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.
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.
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.