It's snowing outside. The temperature is plummeting from unseasonably warm to uncommonly cold. The wind is whipping up. It is a good day to stay in and knit. I think I will cast on for another Tornado Hat. I've already knit 4 of these, but I don't mind making another, as they are so fun to knit.
My first tornado hat was made with an oddball skein of a discontinued yarn that I had in my stash. I made it for the Mitten Tree Charity at my school. When I cast on, I had no preconceived notion of the ultimate design. I thought I would make a simple beanie with a foldover brim suitable for a boy or girl. However, the creative side of me just couldn't stand making a totally plain hat, so as I decreased for the crown, I decided I needed to add a bit of whimsy at the top, and the traveling stitch braid was born.
While I was pleased with that first hat, I gave it away as intended. (This photo was a quick snap before I tossed it into the donation bin). I needed to start another hat as a prototype for the pattern that I had yet to write up, and I wanted to tweak the design a little bit. I changed the cuff from 2 by 2 ribbing to garter stitch and added traveling stitches to the body of the hat. My second tornado hat was made with another oddball skein of yarn, this time from a yarn that is still available--Manos del Uruguay Classico. Here it is:
By the time my second hat was finished, Christmas had come and gone. Santa gave me a new coat, so of course, I needed a new hat to go with it. Here is the hat that I made to go with my new coat, made with Classic Shades:
Let me just say that not only did I enjoy making it, I love wearing it! I have short, baby fine hair, and the braid hangs and feels like a ponytail. Realizing that I enjoy wearing my tornado hat because it makes me feel like I have a real head of hair, I decided it would make a great chemo-cap for someone struggling with hair loss. And so, I cast on for a fourth hat. Here is the hat that I made for a colleague at work who is currently battling breast cancer. It is my favorite of all. I hope it makes her feel pretty!