I finished a sweater this week. A simple top down raglan that may, or may not become a Today’s Sweater, as it was supremely uninteresting to knit. (Actually, that’s not quite true. Every sweater has its interesting bits. This sweater had fewer of them than most but, as my first successful top down raglan, I learned a fair bit about the process. I’ll talk about that in the next Today’s Sweater installment.)
Looking for an instant gratification project, before embarking on my next sweater, I chose a fat skein of Rowan Colourscape, in the Heath colourway, and the Trinity hat pattern from Woolly Wormhead’s book, Going Straight. Freeing the chunky yarn from my To Be Knit Next basket had the added bonus of having the appearance, if not the actual fact, of serious stash busting. One skein of this chunky yarn takes up a fair bit of room. Without it my basket looks practically empty; a measure of progress that I find oddly satisfying.
The yarn is quite simply gorgeous, with long, Noro-like swathes of super intense color. (Isn’t it funny how all yarns of this type seemed to be judged next to the Noro yardstick? Did Noro set the standard, or did we? More importantly, can we make it a verb? If we can, then this Rowan yarn has definitely been Noro-ed.) Neither the camera, nor the camera woman’s skills, do the color justice, but I do think the photo attests that slouchy is one of those hat shapes that’s flattering to many.
The luscious color of the yarn, and the quick-to-knit hat pattern provided a couple of evenings in front of the telly worth of enjoyable knitting, and I was really pleased with the finished project. I happily kitchnered (Is that a verb yet? It should be.) the final row together with the provisionally cast on edge last night, and couldn’t wait to try the finished hat on. It’s a quirky hat. Squishy, and slouchy, you can pull it into a variety of face-flattering shapes. I love it. Or rather, I did, until Tonia laughed at it.
Let me say for the record that we pull no punches in this household when it comes to the work of our hands, and that’s a good thing. Ours is a creative life, and it’s a given that neither of us hits the artistic high-water mark one hundred percent of the time. Many of Tonia’s successful paintings line the walls of our home; many more are relegated to the garage. Many of my sweaters have become comfortable old friends, many more are worn once or twice, and consigned to the attic. Some of Tonia’s pots live in the house, others live in the garden. We routinely swap criticism of our individual work, and we don’t always agree on the success or failure of a given piece, and that’s okay. What a boring life we’d have if we always agreed with each other.
My feelings aren’t hurt by the fact that Tonia thinks my latest hat is ugly. She agrees that the yarn is beautiful. It’s the texture ((Although it looks like a bobble hat, the texture is actually due to the YO, K2tog stitch pattern, worked every fourth row. The chunky yarn was worked on 5.5mm needles, which made the fabric quite dense and thick, and resulted in the sculptural texture. Upon reflection, the yarn was possibly not the best choice for this pattern, though I stand by my decision to turn the single skein on hand into a hat.)) and shape of the hat she takes issue with; the mental comparisons of it with Marge Simpson’s upswept bright blue hairdo which made her laugh.
Tonia’s response has not dampened my enthusiasm for this hat, though it has sparked a small crisis of confidence in my ability to wear it in public, and with aplomb. I do like the hat, but would rather not look ridiculous. In the words of Nigel Tufnel, “There’s a fine line between clever and stupid,” and I prefer to stay on the clever side of that line. So knitsibs, what do you think? On which side of that line does this hat fall?