Friday, November 23, 2007

Hats and home furnishings

Ribbed Beanie (PDF)

Yarn: Malabrigo Kettle Dyed Solids (100% merino wool; worsted weight)
Color: Azul bolita
Needles: US 8 circulars
Stitches: 72

Why, it's a Thanksgiving FO. I finished this last night while taking a break from playing Wii with my brothers. My mother is modeling the hat, although this one isn't for her. My next project is her Christmas gift, a hat in a Malabrigo colorway dubbed purple mystery.

She thought this hat was too tight around the edge. I made the smaller version of the pattern, which I assumed was supposed to be for most women. The men's size can have a similar issue, so for my mom's hat I'll either go up a needle size or cast on eight more stitches for the larger size. Is one of those solutions better than the other?

While I had her modeling and determining which hat fit more comfortably, she also donned my brother's hat. I provide this, the best (and likely last) photo of it.

My brother seems pretty happy with the hat and has already had an occasion or two to wear it. You see, despite being in Texas and enjoying warm weather on Tuesday, we received sleet and snow on Thanksgiving afternoon. Mind you, it didn't accumulate or come down for a lengthy period, but there were big, wet flakes falling here. One of us in the family must have brought the cold with us.

It's hard to believe I've already been here for four days and five nights. Except for yesterday, we've been on the go, in part because I think my brother and sister-in-law feel they need to keep everyone constantly entertained. I'm reminded, though, that my brothers and parents are not the greatest planners in the world, so someone needs to make a decision on what to do. It is not my desire to commandeer the daily activities, but I'll do so if it means not having to listen to discussions that go in circles. And where, pray tell, was I interested in going today?

IKEA. I first learned of the Swedish home furnishings manufacturer by reading Douglas Coupland's Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture more than a decade ago. There are no stores near me--Pittsburgh doesn't qualify as close--so I'd never been. I've been curious to see what IKEA has to offer. Here was my opportunity.

Now, I'm not a big shopping person. I usually have a plan of what I want to get and don't browse aimlessly. (Yarn, book, and music stores are exceptions to this rule.) Visiting IKEA on what is supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year might seem like folly, but the place is enormous, meaning that plenty of people can be there without it feeling crowded.

Upon setting foot in the second floor showroom, it felt like stepping into the pages of a catalog. (A scene from Fight Club comes to mind.) Per my sister-in-law's advice, I had flipped through the catalog on the way to the store. I understood why now. The showroom was overwhelming, although in a good way. I had a couple items in mind--you've read of my need for another lamp--but nothing in particular that I was targeting. Anyway, this is hardly a place where you pop in, grab one or two things, and leave. They have a restaurant and for good reason. We were in IKEA for at least three hours.

Ordinarily this would have sounded like hell. Three-plus hours in one store on Black Friday? Maybe on a second visit I wouldn't have been so captivated, but I wasn't bored at all during my first time at the place. I found a couple things I needed, including a lamp, and didn't make a dent in my wallet.

More Texas tales tomorrow...

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At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Ruth said...

I love IKEA, one of the things I miss most about being here.

Your hats look wonderful. If the hat your mum tried on is only a little bit too tight then I'd go up a needle size, if she feels it's quite a lot too tight then the 8 stitches would be better. Does that make sense?

At 10:08 PM, Blogger wutsua said...

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