Saturday, April 27, 2013

AIDS Walk Prize: A Billed Cap

I just got home from walking the Michiana AIDS Walk. It was a great walk, and we could not have had better weather. They moved the walk downtown this year and I liked that a lot.

For the last few years, I have knit a prize to give out to one of my sponsors (click to see the 2012, 2011, and 2010 prizes). I was a little stuck this year for what to make because I like it to be fairly generic and useful and easy to do while walking. That is a taller order than you might think!

In pattern surfing on Ravelry, I came across this hat and decided that it would do, except for the "easy to do while walking." I actually finished the hat well before the Walk, and worked on my current dishcloth while walking.
Coming up to the crowd at the Park.
And who is the winner this year? It is Mary who has been a long time supporter and surely deserves to win! (But don't all my sponsors. I know, sorry you couldn't all win it.) I have to admit I don't think I've ever seen Mary in a hat, but I hope she likes it or finds someone to gift it to who will. :)

Along the route of the Walk, they took us by the AIDS Ministries/AIDS Assist office where we could see part of the AIDS Quilt.
Have you heard of this project? There's a great movie, Common Threads, about how it got started if you're interested.
Each individual panel is 3'x6' (the size of a human grave) and is made by family or friends of someone who has died. The panel is sent in and they sew them into 12' square panels, fitting together the pieces so that they all face the right way.
This was the most traditionally quilted piece
I saw. The squares look quite old, so they
could be grandma's old orphan blocks, or this
square may have seen some hard use since
it was made.
The quilt has been displayed in its entirety only three times, and that was on the Mall in Washington, DC. I'm quite sure it is far too big now to be shown in one place. Parts of it travel all over the place to raise awareness. I was involved when it came to Big Rapids, Michigan, when I was in college there. It's always an interesting and moving thing to see.

Now, about the hat: The pattern was very good. It started at the bottom and I used a version of a provisional cast on that I use for double knitting. (The video is here; yes, the one pranked by reddit.) But of course, instead of using two colours, I just used two strands of red. This time I also remembered to use one size smaller needle for the cast on because I have done this before and found it a little loose. I followed that with one row of K1, P1 (on the regular size needles) and then started the actual pattern in the round. It was a perfect stretchy, but not sloppy, cast on. (And has the nice perk of being almost undetectable!)
The hat continues in alternating panels of garter stitch and cables.

When it's time for decreasing, the garter stitch panels fade away and leave the cables to swirl together at the top:
It's all finished with the best little crocheted button:
(Much softer than a regular button with a shank on it!)

And then the hat is finished with a bill:
It's knit from picked up stitches along the edge, and then doubled on itself back to the edge for cast off. The double layer of wool gives a nice amount of body to the bill without being too stiff.
I made the hat from a wool/angora blend that I had raveled from a sweater.

Project Stats
Started
: 10 Apr '13
Finished: 14 Apr '13
Pattern: Birdie Hat by Suzanne Frary
Materials: 49 grams of wool blend from an Eddie Bauer sweater (67% lambswool, 19% angora, 14% nylon)

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