Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Making an affordable (no knit) wool Stocking Cap

While we are looking at daffodils and crocus here in NC, I am well aware that my friends and family up north are hunkered in for a few more weeks of winter, so this post will still be applicable for them. Several weeks before Christmas, I posted a plea on my facebook status asking if someone could knit an all-wool stocking cap for me--those long pointy kind with a tassle on the end. My daughter wanted one for Christmas, and the only one I could find online was a replica on Amazon from the movie "A Christmas Story;" they were asking $24.99. Way too much for this frugal mama.

After I posted my query, one of Maine friends chided me, "Tricia," she wrote, "you are a Springfield girl, you can do this!!" Wanting to defend my fragile ego, I responded that, while my mother had taught me knitting basics more than once, I had forgotten them and there was no way I could relearn in two weeks. That was lame, and I knew it. I decided to employ a little Yankee ingenuity.

I went on a trip to Carolina Thrift, a huge second hand store here in High Point. I found two all wool sweaters in patterns I liked, one lamb's wool and one angora. I looked specifically for sweaters with a nice, tight bottom edge that were extra long. I also went on a Monday, when all clothing is half off. I scored my two sweaters for less than 5 bucks total.

I came home and cut out the hat pattern that I wanted, using my own head as a measure, and then I looked for yarn in my craft scrap box that matched the colors on the sweaters. I looked up "how to make a yarn pom-pom" on you tube (one of those things I could do when I was 8 but had since forgotten--it went the way of knitting in the recesses of my brain). Armed with my precut "hats" and pom-pom cardboard, I spent a couple of hours on our 10 hour car trip to Michigan making my daughter's Christmas present. Using a darning needle, I simply sewed around the edges with really thick cotton thread and made sure to use the bottom of the sweater for the band of the hat. Then I made the tassles and sewed then on. Voila! Two all wool stocking caps for less than $5 and about 3 hours time.

You are right, Heidi, I am a Springfield girl...and I did it:

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