Those from truly chilly climes can stop reading now, but anyone who considers temperatures below 10 degrees cold enough to need a good beanie will understand why I’ve decided that, no matter what else I knit, I have to knit a decent beanie for myself. It’s not that I’ve never had one. Why, I remember knitting any number of decent beanies back in the 70s – photos from winter beach holidays provide evidence of all the younger fry happily sporting such made-by-me items – and at least one of them must have been for me. I had a silly one that I knitted to take to Italy, where I knew it was going to be damn cold and I was right; minus 22 will do your head in nicely if it’s not covered. It was made from a collection of leftover wool and had a matching scrappy pompom made specially by one of my patients. I loved that beanie and the pompom (because of its provenance), but I couldn’t say for sure what happened to it. It might have been lost in one of the many moves. Or Dr B, who hated it and hasn’t a humorous bone in his body, might have surreptitiously disposed of it.
I’ve made lots of quick, acrylic beanies for YoungB and a balaclava for myself in the meantime and they’ve done the job well enough most of the time. Even unique, labelled beanies will disappear from child care (a couple of YoungB’s hadnknitted beanies did), so I wasn’t anxious to use good yarn that would benefit others. Sorry if that’s selfish, but I was cranky enough about having things stolen (the children might easily have mixed things up but the adults would have known what did and didn’t belong to their own child; and the adults could easily have read the identifying nametag). I didn’t need to feel angry as well about the yarn involved! I used wool for YoungB’s first balaclava, but we agreed that by then he was old enough to speak out in defence of his ownership and that the balaclava probably wouldn’t be a casualty; nor was it. We still have it.
On my own behalf, I’ve been accustomed to working in airconditioned buildings where I haven’t had to worry greatly about my head being cold, so the walk to and from from the bus was about as much as I needed to consider and therefore my acrylic balaclava, worn down as a proper balaclava or rolled up and worn as a beanie, did the job. That’s no longer the case and I changed my mind very quickly the other day when I was out on a long walk, wearing a little acrylic beanie I’d made for YoungB some years back – I have a small head, so the size difference was negligible – and feeling distinctly that something wasn’t working. My ears were cold!
Having enjoyed the results of recent beanies knitted with decent yarn, I last night cast on one for myself in some more of Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Murano yarn, this time in shade 021, a blue/green/purple mix. They’re definitely my sorts of colours (not only appealing to me but also quite good with my greying blonde hair and accompanying fair complexion). Just for variety, however, as well as speediness, I decided that this time rather than a fancy pattern with cables I’d use pattern 15 from Paton’s Book 483 as my basis. It’s a fairly plain ribbed affair, getting its fun element from stripes but it’s a slightly different shape from others I’ve made recently. Because the yarn I’m using is self-striping, I’m just ribbing to the point where the pattern says to start stocking stitch. And, you know, it has a pompom. We’ll see about that. I might make one. Then again, I might not.
The question, really, is whether or not I can finish it in time for tomorrow’s early morning walk around the rowing course.