I am really digging this.
I knitted the hat again for Amy, this time it took a day. Admittedly we did have a few hours in the car but I was still impressed. Such a long way from the months I used to spend knitting jumpers and the 20 balls per project commitment. This one used less than a ball!
I used 80 stitches (rather than the 100 I used for mine) and decreased in 6 rounds (instead of the 10 I used for mine) to give it a more gnomey look.
I started the decrease after 8.5cm of straight knitting (mine was 12.5). I probably should have gone a bit further with the straight and a few more stitches would not have resulted in the skin tight look it has on Amy, but I'm really happy with the decrease rate.
I also added a little tassle on the top although I had a total mental phase out on how to make a proper tassle so I made that bit up too.
We had a fantastic day yesterday, taking our Thai friends for a picnic at hanging rock, as per the famous film and book of the same name. A great spread of Middle Eastern food - including my first attempt at Turkish bread which was quite good - followed by some very funny attempts at badminton and finally the climb to the summit. Amy had a ball and fearlessly tried to climb every rock face, giving me multiple nervous fits. Sorry no photos because I needed both hands to keep climbing.
It's a wonderful thing to host friends from overseas because it gives you new eyes for the things you've grown up with. We used to go to hanging rock for school excursions and family picnics and it seemed like a kind of ordinary place. But yesterday it seemed really magical, a geological wonder surrounded by crsip clear skies and amazing views.
We also stopped at the Mount Macedon war memorial in homage to Anzac Day and I felt uncharacteristically emotional. The older I get and the more I learn and think about what goes on in war, the harder it is to not feel overwhelmed by the sadness of it. Thinking of the countless young men sweltering in a foreign land just waiting to be sent to their deaths chills me to the bone. What must it have been like for them? For their wives and mothers back home waiting to hear the worst of all possible news.
Lest we forget the madness of war is with us still.