For Christmas I've knit a night cap for my Dad. He feels the cold at night so what could be more useful than a night cap? It's not as if you can find these readily at your local mall. At least not here in Southern California anyway.
For the modeled photo I specifically told Mr Puffy to look jolly and whimsical. However, he disagreed and went for something solemn and more dignified. I told him he looked like Captain Hook from Peter Pan. But, what can I do? He's his own man, Mr Puffy, and he would model it his own way.
Particulars: Basic Hat Pattern; Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns; 1 skein Hand painted Cashmere DK weight (Tess' Designer yarns); US 6 needles. The edging is a simple 2" turned hem without the picot edging. My dad just isn't the picot type. The hat is stockinette as I didn't want anything to detract from softness of the fabric. I added the tassel because all night caps seem to have them. Check out Twas The Before Christmas if you don't believe me.
I haven't talked much about my dad, but he's a pretty special person. He grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota during the great depression. Not an easy life. He describes getting up while it was still dark out to milk the cows before school and hunting with his brothers to put food on the table. But his mother made life as nice as she could and they ate well on the farm. Stacks of hotcakes in the morning, plenty of fresh baked bread and pies.
The follow picture is one of the few that were taken of the boys on the farm. My dad is the one standing farthest from the camera.
After high school my dad fought in the Korean war and was awarded the Bronze Medal for his bravery in combat. His unit was responsible for laying communication lines on the front with only fox holes for protection, which was a very dangerous assignment.
After the war, he was able to afford college with the assistance of the G.I. Bill. This resulted in a long and successful career as a civil engineer. He's retired now and he and my mother enjoy good health and a happy marriage in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. At age 79 he's still golfing, fishing, camping and enjoying life to the fullest. And he deserves it all because you'll never find a more honest, decent and hard working person than my dad.
Since I'm on the subject, I thought this would be a good time to share the recipe for his favorite Christmas cookies. They are a buttery walnut cookie and I make them every year, just because.
Festive Walnut Christmas Cookies: A modified version of a Betty Crocker recipe.
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
candied cherries (cut into quarters) for garnish (the type you find in plastic tubs)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cover baking sheet with silpat.
2. Cream butter with sugars then beat in egg and vanilla.
3. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt). Add to butter mixture with a wooden spoon just until incorporated. Add walnuts.
4. Decorate cookie dough with cherry pieces; and
5. Bake 8-10 minutes.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, meaningful, and happy Christmas. And if you happen to have a night cap, say a toast to my Dad and those like him.