Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Trio of Chemo Hats

Circumstances have kept me from posting for a while. But that doesn't mean I wasn't knitting. I have been working on chemo caps for my son, an avowed hat hater. Well, that has changed by neccessity, so I'm knitting hats, a trio so far. He was also a disdainer of robes but has absconded with my favorite Japanese yukata, too. Don't think he's going to give it back any time soon, either. There is a Japanese nurse at the hospital who was quite amused to translate the symbols in the pattern for him.

First up was a beaded rib stocking cap in a dark khaki in Berroco's Comfort. The yarn, a very fine nylon/acrylic blend, has a soft hand, washes easily, was highly recommended for chemo caps, but it's many strands split like crazy and it was not a joy to knit with. Though it does give good stitch definition. I made it big and long, and when the fevers pass and the chills start, he pulls it down to his chin. I did wash it, not as carefully as I should have, and it's OK. But it would fare much better if you could wash it carefully in cool water.
So I progressed to Koolhaas, again in Comfort. Knitted to the pattern with the exception of an extra 1/2" of ribbing. It was too "tall". So I undid the decreases, frogged down a half motif, and am knitting the decrease section again. Wish me luck. The splitty yarn made this delightful pattern less pleasurable. It was impossible to do no cable needle cables as once you dropped the stitch from the needle, it was almost impossible to pick back up neatly.
The third of the current trio is Shedir from This time I'm using Berroco Calmer, cotton and a dab of microfiber and the knitting is much more pleasant. I don't find it splitty at all and the hand is wonderful. This is a yarn I would use again. Though I think it will take two rather pricey balls to make this hat. My friend Taya of EclecticChick gave me an exotic toothpick to use for a cable needle, Japanese made that she found in Doha, and it is just the most convenient little tool for cables like this. I live in fear that I will drop the little bugger and lose it. If anyone knows where to get these toothpicks, very smooth and carved on one end, do let me know. I took a regular round toothpick and sanded the ends down, but the body of it is not very smooth and keeps snagging the stitches.
Then a friend sent me this unbelievably beautiful skein of Wollmeise Lace in the Versuchskaninchen 2 (Guinea Pig) color and there was real pleasure in opening that package. Much, much, much more beautiful than this photo. It hasn't declared it's design intentions yet. I am very fond of the weight, a thick fingering, and very generous yardage of Claudia's lace.And dear Jo of Celtic Memory thought I needed cheering up and sent this lovely and most unexpected treasure. SeaSilk in Berry. It does the soul good to dream of future projects. It tells me it wants to be a lace scarf. Must check the yardage on the beauteous Juno Regina that Mim designed for Knitty.

The little pile of my colorful new skeins brings joy to my heart every time I look at them. Thank you sweet friends. Knitters really know how to cheer up a knitter.

What I really desire to knit right now is the simplest ribbed socks in lovely yarns. As soon as I slide 5 WIPs off the needles, I may just do that. Perhaps I should try to perfect my toe-ups with Taya's idea of the Back to Basics Socks by Deb Barnhill from Knitty. Simple but far from boring.

More later! Thanks to everyone for their kind expressions of concern and support.