Crochet Santa Hat

After the fire we suffered in July, I was left with virtually nothing to wear, about 99% of my clothes were scorched and burned, so I’ve slowly been rebuilding a wardrobe. My old winter coat was barely recognizable and all that was left were sleeves, collar and part of the upper back. So my husband helped me search for a new coat, something that could keep me warm because I’m hot natured and never do well in cold weather. He found the perfect one for me on the L.L. Bean website, (found a great coupon code online that took off almost half and had free shipping!) the ‘Winter Warmer Coat’ in black, the long one that falls just above the knee, not the short one that falls to the hip. Honestly, just because I mainly can’t stand having a cold butt, is why I chose the longer one. I found gloves that I love to go with it in red. They’re the convertible ones that have a little flap to go over the fingerless tips to make them mittens. I decided to make an ear warmer to match the gloves, I just haven’t gotten to it yet. lol

First, I wanted to make a crocheted Santa hat. So I looked for a pattern I liked and found one on the Red Heart site, pattern by Edie Eckman. I made some changes, because I wanted my own UK-colored hat. So I’m just using white for the brim and pom pom, royal blue for the hat, both super saver. The rest of the pattern is being done as written. 

I’ve only gotten half of it finished,  but I’ve tried what I have finished on and it will be perfectly warm for me.

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You work the brim first in single crochet in back loops only to create the ridges, the rest is done in double crochet. Easy, simple and works up quickly. I would have it done already if I had more time to devote to it. Hopefully I will have it finished before bed tonight. 🙂

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Oh, the holidays are coming?

Here we are with Thanksgiving upon us. I, of course, took on more than I could handle crochet-wise. I’ve had some issues with carpal tunnel in both hands keeping me from finishing up one afghan for a very dear friend of mine. It’s almost finished, but I’ve been kicking myself because of having to take more and more breaks in between productivity. :-/ The carpal tunnel is a holdover from the days when I did data entry. It’s the price you pay for being the top keyer on your team every week.

Anyway, Thanksgiving invariably gets me thinking about my mom. Always. Mainly because it was the last holiday that I had with her before she passed away in December 2005. Below is me (at 17) and her  eight months before we found out that she had cancer. Lung cancer, to be exact.

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My mom was an amazing woman. She didn’t take guff from anyone. Extremely independent and a very strong woman. I can honestly say that I got that from her. She had a tendency to speak her mind, speak her own truths, in ways that irritated people sometimes, but she was always true to herself. Some people just didn’t like that about her. She often told me, “Ashley, there’s going to be times when you speak up and people aren’t going to like it, but if you’re being honest about something, it’s usually the truth you’re speaking that they don’t like. They’ll either get over it and move on, or hold a grudge and quit talking to you. Don’t let that stop you from doing the right thing.”

Sometimes I swear that it feels like I’m literally the only one who misses this woman in my family or anyone else. I know that may not be true, but it certainly feels like it. No one ever wants to talk about her, remember her, it’s like they want to forget that she ever existed. Well, guess what? She lived! Her life mattered! She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a single mom, an aunt and a granny. I just don’t understand the silence. I’m the exact opposite of all that, I speak of her often because she was the best role model I could have ever hoped for. To me, it seems backwards to not honor her memory and talk about the short life she lived. I was 21 when I lost her, she had just turned 45.

As you can guess, she was gone right before Christmas. Even though I know that she didn’t want this holiday to be ruined for me, it happened anyway. It’s a depression and yearning for my mom that nothing can ease or make better. I’m 30 now and I still want my mom around. This year will make 9 years that she’s been gone and the pain hasn’t lessened, it hasn’t gotten easier, it definitely has not gone away. People tell me that I should be “over it” by now. Really? I wasn’t aware that there was a time limit on grief. Just because you may be “over it”, it doesn’t mean that you have the right to intrude on someone else’s grief. That irritates me beyond belief. I just don’t quite understand the callousness of being mean to someone like that. I always tell people that when they lose their own mother, especially if they were as close to her as I was mine, they’re going to understand then. Maybe they might apologize, but I doubt it. Mom raised me to admit when I’m wrong, even when it’s really hard, and I do. It may be a hit to my pride at the time to admit how infallible I am but I get over it because if the person really matters to me, I’m more interested in making things right between us than being right.

I don’t apologize for being true to myself, or for trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I’m the type of person who is brutally honest. Don’t ask my opinion if you don’t want to hear what I honestly think about anything. If you ask me if these jeans make your butt look big and it looks like you’re smuggling two hams, I will tell you so. But, just because I do, it doesn’t mean that I like/love or respect you any less. Look at it as I love you enough to be 100% honest with you. I would rather have people be honest with me today and my feelings get hurt a little, rather than find out tomorrow that I was lied to and get angry because I wasn’t worth the truth. And that’s how I treat others, as in, ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated’, ya know? I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, but I can and do hold my head up because I know that I’m a good person. And that is all due to the woman who raised me.

If I’m not back on before Thanksgiving, have a most happy and blessed day with your loved ones!  🙂

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