Knitting and Necessity

Two weeks ago, the jet stream dipped a little bit lower than it normally does this time of year and, in so doing, delivered near-record low temperatures to the Bay Area. It was a rough time for California: 75% of the citrus crop was destroyed, heating bills skyrocketed, and I lost my Halfdome hat somewhere between my car and the front door.

I realize that our spate of just-below-freezing temperatures won’t earn any sympathy from anyone living east of here, but my hairless head cannot go a single day without a hat this time of year. Oh, I have other hats, but I don’t . . . I don’t like any of them. We all have articles of clothing to which we get attached, and I am attached to that missing Halfdome. So, I did what any self-respecting knitter would do. I knit a new one.

It wasn’t getting any warmer outside, though, and I needed my hat sooner rather than later, so I whipped out my interchangeable circular needles, turned on National Public Radio, sat down in my comfy chair and overcame my abhorrence of knitting stockinette stitch in the round.

That was on a Friday afternoon. I wove in my yarn ends on Sunday morning. Stockinette in the round might be boring as all hell, but it is fast! Special thanks to Woolgatherer for showing me how to work the jogless color change. Now my head is warm again.

And the temperature is back up to normal. And my wife found my old Halfdome in the coat closet. Oy vey.


  • Mary says:

    I see you made the halfdome with navy yarn. Is it the Debbie Bliss Cashmarino Aran? Did it turn you blue like it did to me? Just curious to see if others have had the same experience. Oh, yes, I made your halfdome in exactly the same colors and another in green for my physical therapists. They love them.

  • yarn boy says:

    Our computer monitors betray us! The yarn is Rowan Cashsoft in black. It turned me neither black nor blue.

  • Mary says:

    Well, watch out if you ever use the navy blue. I was knitting the hat during choral rehearsal(as I usually do)for The Messiah and now my score is full of blue fingerprints.

  • Lee Ann says:

    Two other yarns that worked great for me for the Halfdome are Rowan Calmer and Nashua Cilantro, both cotton, one with a soft microfiber and the other with a bit of nylon for stretch. I wanted to do them in wool or in cashmere, but they’re for my father-in-law, who is having chemotherapy for brain cancer, and lives in the south of France. Not exactly a need for a wool hat there…and he specifically requested cotton. The Cilantro one is thin stripes of navy and cream, and the Calmer one is in red. Instead of doing a roll brim, though, I did a folded up Cousteau brim, by request.

    I’ll be doing several more of these, I think. Great pattern, fast, and easy to modify for special requests or sudden bursts of creativity. Wish I’d known about this pattern when I had my own surgery! Now I just want one ’cause they’re cool 🙂

  • Carla says:

    Very nice and very black!

  • Laurie says:

    Did you make the half dome in the round? I thought it was knit flat and then stitched up… do you have an in-the-round version of the pattern? Could I get it???

  • Mary McK- says:

    Aw such is the story of my life, once anything lost is replaced the original lost item always reappears. Well at least now you have options=>

  • Sean says:

    Very snazzy, sir. Glad the missing Halfdome turned up. Now you’re one hat ahead!

  • Lori says:

    Very nice. This is making me think a Halfdome for my husband would be a good use of the skein of Cashsoft I picked up the other day because it was so soft, like a little fluffy pet I had to take home with me, but it’s so cold here right now that giving someone a hat that doesn’t fully cover your ears would be a mean joke.

  • Gitte says:

    Low temperature? Here in Denmark we have a warm winter – and I hate it.No snow,no ice on the small lake.OK no bad dayes on the road – but – we need winter.
    Just rain and rain and rain and – now you now how the weather is in Denmark.
    Gitte from Denmark

  • Kay says:

    I happened on your blog recently, and was admiring the Halfdome. Then I read your praise of flat knitting and the mattress stitch (10/8/06)! I have never been able to do seaming well and therefore knit everything I can in the round. So I made a flat Halfdome, just so I could try the mattress stitch -as you describe it- and WOW! I love it. Thank you so much for the excellent lesson, pattern, and cheerleading.
    Kay in upstate NY

  • Barbara says:

    Love it! knit in the round? I have troubles with that and typically prefer to knit on straight needles.
    Hope you brother’s art show was a success!

  • kate says:

    you knitting in the round? nice to see that you can come to my side every one and a while- and i am knitting a baby sweater in pieces aka flat which involves lots of purling and then some sewing!! but not too bad since the whole sweater only takes 150 yards!!

  • cj says:

    Can you share the pattern for your half dome? Did you use straight needels? I cannot use the circular ones.
    Thanks and it looks great…

  • Ruth says:

    Looks great! A timely post, as I was just about to embark on a Halfdome for my husband when I read it. I’ve finished it now and just blogged it.

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