Nice no more!

Arrr! Here be me progress on the pirate hat.

Please forgive the pink color. I'm much too busy to actually learn to use my camera. This knitalong is destined for me for many reasons. I've been in love with the sea since my childhood growing up near Virgina Beach (and Blackbeard's lair). Not only did I think it was normal to grow up 20 minutes from the beach but I learned to sail as a small child. I spent my summers sailing and going to the beach. What a shock it was to move to New Orleans at age 16 and have to sail in shallow Lake Ponchartrain and be a whole hour from the beach. Now I live near Washington and have to drive 45 minutes to go sailing and three whole hours to go to the beach. It's tough, but I manage. As you can imagine, I'd never make in the Midwest.
As for the Jolly Roger, it is a perfect image. Simple and bold, the skull and crossbones signifies that "outside the box" life we all crave (don't we?). Anarchy, but within the clear boundaries of a ship at sea. A "take no prisoners" style I wish, as a girl, that I had more of.
What could be a better combination than knitting and skulls? I learned (relearned, really) to knit using Deb Stoller's Stitch and Bitch. My favorite pattern, hands down, is Skully. When I set out to make it, my mom laughed, in a not too horrified way. My Stitch and Bitch buddies, however, convinced me that our little town of Kensington wasn't ready for the skull and crossbones. I decided I was too old (not 20) and too young (not 50) to wear the Jolly Roger on my sleeve. And besides the boy was in pre-school, and we pre-school moms could be a bit, well, special. So I knit Fleur de Lis into my sleeves. Another symbol with a whole lot of meaning for me and a more acceptable, feminine, grown up one.
It's a lovely sweater, despite the fact that I had not yet bowed to that capricious goddess of Gauge. I love to wear it, even though it's very warm, knitted in Lamb's Pride Bulky, and the neck chokes me. But the Fleur de Lis sweater never fails to remind me that I succumbed. The truth is, we are raised, as girls, to be nice, even now. And we feel bad when we are not nice, even now. (Watch elementary school girls learn to play sports if you don't believe me!) I don't want to be nice. I want to be a Pirate!
The hat itself is a fun knit. It's my first stranded knitting project. It's a shame I've avoided two color knitting for so long. I always thought you were supposed to twist your yarn like you do in intarsia to avoid holes but now i know you carry your main color on top and your background color underneath. Very cool. I'm so crazy about Adrian of Hello Yarn's stitch pattern, I want to try it as a yoke for a sweater. With a variegated dark yarn as the background color on the yoke. To be honest, I actually tried that with the hat. I tried to do the dark yarn in varigated grays and black, but it was my first time dyeing with black and I underestimated the strength of the dye. So, the black yarn is mostly black, with a few flecks of brownie-gray.

Well, I've rambled on long enough. We shall have to speak of felting, and Pinhead, and kid's knitting another day. I shall close with a picture of Frosty the Snowman, as interpreted by my boychild. Brilliant, huh?