Neverending yarn and the gift-exchange hat

Hill Country Hat knitting in progress

Every year at Christmastime, Bob and I attend a gathering of good friends where everyone brings a medium-priced bottle of wine in a brown paper bag and a gift with no name on it. We taste all the wines (as we proceed through our evening) and write our ratings and opinions on the bags. After dinner, we do the old pick-and-steal gift exchange. And then we unmask the wines and get to find out what the favorites were (and of course who brought them, where they got them, how much they paid). The gift exchange always clams me up a little bit — I have no idea what you get for an unknown person, of unknown gender and taste/hobbies/likings/allergies. Especially for under $20. So I like to knit a hat. Even though it’s plain stockinette in a gender-neutral color (because a. unknown recipient and b. last-minute knitting), it’s a big hit. A thing that gets stolen at least once or twice before winding up with its final owner.

This year, I’m going with the Hill Country Hat from Pom Pom 4, which I’ve been wanting to make for myself — and will. It happens to be written for Kathmandu Chunky, of which I have a magical neverending supply. I bought a bag (10 balls) of this nice grey at Stitches Midwest in the summer of 2012. I’ve made a cardigan, a decent-sized shawl, this hat — which will only use about half of this ball — and I still have another ball and a half floating around. Fishes and loaves, I tell you.

There’s a slight possibility that one or more of tonight’s attendees will see this blog post before the party, so I guess I need to make sure the package is not identifiably mine. I promise it will look more festive than it does in this grey-on-gray photo.

I hope you’re doing something fun this weekend! And lots of knitting. Do tell me what you’re making …


32 thoughts on “Neverending yarn and the gift-exchange hat

  1. What awesome ideas! I will file them away for future gatherings! Happy holidays to you- love your blog:)

  2. Just finished a gray hat! Except I added a tip of orange at the very edge of the brim. And, I am trying to finish a few other gifts by Christmas, Pashmina mitts for a galpal, and two men’s scarves….one is a striped rib and the other is a linen stitch. Countdown time….

  3. I am in Dallas Tx with my elderly in laws, and have been for going on a month…so I have knitted 3/4 of a Cabledown Pullover by A.Karen Alfke, 2 hats, finished for a client a sweater, and custom knitted a scarf, and am now working on dishcloths as a little surprise for my daughter in law…college football is on this weekend, so I should get 4 or 5 done…I hope…happy knitting everybody…

  4. A hand knit hat….do they know how lucky they are? I just finished Ski men’s Hat by Irina Dmitrieva last night. I’m going through a cable phase.
    Wishing you Happy Holidays!

  5. I’m with Clare – finishing up Christmas presents – yikes! A red moebious scarf, a couple of hats and in between, crocheting mug coasters. Have fun everyone!

  6. I’m making a pair of your Whichaway Mitts for a christmas gift! I made a pair for myself and all my girlfriends want a pair now. Thank you for the lovely pattern and have a great Holiday :)

      • I put my own spin on it by doing it in stockinette mainly, ribbing on both ends. I will post a picture on Instagram and tag you in it after she unwraps them!
        Happy Birthday!

  7. I’m hoping, hoping, to keep working on some boot toppers for my sister, in between painting a little room we just renovated that we’re hoping to have done before the holiday. Why did we do this during gift knitting season?

  8. Just finished a mobius cowl in Malabrigo’s Rasta, for my daughter. (Good thing she doesn’t read this blog.) It’s gorgeous yarn. Just hope it doesn’t pill too much.

  9. Never ending yarn sounds like a dream :D
    I’m working on a pair of socks for my brother this weekend and they are slooooooow going. Might have to cast on a beanie myself!
    Have a happy weekend!

  10. Your neverending yarn sounds as if it has been quite a gift in and of itself!

    There was a children’s book published a couple of years ago which plays with that premise. It’s called Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, with illustrations by Jon Klassen. Here’s the review: “From the seemingly endless box of Extra Yarn Annabelle knits clothing for everyone around her, tempering the ill-tempered, and creating beautifully patterned warmth for people, animals, and objects, alike.”

    And…though I’m grateful for the information provided by Amazon, I still urge you to support your local independent bookstore too! : )

  11. Also, I’ve been knitting hats, hats, hats, and then a scarf. I agree that there’s nothing better than a hat for quick, satisfying knitting. Lately it’s been hand coverings: fingerless mitts, a pair of mittens and a felted oven mitt!

  12. That is a great idea for those exchanges. I’m blocking a baby sweater and hat for a gift, finishing a DRIPS hat and starting a cabled slouchy beanie for a friend.

  13. Great ideas! I’m working on my Happy triangles sweater, already finished the back and the front is starting to look like something too :) And I’m making a hat aswell, with cables, first time!

  14. Love the hat! I’m trying to finish up Christmas gifts as well-a cowl and two scarves! Eek! :)

  15. I THOUGHT I’d make each of my five sisters a little cowl or hat…not sure if that is going to happen!

  16. Pingback: Can I get a cable over here? | Fringe Association

  17. I love the hat and your blog. This year you got me very motivated, I’ve actually knit for about 20 years, started with socks but never knitted a sweater. With your inspiration I knit my first sweater! That was a very big deal. Thank you for the time you spend blogging and encouraging, I look forward to all your posts! Now… if they had only NOT stopped making Kathmandu Chunky! Have a great new year Karen!

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