Friday, March 13, 2009

Martha Giancola's Knitting Story:

Image of a rooster in a knit cap

I have been teaching knitting classes at our local high school adult education program for years. My students, usually about 10 ladies between the ages of 30 to over 70, would always end up hearing various stories about my small "farm": the chickens, goats, rabbits, and ducks. One winter night I was particularly distressed during class because my favorite rooster was getting severe frostbite on his comb, because the weather had been dipping below zero, and I wasn't quite sure how to help him (short of bringing him into the house). Hens do not usually get frostbite on their combs because they tend to sleep with their heads under their wings. Roosters sleep with their heads up, though, so they almost always have frostbitten combs in the winter. I cannot remember who brought it up, but as a joke, one of the ladies mentioned that I should knit him a hat. BING! I thought it was a great idea, and went home that night to see if I could come up with something. I was knitting some socks at the time, and noticed right away the the heel or toe of a sock would be the perfect shape to cover the comb. So within an hour I had turned out the first hat, knitted in self-patterning sock yarn, embellished with a jaunty tassel and braided ties.

The rooster cooperated with me while I tied the hat on, but alas, as soon as he was on his own he quickly found a way to remove it. But the pictures were so funny that I ended up showing everyone I knew, and it became a funny story to tell at family functions. Shortly before Christmas that year, my knitting group was working on some charity knits, and I even went so far as to make up a fake charity hand-out called "Hats for Chickens". The handout implored knitters everywhere to not forget about all of the cold, needy chickens who were spending the winter outside without any hats to keep them warm. Of course I only gave the handout to the women in my class. I wouldn't really want people to start knitting hats for cold chickens everywhere. That would be cruel.

I've attached a photo of my rooster wearing the hat I knitted, and I've also attached a photo of him meeting Santa, looking very handsome in his handknitted hat.

image of rooster wearing knitted cap with Santa Clause

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