A tangerine hat for my cousin Robert

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist best known to the general public for her TED talk and subsequent book about a stroke she suffered in 1996.

I have not yet read Dr. Taylor’s book (A Stroke of Insight), but I have seen her TED talk, and it is her story of how she came to study the brain that caught my attention.

In her talk she states:

I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother who has a brain disorder: schizophrenia.

Like Jill Bolte Taylor’s brother, my cousin Robert suffers from schizophrenia. His particular situation is difficult to treat, and while the pharmalogical options are much better and more numerous than they were when he was first diagnosed in the early 1970s, they are not without side effects.

Such was the case last spring when my cousin was admitted to the hospital as the result an abnormal EKG.

While my cousin was in the hospital, I would go to visit him in an effort to keep him occupied while the doctors sorted out his medical situation.

Most of the time, Robert did not want to visit with me, and he would pretend that he was asleep to avoid conversation, but occasionally, his eyes would flutter open and he would grant me an audience.

I was, of course, working on a crochet project, and during the swaths of time that he ignored me, I was able to work uninterrupted, but during one of those times when he felt like visiting, I learned that his favorite color is tangerine, and today, with colder weather inching ever closer, I decided that a tangerine hat would be the perfect gift for my cousin.

With the color decided, all that was left was to choose a design. After looking over the patterns available at Ravelry. I settled on Rheatheylia’s aptly named Divine Hat.

There are three beauties to Rheatheylia’s hat pattern. One: it is truly divine. Two: it is free. Three: it works up very quickly. Here is what I was able to get done in just two-and-a-half hours my first time making the hat:

tangerine crochet hat
A tangerine textured crochet hat for my cousin Robert

With the tangerine hat for Robert ready to go, I worked the twenty-eighth hexagon of my meditation:

crochet flower hexagon
The 28th crochet hexagon

and then joined it to all the others:

crochet hexagons
The African flower crochet hexagon meditation 28 days in

As well as this project went, tomorrow, I just might try my hand at Rheatheylia’s Lattice Hat pattern, and just in case you would like to hear for yourself what Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor has to say about her experience of a stroke, here is a video of her TED talk, and every minute is worth listening to.

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4 thoughts on “A tangerine hat for my cousin Robert

  1. Saw not only the TED talk JTB gave but she also did an amazing special with Oprah….
    AMAZING story!!!
    Love the Divine hat – going to make the preemie version for my NC Granddaughter ~ they are coming to visit during Christmas break!

  2. Actually, my husband has a brain injury, and this talk (I’ve watched it many times since last year-I love Ted Talks) is the only thing I’ve seen that has shed some light on some of his odd behavior as it is the right side of his brain that is most affected. I have considered contacting her for more information and reading on the subject. Asking doctors has proved to be a dead end. They just give me a blank stare and say, they don’t know, to many of my questions. Great woman, and very helpful to me.

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