Just a brief interruption...
Not to distract from all the warmth and beauty of Nicaragua, but I'm afraid I do have to pull everyone back to cold and snowy New England to briefly describe what I've been working on lately. I've been knitting for six years, but its only the last two winters that I've really gotten into it and done more than one project before losing my needles in some remote corner. My specialty seems to be hats, not because I'm particularly gifted at them, but because they're easy, fast, and a rewarding project to work on (generally I can knit a hat a day but sometimes things like class or work delay the process).
Before anyone starts to worry about the hat extravaganza, or how many heads I may have that I would need this many hats, let me explain that I've been knitting for kids in a hospital in Maine. My sister let me know that there was a knitting collective so the kids could go out and play with hats on their heads rather than towels. This turned out to be the perfect project for me, since I love to knit hats but have run out of heads to knit them for, so ta-da, a whole new crop of heads needing hand knit hats!
So far I have knit nine hats (my roommate decided she needed one so I knit one up as an early birthday present for her). My latest is the above pink cable knit wonder. I was lucky enough to find out that one of my friends is a knitter extraordinaire and she shared the joys of cable knitting with me, this was my first cable knit project and I'm pretty amazed at how it turned out, figuring out how to do the shaping at the top without a pattern caused me to curse a lot and get a headache, but it has no major holes and is in fact hat shaped!
For anyone who wants to experience the joys of knitting a hat, I'll share the secret of my success. Years ago I googled "how to knit a hat" and this jewel of a website popped up. It has stood by me through many a hat now and you can either follow the pattern exactly or get a little creative by altering the ribbing, adding color, or throwing a pattern in there. So check it out and start your own little hat knitting factory (although I'll tell you that the hands do start to get pretty sore by day 13 of the hat-a-day project!)