Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slouchy Daisy








I've been hooking away on the LB's granny stripe afghan for a few weeks now and I've enjoyed the mindlessness of it: dc, dc, dc straight down the rows. I can watch TV or listen to a radio program, or sit outside on the patio while the small Bears play around me. Doggedly, I dc again and again. I only have to count to three and while the ends of the rows do vary within each stripe, it's not by much. The granny stripe is pretty much the ultimate relaxation project. The mindlessness gets to me sometimes, though. I begin feeling drawn to projects requiring more focus. I'm one of those unusual people who really can't stand WIP's; the idea of projects languishing in a bag or bin somewhere makes me feel uncomfortable and stressy -  a little sad, even. But sometimes I have to put down the big, mindless project and concentrate more for a little while.

This weekend, I made myself a big, slouchy hat, from a pattern available for free on Ravelry, the Easy Slouchy Beret Hat by Donna Okoro. This pattern is so easy and the hat works up very quickly. I had been thinking about a particular type of hat for a couple of years when I found this pattern last fall. I have a relatively big head and I feel I look better in a big hat. The hat I had in mind was loose, floppy and soft, almost like a Rastafarian-style hat. The stitches would be chunky. It would be warm and cozy but not tightly fitted to the head. The character Daisy on Downton Abbey wears one that I really like. I saw hats like this for sale everywhere, but I didn't want to spend much and anyway, it seemed that my crochet skills should be more than adequate for making my own.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had already made myself two other hats from this pattern. I made them last fall and I've been unhappy with them. I used DK-weight yarn and a G (4.00mm) hook, and they just don't work. The pattern calls for worsted-weight yarn and a J (6.00mm) hook. For this version, I used I Love This Yarn acrylic in Greybeard. I may try it again in a more luxurious fiber but for now, it works. I have found myself lured back to ILTY lately; the revamp or supplier change or whatever it was seems to have brought nicer-quality yarns to their label. It was surprisingly pleasant to work with and it made a very soft product.

When I did this pattern with DK yarn and a smaller hook, I attempted to compensate by crocheting more rounds, but it wasn't enough. It didn't create the texture I had in mind either, it was much finer. The hats got bigger but the lighter-weight yarn didn't help them achieve the floppiness I was looking for. They sat on my head like tiny chef's hats, which wasn't the look I wanted. I think I'll save them for the GB to wear when her head gets a little bigger.

I'm calling my hat Slouchy Daisy. It isn't hat-weather yet, not for another month or so. But my hat will be comfortable and warm when the time comes. It suits my head shape and it looks the way I'd envisioned. And I loved the exercise in precision and focus; I needed to think about numbers for a little while, so that I could go back to that sweet-relief feeling you get when you have a chance to stop thinking about them. Does anyone else have this? I find it's a pattern in my life, whether crocheting or sewing or reading books; I need to do something harder so that I can appreciate not doing something hard anymore. I freely admit to the possibility that this only makes sense to me.

38 comments:

  1. This was so much fun to read! I like your hat a lot and you look very pretty - and happy! - wearing it! I don't crochet, but I do quilt. I understand your need to sometimes switch from detailed work that demands your continuing attention, to sometimes just taking a break with a "mindless" project because it relaxes you. For quilters, it's the organizing of colors and matching of corners that's challenging. By the time that's done, I so look forward to just having the thing lay in my lap so I can poke one stitch after the next without a single thought in my head!

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  2. Oh my I adore your hat, and love the name slouchy daisy, it suits it perfectly. And you look gorgeous wearing it too.
    Marianne x

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  3. It looks fantastic on you, and I adored Daisy in hers. This hat is perfect for you, well done my friend.
    Meredith

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  4. Wonderful hat, and I know what you mean about doing something harder as a break. And lovely photos of you, you wear it well!

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  5. Congrats on making the perfect hat for you! I have made several VERY similar hats for me - an orange and black one for fall, purple for winter, and some others. Time for me to dig out my orange-ish one! I'll try to remember to take a photo and share it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  6. love..love..love this hat. How lovely!! My sis wears hats like this. :) Wonderful job Jennifer.

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  7. That is so cute! And - you look cute in it!

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  8. Really suits you, you picked the right colour, Good job x

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  9. It's so pretty and you wear it very well! I love the color! And you have gorgeous hair!

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  10. My daughter loves hats, beany slouchy hats are her favourite. It will make a lovely gift for her for Christmas.
    Yours looks wonderful and looks really good on you.

    Sally xxx

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  11. Well....look at you in that slouchy daisy!!!
    I LOVE IT!!!
    I think that I have a big head as well...and I think my daughters would love this!!!
    I know what you mean about boring crochet sometimes!
    I am working on a blanket right now...and need something a wee bit more challenging!
    Perhaps this will fit the bill...and MY big head as well!!!! ha!

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  12. Hi Jennifer! Our paths cross at last! Glad to meet you. Love your slouchy hat. Love the grey. I still knit a bit when the weather turns cozy, but I stick to the easy stuff. I need it to be mindless because my brain is busy elsewhere! Haha! SO nice that you stopped in!

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  13. I am thrilled that you found my blog...your creations here are stunning! That hat is amazing! I love it!!! You are one talented lady and have already inspired me to learn some new things!!! Happy week to you! Nicole

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  14. Perfect hat for a perfect head!I love the colour and the shape. It suits you so well. I may give it a go soon. x

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  15. Its great Jennifer and the colour is perfect. I'm not really a hat person, my hair is so thick it keeps my head warm so tend not to wear one though I do have a furry (not real) one if it gets very cold and snowy! I'm not very good at crochet. I love to do it but my stitches aren't very neat and I guess that's down to practice.

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  16. I love your hat!!!!! You look fab in it. And I love it's name too.

    Leanne xx

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  17. Your Slouchy Hat is fantastic. Love it. Hugs Judy

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  18. I love it and it really suits you. Lovely photos of you too. I think the name you've christened it is perfect.

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  19. I love your hat Jennifer, and you look terrific wearing it! Well done for keeping on keeping on until you got it the way you wanted it!
    Joy x

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  20. Oh Jennifer I lovE Love lOve loVe your hat!! You also look rather gorgeous in it my dear! Love the new pic on your profile and I think it is fair to say that 'it suits you sir!'. I am also in the midst of preparing our family for winter with making scarves and hats and I have just added this one to my ravelry projects, so thank you!! Thanks also for the tips on the yarn and hooks. There is such a difference when you use dk to worsted. Enjoy your week lovely xoxo

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  21. That's a lovely hat - it really suits you. I've saved the pattern in my Ravelry library to show my sister, who recently learned to crochet.

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  22. I am exactly the same. I stopped my granny stripe blanket for a while too. Mainly because all the crochet was causing pain in my hands but also I was getting a little bored with the monotony of it all. I've started a lovely lace detail cardi from ravelry and concentrated on my sewing. I know I'll live my blanket all the more when I've finished it.
    Rosie

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  23. Love the slouchy hat on you - you're so cute! :-) I get bored and distracted easily; that's my problem. I find myself hopping from one project to the next instead of just focusing on one thing and getting it done.

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  24. That slouchy hat looks very nice and you look adorable in it. I wish it was cool enough here so I could wear hats like that. I like to get one thing done at a time and but get antsy if I work on the same pattern repeatedly. I need something new in the bunch but not necessarily something that is harder.

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  25. Ooh, look at you looking beautiful in your hat! It really suits you and you wear it well. I like that colour very much. And I know just what you mean about hard vs easy projects - it's about getting that balance right between stimulating and relaxing. x

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  26. Jennifer, ''slouchy daisy'' is the perfect name for this fashionable, grey hat - it really does look like a daisy slouched over! Got a sweet surprise seeing your new updated, pretty profile pic when clicked on to your Blogger page.

    It is indeed significant to find projects that strike that finely tuned balance. For me, if something is creative and makes me a little nervous/anxious/ about doing it, every so often, then I know I've hit the jackpot! I first got these jittery feelings in drama class, and later doing improv! That's why I like blogging: ideally, I aim for about 2 - 3 posts a week, but, if I'm not inspired by something, I won't just post for the sake of numbers. Having an idea, creating it, photographing, styling, writing, all these things give me energy, but simultaneously are sometimes draining. I don't know how many blog every day!!

    Poppy

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  27. Slouchy Daisy looks great on you! I have a large head too, and have always hated wearing hats because I feel they make my head look bigger (and also, hats are usually too tight & give me a headache!). I made a hat for myself last year, and it's warm & large, and I hope it makes me look as good as YOU do in these photos ... love the slouchiness of your hat from the back ;) Wendy x

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  28. You look beautiful in that hat, the style really suits you

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  29. This is so cute, Jennifer. I downloaded the pattern/instructions, but I have trouble with any crochet other than just the "no-brainer" type, but I might play around with this. It looks adorable on you!

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  30. What a great hat Jennifer, it really does suite you perfectly. I am the same as you, I can't deal with too many WIPs at any one time, I like to work on one project from start to finish, but I do sometimes grab a small and quick project to brake up a large and "mindless" project to save my sanity :)

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  31. LOVE this hat Jennifer and you look absolutely beautiful in it !
    The new profile pic is so happy and perfect of you !! :)

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  32. LOVE this hat Jennifer and you look absolutely beautiful in it !
    The new profile pic is so happy and perfect of you !! :)

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  33. I love the hat! I love your new pics too, you look great :)

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  34. I absolutely adore your hat! And you know what? You look so beautiful with a smile on your face Jennifer! I love the photos and especially the new one your chose for your page!
    Have a great weekend friend,
    Tammy

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  35. Loving the hat Jennifer I'm going to have a go at making one myself :) x

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  36. Slouchy Daisy is great Jennifer. We just started a new series of Downton Abbey last week so it should be with you soon.....

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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