This is where I spent the last two weeks. I was in Anchorage hanging with fellow students and faculty in the MFA program at the University of Alaska. We had twelve-hour days of classes learning about the craft of creative writing. In the evenings, instructors gave readings–we heard from poets, fiction and non fiction writers. One poet played the harmonica during her reading (Kim Addonizio, who just today was featured in the Writer’s Almanac); one poet read translations and original poems in Urdu and French. Novelist Carolyn Turgeon read from her upcoming novel Mermaid, and author Craig Childs took us on a journey through deserts, rivers, and islands in his treks tracing water all over the world.

I was living in a dorm–something I haven’t done in, oh, 16 years. And because it was Anchorage, we were visited by moose: a mother and her baby decided to snack right outside the back door of the residence hall.


I brought lots of UFOs with me thinking I would be quite virtuous and not start any new projects. I only finished one UFO, this hat, for my friend Alyssa:

Labyrinth - crochet hat

I crocheted the hat with Blue Sky Skinny Cotton and I used Kim Werker’s three-color spiral technique. I love this technique because of the great design you get at the crown of the hat.

Labyrinth - crochet hat

It’s a little fiddly because you have “live” unworked rounds of color as you go. I found that I could just kind of tie the live loops together to keep them from coming unraveled. I stuck to Kim’s plan of one row in double crochet, one row in half-double and one row in single crochet (in other hats I’ve varied that scheme). I like the way the stripes of varying width look in these three colors. I made the crown oversized so the hat would be a little slouchy (my preferred style these days), and I worked the hat loosely to start, then changed to a small needle for the final rows so it would stay on the head easily.

Serious Writer-Types and Crocheting Hats