Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nanny Ogg's Best Hat Tea Cozy

About a month ago I joined Ravelry at the suggestion of a friend, & I've been having a lot of fun there ever since- mostly because I discovered the Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild group, all of them folks dedicated to the works of the author Terry Pratchett, particularly his Disc World books. We were introduced to Pratchett's books when a good friend gave Brendan the Bromeliad Trilogy for his birthday when he was 7 or 8. We read it out loud to him & have been enjoying Pratchett's interesting mix of humour, sci-fi, & fantasy in a desultory fashion ever since. While recovering from back surgery I was looking for something to read, & after discovering the A-M Knitter's Guild at Ravelry, I decided it was time to read more Pratchett, so I've been reading them at the rate of 1 every 2 or 3 days for the past couple of weeks on my iphone's Kindle app. So much fun! Brendan has followed suit on his ipod, so we've been having a lot of fun discussing the books, & we're planning some out-loud reading with dad in the future, plus I've been recommending the books to friends :)

Well, over at the Ankh-Morpork Knitter's Guild they've been having needlework challenges called "Guild Wars" & today I threw my hat (or, actually, Nanny Ogg's hat) into the fray for challenge 1 of Guild Wars 2. The challenge is to make something that would be found in a witch's kitchen, with added points if the item is witchy-themed. Nanny Ogg is one of the witches that Pratchett features in many of his books, & her best hat is mentioned in the book Lords & Ladies. The idea to crochet her best hat as a tea cozy just popped into my head, & I happened to have a well-aged skein of scarlet Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted yarn hanging around (plus the red, brown, & green for the cherries from Knitpick's Palette). I used an I/9/5.50mm hook for the hat proper, & a C/2/2.75 hook for the cherries, stems, & leaves. Nanny's hat has wax cherries, but I crocheted them (based on the radishes in Stanfield's 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet because I didn't want to knit the cherries...) for obvious reasons. I suspect I could have put a lot more cherries on (Nanny Ogg is not known for her restrained good taste) but I didn't want to burn out before finishing it. I did block it (on the forced-air duct, over the tea pot) to keep the hat brim from curling, & the hat does stand up on it's own with no reinforcing in the point- hooray for firm crochet. I expect the air trapped in the point will help insulate things when it's actually used as a tea cozy... The final measurements are 18" circumference (measured where a hat band would be, if it had one) & 9 3/4" tall. I worked the worsted yarn at 4 sc & 5 rows per inch.

It was a lot of fun to dream up & make. Plus, I had never in my life crocheted a ring, joined (being careful not to twist) and then crocheted something in the round, although I've done it hundreds of times while knitting. I learn something new every day...

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