I love the idea of winter: bundling up in warm sweaters, wool socks, cozy stocking caps and mittens. In actuality, I didn't really like the excessive cold when I lived in Nebraska during college and a few years after. I prefer our Central California winters where it's often around thirty degrees in the morning but hits fifty or more by noon. I may begin my day with a warm coat, but hats, scarves, and gloves seem superfluous most of the time. But, I love small knitting projects like hats, scarves, and gloves, so my "lucky" nieces and nephews get to be the recipients of most of my winter-type knitting projects. This weekend I knit the Thorpe hat from Through the Loops. It was an easy pattern although I did have to pay close attention to the intarsia part. The pattern also calls for a double-half crochet on the edge of the finished hat, which intimidated me a little, even though she told me not to be. Youtube is so great for things like that. I found an excellent tutorial that explained it perfectly. I've been meaning to knit a Thorpe hat for a long time, and I had several left over skeins of yarn in colors I wasn't crazy about, but I knew that my six year old nephew would love, so after a long Sunday afternoon of knitting, I had a hat. I still need to add the ties, but that won't take long. You just braid them.
I'm teaching Frankenstein for the first time next semester, so I double-dipped by listening to Heather Oardover on Craft Lit talk about knitting and Frankenstein. She uses the Librivox recordings, but I like how she interjects her "English teacher" thoughts about each book beforehand.
I also worked some more on my nephew's orange socks that I started on our little trip to the alpaca farm. I'm not using a pattern, and there's a chance that they won't fit him. Fortunately, my sister has several other little candidates running around her house. I'm kind of proud about how well they've turned out. I cast on 48 stitches and used 24 stitches for the heel. They're nothing great, but they look good, and they're a fun mindless project.