Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nerd Wars 2 Dissertation hats- halfway there

In and around preparing to fly to Japan (this Sunday!) I've been trying to get a bit ahead on my Nerd Wars 2 Dissertation hats. I explain a bit more about the Nerd Wars on Ravelry & my dissertation in this post. I've been having fun matching hats with illustrations from manga & vice-versa. For the dissertation I decided to make 14 hats over the summer, one for each week of Nerd Wars 2. The first two hats that I made are posted here & here. I've also decided to make a pair of mittens for each of the dissertation hats, since it only makes sense to send sets. Where I'm sending them is to Knit for Japan, a site set up by a lovely woman, Bernd Kestler, who is studying at the Nihon Vogue knitting school in Yokohama, Japan. After the March 11 earthquake & tsunami in the Touhouko region of Japan, Bernd started collecting hand-made items for the survivors & taking them there. She also teaches knitting in the shelters to help people there pass the time (&, I think, to feel a bit more control over their lives, which is how I feel when I make things). If you follow the Knit for Japan link above you'll find pictured my first donations, the Twin Spica baby hat & mittens, which I made for another Nerd Wars challenge. It was such a thrill to see the picture on her site & know they'd arrived safely! Bernd sent me a lovely message through Ravelry (which is how I found her site), saying that she'd be going back in July & find a baby to give them to.

So here are 5 more of the hats that will be going to Touhouko later this summer:
The Kobato hat, based on the manga character of the same name by CLAMP:
It's a mutation of the Lion Brand earflap hat pattern that I like so much. I looked through the wonderful book of crochet motifs from Japan & found a motif that ended-up with 72 stitches around the edge, which the number of stitches you get after all the top increases. Then I made the rest of the hat from the pattern & added the motifs on the flaps, to get the Kobato effect :) I used KnitPicks Swish DK & an I/9/5.50mm hook.
This is the Tsubasa Sempai hat, for a character in the manga Gakuen Alice.
Tsubasa Sempai is an older-brother figure to the main character in the series, & he wears lots of funky hats. He's wearing an earflap hat in the black & white manga illustration. This is also the Lion Brand hat pattern, using Swish DK from the Bare line that I dyed using procion dyes.
For this little hat I redesigned a newborn hat pattern that I created before Brendan was born & have been using ever since for gifts. The pattern is part of a set of hat, mittens & socks, all using fingering weight sock wool. I made the hat a bit larger, to fit a better range of baby-sized heads, & a little longer, too. I used Deborah Norville's Serenity Sock Weight yarn, with size 0 & 2 needles. I call it the Card Captor Sakura hat, for the character from the series of the same name (also by CLAMP), I made little motifs from onion skin-dyed yarn that match the hat Sakura's wearing in the illustration. The little mittens that I plan to make will have motifs as well.
Next is the Ouran Cosplay hat, which is the Antelope Hat by Kelly McClure, pattern found at ravelry. I found the pattern, which I really liked, then had to spend some time looking for a manga character/illustration to fit it to! I found this illustration from Ouran High School Host Club of the club members cosplaying in turbans with bangles hanging off them. The hat reflects the bangles in the yarn-overs. Whew! I made it from Woolease yarn & size 2&4 needles.
And hat #7 is the Nausicaa hat (& mitten set). Nausicaa, the heroine of this manga by Hayao Miyazaki himself, wears an aviator-style hat with chin strap, like this Avitrix Hat by Justine Turner. This was another case of finding a cute hat that I wanted to make & then having to match it to an illustration, but Nausicaa came to my rescue :) I made it from Bare Swish DK that I dyed with procion dyes.

And there you have it! Half-way to the 14 hats for my dissertation & for Touhouko. This project has been a wonderfully concrete thing I could do while waiting until I could kick into high gear, Japan-trip-wise. I also plan to turn this blog into a travel blog, & I'll be posting pictures & stories from Japan as we travel around & visit friends. Stay tuned!

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