A Well-Traveled Hat

Dec 9, 2009

The inspiration for this blog came from a guy named Rex.

On the last leg of my October flight, from MSP to RDU, I was scrunched in the middle seat. The window seat was still vacant moments before they closed the door. Hope springs eternal. Then a tall guy came to our row, grinned and said, "Yup, I'm that guy." He took the coveted seat.

I had stashed my yarn and pattern for a few motifs of the Moorish Mosaic Afghan in the seat back.
When we were all secured, I pulled it out and started crocheting. Rex looked over and said,
"Hey, why don't you make me a hat?" Then he promptly fell asleep.

It was a bodacious request. But it got me thinking. I could totally make a hat every time I made the trip to the home office and back. (If I was really alert, I could make four hats. But that seems extreme.) Then I could give it away.

So for my November trip, I stashed a ball of yarn and the pattern for the Tahoe Hat from the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet (yeah, I know I wrote the pattern, but I didn't trust myself to remember every step). The hat pattern accompanied the Craftivism column featuring the Hat Box Foundation, which gives handmade hats to people battling illnesses.

On the final leg of the trip home, I set up shop:


4:18 MST The ball is ready for action. It's chubby Noro Iro (75% wool/25% silk) and a size K hook.


4:38 MST The center of the top saw me through take-off


4:53 MST The top is done and it's time to turn the edge.


4:54 MST Cruising altitude of 39K feet and it's time for a snack


5:06 MST Round 12 and there's a little turbulence


5:16 MST Surprised by pink!


5:21 MST Around a round.


5:33 MST Found the end of the row after the bit of yarn marking row start fell out. Note to self: pack a real stitch marker in the yarn bag next time

5:34-5:36 MST
Tried to find my jazz station on satellite radio. The Holly Jolly music that seems to have replaced it for the season is prancing and pawing on my last nerve.


5:46 MST The Christmas tunes seem to have infiltrated the yarn, as red and green rows emerge as I near the final round.

Crochet Hat

5:51 MST Done!

The hat is bright & cheery, but it's not soft enough for the tender heads that the Hat Box Foundation services. So this hat will find a home through Coats for the Children, a local group that gathers winter clothing for Salvation Army families.

Happy trails to you!



And as a bonus, I had time to work on two more motifs for the afghan:


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Cora Shaw@2 wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 1:19 PM

What a nice looking hat! I am inspired now to make this for family and friends as it would be inexpensive. It only takes a ball of Noro doesn't it?


lllwallace wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 1:22 PM

Thanks for the great post and pics. I think we all have more blocks of time than we realize to get some charity work done. Thanks for the inspiration.

Marcy Smith wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 2:06 PM
Hi Cora,
Thanks! Yes, the Noro Iro has 120 meters and I had a chunk left over. The more readily available worsted-weight Noro Kureyon or Silk Garden would work at a different gauge (you'd have to add rows & incs to the top and more rows along the side). Lamb's Pride Bulky is the yarn I used to develop the pattern -- it works up beautifully. I've done a solid hat & one with a row of contrast at the edge. They're great. And, as you can see, quite speedy to work up! Have fun with it!


Marcy Smith wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 2:07 PM
Thanks! I have trouble NOT doing something in spare moments. I get fidgety waiting for anything if I don't have some project in hand.
Glad to inspire! Hats are so easy & quick & always needed.


Cora Shaw@2 wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 2:48 PM

I will Marcy. I may even teach a friend of mine using your patter. Her Christmas gift from me is all crafty stuff.


OsmiaL wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 4:36 PM

This was a Grand read! I love the way you told the story, captioned your wonderfully clear and detailed pictures, and kept me in suspense right to the end.

Have to admit I was expecting the hat to end up on the lap of the sleeping, bodacious gentleman - lol

KarenO@9 wrote
on Dec 15, 2009 7:39 AM

Instead of time on planes, I spend time at Dr. appointments with a family member and this hat has become my favorite project. Crocheting really helps me stay calm and focused during appointments and treatments. I have the Tahoe hat pattern memorized. I take them to our local cancer center and have made them for Christmas gifts this year. Thanks so much for this pattern it is easy, fast, warm, and good looking. Karen O

Marcy Smith wrote
on Dec 15, 2009 11:05 AM
Karen, that's lovely! I'm so glad you've found a way to soothe your spirit, as well as others', in addition to providing the very real service of keping heads warm. I am so, so happy that the Tahoe Hat can be a part of those good things!


boisfarine wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 9:41 AM

What a great hat! I love all the colors in it. Marcy, can you tell me which color (by number and/or name) of the Noro Ino you used?

Marcy Smith wrote
on Dec 30, 2009 5:58 PM
Hi boisfarine!
Sorry to say, I can't find the label ANYwhere. It was right next to my desk—until it wasn't anymore. I looked online & can't pick which color matches. I purchased it recently, but from a shop with a deep stash of vintage yarn, so there's a good chance the color is discontinued :(.
Of course, there are many fabulous colors of Iro, so you will make a beautiful hat no matter which color you use. And when that little circular label surfaces (it's snuggled up with the remaining yarn somewhere), I'll let you know.
Meanwhile, happy crocheting!


boisfarine wrote
on Jan 7, 2010 11:29 AM

Thanks, Marcy!