Can't seem to get a proper post together, so it'll have to be some more knitting, including Tom in a hat.
The hat in this picture in fact, featuring all Tom's knitted Christmas presents, none of which were ready in time for Christmas:
These items include the epic merino/cotton half fisherman's rib sweater I think I mentioned a while back, which just about came out OK, proves not to have enough warmth in it to be worn just now, and I was so fatigued by the sight of it after about half a million tiny half-fisherman's rib stitches by the time I'd finished that I was not sorry to see it put away for a bit. Also featured are a pair of green and black striped thick socks, and said hat. This is the second hat I have attempted to make for Tom; the first was too big, too fuzzy, too fussy and, ultimately therefore, too feminine. Odd this masculine/ feminine knit thing, it really is quite delicate, anything too fuzzy and chunky, however sombre the colour or plain the stitch, is just not right. Tom didn't complain of it in those terms, but nevertheless that was the fact.
This one, however, seems to have worked. The red and grey pattern was derived from an old chart to be found on the Estonian museums public portal. Despite careful transcribing of it onto big squared paper, my maths still let me down and there's an odd jog in it so it doesn't flow freely round the hat, but Tom, like Eric Morecambe, says you can't see the join. Also by the time I'd accomplished three repeats of it the hat was already too long so I had to rather hastily bring it to a conclusion by means of gathers rather than decreases, but, even so, it is a satisfactory garment and has already been christened on a wet and windy beach.
The other noteworthy thing about it is that I started and completed it in a single day on New Year's Day, which listening to BBC Radio 4 FM's all day dramatisation of Tolstoy's War and Peace, which was very good, and which the sight of the hat will always bring back to me. I did take a break to eat mid-evening and so missed the battle of Borodino. (Finding that link has just revealed to me that the actor playing Pierre Bezukhov, Paterson Joseph, is black. I love radio.)
So here is Tom wearing his hat (I've noticed he's often a crowd pleaser, so I'm shamelessly exploiting this):