Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Matching (AKA Lake Superior Ate My Hat)

Well. I started to write this post almost two months ago because I had made matching hats for me and my brother Paul last year for Christmas. I had some nice anecdotes about doing a Handmade Christmas (I think this is the year for our family ! ) and how it reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and how they would make their Christmas gifts from bits and bobs of yarn, and I was all prepared to tell you the adventures my brother and I have taken these hats on.

And then I lost my hat (and mourned). But we're not at that part of the story yet!

Let's start with the process: terribly scientific, I just kind of made them up as I went. I might have ripped out and started over once or twice, but it was a year ago, so the disappointment of starting over has faded (or been blocked out). It's out of extra yarn from my senior collection, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes worsted weight, 2 ends for a heavier gauge, size... 11? needles. Forever obsessed with this deep teal. I made my pom poms with cardboard circles because no pom pom maker in existence will ever be big enough for me. (The pom pom was maybe too big, because my hat sometimes fell off my head from the weight of it. Little did I know this would be the end of the hat!)

The only photos of our matchingness! This was shortly after Christmas, 2015.

Not long after I made it, I took it for a blizzard trial run in Baltimore in January. A girlfriend and I went out to visit another dear friend from college, and got caught in that big ol' east coast blizzard. Our flight was cancelled and we got stranded for an extra couple days... not the worst to be stuck on vacation! I was super toasty warm in my cowl, hat, and big wool men's overcoat when we ventured out to a bar to play boardgames and enjoy some Natty Bo (National Bohemian) which I understood to be to Maryland what PBR is to Milwaukee.

Here's one more shot from Baltimore, after the sun came out.
So I think I probably took it to Alaska when I visited family in April, and maybe Paul brought his but we don't have photographic evidence.

Then we went to Seattle as a family and took a ferry, and my hat definitely didn't fall into THIS body of water.

Paul wore his hat while enjoying some news on a street corner in Seattle.

He also went on a side adventure to Idaho and climbed something (if you know Paul at all, you know he climbs things, sorry Mom) and his hat did NOT fall off while climbing to outrageous heights. Also, how gorgeous is this photo?!

The hat, plus me and my future husband, cutting down a Christmas tree while visiting my parents. (Ooo meet Mike! I don't know if you've seen him on the blog yet!) 

Okay so, we know this story has an ending (though amidst this rambling post, you might have been wondering if that was still the case!). On Christmas day, we decided to travel due to a major snow/ice storm in the forecast. There were some huge swells on Lake Superior, and I had my camera at the ready, so we stopped so I could get some shots. I climbed down to a stone covered beach, and started snapping away.

The photos were turning out great. I could hardly tear myself away, thinking that each wave was going to be bigger than the last! But finally, I started walking back along the beach, and paused to get one last photo.

As the wave rolled in, I realized the water was coming much higher up on shore than before. I stepped backward, trying to keep my feet dry. As I stepped, my hat flopped forward and fell off my head, right into the big water. 

And it was quickly swept further in by the waves. I tried to fish it out with a stick while ankle deep in the frigid water, but it was slippery and I didn't want to sacrifice my hat AND my dignity (also my camera) so I sadly watched it slip away.

Boots soaking wet and head slightly cold, I climbed back up the bank and trudged away. And that's the overly dramatic, terribly drawn-out tale of how I lost my hat in Lake Superior. (Paul still has his.) I guess I should make another?