Hats Galore!

You may think that I dutifully wrote those posts for you every day after Christmas. I hate to break it to you, my ducklings, but I stayed up until early on boxing day scheduling them dutifully to post while we galavanted away in St. Louis.  Why do I break your hearts with this news of betrayal? Well OBVIOUSLY because I want to peak your curiosity as to what we were up to while we were away. So, for the inquiring minds among you:

We were at Urbana 09 – the missions conference put on ever 3 years by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship – and, as always, it was lifechangingly amazing. If you’d like to check out some of the speakers, pretty soon they’ll have some videos up; I really recommend all of the scriputure expositions, and the keynote speech by Oscar Muriu.

But this is a knitting blog. So as ever, I try to bring you the knitter’s perspective on everyday experiences. This Urbana, I found myself, day after day, staring and pointing – at people’s hats! Urbana-ites were really rocking the hats this year, and by day three I had turned into a regular hat paparazzi.

As this kind chap said, when I asked to take a picture of him in his hat, “I guess everyone’s gotta have a passion…”

Some of them were definitely handmade. These I stalked without compunction.

(I love these scrap hats. Zany is the word that comes to mind.)

Others were inspiring in a knitterly way:

And some were just, well. Awesome.

I myself was not left out of this hat parade. Jared had made a hat for his secret santa that only used up half of the skein of yarn he bought for it, so I got its mate, completed on the evening of Urbana day 2.

Malabrigo worsted, in “Velvet Grapes”, in a cabled hat pattern Jared snagged off ravelry. (Hint: make it bigger than the biggest size. it’s super-elastic.)

Never one to fear hat redudancy, I made myself one as well! This time out of the rest of my baby poop handspun.

Seen here at the top of the St. Louis arch, where Jared, Seretha & I joined together in the support of non-phallic monuments.

We had to get in a space-pod to get up there.

I’m pretty sure they made people smaller back then. But once we got to the top, it was totally worth it:

In the bottom left corner of this westward-facing picture, you can see the old courthouse. Then in the middle of the right edge of the picture, the big white thing is the Edward Jones Dome where Urbana took place.

But hats were not the only representative knitted item present!

This shot I call “Still life of Urbana 09”, including the beginnings of my Urbana Socks! They are made with my very own My Backyard Socks in “earth, wind, and fire.”

I tried to take a picture of the socks with Greg Jao, everyone’s favorite Urbana announcer, but my camera’s focus field is not a mile long. So in one picture you can see Greg,

And in the other you can see the socks.

Someone with more photoshop skills and inclination than I possess would splice those together into one image. I leave it to your imagination.

After a few major hitches (involving a very failed attempt to eyeball the second sock’s foot length), they were complete by the last day’s morning Bible Study session.

I learned a lot from these socks – including the fact that knitting plain socks in 3 days is not adviseable unless you are okay with having socks a little shorter in the foot than is customary. (I am very impatient with plain projects.)

Thanks for sticking with me through this extra-long post. I leave you with an image rather representative of the crazy Urbana spirit – at one point the lights went out for rather longer than usual between sets during an evening session, and it was pitch black in the dome for a full minute. We’re not sure where it started, but before too long there were 16,000 cell phones waving in the air. The lighters of tomorrow, held by the missionaries of tomorrow – look out, world; we’re rather goofy.

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