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Throw Some Eyelets In There

My lovely friend Sarada (pronounced Shar-da, or, according to her mom but no one else, “Shar-a-da, like Florida.”) is busy gathering up hats.   She is tagging them and getting them ready to ship to Quito, Ecuador.

These hats will be put in cute little care packages and given to the kids who are being treated for cancer in the Quito hospitals.  There’s a local group there who will be receiving, organizing, and handing them out.  (They’re on Facebook:  Gorritos x Sonrisas.)

And I am finally knitting a hat for her to send!  I can’t stand the thought of her mailing all those hats, without a single something from me.  Being busy is no excuse.  I’d rather be “the woman who knits for kids with cancer” than “that designer who rambles on in her blog.”

Well, maybe I’ll be both.

It’s a soft, floppy, what-I-hope-will-be-slouchy hat of my own impromptu design.  Basically, I just cast on  90 sts (forgetting that 90 is not divisible by 4) and started working in 2×2 ribbing.

Then, I increased a bunch of stitches evenly around the whole head and started working in a bit of a modified eyelet pattern, which also didn’t divide evenly into my sts, but was close enough that I could fudge it.  What can I say?  When I’m not writing a pattern, I take a lot of liberties.

I’m using up some really soft, acrylic/bamboo yarn that I bought on sale last year because the price was so cheap that it was impossible to resist.  The lure of bamboo and the lovely spring green colour sucked me right in.  I really like the way it feels and drapes.  The needle is my size 7 US 16″ circular, so I can just knit around and around in a circle.

This may be a strange confession, but I’ve never made a slouchy hat before.  But it just seemed right for the yarn.  I have no idea what Ecuadorian teenagers like, so I’m just praying that it’ll be stylish there, too!  And hopefully, the loose drape and the eyelets will work with the climate.  What do people wear in Ecuador, anyway?

I think it’s time I sent my friend Heather a message with a couple questions to be answered, since she actually lives in Quito.  Maybe she will know a teenager or two.  I should have thought of this months ago!

Now, I’m off to knit like crazy.  I’d like to give her more than just one hat.

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Modified Eyelets:

  • Repeat of 4 sts
  • Eyelet round: [k2, yo, k2tog].  Repeat.
  • Knit 3 rounds plain between each Eyelet round.
  • Stagger the Eyelets, if you want, by switching to [yo, k2tog, k2] every other Eyelet round.





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Charity Knitting: 1000 Hats for Cancer

I am so thankful for modern medicine.  I often forget that not everyone can receive it because it’s just too expensive.  There are families who can barely pay for life-saving cancer treatments for their kids, let alone the little extras, like hats to cover their little bald heads.

This little cutie pie is my neighbour, Luke.  He was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago.  I can’t even begin to tell you the emotions behind that statement, so I’ll move on to the point of this particular post, which you may have already guessed:  hats.

Do you see that knitted hat on his head?  I made it, of course.  You may have seen the pattern for the horns.  It’s called Mighty Warrior.

Luke has a really great collection of hats now.  He hasn’t been bald for the whole last year, but he has lost his hair twice.  He doesn’t like losing his hair.

Four year olds aren’t supposed to lose their hair.

Anyway, his mom, Sarada, found out that the oncology kids in Quito, Ecuador need hats.  And because of Luke, and because of who she is, she decided that those kids should have hats.  They shouldn’t have to walk around bald on top of everything else that they have to deal with.

So, her goal is to collect 1000 hats and send them all down to Quito for the kids.  She found a charitable organization there that is actually trying to collect hats (started by one of the moms, I think), and they will put the hats in little packages for each child.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to knit hats.  Or to spread the word to people who can knit hats.  Or to just remember to pray for these kids and their families who are facing years of cancer treatments.  (Having leukemia is vastly different than having a localized form of cancer.  The treatments involve an intensive regimen of chemos, steroids, lumbar punctures, blood transfusions, needles, surgeries, and pain medication for about a year, then a slightly-less intense repeat for another couple years.  It’s crazy.)

Even if you can’t knit for the kids in Quito, Ecuador, I’m sure there are some kids growing up in an oncology ward near you who would love a really cool hat knit just for them.  Many hospitals are glad to take donations of new, washable, soft, extremely fun hats for the kids in their care.

And many kids love dressing up as warriors and fairy princesses, even when they’re sick.

Have you knit chemo hats before?  What are your favourite patterns?