war and pieces (of winter wear)...

it is Monday and the world outside looks like a giant, freshly-shaken snow globe cast in tones of brown and grey. i pity anyone who has to drive about in this stuff, but boy is it beautiful from up here.

the past week has been a veritable roulette wheel of first-world problems, culminating in an official declaration of war against the evil forces of UPS. the first clue that something was wrong came when their tracking tool showed my package crossing the Prime Meridian for the third time. it went on to make three crossings between Canada and the States (Quebec to Kentucky and back to Quebec), and was scanned arriving at the local Montreal airport a total of three times (in a row with, no corresponding departures), all within the span of twenty-four hours. worst part? that was only one half of a two-part shipment. so, i find myself dressed and ready to head out the door today... just as soon as the delivery guy shows up with package number two. after several frustrated phone calls last week, i would not be surprised if this one arrives tied to a large rock... flung through the largest window in the place. first-world problems indeed!

i decided to use part of the waiting-in-vain to assess my hat situation for the season. it was either that, or do something actually productive. hats win every time!!!

this is pretty much my default winter look. the blue shawlette is something i whipped up when trying to get rid of a small batch of yarn i had dyed for some other project. the hat too is knit out of yarn i dyed in a colorway i call mixed berry trifle, the rest of which will (eventually... hopefully) become a scarf/shawl, also for self. i have been known to wear this hat around the house for days at a time. so much love.

i attended a fiber festival some many years ago, back when i was relatively new to spinning, where i purchased some wool from a local(ish) shepherdess, which i spun into some rather lovely yarn. it was far too stunning to dye, so i left it bare and knitted a Slouch Tuva Hat (note free pattern on Ravelry).

crazy though it may seem, the small lace holes are a bonus when working with such heavy yarn. they keep the hat from being too-warm, which can happen even on the worst of Winter days.

i had a lot of this yarn left over, so i did what one (naturally) does in such a situation. i made myself a big-kid hat...

 complete with earflaps...

and fingerless mitts to match.

i was really proud of myself, as both the hat and mitts were made sans pattern, back when i was still relatively-new to the craft. that the mitts actually fit is still surprising all these years later.

i should also mention the matching earflap hat for my favorite animator. it was the prototype, as i spun and dyed that yarn a year or more before making my own. the colorway was meant to evoke those leather helmets from the early days of football, back before they understood concepts like concussion and permanent brain damage. to the casual observer, his hat may appear a bit small on my head. i like to think that it is a reflection of my brilliance, but it is probably just that i have a big head.

then there is the hat designed by my fave knitwear designer, Norah Gaughan. it is from her book Knitting Nature, which features thirty-six patterns inspired by—you guessed it—NATURE. [aside: there will be a mostly-Norah post in the near-future, as i am still thumbing through her latest tome, the Knitted Cable Sourcebook]. where was i? oh, yes... i made a Norah hat.

the yarn is a bulky, natural-colored alpaca purchased during one of my first visits to Montreal from my (current) local yarn shop back when they were located near le Marché Atwater... so, well over a decade ago. it is a tam, which should (in theory) look something like a beret, but this one looks more like an ornate pork pie (of the edible kind).

the top features a beautiful array of mini cables, all arranged after the manner of the humble sunflower...

right down to the stem. ah, Norah!

it is now well past nine in the evening, and i fear that my package has fallen victim to the multi-vehicle accidents befalling our fair city on such an icy day. seems like a perfect time for some honey brown lager. salud!

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