One of the things I bought at the market were some hat kits from Butternut Woolens.
When I got home from the retreat I got one of these kits out 'just to try it' and couldn't put it down. I had forgotten about the instant gratification aspect of bulky yarn and size 11 needles! Before I knew it, I'd finished all three hats (though the last two still need their angora liners).
Plus? A portion of the proceeds from each kit is donated to the Glacier Park Fund for research on hare and other small animal populations. Here's an excerpt from the pattern sheet:
Snowshoe hare populations in the greater Glacier National Park ecosystem are under threat due to climate change. Snows are melting earlier than normal. This places white hares, who change coat color with the seasons, on brown earth, making htem easier prey for lynx, owls and other animals. As the hare population plummets, lynx populations in particular seem to be plummeting as well. Glacier National Park scientists and University of Montana researchers are gathering DNA data on the Park's hares in an effort to more fully understand their needs.
I bought a few more kits because these hats are going to make excellent gifts. Gift knitting *and* a donation to wildlife research?
I'm practically saint-like while knitting these!