to a) decide if it was snowing hard enough to warrant turning around and going home (too much snow in the pass = no way to get home once you’re down the hill) and b) take a couple of bad pictures with my phone. My son stood and smiled at the sky for a minute before he decided that even the wonderfulness of snow isn’t enough to make him want to stand outside and freeze. Back in the car he went, and we decided on continuing down the hill – the snow was only sticking in tiny little pockets on the sides of the hills, and just a bit farther beyond where we had stopped, it turned back to rain. And my son really, really wanted to see Santa.

The following morning, I went to call the dogs back into the house after I’d let them roam the yard for a couple of minutes (I am still ever watchful and paranoid because of Dog Shooter Neighbor). After whistling for them, I drew in a breath, and it was like a mouthful of ice water – except, of course, that it wasn’t actually wet. And then I wanted real ice water – it was that cold.

All this to say…

wintery knits weather is finally here! It came late, but finally, it came. Maybe it will stay for a while. It has so far.

zeebeedetail.jpg

This was – yes, was – the first Christmas knit. I made him a Zeebee. The Zeebee is such a cool pattern (Ravelryers can click here for my Zeebee project page)! I tried to hold on to it until Christmas morning, but I couldn’t do it. A certain little boy had been after me for a certain green hat for a while… so in the end, I gave into temptation and had him try it on…

toosmallzeebee.jpg

…and it didn’t fit. Well, it fit, if you like the look of army combat helmets that don’t cover your ears. Also, the alpaca / wool blend that looked lovely in the garter stitch swatch suddenly seemed so heavy when it became this hat. Squishy, yes, but somehow, the stitches looked drapey. Unless you are a nun, your headgear should not seem drapey. I didn’t like this yarn in garter stitch, after all.

The hat lasted a day. I was about to resign myself to it when it occurred to me that I should just frog it and start over. I mean, come on, am I starting my own hat curse, here? First, there was this. What. Was. I. Thinking. Then, there was this – much better, even cute on my son – but it wasn’t originally intended for my son. It was for my husband, and somebody didn’t bother to check her gauge. Perhaps in an act of subconscious spite for my having made his hat to fit our son, he ended up felting it in the wash. It now fits my son’s Spiderman doll, maybe.

So, with no real successful hat stories in my repertoire, I decided that I was not going to allow the soft alpaca to suffer the fate of becoming yet another Hat Mistake. I frogged the Zeebee the day after I finished it. My son did not complain, and in fact made it very clear that he was perfectly fine with me taking it apart to make him a bigger hat to cover his ears.

I did a tag search of “toddler + hat” in Ravelry (no end of love for that site!) and decided on the Nottingham hat. The yarn used in that pattern matched the gauge for this yarn, and the cable and ribbing detail meant that the hat would not look like an army helmet. And I really wanted to make my son a hat in this particular shade of green, because it is a GREAT color on him.

It took longer than the Zeebee, and the cabling was tedious at times. Yes, I did have to frog back several rows at one point to fix a portion on which I’d entirely left out the cabling in four places – why do you ask? But the finished product? So worth it.

playinginnottingham.jpg

It covers his ears. It looks adorable on him. I’m not embarrassed to have him wear it outside the house. It was under the tree just in time for Christmas.

nottinghamdetail.jpg

nottinghamdark.jpg

Specs:
1 skein Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in Olive
Size US8 (5.0 mm) bamboo dpns
Started 12.11.07; finished 12.17.07
Size: child
Ravelry project page here!

Surprisingly, it even looks good on me in the child size. I could go up a size, but I think I like the snug fit of the smaller hat. I have enough olive green to make two more of these hats – my husband likes it, too! The yarn is a perfect match – soft, squishy, thick, and warm. I had originally intended to make my son a scarf with the two remaining skeins, but as it turns out…

he’s decided that what he really wants is a purple hat. So now I have enough Malabrigo in Sweet Grape for a hat, mittens, and a scarf (yes, I already made half a mitten, decided it was going to be too large, frogged and reknit a size smaller – why do you ask?).

P.S. Oh, yeah, one more thing? I hope everyone had an enjoyable, wonderful holiday! 😉

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This entry was published on December 26, 2007 at 1:55 pm and is filed under Finished Objects, Knitting. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “The Christmas Frog

  1. Snow! How exciting! We go more again last night while driving home from my mom’s after Christmas dinner. It was a bit dicey for driving that’s for sure.

    The cable hat is gorgeous! I did cable hats for gifts this year. Non knitters are amazedy by cables. I love that. 😉

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