I'm a hat knitter and a hat wearer. I'm wearing one now - sitting at our dining table, typing on my lap top - sitting inside. It's a bit chilly, and I'm going out again in a short while, so I decided just to keep my hat on when I got in.
I seem to come from hat wearing stock. My dad used to wear tweed flat caps in the 1970s and 1980s when I was growing up, and my brother wears something on his head most days, usually one of the scrap hats I have made for him.
To go back to the story: I wear hats a lot in the winter, and over the last few years I have made quite a lot of hats for other people. My own hat stash was wearing fairly thin. I have a green, striped scrap hat - the original prototype and starting point for my scrap hat recipe (but the tassle fell off last year) - and a lovely red hat, knitted in a soft red yarn (Rowan Kid Classic) using a pattern from a dim and distant Rowan magazine. If it's cold I wear them both.
Some time last winter I decided that I need to augment my hat collection. I wanted a blue hat to work with all of the blues in my wardrobe. I put it down on my shopping list for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and came home with a skein of completely on-message Wollmeise DK and a copy of Ysolda Teague's Newhaven hat pattern. Tick and tick.
I also snagged a skein of Ysolda's kitten soft yarn, Blend No. 1 which I bought at the same time as the pattern. Naughty, but very nice.
Obviously, as the grey yarn wasn't on my shopping list, I wound that first, and then used that to make my first Newhaven hat. The hat has short rows and charts and texture, but before you know it you are at the top and trying to work out how to turn the thing inside out for the 3 needle bind-off.
Once I figured that out, I put it on my head and I haven't really looked back. It's my new favourite. I can't remember if I have washed or blocked it yet (why bother?!).
I was wearing the hat the other morning when I saw Ysolda herself, having her morning coffee. I waved and pointed at my hat, and she waved back and gave me a thumbs up. Then she wrote about it on her blog. Ah. Light and love and things to cheer us up. Happy knitmas one and all.