Long before OSHA got into the scene, routine exposure to chemicals such as mercury Working in confined spaces with poor ventilation where the air was heavy with mercury vapors, hat makers eventually developed symptoms similar to those some knitters exhibit when they visit well-stocked yarn shops--tremors, confused speech, and hallucinations.
Whether or not they frequent yarn shops, new knitters are not immune to the Mad Hatter syndrome. Some spend hours surfing the net for patterns and exotic yarn; others pore over knitting books and yarn catalogs to the detriment of relationships, paying jobs and civic duties. Give a new knitter a simple pattern she can execute in a few hours and she will forget all about Super Tuesday, politics in the Middle East, and rumors of a looming recession to come up with more variations on the original design than she can ever use.
In my case, the original pattern is a hat from Knitting for Dummies. That is the pattern thanks to which I conquered ribbing. I made the first version in blue acryllic. Next I purloined some Brown Sheep Naturespun Worsted from my daughter' stash to make a little number I call Limestone RibbIt Hat. I should add here that my daughter is my knitting coach. She is
completely self-taught,which goes to prove that there is no correlation between
IQ and mitochondrial DNA. Actually, the knitter in her family tree was her paternal grandfather when learned the craft when knitting for soldiers became part of the World War II effort.
Sharing the trash seems to be in her genes since she let me have cream colored Lion wool for Glitzy Hat, the pattern for which comes from Interweave Knits' marvelous little book, Knitting Little Luxuries. Rather that the numerous mother of pearl buttons recommended by the author, I used the less costly drilled natural mother of pearl chunks and clear seed beads for ornamentation. I opted to skip the bunch of flowers which completed the Interweave design.

I did use a crocheted flower to gussy up Tweedy Flapper, the hat I made with 5413 Plymouth Tweed, purchased, not purloined, at Pocket Meadow Farm in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, which can be accessed at http://pocketmeadowfarm.net/. With its fin de siecle air, this is my favorite hat in the lot. The blue acrylic Share the Stash hat, also pictured above, was less satisfactory. I have come to dislike the feel of acrylic yarn after working with wool, but I will continue to use it for the its hypoallergenic qualities. I will be taking some of my hats to the Oncology department of the Martinsburg City Hospital, in Martinsburg, WV, where they will be given to chemotherapy patients. Ergo, hypoallergenic fiber is best.
So Romney gave up the presidential race, we might or might not get 600 dollars from the feds, the novel needs editing, the scholarly piece has been ditched, my best beloved is coming home and a male person of foreign extraction sent me an outrageously mendacious message claiming,
"You're the tops, you're the Eiffel Tower." The big news is, I can rib. I can follow a pattern. Not all is well with the world. there is the trouble in Kenya, the possibility that Hamas now has the capability to launch long distance missiles against Israel--perish the thought--there was an earthquake in the Congo, tornadoes hit the American South and rumors of recession echo through the air waves. It is good to learn new skills and to share one's work.


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