Well the great design of 2009 was the Penguin Hat.
Hank and Heidi are some of my oldest friends. I met Heidi sophomore year of college when we sat together in Physics class. We were in the same sorority in college and had most of the same classes being Biology/Premed majors. Hank use to bring us Checker’s french fries when we’d study all night. If you know any premed major… you know that we spend a lot of time together. Heidi and I then went to the same medical school and ended up both matching at University of Connecticut. I’ve lived about 10 minutes away from them for the past 8 years. I have dinner with them about once a week depending on our schedules. Their guest bed room is “Allison’s room.” They’re kinda like family, no I take that back. They are family.
The obsession with the penguin hat started when Hank and Heidi were in Boston entertaining their niece Emma. They were there for an unfortunate situation as Maddy her younger sister was in the hospital with a splenic laceration after a tumble-down a flight of stairs. So Hank and Heidi being the awesome Uncle and Aunt that they are took Emma around downtown Boston so she wouldn’t be bored out of her little mind in the PICU at Boston Children’s Hospital. As they walked around downtown, they stumbled upon an adorable hat store across the street from the Boston Commons. Hank fell in love with the Penguin Hat in the window. Almost immediately I received pictures of this hat, because Hank just knew I could make it for him. Well the pictures were kinda blurry and to be honest I am pretty sure it was a crochet hat. First I made sure that everyone was ok, then I offered to walk their dogs, and I told Hank Iwould look for a pattern and make him one for Christmas.
A few months later I was in Boston with Hank and Heidi and we visited the hat store. Heidi ended up buying a really cute purple plaid page boy hat, and regardless of what she says, she’s adorable in just about anything. Hank wanted to show me the penguin hat, so I could make it. Mind you it’s now the middle of summer, so wool hats really aren’t flying off the shelves at the time. But sadly there the Penguin hat was no more. I did get to view a few of the other hats – cows, chickens, cats. I had a general idea of what the penguin hat had at least looked like.
Boy was I disappointed when I searched for penguin hats. There was a baby hat, but it wasn’t quite right. It had a solid orange band. I wanted feet, not just a band of color. There was few color work charts of penguins… but Hank wanted the hat to BE a penguin not have penguins on it.
So I resorted to designed the penguin hat myself. I am not a designer. Generally when yarn speaks to me it says things like “I want to be made into socks.” or “I want to made into [insert pattern name].” With the help of Melissa last year we made a lung pattern. I knew exactly how I wanted it to be – and made it. I came to the realizization that I actually could make anything I wanted out of string and sticks, but I might have to do math. I took 3 years of Calculus in college. It’s not that I can’t do math, in fact I’m pretty good at it. But I prefer my hobbies to not really involve much thinking – I leave that part to the day job. I knew the penguin hat was going to require math. But Hank is the type of friend that I am willing to do math for. He’s jumped dead batteries at 11 pm in the snow and scared off giant attacking turkeys. He’s pretty fantastic and completely deserving of a little math.
Version 1.0 of the penguin hat is complete. I brought it to my SnB on Thursday to finish it up last week. People asked where’s the patter? Oh it’s in my head. Add ear flaps… sure why not. A couple pom poms here and there.. ok. Googly eyes vs. duplicate stitch vs embroidry. Always go for the googly eyes. It came out almost exactly how I wanted it to, minus the off center feet. I did math… I just did it wrong. I had the math right for the ribbing and I had it right for my color blocks, but the two did not match up. Maybe my penguin is crossing his feet…. yeah that’s it.
So version 2.0 is being written right now with MORE math and in theory centered feet. Now I just need to go find more black yarn and hope Jacie doesn’t yell at me too much for starting something new. (It’s before New Year and therefore does not count yet, right??)