Just when you think it’ll be fine….

You know when you watch cooking shows, and everything they make always turns out pristine, glorious, and oh-so-delicious? And how the sophisticated, permasmiling hosts, wave around their endless supply of top-of-the-line uni-tasking kitchen devices that would cost more than my house is worth? And all the ingredients sit neatly chopped in beautifully clear glass bowls that are exactly the right size for their fresh garden-cut herbs and exotic Tibetan peppers given as a gift from the Dalai Lama himself?

And then you reflect on the “meal” you last made that ended in piles of bowls, splatterings of water, flour, tomato sauce on the walls, and stuff everywhere? And how it tasted bad, to boot? And then you feel sad because you’re never going to be as neat and perfect and pre-chopped as the people on TV? (Well, OK, actually I don’t feel so sad, because I’ve watched Next Food Network Star, and I know those poor suckers burn their mouths on their ill-seasoned concoctions while trying to pretend that it doesn’t taste like rubber).

I promise none of you will ever leave here feeling that way. Behold my latest mess of a failure:

failed hat

It all started out a little suspect. The yarn store in which I discovered this lovely shade of Malabrigo worsted-weight is a lovely one indeed, and not far from where I work. When I picked up the yarn, I recognized the strong smell of vinegar, which I dislike immensely. Since vinegar is used to set the dyes in yarns, this is not entirely a surprise to smell at a yarn store, but this was Strong in only a way vinegar can be. Anyway, I just figured it would go away over time and set out to knit a simple hat, like many I’ve made before. After all, I’d just lost my very adorable fleece-lined winter hat with the little boingy things on top, and needed a good sturdy and warm winter replacement. So I whipped up the hat and all was well. It looked like it had promise as it was in progress:



Problem number 1: It was enormous.

How did that happen? I’ve made hat upon hat for myself, and this one’s big?

Problem number 2: No matter how long it lived out in the great wide world of vinegar-free air, it still reeked.

So I thought – Hey, wouldn’t it be a fantastic idea to soak this in some warm water with some mild laundry soap, like I’ve done to so many other knitted things? And I could even shape it while it dries! Maybe I could make it appear a little smaller than it is! Wow, I’m so smart!  Even in hindsight, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but in truth the hat soaking went very poorly. It grew two sizes, went all saggy and loose on me, and looked horrible. And it still smelled like vinegar!
So, onto plan B: the fleece!

Guess what? If you try to make a really big hat smaller with a lot of bulky fleece, it looks just, well, like you tried to make a really big hat smaller with some bulky fleece. To seal the deal, I had an uncontrollable spontaneous fleece cutting episode *after* the fleece was already in the hat, resulting in nothing but misshapen disaster and handstitching nightmare.

A knit hat is like the mac and cheese from a box of the knitting world and I screwed it up. But I’m OK with it because I found my old winter standby a few days later:


Posted by robyn on January 18th, 2008 under crafts, knitting

2 Responses to “Just when you think it’ll be fine….”

  1. Asheen Says:

    I think I actually accompanied you to said yarn shop to purchase the ill-fated Malabrigo in question (which, had you asked me before, I would have suggested was a kind of toy dog or a soft cheese). I distinctly recall our heading to Masala Art for lunch and, finding the suspiciously complicit Indian restaurant just a few minutes from opening, I heard the words “yarn store” and “you don’t mind do you,” and the next I knew I was experiencing flashbacks to accompanying my mother to the grayish-yellow bleakness of the Fabric Store.

    Weeks later I took Julie to said yarn store, where we experienced a similar catastrophic fate — the details of which I am sworn to secrecy on pain of death (or at least strong glaring). Clearly I must be yarn-store-cursed!

    Oh, and right on about the cooking. No matter how beautiful the food on the shows, mine always turns out one of three slightly varying shades of brown.

  2. Dori Says:

    I think the hat looks pretty. Perhaps you just need to find someone bigger-headed to give it to? Maybe with a limited sense of smell?

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I'm Robyn. Thanks for stopping by! This is my craft blog.

Contact me at robyn [at] dognamedbanjo [dot] com.

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