Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Giant Squid Hat

I finished the Catharina shawl from Myrna Stahlman’st book. Mostly garter stitch, and I had forgotten how very stretchy that can be. . . or maybe it’s the yarn.

When I finished the shawl there was a moderate amount of yarn left over. This is hand spun two-ply, one ply being wool/alpaca, and the other being wool/opossum. I found both of these wonderful rovings while hubby & I were on vacation last October. The alpaca blend has a bit of blue & turquoise along with the natural. . . just the colors I like to wear. So I thought to myself, “Self . . . how about a hat to go along with this lovely shawl??? Maybe a beret or tam?” I got out the lace pattern that I had used for the shawl, which had an 18-stitch repeat, which as it turned out, it was perfect with the number of stitches I had on needles following the increase after the band ribbing. Now that was a very long sentence, but you get the idea. Did I swatch? Of course I did. (I am considering that the blocked shawl was a generous enough swatch.) I measured my head, and consulted three very dependable books to confirm the number of stitches to cast on for the hat. Theoretically, it should have been right-on.

The hat, when finished, looked lovely, other than the fact that the final decreases, rather than yielding a relatively flat top created something closer to a smallish perky boob shape (including nipple) on the top of my hat. Fine, a little blocking should fix that. Let’s get the hat damp, no, maybe a bit wetter. Heck, let’s just wash it & block it. The thing grew. . . and grew. . . and grew. . . until, I do believe, it would have fit a squid. There was no amount of blocking that would cure this problem. The band was completely floppy, as was the rest of the hat, with no more springiness in it. No more band gently hugging my head, but instead, the hat just sat up there, hanging limply down around my nose and ears.

It’s in the washing machine now. . . I’m hoping that with a little fulling, the thing will shrink some & maybe I can salvage it. Wish me luck!


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