Midwest Knits

One of my closest friends from college, Kathleen, is studying veterinary medicine at Iowa State University. And if there's one thing I've gathered about that state from her Facebook posts is that it's cold. Really cold. Like, really really cold.

One of the first photos we ever took together, on retreat in the Shenandoah Mountains in September 2008.

One of the first photos we ever took together, on retreat in the Shenandoah Mountains in September 2008.

Kathleen is one of my favorite people in the world. She's kind, loving, caring, hilarious, and a generally all-around fantastic friend. She has an uncanny ability to find the positive in both people and things, and she appreciates my weirdness and particularly my puns. She is, quite literally, the most beautiful soul I have ever met. I met her on my very first day of college, before I even got to my dorm room for the first time, and it's been a whirlwind five and a half years since.

In the last two years of college when we lived together, no matter how much I'm sure I annoyed her with my unfolded clothes or my piles of history books precariously stacked 15 high on my desk or my super weird sleep schedule, she always took care of me, even if she didn't realize it.  Always generous, always offering, always there.

So, now it was my turn. She'd been having a hard time adjusting to how different Iowa is from both DC and California, so I thought I'd send her a care package.  But it was almost the end of her first semester, so I decided to hold off and wait until the middle of the next semester when she likely needed it more.  Halfway through, battling midterms and the cold - who wouldn't want a package in the mail?

Hat!

Hat!

I took the photo above to remember how to arrange everything, but I think it works well to show you what was in there!

I took the photo above to remember how to arrange everything, but I think it works well to show you what was in there!

Scarf!

Scarf!

So that was that!  Waiting until now gave me more time to finish the scarf I was planning on including, and then at the last minute throw in a new hat.  The scarf is the one from my previous post (the Eats Shoots & Leaves Scarf), and the hat is a chunky weight variation of Elisa McLaughlin's Reversible Smocked Hat that I made back in November.  She used to always put peanut butter and honey on rice cakes as a comfort snack, so I put all of those ingredients in there, too, as well as some Double Stuf Oreos, almonds, and Cheetos. I'm pretty happy with the selection, and I hope she is, too.

Tinseltown!

Tinseltown!

I also finally sent out a hat to another friend, Molly, who's living out in Chicago right now.  She'd asked me for one a while back, and I kept putting it off because I couldn't find a yarn I liked enough, and then I couldn't find a pattern that worked for her.  It just seemed like every one I thought of making just didn't suit her.  But then I remember this pattern that I loved so much, and it was such a quick knit, that that's when I decided to make Kathleen's too.  I made both hats in pretty much the same color, but Molly's has a little bit of added bling to it, with a strand of gold tinsel.  (Can you see it?  It came that way - I'm not creative enough to think of adding it on my own.)  I made it the tiniest bit smaller by removing one smock repeat horizontally, but did the same number vertically.  It's a pretty stretchy hat, so I could have left that in or kept it out - the end result for both hers and Kathleen's fit my head just about the same way.

So, that's what I've been doing lately!  It's been hatsapalooza around here, and I gotta say: I don't hate it!