Monday, February 27, 2012


A walk through the woods in the winter requires a good, warm hat. This pattern is for a very warm winter hat made from recycled, left-over or hand-spun yarn. This lined hat is knit from the top down and is suitable for nearly any gauge of yarn.

The main color and contrast color must be knit from yarn approximately the same weight. The liner yarn can be the same weight or a slightly thinner yarn. A liner knit at a slightly loose gauge will still trap plenty of air and be warm to wear. The liner is also an excellent place to use small amounts of warm, luxury yarns, especially those in colors that may not be to your taste.

The gray sample hat measures 22" / 56 cm in circumference and was knit on US 8 / 5.0 mm needles using gray 100% lambswool, white 100% wool and green 100% cashmere, all of which were recycled from thrift store sweaters.

The white and pink sample hat measures 18" / 46 cm in circumference and was knit on US 2 / 2.75 mm needles using 1 50g ball of Patons Kroy Sock yarn (75% wool, 25% acrylic), 14 g of unknown variegated sock yarn (100% acrylic), and about 20 g of recycled 100% cashmere.

The PDF pattern for this hat is available for sale on Ravelry for $4.50!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thousand Kisses Socks

I am very excited to be a part of the Winter 2012 issue of Petite Purls magazine! My Thousand Kisses socks are included in this issue, along with many other great patterns, all of which are available at the Petite Purls website for free!

These socks were inspired by the pair that I made my older child for his first day of school. Because I had been a stay-at-home mom for his entire life, he had never gone to daycare or had any experience with long, regular separations from home and family, so the transition to full-day, every-other-day kindergarten was wrapped in some anxiety for both of us.

In the weeks leading up to The Big Day, I made a special pair of socks for my son. Surrounding the top of the socks was a band of traditional Fair Isle OXO motifs, but I explained to him that they were hugs and kisses. When he started to tear up in the back of his kindergarten classroom as I tried to make my way to the door, I put some extra hugs and kisses into my hand and patted them into his socks. After that, he was (mostly) ok.

The sock pattern on the Petite Purls website is the expanded and updated version of that original pair, which were long ago worn through and outgrown. I was even fortunate enough to be able to make a second pair for my younger child, and plan on making her another pair for when she starts Kindergarten in 573 more days...but who's counting?

The name of these socks was inspired by the thousands of stitches (kisses) in each
sock, as well as by the Leonard Cohen song called "A Thousand Kisses Deep."Like most Leonard Cohen songs, I love it to bits, but get the feeling that I'm missing a layer or six of the meaning that he's written into the lyrics. My take on it is summed up at the end of the second verse:

And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive
A thousand kisses deep

This, to me, speaks to the bittersweet feeling that many parents, especially stay-a-home parents, have that the sacrifices involved in child raising have diverted them from the path they imagined for themselves, but are surprised to find themselves a thousand kisses deeply in love with their children and with life as a parent. It may be a slightly cynical view of parenting, but that's how I was feeling at that period in time.

How did you feel when your children started school, or do you remember how you felt on your own first day of kindergarten?