Prior to the trip to Beijing, I realised that older daughter needed a hat. I had already made her a neckwarmer out of the felted cashmerino, using the pattern for the Luxe Neck Warmer in Knit 2 Together. Despite being barely 5 years old, older daughter has a big head, and the only modification that I made to the pattern was to knit it on 5.5mm needles (instead of the recommended 6mm). I like Knit 2 Together, but I wonder if my appreciation of the book is coloured by the fact that I was able to pick it up in the Amazon sale for only $US 5.
Younger daughter had a hat from our trip to Estonia, purchased when we went to a handicrafts fair on the outskirts of Tallinn; when her older sister had resolutely refused to try on any hats. Fancying myself a creative type, I decided to design a matching hat, and I had to do it quickly because I had about 3 hours before the flight. I set off in a rush, and didn’t check the gauge that I had achieved on the neckwarmer (despite having found the tape measure to measure older daughter’s head). I did a few rounds of feather and fan and then decreased virtually at random, and could not try it on my older daughter more than twice (she didn’t like her hair being messed up by the patently too small hat).
I tried it on my patient husband, while telling him to stretch it with all his might. Apart from all the other errors along the way, I had made a crucial error – I assumed that his head shape would be similar to older daughter’s. My husband has a normal well proportioned skull, while I have a large skull shaped something like a saucepan. Older daughter has inherited her head shape from me. I decreased to fit him, and bound the hat off with about 30 minutes left before we had to leave for the airport.
The first morning in Beijing, we were sightseeing in -5 degree celsius conditions, and the fatal flaw of older daughter’s hat became apparent. It could not stay on her head and cover her ears for longer than three minutes.
The shot below shows my most frequently repeated action of the trip. Older daughter started to wince and duck everytime I came near her.
The neck warmer was at least a hit. Was being the operative word. Older daughter wore it on her return to Hong Kong on a day where the temperature was 24 degrees celsius. It is now extremely out of favour for causing sweatiness, and being generally uncomfortable.
Please excuse the lack of photos showing our faces. I’m enough of a neurotic lawyer still that I’m not comfortable with my kids faces being posted on the internet for general consumption. One day they might be able to give their informed consent to that kind of publicity, but that day is a while off. Looking at the photo above I am startled at how small older daughter still is compared to me.