Thursday, April 18, 2013

Icelandic Fish Hat

One of our last stops before leaving Iceland was the Blue Lagoon, which was not only a fantastic experience to complete our trip, but it was also a great location for a last minute photo shoot.

I had some trouble figuring out what to pack for knitting on the plane leaving Boston. It wanted something and relatively mindless, but I was worried about losing a half done pair of socks to the TSA, especially as I was knitting them on 2mm metal needles magic loop. Whether they were considered more deadly through someone's eye or a a garrote, I wasn't sure, so I left them in my checked luggage.

So the afternoon of our flight out I was fussing at home indecisive about what to bring that I wouldn't be too upset to lose, when I settled on using a bunch of easy care leftovers to make something I had wanted to knit for years: a fish hat!

Pattern: Fish Hat [Dead or Alive?]
Pattern Source: Knitty Winter 2008
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm
Yarn: leftovers of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids, Berroco Vintage and Encore Worsted Solids
Yarn Leftover From: Wedding Afghan #1, a Droplet Hat, a Jayne Hat and coordinating Mitts, and a few other small projects which apparently I still need to blog
Mods: just replaced the eyes with embroidered yarn due to lack of other resources

This was our friendly tour guide, who was fantastic, holding the hat like a trophy fish. The bus driver was really funny as well and pointed out that the shape when held this way was very like a dried fish, something I saw more of there than I have anywhere else.

I knit this hat basically wherever we went when we were on a transportation. It was a fun knit wit some really clever details! As I got close to finishing this hat, I thought a lot about what to do with it. It is a hat with a big personality, and it needed someone to match. I had cast it on at the airport leaving to Iceland, and I was weaving the final ends on the way to the airport back to Boston. Somehow it just seemed like the right thing to let it go to someone else who might love it from this trip.

So I stuck up my courage and asked one of the brightest and full of life people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was also part of the tour group we were with, and she and her travelling companion were both incredibly funny and passionate. Afterwards Salvbard asked me how I knew that she would take it. If anyone might not only being willing to accept this hat but possibly even really wear it, I thought it might be her. Just intuition I guess.

It was totally not planned, but I love that it goes surprisingly well with her coat!

My plan was just sort of vaguely to hope that it would find a home with someone who might appreciate such a fun and silly hat with a good story. So I would have been thrilled enough at the enthusiastic response that it received, but it turns out there was more. I was told that her mom has a great love of crazy hats, and it sounded like it would go to her.

Sure enough a while after I got back from my trip I received email with a picture of the fish hat in use:

Love it! There were also thoughtfully included several photos of her mom in other crazy hats from the years so that I would know that her love of crazy hats was well established. What a fun woman! Seriously this is my goal, people: to fully enjoy the things that make me happy, no matter what it looks like to anyone else. I can absolutely see where her daughter gets her joie de vivre from. They are both beautiful, and I am so glad that I was fortunate enough to have our paths cross.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chiquita at 14

Today the Chiquita turns 14. I can't believe we have both made it this far! Everyday she becomes more of the self-confident woman that she is growing into. I have delighted in her creativity and problem-solving skills. She has a clever mind that not only will serve her well, but that actually makes her very witty and funny too.

Just a reminder of what she looked like on the early days of the blog. Remember those long curls?

Remember the the her first spotlight on my blog? She has long outgrown both the first and second sweater I made her. It is weird to think that there was a time when scootering was a simply a way of life. Time has flown!

And there have been all of her own creative adventures! There was her first sewing project, her first dyeing adventures, letterboxing with handmade stamps, the Cimorene costume we made for her in 2009 and the Dragon Queen in 2011. Duct tape roses have come and gone in popularity regularly.

Love you Chiquita! May you always find the beauty in the world around you, and the world always have just the right amount of challenge. I look forward to seeing what you put your mind to next.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Welcome Baby J!

It has been really crazy here between the Spring semester coming to a close and everything else. An amazing part of that everything else was my newest nephew, Mr J, who I had hinted about previously and was born last weekend.

The above picture was taken by my sister, who clearly has a lot of love for the subject and and an excellent sense of composition and light.