As I write four alpaca hats are sitting in my sister's bathroom sink, just starting their pre-blocking bath. These hats have caused me more anxiety than I would care to admit and I will be very glad to see the end of them. The backstory on these hats is that over the summer I was in Ottawa at a wedding and I brought some of knitting with me to showoff to family and friends. I was staying at my Auntie E's house and my Auntie M was there as well. My Auntie M was admiring the Canada Hat (later renamed Sam's Big Brother Hat) I had made from Knit Picks Elegance Yarn (70% Alpaca and 30% Silk). She asked if I would make hats for her boys (three of them) for Christmas. Now boys is a relative term, because two of them are older than me, and the third one has a boy of his own. Against my better judgment I agreed to make the hats at "cost" plus overage. Now, a couple months later I am finally done. The whole process of choosing a material, because much like Costco, Knit Picks has pretty quick turn over on its yarns and when I wanted to order more Elegance in August it had been discontinued. Then it came to picking a pattern. I had initially wanted to design something, but every time I tried I just epic failed. I finally came across a ribbed, top down hat pattern designed for Knit Picks Andean Treasure yarn (the material I decided to go with in the end).
This whole process has brought me around on the concept of selfish knitting. For the uninitiated Selfish Knitting is a state of mind where a knitter only knits what he or she wants to. That does not mean we only knit for ourselves, but rather when we feel moved to make something for another person we make it out of the goodness of our heart, rather than obligation or request.
I really like my cousins and I don't resent them or my Aunt at the end of this process. However, much like assigned readings in school, the requirement to make them by a deadline meant that much of the joy I get from knitting was shockingly absent.
Now that they are done it is time to redouble my efforts on other projects including the Clapotis I am making for my Mom (of my own free will) for Christmas and making a pair of mittens for me, it is getting cold here.