Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sanga Hats, Batch One


Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Malabrigo, about 3/4 skein
Needles: size 7 16" circ, size 5 16" circ, size 7 DPNs
Gauge: about 14 st/4 in in st st
Notes: my first attempt at this pattern, no gauge swatching was done before tackling the hat; I am a loose knitter and this first version is very large, almost too big even to suit an adult who wears a Large-size hat

A sanga (as I may have mentioned before) is a group of like-minded individuals. Not clones or a cult. (I'm distracted, for a moment, by the idea that you could bring a large group of people together and have everyone agree.) A sanga, pronounced sahn-gah, is a community of people who have a common interest, a shared outlook on life, a philosophical or spiritual or materialistic or intellectual foundation that ties the disparate crowd together in some way.

My yoga therapy classmates have been together for about two years. But it was only this fall, when we spent two weeks together in a beautiful retreat center in Tennessee, that we began to become a sanga. Eating meals together, walking through the woods to class and back, studying at separate tables but in the same commons room, waiting in line to fill our plates at dinner, having a chat with someone that you'd never - for various reasons - found yourself sitting next to: all of these little elements contributed to our feeling more of a group by the time that we headed home.
Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Malabrigo
Needles: size 6 DPNs, size 6 16" circ, size 5 16" circ
Gauge: about 16 st/4 inches in st st
Modifications: in addition to dropping down a needle size, I worked only to Row 15 of the Crown chart, then decreased four stitches to work the main body of the hat in Leaf Lace on 80, instead of 96, stitches; much better fit - tight enough to feel snug but stretchy enough to fit someone who wears a size Medium, maybe even Large, hat; the crown is still very deep from top to ribbing, so someone (like me) with a smaller head might want to work only 2 1/2 repeats of Leaf lace chart instead of 3 repeats before working ribbed edging; and by the way, I love K1P1 ribbing - it is a pain in the neck to execute but looks very professional when done - that sort of last fillip that makes a handknit hat something special
As usual, I was knitting during the breaks and in the evenings. This time, I was working on a set of winter-hat-and-emergency-backup-winter-hat for my older daughter. And as usual, people expressed interest, marveled, ruminated about how they had knit or would never knit or didn't have the patience to knit. I kept telling them: it's just like yoga. Knitting brings to the surface the most telltale aspects of your personality. Are you a perfectionist, disorganized, spendthrift, economical, precise, lazy? Knitting will illuminate your patterns, just as yoga does, and then you're in a better place to choose whether or not you want to support that habit or try to slowly edge away from it. Still couldn't get any takers to learn to knit, but had many sightseers to inspect the hats or yarn.
On the last day, I put out a sign-up sheet for sanga hats. Each one will be different, because part of our training is to emphasize that yoga is an individualized process, in its best application. Because we are all so different, our yoga practices should address and reflect those differences. For you, it may be a bad back. For someone else, anxiety. For another, the wish to do a headstand. Instead of putting everyone through the same paces, we look to personalize the practice to the student's needs. I have people's color preferences and measurements, and hope to occasionally strike a win.
Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood
Yarn: Cascade 220 leftovers, Noro Silk Garden
Needles: size 5 16" circ, size 7 16" circ
Gauge: 20 st and 24 rows to 4 in. in st st
Notes: still the king of all hat patterns - you cannot make a bad hat from this pattern; this one is my first for a male adult, so I followed the pattern as written; could be a bit smaller to stay on and keep the head cozy, but it will work.
Next up, Habitat. Or maybe finishing Juliet. Or maybe napping. After playing my turn at Scrabble. Now up to 2 games in process.



No comments: