The things we do for love

I recently finished two very out-of-character knitting projects at the request of friends and family.

A dear friend asked me to make a Klein bottle hat for a maths-loving boy. (I had to look up a Klein bottle. Think of an infinity loop in a hat form.) The hat was to be striped according to the numbers of pi, and the recipient chose the colours.

Hand-knitted Klein bottle hat

I knitted the stripes in the round using a jogless stripes technique.

I love a geeky project, but this had several of my least favourite knitting elements: purple, acrylic yarn and a million ends to weave in. I love my friend, so I made it anyway.

One of the things I do like about this hat is that it has two layers. Hiding any ends that needed weaving in was easy because they could be concealed inside the double layer, and the hat is very warm.

The pattern, by Judy Parker, is free. I made a few modifications to it after seeing a variation by another knitter, Sabine, in Germany. She added more stitches and used stocking stitch, an effect I preferred to the original.

I was also asked by my son-in-law to make a football scarf for my grandson. People who know me will be aware that I do not follow sport of any kind. If I did, I would probably support whichever team included red in its team colours and spend the whole match knitting in the crowd. What I have learned, however, is that people from Victoria (like the son-in-law) are assigned teams almost from birth, and a supporter, once decided, cannot change teams. Ever. If parents support different teams, they tussle to decide whose team is followed by the child. Such things are discussed as seriously as parents used to debate which faith to raise the children when a Catholic married a Protestant!

The son-in-law is a Collingwood supporter (I hear Aussie readers gasp), so I knitted a black-and-white scarf. The grandson is only one year old, but I have knitted a 2-metre scarf that should last him until he is middle-aged. I used a simple k1, p1 rib, making it reversible.

Hand-knitted football scarf

The scarf is ribbed and completely reversible.

I thought it would also be fun to knit a matching beanie. I made that in a child’s size, so it should see him through until high school, at least. Each stripe is only three rows to avoid frequently cutting the yarn and weaving in ends; the yarn was just carried up on the inside.

The Cleckheaton superfine merino yarn I used (three balls in each colour) was delightful to work with. It is springy and soft. It is also machine washable (on a gentle cycle), making it practical for a child and a football fan. Even so, I knitted the hat brim and both scarf ends in black as it will shows any dirt less than the white. I expect the scarf ends will be accidentally dipped in meat pie and tomato sauce one day.

Hand-knitted football beanie and scarf

The little footy fan will be toasty even on the coldest Victorian winter’s day.

6 thoughts on “The things we do for love

  1. You are a beautiful knitter Carla- so even and smooth! I have no idea what an jogless stripe’ is so I will go and check that out! For one who professes to know nothing about sport, your explanation of choosing football teams is very accurate! Beware friends who ask favours….it might be masks next!

  2. As a foreign immigrant in Melbourne, I was allowed to choose my AFL team. Go the Doggies (Western Bulldogs).
    So far, rather than knitting, I’ve made 4 complete double quilts in team colours, including one for the Pies (Collingwood). I kind of wish I could knit, it would take less time.

  3. you’re a braver woman than me ^^ I love making things to gift to family or friends, but it has to be on my terms. If I feel happy about working with certain colours, or making a particular item “to order”, I will, but if I know it’s not something I’ll enjoy then I politely say “no”.

  4. Lovely! My family in Australia follows Essendon (a family tradition). It’s hard to make things per the recipients instructions, isn’t it? It usually isn’t what you’d make for yourself. I run into that often when making quilts for a new baby, a quilt for an older child or adult. I’m at the point where I don’t ask anymore, but make what I think is best, so at least I enjoy giving it to the recipient. They usually are so surprised (who gives away quilts? Although most quilters do give away a large portion of what they make).

  5. I really love the cap with a brim and the matching scarf! Kudos to you for making a friend one with perameters you don’t love!
    How have you been?

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