Finally I can show off this last Christmas knit. I was waiting until it found its recipient before I went flashing its photos around on the interwebs. My sister's best friend Shannon has been in my life for quite a while now. Shannon and I get along very well, and when I used to go to my sister for aid in times of (mostly) relationship trouble, Shannon was often there too to help me find my way.
When I got married in June, Shannon's the one who did my hair and makeup and generally took care of my bridely appearance for the duration of the day (and it was not a short day), so when I found out she liked the Go Bro Michigan beanies I made for the men in my immediate family last year, I knew she had to have one for Christmas.
Thus, I set out to create the Girly Michigan beanie. I started by forgoing the white spectrum and instead using only the brighter colors (we females like color and a lot of it). I also made the base of the hat in one solid color, pushing the strips up to encompass only the crown of the hat.
Then, on the solid base, I added not only the required Michigan M in duplicate stitch, but also a partially crocheted and partially knitted flower that I attached to a pin backing to make it moveable. That way, the flower can be an the brim to the side or it could be placed at the top of the crown like a propellor or it could be taken off the hat entirely and wore as an outfit accessory on a lapel.
I wanted to personalize the hat a bit, to give it that bit of special embellishment that girls love, so I called my sister to find out Shannon's favorite flower. I have on my bookshelf a copy of 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet. I figured whatever flower it was would be in there and it was. Shannon really likes Gerber Daisies, in case you hadn't pieced that together yet from the photo below. Of course, the gerber daisy pattern in 100 Flowers didn't really look the best, in my opinion. Instead, I created my own version that I think looks a lot more like a Gerber Daisy.
As an added note: those petals were a pain in the rear to knit and then attach to the crocheted flower base. In all honesty, I was planning on doing two layers of petals, but I finished the first row and just stopped to retain my sanity.
I made an additional discovery while knitting this hat in particular. I have a hard time using markers when I knit in the round, as they always seem a little too big and don't let the yarn pull in tight enough, creating ladders. I took to just getting really good at remembering where I'm at in a pattern, so I don't need to use them. This method can get hectic and drive you up a wall. As of this hat, though, I no longer have to go that route. Now, I use jewelry jump rings instead of markers. They are so small that they just manage to glide along the needles and don't create any ladders at all. Best of all, they are incredibly cheap and come with like a zillion in the bag, which means you can lose them to your heart's content. Trust me, I've already lost about a dozen in the recesses of my boss's car during a business trip last month.