Every year my Optimist Club does a hat knitting challenge. It started many years ago when I had a hair-brained scheme to get the (mostly) older men in my Optimist Club to do a project for the local hospitals. I thought I could teach them to knit and they could knit a few hats here and there for the local Birth Centers. Little did I know that they would discover knitting looms and that this annual challenge would go on for YEARS. I don’t know how many years it’s been… probably around 10-11 years if I had to guess.
We set ourselves up into 2 teams. Sometimes we pick up knitters from across the country who help us knit hats. Everyone in the local club uses the looms with bulky yarn. They think it’s hysterical that they can knit a hat on a loom faster than I can knit on 2 needles. Everyone considers me a “ringer” to have on their team, even though I do not knit anywhere near the highest number of hats. Oh, and the winning team? They generally get chocolate. And bragging rights. It’s a pretty good deal.
This year the contest is running from February 6 – March 20, so there is plenty of time to get in on the knitting action if you’d like to play along. If you’re a local knitter, stop on by the Incline Station in Duluth on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. If you’re non-local and want to play, just leave me a message and we can figure out how to get the hats where they need to go. Or knit for your local hospital, that’s cool too!
Hats can be any size to fit micro-preemie through newborn. Hats that are slightly larger than newborn tend to be given to the big sisters and big brothers of the new arrivals. The local hospitals definitely appreciate these hats!
So far I’ve finished 3 hats during the contest. that’s the short stack of hats in the photo above. I kind of like having a stack of knitted hats sitting on my end table just waiting to have more hats added to it. I have one or two more that I should be able to finish this evening…. but then the hat knitting will slow down considerably. See, I’ve got Olympic-sized knitting to do. I’m planning on knitting a Clayoquot Cardigan from Tin Can Knits during the Olympic Games. If you haven’t joined a team for the Ravellenics yet, you totally should. You’re only competing against yourself and it’s kind of fun to see just how far you can get. So come on, jump into the deep end of the
pool snowdrift with us!
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A quick trip to the dictionary would reveal a more recent spelling of hairbrained which was commonly used in the 1500’s. Today it may be more appropriate to use harebrained.