Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas FO: The Bro-In-Law Hat, 2016 Edition

Now that my year end wrap ups are posted and the holidays are over, I guess I should get cracking on the Christmas gifts I made. I've been making most of my Christmas gifts for the past few years - it helps with the expense of the holidays plus I feel like it's a gift that took a little more time and effort so it means a bit more. At least I hope so :) Each year I'm always at a loss of what to make for my brothers-in-law. Two of them don't live here, so I don't really know what they like to do and use on a daily basis. I started making hats for them a while ago, and that trend seems to have stuck on :) Last year I decided to make them the same pattern which worked out great (they live in different states, so there's no risk of them both wearing the same hat together, lol), so I went with the same idea this year just asking my sisters (their respective wives) what color they would like. And here they are:
This year I went with the Instant Love hat by Taiga Hilliard Designs, which is a free pattern that uses super bulky weight yarn. Perfect! I picked it because I like the knit rows that feed down into the ribbing, making it just a bit different then a plain old beanie.
This blue on was for Eric. When Marisa told me he would like medium to deep blue, I knew this Lion Brand Hometown USA in the Lake Tahoe colorway would be perfect. It was from my stash - yay stash busting! - so it was just a matter of casting on and getting to work. Being that this hat uses such big yarn, I was finished in about 3 hours. Woo hoo :) Personally I love this yarn - I love it's little flecks of colors like green and yellow. Subtle, but neat. And it's big and squishy. Hopefully that equates to also keeping Eric's head warm this winter.
The second version took a bit more planning. Shannon said that her husband, Justin, would want a black hat, which is all fine except that I didn't have enough black left in my stash in this weight. I didn't want to use thinner yarn because it would take longer to make and I really needed to get this one done quickly to get it in the mail in time for Christmas. I didn't have any time to go to a bigger craft store, so I was stuck with the selection at my local Michael's. I went to the store not knowing what they would have, but hoping I didn't have to go with their store brand which I have found to be rough and unpleasant to knit with. Thankfully they carried Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick and it was one sale plus there was a coupon off your whole purchase that weekend, lol. Score!

This hat turned out even squishier then the first one - I'm really surprised at how much I like this yarn! It did shed quite a bit (which made for a confusing experience when I looked down at my green skirt and found it covered in a dusting of dark hairs - I thought it was cat hair for about an hour before I realized it was the yarn), but that will stop after the first washing. And this is washable! I'm always torn as to whether I should make gifts in fancy yarn that would require extra washing precautions or just use acrylic so they can wash it in the machine and not ruin it. I generally stick with acrylic for guys, and my sisters I just make sure to give them explicit instructions if their yarn has wool in it. Hopefully they listen :)

So, those were this year's Bro-in-Law hats, and they turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself. I hope Eric and Justin liked them and that they keep their heads toasty warm this winter!

Up next will be more of the gifts I made this year, so check back!

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